Saturday, 18 October 2008

Why do we always begin at a snail's pace?

The three points is a huge boost and a welcome one at that. When we went a goal behind and missed our usual 467 chances I had a horrible feeling it was going to be one of those days.

Alas for the Toffees it wasn't meant to be, they ended up well and truly chewed up and then spat out. It could have been a "sticky" situation for Arsenal had we not taken the three points today.

We weren't at our best in the first half but had the better chances to score. The Everton goal was poor defensively from Arsenal's point of view, who was tracking Leon Osman's run from the midfield?

Arsenal had an early scare in the second half but other than that we were immense in the second period. Le Boss must have had some stern words at the interval because the players came out like they had rockets up their arses!

One reason for this was due to the introduction of Theo Walcott, his pace and movement stretched a disciplined Everton side. I also couldn't understand why Eboue didn't start at right-back, Song is never a full-back and it was proved today.

Le-Boss does make some strange selection choices at times but the change at half-time was spot on. I do wonder though if Arsene would have actually made the change had it not been forced on him by Kolo Toure's injury? He isn't known for making changes at half-time and can sometimes leave substitutions a little too late meaning the sub hasn't enough time to make an impact.

My main gripe today though is why do we seem to start games at such a lethargic pace? I've seen snails move faster and Adebayor is the prime suspect. Look at the damage we did to Everton in the second half, we had too much for them. If we started games like that we could have the points in the bag at half-time. Why do we only seem to get going when we go a goal behind?

Keep it Goonerish.............


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Look at the games won compared to the games lost/drawn.

Anonymous said...

The goal was actually Song's fault because he let Piennar in behind him to put the cross in. Silvestre was at fault to a lesser extent because he didn't block the shot although he couldn't have done much.

Our defensive problems are still there for all to see. Hopefully Djourou should be back for the Fenerbahce game because we don't have anyone apart from Gavin Hoyte to play alongside Silvestre. Thankfully Diaby's back as well so we should have some more options in midfield.

I'm really annoyed that on player raters Cesc is getting the highest ratings when he was pretty awful today. The whole midfield apart from possibly Eboue in the first half were better than him yet everyone praises him like some sort of God. Almunia was our best player today and he never gets the credit he deserves. Clichy was pretty good as well, as were Nasri and Walcott when he came on.

Oh and why are Adebayor and Van Persie so bent? It can't be that hard to hit the target can it? The two of them combined must have had like one shot on target, which was the goal (and that fell to Van Persie quite nicely).

Wrighty7 said...

Agreed about Cesc, he was poor today.

Anonymous said...

Cesc was poor today because he doesn't have a good partner

Marko said...

Bang on Wrighty we need to start with more urgency when at home. But in fairness we were never gonna lose this game. Everton have been leaking goals this season and it needed us to go behind before we started attacking with pace. I thought Silvestre done alright today. He added a bit of calmness in the backline and made some important blocks. The difference for me was Walcott coming on. His directness and pace made the difference for me. I fancy us to beat Fenarbache on Wednesday. Hopefully Diaby can get a go soon in the heart of the Midfield with Cesc.

Anonymous said...

When i read the team sheet i thought we would, and should have, lined up like this
Eboue Toure Silvestre Clichy
Denilson Fabregas Song Nasri
Adebayor Van Persie

Also at 2-1 i was begging for Wenger to bring on Bendtner for Van Persie as he would have given the Everton 10-man defence more problems with his size while still joining up the midfield and attack.

Anonymous said...

Bendtner was injured and not even on the bench dipshit

Freddie71 said...

What was all the shit going on at the away end by the Family Enclosure - All I could see was Everton fans throwing stuff over the kids - really big of them!


What did i say wrighty..!!(yesterday)
I said we are Gunner win 3-1 and In Arsene We Trust, but there were 'doubters'who didn't wanna agree with me..
By the way..Silvestre + Toure (not good), Song should only play (carling or be benched)he's a Mess, Denilson (too many errors), Fab4 (poor 2day).


Anonymous said...

Ramsey for Song or Diaby for Denilson.

Diaby made an impact he could hold the ball unlike denilson

Anonymous said...

A game of two halves indeed, yes we have a multiple personality disorder at afc. At least the second half was encouraging. It's too bad Silvestre didn't put in the type of performance that could banish gallas and not putting eboue in at right back was just stupid. I don't understand this team basically, in spite of a strange line-up they showed they can be formidable in the league(for a half anyway), but who knows which side will show up to a game?? In the first half they looked a mid-table side, in the second they looked as if my third place finish prediction was an easy target.

Anonymous said...

JUST can’t fathom this obsession with playing players out of position.

Arsene has described Alex Song as many things in the past and if we’re blunt, not everyone has agreed with him.

Just a month ago the boss said: “He is a good centre back and he is a good central midfielder.”

Not even Arsene had identified him as a right-back. Until Saturday that is.

Resting Theo, resting Vela and not repeating Song, Cesc and Denilson all appeared to matter more than playing Alex Song completely out of position at right-back.

And what a surprise, nine minutes in and we were one down to a goal down our right. Song was nowhere to be seen, Kolo left his man and Denilson was far too sluggish getting back.

At times poor old Song was operating almost in slow motion, such was his unfamiliarity with the role.

We were frankly pretty awful before the break. Never had the gigantic cock-up that is our central midfield been more glaring. Denilson was just weak and Cesc with nobody who could complement his skills in any way whatsoever.

He did manage one beautiful long ball that RVP took down perfectly, but his shot was just off the ground and decently saved by Howard.

You will have read in many reports that Everton almost scored when they had one cleared off the line. I think that a slight exaggeration: there was never any danger of Gael Clichy not chesting it away before clearing.

But generally speaking we were woeful. Apart from one nice run and a good header back from a Song cross, Nasri was very quiet. So too was Comrade on the right, while RVP was hardly firing and Adebayor’s contribution was summed up by the booking he got for diving.

From the other end of the ground it looked embarrassing frankly. A fair few Gooners actually applauded the yellow card. Regular readers will know I’m no Adebayor basher, but frankly, he was pretty poor all through the game.

At the back Silvestre may have been ever so slightly sluggish for the goal but was generally impressing and attacked far more in the air than Gallas and Kolo ever do. Talking of Kolo, he picked up an early injury that got steadily worse until he could barely walk.

Forget JT. This was KT soldiering on when for all the world it looked like he should be taken off. I couldn’t help thinking that if Arsene was so worried about Tuesday that he thought it worth resting Theo, then surely he had to take Kolo off asap before he worsened whatever damage there was.

It was also abundantly clear that reorganising would see Song shift to centre back, Comrade go to right back and Walcott go right wing, in a move that would thankfully leave nobody woefully out of position.

You have no doubt read the reports that identified Theo’s introduction as the solitary reason for our second half comeback.

I can’t help thinking the recovery was mostly due to us getting the equaliser so quickly and that was not Theo’s doing.

The man we had to thank was super Samir Nasri, who smacked one early, low and hard from 20 yards. Exactly the kind of goal out of nothing we need to be scoring.

Buoyed by the equaliser, having everyone in position and yes, by Theo, we bombed on. RVP converted one from six yards out, but sadly only in a rugby sense.

The ref failed to give a foul by Adebayor and made-up for it seconds later by refusing to give what looked the most blatant penalty in the world when RVP was wrestled to the ground.

By now the whole midfield was buzzing and it was some outrageous skill by Nasri that led to things nearly kicking-off. Somehow he kept in a ball that appeared for all the world destined to go out for a throw.

Then he showed great touches to retain the ball before possibly, for once, taking one too many. The tackles began to fly in legally until Hibbert launched himself at Denilson. It enraged the normally placid Clichy who confronted Hibbert (while being sure not to raise his hands). Hibbert then had a right go back.

Both were booked, which by definition meant Hibbert was absolved of any punishment for what had been a pretty poor tackle. Poor refereeing again. The correct decision would have been two yellows for the Everton man: one for the tackle and one for the reaction.

Any fears of another booking for Clichy or on the other hand a reluctance to get stuck in were dispelled when he stole in to possess a blue shirt in the middle of the field.

We kept going and finally led when Denilson fed Cesc who fed Adebayor who fluffed an initial opening before giving it back to Cesc who saw his shot saved.

Even though it popped up right onto RVP’s head, you sense he still tried to figure a way to get it on his left foot.

In actual fact it was not as easy header and he directed it well. Then with a minute left, Theo swapped passes with the returning Abou Diaby (seriously) and slotted neatly first time for a third, clinching strike.

Our goals had arrived on 48 minutes, 70 minutes and 89 minutes. There could be no more graphic an illustration of how our second half performance was a very impressive 45 minute onslaught that gave Everton no time to breath, in complete contrast to the first 45.

It’s no exaggeration to say we were very bad in the first half and very good in the second.