Monday, October 27, 2008

2-0 to the Arsenal

"Don't worry about it. Sit, sit."

- the really nice lady who let me watch the Arsenal in her cafe, despite being penniless, destitute, and too lazy to walk over to the nearest ATM to withdraw cash.

Whenever I see this Arsenal side play after a long interval (I haven't seen them play for about three weeks), I'm always struck by how different they are to the Henry-Pires-Vieira side. It's slower, and more patient, and much more elaborate. We try to pass through a solid ten-man wall, instead of cutting through them with pace and incisive passing. I guess we just don't have the personnel for that (Walcott, Clichy and Adebayor aside, we're not exactly speedy) but maybe it's just because we don't have Bergkamp pulling the strings. Bergkamp's Arsenal was about one-touch moves, whereas Cecs' Arsenal is all tikki takka.

The one problem with it is that Arsenal are now playing a game of inches. Every pass has to be perfect, or things go astray. And sometimes, it makes for frustrating viewing. It certainly was tonight. Yes, we dominated possession, but something in the way we played told me that it was one of those days. van Persie missed a header by inches. Walcott skinned two players, got one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and was denied with a bloody good save. In the second half, when van Perise cracked a free kick against the post, that horrible feeling came back. You know the one. It's that sinking sensation deep in your stomach when you realise that a game is destined to be a draw.

It's appropriate that we broke the deadlock with an own goal. And it's interesting that things only really started happening when Adebayor was introduced. He's become really imporant to the Arsenal, you know. Maybe West Ham couldn't handle another tall gangly type running around their penaly box, but we did look more threatening with him there. Maybe we should play 4-3-3 from now on?

I thought Bendtner played a really good game. It's a bit odd seeing him drift off to the right like that and become a virtual right winger, but he holds up the ball well, and he uses little flick passes to good advantage. And that pass to Adeabyor from the half-way line was simply brilliant. It's strange because I figured he was going to be an out-and-out striker, but I suppose Arsenal knows.

But that's about it. Two posts in one day make Connolly's agent something something...


Anonymous said...

Just to say Mum and Dad are back safely in Australia. Hope you are having a good time


Connolly's agent said...

That's good. I'll have to give them a call sometime. Heard you picked them up from the airport.