Morning Arsebloggers, just a quick one to wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Now, let’s eat, drink and be Bryan Ferry. Have fun!
A festive performance from the lads yesterday as they stuck 6 past a tricky Blackburn side. After the odious David Bentley had won a penalty to put the visitors one up in the first couple of minutes we hit back with goals from Gilberto, who really is having a storming season, Alexander Hleb and an Adebayor penalty.
3-1 at half time and in the second half we tore them to pieces at will. Cesc had a couple of chances to score, Rosicky had an effort headed onto the bar and it was just typical that it was Rovers who scored to make it 3-2 and a bit nervy for 5 or 10 minutes. Jens Lehmann saved well to stop them getting it back to 3-3 then Robin van Persie finally got on the scoresheet to make it 4-2. Moments later he got his second after great football and the icing on the cake was Cesc nutmegging Robbie Savage, making him look like the chump he is, getting into the box and after his shot was saved by Friedel Mathieu Flamini lashed it home to make it 6-2. The boys celebrating and laughing at what Cesc did to Savage was just deadly to watch.
Although the goals came late and Rovers might complain the scoreline didn’t reflect the game when you look back on the number of chances we had I don’t see how they can argue too much. It was one of those performances that makes it easy to understand why Arsene Wenger has so much faith in this squad. Some of the football was just outstanding to watch and really the only thing they lack is consistency, something the boss is aware of.
Although we were a little shaky at the back at times the midfield four were excellent. The returning Rosicky will be a massively important player for us if he stays fit. His enthusiasm and energy seems to be infectious. Gilberto got his 7th goal of the season with a fine header, Hleb got on the scoresheet, Cesc was everywhere and probably should have had a couple of goals himself. Up front Adebayor was brilliant again. He never stops and he’s now adding some classy touches to his game. The little pass to Cesc to set up van Persie’s second was fantastic. And van Persie himself got a couple. How typical is it of him that minutes after skying a relatively simple chance over the bar he cut in from the right hand side, sold the defender a dummy, turning him inside out and curling the goal he really needed into the far corner?
Afterwards Arsene Wenger said:
You see that there’s a great spirit in the team, they enjoy to play. Not only do they enjoy to play together, they enjoy to play at a high tempo. That’s something amazing and very interesting to watch.
I watched the game on a stream and later the highlights on RTE where both Eamonn Dunphy and Johnny Giles couldn’t praise the type of football we play enough. They said that Cesc nutmegging Savage was like a metaphor for the game – Beauty and Beast stuff. heh. If you haven’t seen the goals yet here you go.
As I said above though it’s days like yesterday that make you understand the boss’s belief in the team and I suppose it’s what makes days when we don’t perform so frustrating. Perhaps though we need to just be a bit more patient with this team. The lack of consistency is probably down to youth but they’re learning, getting more experienced and if the core of this squad stays together then there’s no question they could go onto to be a great side.
Anyway, it’s a couple of days rest before Watford on St Stephen’s Day but the Christmas schedule has gotten off to a good start.
In a quick round-up of the other stories around Theo Walcott talks to the Sunday People about the year he’s just had while there’s an interesting interview with one of Arsene Wenger’s first Arsenal signings, Remi Garde, in the Telegraph.
And that’s about that. I’ll be here with a brief Christmas greeting tomorrow but I hope you all have your shopping done and can relax and take it easy now.
For those of you not around for a few days I’d like to just wish you a very merry Christmas and all the best for the new year. Thank you for visiting Arseblog, it wouldn’t be half the fun it is without you lot.
Good morning everyone. Yesterday I finished off my Christmas shopping. That was good. Drinking from 3pm until 11.30pm last night was also good. Waking up this morning was not good. Thankfully 8 x 500mg of paracetemol should do the trick.
So what’s going on this morning? Well, the boss had lots to say yesterday.
He talked about how totally awesome Theo Walcott is, he talked about how he’s going to fight the FA charge currently brought against him and he talked about how he believes this side has the ability to win the title. He believes we need the spirit of the 97-98 side though, saying:
The situation is comparable to 1998. I have the same feeling because the team gelled in confidence and belief. And suddenly the results became natural. I feel the situation is comparable so letâ€™s make sure the end is comparable.
Well, I could live with that, I have to admit.
In team news Rosicky could start, the rest of the injuries you already know about and that’s about that.
Ahead of today’s game against Blackburn former Gunner David Bentley says he’ll always be grateful to Arsenal for what they did for him but says he’s not an Arsenal fan and he’ll be trying to win the game today for his Sp*rs supporting mates. Way to ensure a good reception.
Emmanuel Adebayor talks about why he’s always smiling and his attitude is great. When he arrived from Monaco he had a bit of a reputation but we’ve not seen any evidence of that. He’s worked hard on and off the pitch and he’s winning over the doubters. Fair play to him. He says he likes to play jokes on people. His favourite one is to throw water on Emmanuel Eboue and speaking of Eboue the Ivorian talks about his childhood, which wasn’t a bag of laughs, in the Daily Mail.
Jeremie Aliadiere could join Middlesboro on loan.
I have to haul my battered carcass upstairs, shower, shave and go to the restaurant in Dublin I hate more than any other. That’s what happens when you let someone else make the booking.Till tomorrow.
Morning all. A quick one this Friday as I’ve slept it in a bit and that has nothing to do with the gin and tonics last night.
We have Blackburn tomorrow and in early team news it looks like Justin Hoyte will come in at right back for Eboue who has a dead leg. Mathieu Flamini is doubtful and that aside it’s the long term absentees like Gallas, Henry, Ljungberg etc that miss out.
Speaking of Gallas he’s been talking about how the players have made Arsene Wenger lose his temper. He says:
Arsene wants to win the Premiership title and seeing the team struggle really annoys him. We have been dropping points stupidly and it is hard for him to accept.
Quite. I don’t know what else to say about that really.
Alexander Hleb talks about how he’s settled into English football.
As January is approaching the transfer speculation starts. Wigan have warned Arsenal off making a Â£4m bid for Leighton Baines but suggest that a higher bid would be considered, Birmingham want to keep Nicklas Bendtner while Ghanaian Stephen Appiah says he turned down a move to Arsenal and Barcelona to stay at Fenerbache. Yeah, right.
And that’s about that. There’ll be the usual press conference today so more complete team news and a preview will be here tomorrow.
Now, it’s time for the arsecast.
This week it’s a festive edition with contributions that have been left on the newly christened arsebites system (cheers, Ben). It’s a bit shorter than usual because there’s no blogchat so it’s just me, some of you lot and a seasonal greeting and song from Arsene Wenger Hawkins.
It’s a pretty quiet morning because all the journos are off doing their Christmas shopping/lying in a heap in the gutter somewhere. Well, most of them.
Arsene Wenger is still talking the team up and says he hasn’t given up on the title. Of course nobody likes a quitter and you don’t win anything by giving up and it’s not over till the fat lady sings and there’s still a long way to go and you never know what can happen and football is a funny old game and such but he might be, you know, sort of living in a dream world or something. He says:
It looks far away, and that is why I believe at the moment it would look a bit pretentious to say that we will be champions this time – but on the other hand, I have not given up
Which I suppose is fair enough really. Emmanuel Adebayor reckons this Arsenal side will be the team to beat in the future, but not quite now. He says:
When I look at our squad I think we’ll be unstoppable within the next two seasons. With talented guys like Emmanuel Eboue, Cesc Fabregas, Johan Djourou and Theo Walcott, we’re the future of the English game and everyone can see that now.
In fact, the future is so bright I gotta wear shades, however as a wise woman from Arklow once sang “The time is now”. Make of that what you will.
Apart from that there’s not much going on. There’s some speculation about Leighton Baines from Wigan joining us but it’s from one of those sites which is about as believable as OJ Simpson. There’s also some speculation about some goalkeepers including the Russian Igor Vladivstok Anastasia Akinefeev and that one even has some quotes but it smacks of agent trying to get interest in his player rather than us actually being interested.
Now, I had best take my hangover and try and record an arsecast for tomorrow. Until then…