[Rating] Champions League Fate No Longer In Our Hands After ANOTHER 0-0 Draw

Posted: February 28, 2009 by jenningston in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Well it’s getting a bit ridiculous. Besides the Cardiff game, we haven’t scored a goal from open play since Everton, a month ago. We scored in 1 out of our last 5 games from open play. Today we didn’t have a problem with creating chances, and our defending, albeit shaky at times, was still decent, and kept a clean sheet against two experienced, strong and respectable strikers. What bothered me was our awful finishing and lack of urgency, especially in the last few minutes. van Persie, a great player yes, is not a player to be relied upon for goals every week. Players like Eduardo and I dare say Adebayor, are, which is why, in the one game that we scored in from open play, Eduardo was the man of the match, picking up two goals.

This season, our defense has not been a problem, in fact, our defense has been quite good, save the set piece trouble at the beginning of the season that made every corner seem like a penalty. Our midfield, despite our injuries, has still done its job, maybe there were times when we didn’t create enough, but despite the disappointment of Song, Eboue and at times Denilson and even Nasri, the midfield did its job for the most part. If we had Cesc and Theo in there we’d be fighting for the title, not struggling for a Champions League spot.

This season our problem has been our strikers. Yes, RvP has been better than he’s ever been, Vela has stunned us all with his hat tricks and skill, but besides that we’ve been mainly disappointed, especially by Adebayor and Bendtner. When we have needed our strikers (the past 5 or 6 matches) they have let us down, and only Eduardo has been able to keep our hopes up.

The problem is that we have the two main types of strikers: the “#10” and the “#9”. #10s being van Persie, Bendtner (yes, he is a not a number 9), Arshavin and #9s being Vela, Adebayor and Eduardo. Eduardo has been out, Vela has impressed in the Carling Cup, but he can’t be depended on for goals every week, however, one day we will depend on him for that, and Adebayor has disappointed for the most part, and for the rest he’s been injured. Right now he’s got 8 goals and 4 assists after 22 Premiership appearances. After 22 appearances last season he had 18 goals. He’s become too cocky just because he scored 30 goals and Milan wanted him. Guess what Ade? We’re better than Milan, that’s why we beat them last year, and we are in the Champions League and they are not.

So because of Adebayor’s disappointment, all the goal scoring responsiblities have been placed on the shoulders of Robin van Persie, who has done the best he can, but he needs a good partner who will help him shoulder the burden of the goals, and that partner is Eduardo. We know Eduardo won’t disappoint because he already came back and scored twice, and he never disappointed when he played in Croatia. Playing for Monaco, Adebayor scored about a goal every 4 games, Eduardo scored a goal every game and a half for Dinamo Zagreb. We know Eduardo can bring the goods, especially next to players who can create chances like van Persie, Cesc, Arshavin and Nasri.

So that is my conclusion, Adebayor’s head has gone to the sky, and he is one of the main reasons of our disappointments this season.

Anyways back to Fulham, yeah we created loads of chances, but we had no poacher up front, and our two #10 strikers that we had both had very off days for finishing. But whatever, we drew 0-0 once again, and now we have to depend on Villa losing even more than before. We really need Cesc, Theo and Eduardo back.

Match Ratings:

  • Almunia: Sometimes suspect on crosses, but again kept the clean sheet, so well done to him. 7
  • Sagna: He did alright in defense, but his crossing was very off. 6
  • Gallas: He had some good moments but Johnson won the battle between the two. 6.5
  • Toure: Another good display, came up against the strong Zamora, and won the ball more often than not. 7.5
  • Clichy: Davies was up and down the left side and Clichy could do nothing about it. He linked up with Arshavin and Vela nicely though, and crossing looked a tad bit better, but not much. 6.5
  • Vela: He did well, his passing was good, and had some twinkletoes moments, but he had a few chances that he definitely should have put away. Good first start in the Premiership though. 7
  • Diaby: He won the ball countless times very well, and his dribbling was good, but his passing was very off sometimes. Also, he failed to give the Fulham central midfielders any pressure. He’ll want to take the positives from this one. 6.5/7
  • Denilson: Was his invisible little self, kept things calm, but again he was muscled out of things way to often, he needs to strength, and improve the intensity of his game. 6.5
  • Arshavin: Best Arsenal player. Brilliant Bergkamp style passing. He must be a joy to play with. 8
  • Nasri: Very disappointing, his passing was weak and mistimed for the most part. Very pedestrian display. Probably the worst I’ve seen him play to be honest. 5.5
  • van Persie: He just seems very tired, but he still tried hard and worked for the team. He had a few good chances that maybe he should have scored but at least he tried to take them unlike some others. 7
  • Subs:
  • Bendtner: He tried hard, but in the end a mixed cameo for our young Dane. 6.5
  • Eboue: He actually had a positive effect on the game, and I was happy with what he did. Kept up his good work from Tuesday. 7

We really, really need Eduardo and hopefully Theo to be back for Sunday against Burnley, and we can’t go out of the FA Cup, its the only realistic thing left.

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  1. Jaz says:

    It hasnt been in your hands for a while now stop dilluding yourselves you’re just not good enough

  2. Solomon says:

    Getting outplayed in midfield by Murphy and Etu-who? is no mean feat. Arsene knows my arse. Good luck holding on to fifth place and Cecs.

  3. danny says:

    wenger out fast

    and invest in the midfielf area

    we were outplayed by fulham in the middle

    hangeland would be a great buy…

    get rid of the frog. he is sinking the arse’

  4. paddy says:

    Danny, listen to yourself. Wenger out, so he takes our best players with him – you want that? Then who in? You think Mourinho would come to a club with our resources – dream on. Sacking Wenger, the man who turned us from an ordinary club into the 6 biggest in the world, would be the kind of short-sightedness you get from Sp*rs.
    What Wenger needs is a stronger no.2 than Pat Rice. Someone who says what’s wrong. Wenger has blind spots, but he’s still one of the top managers in the world and saying Wenger out fast, or booing the team shows no understanding of what the issues are.
    Clearly we have a problem in central midfield, which doesn’t a goalscoring general, and we don’t have enough quality on the bench to change things when they aren’t working, but it’s 80% there. Wenger will get it right this summer.

  5. Ole K says:

    I actually thoght Bendtner did ok when he came in, and while Im dissapointet in RVPs finishing today I think our biggest problem lie in the central midfield. whenever our opponents get control of the ball, we seem completely unable to harass them enough or tackle them to get the ball. Also, on the rare occation that we do get the ball, we seem so afraid to make a fast counter attack which we were so good at a few years back. We always let them get back and defend with 8-10 men.. very annoying. Did you also notice how Nasri didnt take his shots today and dribled/passed instead? he wasnt like that when he came, so is it all bad influence from the way they practise?? I suspect so. A Final note on Arshavin. I thought he was excelent today as well. his passes and crosses are brilliant and by far the best in the team right now.. LEts hope he gets fully fit soon

  6. GoonerVance says:

    Have you seen Villa’s Schedule after this week. Man City, then Tottenham, then Liverpool, then Man United, then Everton. If you think this is in the bag for Villa you may want to wait a month.

  7. Danish Gooner says:

    Wenger is not making any difference he is so caught up in his own asshole it is getting seriously disturbing.Have to take on the chin….wake up man we are about to lose our status as a cl team how about you gave them a public dressing down instead of keeping defending the indefensible.

  8. Ruzindaza says:

    wenger sucks

  9. Paul B says:

    I believe the best thing is no expectations from Arsenal this season, we have been clueless in midfield again, I believe we will not qualify for CL and it may be a blessing in disguise, some of the shit players can use the excuse to clear off and we can start afresh.
    The board’s reluctance to give out cash will cost us more than if we had splashed out on a quality striker and midfielder, the board has been exposed like the banks, more interested in lining their pockets than securing the future of Arsenal, no CL football next season will see a drop in attendances which could root out all the glory hunters, but Arsenal can not justify the expensive tickets anymore and it will be interesting to see what happens with the prices, I know they have frozen the ST prices but how many will renew it will be very interesting.
    Our only hope for success is the cups because finishing even in the top five is daunting and may not happen.
    Everton are two points behind and have shiown what character it takes to play with a lot of injuries.
    Some of our players have no desire and know nothing about the pride it takes to put on the red and white shirt.

  10. harryo says:

    poor van percies tired . tired missing fukin sitters . sorry. not allowed to critisise saint percie . for fucks sake get a grip . he plays 1 match a fuckin week and has missed more 1 on 1s than any other striker in europe never mind the premiership. whens the last time he scored from a free kick. its always somebody elses fault . never van percies. the truthis that our strikeforce is shit and thats why we are were we are at this time

  11. James Jalloh says:

    After another goalless (soul less?) performance at the Emirates the quesation remains the same; what’s wrong at the Arse?
    The low turn out, particularly for a 3.00 Saturday kick off was perhaps an indicator of where we currently sit, both in terms of aspiration and entertainment. The ability of the Club announcer to say that today’s attendance was over the 60,000 mark without laughing was impressive. But we will get onto bums on seats later.

    since Wenger’s arrival he has had a playing philosophy based on a passing game with dynamism, and certainly with some the players that we have seen at Highbury under Wenger the team have been able to adhere to this philosophy; most notably in our unbeaten Season. However we have seen a squad that, in succession won the league, The FA Cup and reached the Champions League Final, systematically dismantled by Wenger. In such a short space of time we have seen those players replaced by a squad that is over balanced with players that do not have the ability to play the sort of passing game that is Wenger’s mantra.

    Today we saw clearly that Bendtner does not have the touch or pace required. Denilson and Diaby do not have the requisite power to not be dominated by a central midfield pairing of Danny Murphy and Etuhu ( neither of them an Essein, Carrick or Gerard)
    We also saw Eboue actually being played in his correct role, for the first time in i don’t know how long, as Sagna’s back up at right back. Yet Wenger persists in playing him as a wide midfield player. Arshavin, clearly a way off from being match fit was kept on for the full 90 minutes and the other sub we saw lining up was Song. It was clearly a game that we had to, and were expexted to, win, particularly in light of Evertons result earlier yet we did not see any players who looked like they might score, warming up. Where were Wiltshire, Ramsay, Merida? and while we now haven’t scored in 4, Wenger does not make any decisive decisions in a home game against lowly Fulham. It didn’t help that Almunia persisted in taking long goal kicks that went straight back to Fulham as our players failed to win the ball in the air. Yes our back four are not conceding goals at the moment but our full backs are suffering as a result of the lack of ability in midfield to impose themselves. Giving the ball away in midfield is now becomming more than a habit it is becomming standard operating procedure.

    Just as the announcer was lying about the attendance Wenger has been lying to us and to himself about the quality of the starting line ups he routinely puts out. When he says that Almunia is a world class keeper he is wrong. When he says Eboue is a talented player he is wrong. When he says that Bendtner has a great future at the club he is wrong. As wrong as he was when he sold Edu, Diarra, Gilberto and Pires. As wrong as he was when he failed to get Barry or Alonso or Ribery for the matter of a few Euros. As wrong as he is when he tells us to have faith and believe in the quality of the team when he can start with a midfield of Song Eboue Diaby and Denilson. As wrong as he is when he says he would pay £6m for Solomon Kalou yet turn down cash offers for Eboue and Adebayor. As wrong as he is when he sticks with a midfield that neither creates goals or scores goals yet won’t give the younger player, who in his own words are good enough, a chance.

    So is it all doom and gloom? probably not. The role of any supporter is to be there through the different periods a club goes through, however now more than ever is the question of economics going to be a factor? Even though it’s a long way from panic stations, crowds are clearly diminishing at the Emirates. The problem being that the move to the Emirates was based on economics. There was clearly a demand and supply issue. The number of existing season ticket holders and the vast waiting list meant that a larger ground was neccesary to accomodate them and increase revenue (particularly with prices charged on your ‘matchday experience’) What was not taken into consideration was the nature of the product on offer when the new stadium was mooted; attractive, winning football with some of the best players in the world-world cup winners, European champions and genuine stars- battling it out for the title year in year out. That’s what a vast proportion of the ‘new’ fans coming to the emirates where expecting. They haven’t been given what the brochure promised. Like it or not Stadiums nowadays are made up of supporters AND fans. The thing is that fans have better things to do when Arsenal are not playing well, as unpalatable as that is,it is a reality. Are we heading towards a situation where the ground will be half empty thus resulting in lower revenue? If so it will be based on Wenger’s failure to deliver what was promised. It will be a case for many of having taken a beautiful girl home only to find out that she is wearing a padded bra a wig and fake tan.

    The people that run the club seem to be out of touch with the supporters and some of the decision making seems strange.The corporates couldn’t be bothered to come out for half time so the Club responded by stopping the free beer. Some problems over a flag the club responds by banning flags. Attendances are falling so today the club responded by having a free matchday programme on arsenal.com. We may not qualify for the Champions League, how is the club going to respond then? If these decisions are anything to go by Wenger will still be secure in his job.

    Ultimately no one said that supporting the Arsenal was going to be easy and i totally accept that, but what i can’t accept is when i see the erosion of the club out there on the pitch. I’m no expert but most people would agree that we see an eleven men in Arsenal shirts picked by Wenger on a regular basis that are a shadow of an eleven that we were seeing at Highbury only a short time ago. And that’s a fact.

  12. GunDownManure says:

    Can someone please tell me what should you write in your letter to AW (even if we assume he understand your $#&% language)?

  13. Paul B says:

    James Jalloh, that was a very good piece to write mate and I agree with everything, the buck stops with Wenger so I am prepared to wait til the end of the season, it wouldn’t surprise me if we won the CL and FA cup.
    I do believe next season will be make or break for Wenger for himself as well as the fans, we have been unlucky with injuries and so many clubs would swap our position for their own, it is about support as well, and lot of our fans are a disgrace in their booing and moaning, it happens every where and I do believe it has a differential effect on the team, a lot of the so called fans have been around since Wenger and have no idea what is really is like to go through a terrible patch, but it is the expense that also has a hand in fans attitude, but no-one is forcing the fans to buy the tickets

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