First thing’s first – an Arsenal player scored the goal of the season at White Hart Lane yesterday. No, not Cesc’s 30 yard piledriver, but Adebayor’s moment of absolute genius. The touch to shift the ball from right to left and the volley executed in the same motion were a true master class in wonderful goals.
There is no doubt that it is already a major contender for strike of the season but it is unlikely it will win. This is not because it wasn’t good enough, but because Adebayor is not on the books of Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool. Last season Wayne Rooney won the award with a counter attack goal. Such goals were scored for fun by Arsenal in previous seasons and they didn’t even win goal of the month. Van Persie scored a goal Superman would have been proud last season but he did not win. I bet you now that Adebayor will not win Goal of the Season.
Back to the match, 3-1 victory at the Lane looks on the face of it a fantastic result. And it was, no doubt. We were 1-0 down and showed once more the grit and determination to come back and win the game. However there are some issues that do need to be addressed. Just because we won the game it does not mean the performance was perfect. There were some worrying moments yesterday.
First of all we must realise that we could have so easily lost yesterday. We got to half time and we were still in the game and it looked like we would score (everyone does against the Spuds). However as the second half begun it seemed Tottenham would score aswell. Berbatov raced through and Almunia was caught in no mans land; relying on indecision from the striker and a last ditch tackle from Touré (who played him onside) to bail him out. Had they gone 2-0 up the game could have been so different!
Wenger had to go into the game with only one natural centre back but Gilberto’s positioning was lacking at times and hopefully once Gallas and Senderos are back this will improve. If not more work must be done at London Colney. Berbatov missed another great chance later in the game. From a corner he was unmarked and managed to pick out the forehead of Clichy on the line, and then sent the rebound over. It was such a let off for Arsenal but the issue of why he had a free header must be addressed. Arsenal have often been punished from corners and hopefully the issue has been addressed and this was one lapse that we will not see again.
We scored 3, but it could have been many more aswell. The final score should probably have been about 6-3 if im being honest. At 1-0 down we were very wasteful. Diaby hit the bar when he had the whole goal to aim for. Whether this was a lack of composure I do not know but nobody should be missing from the situation he was in. Hleb had a good chance to punish Robinson for bad positioning but didn’t really have much conviction behind his shot. However another glaring miss was to come, strangely the source of such a miss was our match winner. Adebayor has repeatedly worried Arsenal fans by his finishing. You would not think it should be in question after his wonder strike. However he did miss an almost open goal from all of 6 yards.
After great work from Bakary Sagna, Adebayor managed to plant his shot into row Z when it seemed harder to miss than score. It is these moments that confuse Arsenal fans. Maybe Adebayor is a scorer of great goals rather than a scorer of many goals. But he does need to improve his finishing under pressure, however good his 2nd goal was.
You may say I am looking for negatives amongst a hard working performance. My point is that this attitude cannot pull us through all the time, at some point wastefulness and sloppy defending will cost us, probably when it most matters. Don’t get me wrong, we scored two beautiful goals, 1 set piece, played some exquisite football at times. However there will be countless match reports concentrating on positives but not many opening their eyes so much to a few negatives. Both sides should be looked at the same. The performance was good but certain things do need analysing and I’m sure Wenger will do so.