Sunday, September 21, 2008

3-1 to the Arsenal

We are Fabregas
And we are fabulous

- the Arsenal away stand in the stairwell after the game. 

Spent last night in Bolton. Didn't mean to; I wanted to get a bed in Manchester and commute to the game, but there's some Labour Party Convention in the city. Apparently the Prime Minister here's getting caned for banks going bankrupt, the credit crunch and all the other things that have kept me entertained in hostel lobbies this past month. 

I watched the Arsenal for (probably) the last time. Reebok Stadium is a very pretty ground, which is in complete juxtaposition to the fare on the pitch. It's got this white lattice framework that holds up four, vast arched stands. Very nice, much prettier than the corporate Emirates, I'm afraid to say. 

We played okay, I thought. You have to do alright, to win 3-1. Eboue had a really good game on the left wing. He made quite a few damaging runs in the first half, and was very effective when cutting in and driving down them middle. But we started with a midfield of Eboue, Song, Fabregas and Densilon, which was a but muddled. With Eboue's propensity to cut in from the left, and Denilson's inability to go around his marker, it made for a very narrow formation.

And it showed. 

We didn't really get into the match until after they scored (off a corner, of course). And we didn't really click as a team until Theo Walcott was brought in in the second half. Straight away, he gave us a boost in speed, width and directness. His run down the middle set up the third goal. It's amazing how his stature has grown over the past month. He's not the finish article yet, but he's very, very important to this Arsenal side. 

Yorkshire and Northumbria next. Got to see about a bus or a train or something. 

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