No bonuses to take from Hull game

Give the bankers back their bonuses and allow the politicians their benefits because compared to Arsenal’s first-half performance against Hull yesterday, they deserve it. When bankers and politicians underperform, society calls for their heads. Sometimes those in high powered jobs are sacked.
Arsenal’s stars are among the highest paid people in the country and their level of work for 45 minutes was so below standard, so undeserving of their astronomical salary, that even Fred Goodwin would have been turning.
The first-half entertainment at the Emirates yesterday was appalling. It broke the game of football down to its simplest and barest, so low was the quality that no way could this be called a profession.
For a moment it was possible to understand those wretched people who say of football, ‘it’s just a game’ because that is all it was. Aside from Denilson’s nicely bent in free-kick from 25-yards on the stroke of half-time, there was little pride or care in anything Arsenal did.
Seeing such a woeful first-half put everything into perspective. Referee Steve Bennett also earns a nice wage, but really all he does is blow a whistle and flash a plastic card around, and he still couldn’t do it well.
Then, just before the interval, Samir Nasri trod on Richard Garcia’s foot causing a pitiful mini-brawl, where Stephen Hunt was like a scrappy dog wrestling with players. It was primary school stuff and an embarrassment for the name of football. From the bench Theo Walcott, Lukas Fabianski and Carlos Vela watched on with red blankets around their laps.
Pleased to say the game picked up after the intermission. Hopefully Wenger reminded the players of their duty to justify the large sums of money they make with another assault on their egos, lack of desire and jaded attempts to win the game.
Abou Diaby was a brand new player in the second half, driving forward, linking with attackers, assisting one and scoring another, helping Arsenal to the eventual 3-0 win. Before, he had been like the kid in PE who needs constant encouragement to get involved. The Frenchman looked so uninterested it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had forgotten his boots and was wearing shoes.
Arsenal’s passing was quicker and more incisive and proved that when they concentrate, the Gunners can still get behind a team defending with every body behind the ball. Hull had a negative game plan which to break down, simply required more hard work and slicker one touch football.
Song played a one-two with Diaby after 59 minutes, then the gangly central midfielder slid across for Eduardo to tap in. After 80 minutes, Diaby dumped a ball off to Andrey Arshavin and made a direct run into the box. The Russian returned the favour and Diaby slammed home. Pass and move, the first rule.
Most of the hard work though came after Almunia saved from the spot after 55 minutes. Silvestre was adjudged by Bennett to have pulled Chris Fagan’s shirt in the box after a nothing cross had whizzed over both their heads.
Before Giovanni fluffed his penalty, visions of Arsenal collapsing like in this fixture last year were flashing across the television screen. Instead, Almunia anticipated correctly and Arsenal went on to punish Phil Brown’s men. A ruthless Arsenal was welcoming to see and in the end Arsenal responded well to take an encouraging three points.
With injuries in all departments and players like Emmanuel Eboue and Eduardo making starts, the win is as valuable as Liverpool away. Stronger opposition will test Arsenal’s nerve further but there is no arguing with 3-0 against any Premier League outfit, just don’t expect any performance bonuses.

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