Well that was certainly an odd game of football. At times it was backs against the wall but considering who we were short and we had to play with the added liability of the pretty usless trio of Ade, Nic and that tit Eboue I think that we did more than okay. Some of the players came out of the game with a good bit of credit.
Robin carried over some of his good from January into this month and while nothing that he tried came off perfectly he always made himself available, put in a lot of running and always used the ball well when he had it. He was hampered in the first half an hour by another simply shocking performance from Ade. I don’t know what’s happened to him this term but he has been a shadow of the player he was 12 months back. And what is even more worrying is that in the past even when he has played badly he still put in a decent shift, he would often miss a few chances but would end up nicking a goal late on through sheer persistence. However, fast forward a year and you see a different player.
Now his touch and goal scoring ability seem to have pretty much disappeared and it has been made worse by a complete change in attitude. Ade no longer runs like he once did, and he seems to think that he is a better player than he actually is. He has been badly in need of a dropping to the bench for a few weeks now. From his own point of view his injury could not have come at a worse time, Eduardo (as different a player in skill, attitude and goal scoring ability as you are likely to get) is ready to step in. I think that if Eduardo and our current best player, RVP, get a chance to build up a relationship they may take some shifting. Time will tell on that one but I don’t see Ade as an automatic first choice between now and the end of the season.
Another player who really had a chance to win over some of us less than convinced fans was our ‘great Dane’. He came on and his touch was simply dreadful. The more I see of Nic the more I am convinced that he does not have what it takes to make it at Arsenal, he just doesn’t look like an Arsene player.
Another one who looks like a square peg and in a round whole is Eboue. Robin was sent off a few weeks back for a stupid tackle and I was annoyed with him. But, (and this is the big ‘but’) because he has won us games in the past and will win them for us in the future I’m willing to allow him the odd game where he loses the plot somewhat. Now look at Eboue, he has been worse than useless all season. Never scores, never creates and just simply does nothing in any game that I have seen that would warrant him wearing an Arsenal shirt.
So he knows that the right back position is gone with Sagna and that Theo is really pushing towards being first choice on the right. Theo get injured and through default Eboue gets his chance which he doesn’t take. And then when we sign Arshavin, a player who he must see as a rival (I know how ridiculous that sounds) Eboue goes out and gives the greatest impression of an idiot I think I have ever seen on a football pitch. Thankfully, his days in the Red should be pretty much over now. Arshavin will take his place in the next game and Theo is only weeks away, and from what Eboue has shown over the past few months the sooner he is sent to the reserves the better.
At the back Gallas had an immense game, Sagna was very solid and Clichy blew hot and cold. Toure, at one stage my very favourite Arsenal player was crap. Now we can dress it up anyway want to but the sooner someone at the club holds up their hands and agrees that Toure’s time at the club is over the better. He has been very poor for the last 18-24 months and shows no sign of improvement. I don’t like Gallas but I would take him over Toure any day. If Man City come back at the end of the season with an offer anywhere near the £10m they supposedly offered last month then I think we should thank him for his service and send him on his way.
I thought it was interesting to see how well Song played. I’ll be honest in that I never got Song, I never really saw him as being anywhere good enough but after watching his game yesterday I admit that I may have to rethink as he was immense yesterday and our best player by a mile. Our best player after the sending off. Before the sending off I thought that he was the same way he always was – and that is not very good. Song is great in games when we our up against it, I think he could make a great defensive midfielder that we all talk about. The problem is that we haven’t played with a defensive midfielder for years. Flamini was not a defensive midfielder, he simply ran and ran and covered so much space that when he made countless tackles outside our own box we assumed that he was playing that role.
He wasn’t. Flamini was a player who could do a lot of things well and some things very well. He wasn’t our most creative or skilful player but he was creative and skilful enough that he didn’t look out of his depth when making up 50% of our central midfield. Song does not have anything like the talent of Flamini (nor the experience it must be said) so that when he plays in the middle of the park in a flat 4-4-2 he looks out of place. And the truth is he is not good enough to be 50% of our central midfield. Is he good enough to be 33% (as in if we played one up front and three across the middle)? Well perhaps but that is somewhat of a mute point as Wenger is not openly in favour of that system.
So overall not too bad a weekend. Eboue is gone for at least a game and perhaps even more, Ade is injured and hopefully will come back to being forced into fighting for his place against an eager, willing and able Eduardo and the Spuds, despite spending some £80-£90million on that starting eleven yesterday only managed to get a draw against a team on the slide, with ten men and missing 3 of their starting 4 midfield. Oh and our team only cost less than half of what theirs did.
I think that we will make it into the Champions League next season, we have a lot of big players coming back and despite our current league position I am quite optimistic. Having expected the worst from the weekend suddenly things don’t look half bad.
Have something to tell us about this article?