August 29, 2011
29/08/2011 Man Utd Comment

Man Utd 8 Arsenal 2

The first time we score 2 goals at Old Trafford for 20 years and Man Utd score 8.

Man Utd looked pretty good, but defensively we were a shambles. RVP was ok apart from the penalty miss, Walcott was ok, Rosicky was ok and I thought Koscielny was ok Coquelin made his Premier League debut, but with so many absentees, this was probably not the game for him to do that. Szczesny let in 8 goals but he can't be blamed for that. I didn't like the fact that Anderson was standing in an offside position at the Man U free kicks trying to block the keeper's view. If that is not a player in an "active" role I don't know what is. The FA should be looking at this. At the very least this is unsporting behaviour, but Arsenal seem to be the only club currently being punished by the FA. Other teams are able to get away with this sort of thing.

Traore was being given the run-around at left back and didn't really help the cause. Jenkinson had lots of problems on the other side, but neither player was helped by their corresponding winger (Arshavin and Walcott). Djourou was responsible for 2 of the goals, and maybe more. He failed to clear the ball for Man Utd's first goal, preferring to concentrate on Wellbeck. He gave away a stupid free-kick for another goal, and I think failed to close down on another goal. The Arsenal defenders insisted on playing a high line which, given the circumstances, was suicidal. We really need to get a defensive coach in ASAP.

Arshavin kept giving the ball away again. I have noticed a lot of that in recent games. I think Jenkinson lacks experience but he certainly puts in a shift. He was getting forward a lot and set up our second goal.

We had 8 players out injured, but I would expect better than this given that we are hoping to challenge for a Champions League place. This was not good enough. 

August 25, 2011
25/08/2011 Udinese Comment

Udinese 1 Arsenal 2

I was not confident about this fixture before kick-off. First 10 minutes, we looked very good and created chances. After that Udinese managed to get into the game and started to look dangerous. 10 minutes before half-time Di Natale showed us how good he was with a beautifully weighted header that left Szczesney stranded off his line. Earlier they had hit the woodwork a couple of times, but we had created a few chances. Frimpong looked good again, Gervinho was good in patches, and Jenkinson was getting forward. The referee had a good half, but that was soon about to change.

Second half and Arsenal just seemed to get stronger and stronger. Gervinho took on the right back on the outside and pulled back a pass straight onto RVP's left boot. 1-1. Udinese were then awarded a dodgy penaly after the ball hit Vermaelen on the arm. Di Natale hit a fairly good pen, but Szczesney got a hand to it and pushed it over the bar. Legend. Walcott was put through by Sagna and cleverly wrong footed the keeper to beat him at his near post. 1-2. By this time the referee had completely lost the plot and booked Walcott for being fouled twice. No matter. By then Udinese needed to score 3 goals and most of the fight appeared to have deserted them. Game over.

Bring on the new signings! 

August 21, 2011
21/08/2011 Livepool Comment

Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2

I was not confident about this fixture before the game started. I was justified in my pessimism.

The referee was poor. After 45 seconds Theo was through on the right, and was shoved in the back by a Liverpool defender. No foul. From this point on I watched as decision after decision went Liverpool's way. Frimpong got booked for what appeared to be a good tackle, Walcott was fouled again. Play on and then the referee gave Walcott a talking to for dissent. 11 vs. 12 yet again.

Szczesny was great, Kos had to go off with a back injury, Jenkinson was ok, and as the game went on got forward more and more. TV5 was imperious, and Miquel had a pretty decent showing. On some other forums the Arsene Out brigade are blaming him for the first goal! The first goal should never have been allowed to stand. A Liverpool player was offside, but the referee was never going to give a critical decision in our favour. By the time the goal came, we were down to 10 men (sound familiar?) when Frimpong (who put in a good shift) was sent off for a second yellow card. Liverpool's second goal was offside as well. Ramsey had a very quiet game (apart from the OG), Nasri was good in the first half but faded slightly in the second. Our front 3 werre fairly anonymous. RVP got no service, Walcott didn't really take on any defenders, and Arshavin looked up for it, but had one of those games where very little went for him.

We face Udinese on Wednesday with a squad heavily depleted through injuries. Gibbs, Traore, Kos, JD, TR7, Jack and Diaby all injured, but I hope that we will play better than in the first leg


August 16, 2011
16/08/2011 Udinese Comment

Another poor performance. Over the 90 minutes, we really created very little. Chamakh is a shadow of the player who scored all of those goals at the beginning of last season. Gervinho looked like he has the ability but is afraid to use it, until right at the death when he played a superb ball through for Theo to force a fine save from Handanovic. Theo did not have a great game but was probably our best player. His goal was extremely well taken. We haven't really seen that side of him as an Arsenal player before, so that was refreshing. Gibbs and Djourou both got injured. No surprises there. Now Squillaci will probably be on the bench for the Liverpool game. I thought Jenkinson was ok. He must have been nervous when he came on, and playing at Left Back was probably not what he expected. Frimpong did not really have long enough to show what he could do but the 8 minutes or so that he played was probably Arsenal's best spell in the second half. I felt that the Arsenal midfield let Udinese have too much of the ball. The referee was rubbish. I think 75% of the decisions went against us tonight.

 If we play like that in the second leg, we can kiss the Champions League goodbye.