Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Perfect Fit

Andrei Arshavin was born for Wenger Ball. He's a more attacking, less likely to leave for Madrid Cesc Fabregas and he belongs in Arsenal red. Think about a midfield core of Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Arshavin in a pass first, asphyxiate you offensive system. On paper it seems like a defensively liability, but Cesc and Samir are quietly great defenders. Fabregas owns Gerrard, Ballack and Lampard and my preliminary criticism of Samir is that he's in the defensive end too much. This is to say nothing of Arshavin's defense, of which I know very little, and the fastest man in the EPL in Theo Walcott. And let's face it, poor midfield defense typically manifests itself as a lack of overall possession, something that Arsenal never lacks. Also, from what I've seen the past few seasons, Arsenal's center backs and sometimes outside backs tend to be the reason the Gunners concede.

If there is justice in this world Arshavin will realize his calling as ring-bearer and not become gollum on Manchester City. Or, if Arsene wants a good nights sleep at any point during 2009 he'll realize his true love in Andrei and finally spend some money.

He's your favorite player - is what I told Jim when Bendtner strolled onto the pitch against Bolton. Before our laughter had died down from all the Bendtner-blows jokes his first touch was a soaring header, the most threatening play thus far. His next seven touches were all turnovers. I'm not exaggerating - the crowd gave him a mock "hurrayyyy!" when he completed a meaningless 10 foot pass as it was his first success.

Then he did what Nicklas Bendtner often does. He found himself on the receiving end of a semi-asking cross, this time from Van Persie, and with a terrible angle and a Bolt draped all over him he punched it home. Bendtner does this on purpose. He waits for the moment when everyone is convinced he should never see grass in England again and then scores. He'll score one more important goal in the near future and then go to the media for more playing time. Don't be surprised this time.

Who's in crisis now... bitch. Said the Arsenal supporter to Chelsea Nation. 2 wins in their last 8 games is, wait for it, worse than Arsenal. Not to mention the fortress Stamford Bridge is looking more like the Verruca fortress. If the world* is ready to declare Arsenal as the next Titanic, then Chelsea is currently the Hindenburg. The truth is that all of the big four are struggling this year. Aston Villa is solid this year, Tottenham, Citeh, Stoke, Hull are all capable of something fishy, and Everton/Portsmouth isn't exactly a guaransheed. The annoying part about all of this is that United is gonna run away with the EPL for the same reason they usually do - depth. That and 4 games in hand, Rafa was right. Eff United.

*I don't count, its been established my mood swings are worth publication


Jim said...

The only midfield player that I've seen get the better of Fabregas more than 50% of the time is... wait for it... Anderson and his wide-open carp's mouth. Not sure why, either.

I got stuck riding the Bendtner roller coaster last season. I've given him so many chances. And sometimes I think I should give him more. I know he's only 20. I know he's not half bad in the air. But there's something missing. I used to think he could be a link-up player but going off of the "Bendtner blocked da ball" incident and Saturday's anti-Xabi Alonso passing display, I don't think the touch will ever be there. Anyway, I'm firmly off that coaster. If in five years he turns out to be the second coming of Dennis Bergkamp, I'll gladly recant, but until then I'll be praying we sell his ass high.

Jim said...

Also, that picture of the Chelsea supporter getting beat down is amazing. I don't want to ask how you found it.