Posts Tagged ‘Adebayor saves Arsenal

31
Oct
08

Stoke v. Arsenal; no rest for the wicked

Spooky Rachel Ray!

Spooky Rachel Ray!

Good morning cocksandwiches, and a happy Halloween to all of you, if you’re in to that sort of thing. Tomorrow, Arsenal travel to the windy hinterland and take on Stoke City in the Brittania stadium, which, given the fallout from the Tottenham debacle is quite frightening. Scarier than the thought of locking lips with Rachel Ray’s joker-esque smile!

While Spurs had gathered at midfield to circle jerk over their “victory” and plan the parade and which memorabilia they would auction off — uhhh, really? wow, you know you are a pack of losers when you are buying memorabilia from a draw in a league match — I guess there was some sort of fight in the Arsenal dressing room. Since the whole team is French they were arguing about, what else, who’s to blame for their surrender. Joking aside, I think a huge blowout argument was needed in this club because I suspect that people were walking on eggshells around William Gallas and that only ever ends with a huge argument.

Unsurprisingly, Captain Fantastic’s response to the criticism was to go all in and surrender the next two weeks to a “hamstring injury.” As soon as I saw the news report that Gallas and Eboue were being ruled out for injury I suspected that there was more to the story. Now, I know that I’m “making shit up” here with William Gallas, because the official line is that he’s injured, but pretty much everyone thinks that this injury is fake and a good excuse for Arsene to make some changes at the back.

Going even further, according to some reports Wenger wants to make changes all over with Adebayor, Nasri, Denilson, Eboue, Gallas, and the tea-lady all being blamed for the draw. This just highlights the uncertainty in the press and among fans because of the media blackout at Arsenal right now. I don’t blame the club for doing that, either, it’s better not to let Stoke City gear up for whatever crazy ass squad we’ll release on them Saturday.  Maybe Havard Nordtveit will get a run out what with him being recalled from Salamanca?

That’s a joke, people.

Maybe Adebayor’s being included in the group of death because the outspoken (and largely unpredictable) target man spoke out of church when he said:

To be champions in this way? You can never be a champion. There is a lot of disappointment. We are down at the moment because we did everything to get the three points and we ended up with one. We feel very sorry for ourselves that the things are not going the right way. It was one of the most difficult games in my life because I cannot understand that after 90 minutes we were leading 4-2 – I don’t know how we finished with a draw. It’s very easy to give up because we were 4-2 up and maybe thinking the game was finished. With five, six or seven minutes to go, maybe in our head the game was over.

For once, I think the big Togo-ian has got it 100% right. But still, Arsene’s not a fan of criticism in the press, plus he’s being hailed as one of the experienced players and thus should have stepped up to the plate, according to “a source.”

Anyway, tomorrow’s a big game. Yes I know it’s against Stoke and there they are at the bottom of the table but so was Tottenham and Stoke has to think they can get one or even all three off us in our current condition.  They are going to come out balls to the wall, try to exploit our weakness on set plays (with Rory Delap tossing the ball in from crazy distances and the wind swirling in the stadium making it hard to judge) and harass and frustrate to see if they can’t get Arsenal to crack emotionally.

Arsene’s job right now is to make sure that this team plays together and weathers the coming storm: Stoke will try to take it to us, no doubt. Also of no doubt is that this team needs to turn a corner tomorrow morning and pull out a win or the season is well and truly done — and it’s not even November, Jesus, that’s what it feel like to be a Liverpool supporter for the last 20 years?

Right, Arsenal are on Shitanta here in the states and so that means Doyle’s for me.  The game is at 3pm GMT which would normally mean a 7am kickoff but since George W. Bush even fucked up the time here in the states we’re an hour off of the rest of the world and kickoff shall commence at 8am sharpish. All you locals should be there for coffee and breakfast sandwhiches and lets show our support!

I just wanted to mention two more things; first, I was talking to T-Town Alex and told him about the heatmaps that several of the big stats gathering places are producing (so that you can see where a player was playing largely) and it turns out that ESPN.com has gotten into the swing and is making their own. It’s kind of fascinating to see where the players were playing because it really reveals more of what’s going on under the hood. For example, when you hear me say that I think Arsenal really play a 4-3-3 that evidence is backed up by the heatmap there that shows Theo in a very advanced role on the right side.  Anyway, you should check it out it’s pretty cool.

And finally, I want to mention that David Bentley has now taken to bragging about the goal. Not only is he auctioning off his shoes and jock-strap, but now he’s bragging that Clive of India told him that Almunia came off his line too much. Well, Bentley, you know you’re a real winner when the best moment of your life is a lucky shot in a 4-4 league match.

See you all tomorrow!

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09
Aug
08

Inler to the rescue?


Supposedly, Arsenal are going to sign Goekhan (Gokhan, Gökhan) Inler.  I say “supposedly” because the only indication that Arsenal are signing him is that the player’s agent claims to have had talks with Arsene Wenger.  What makes me extra wary about this story is that Wenger publicly denied being linked to a player yesterday:

I said many times we are one body short. And if you ask me who can come in, I cannot answer the question because I don’t know more than you.

Maybe he’s just playing coy, maybe he just got roaring drunk with the agent and forgot that he talked to him, and maybe, just maybe, the agent is angling for a better contract for his client.

That said, as I pointed out yesterday, Arsenal seriously need a midfielder.  I’ll take just about any body in midifeld right now, well, OK, any quality body because right now the boss is saying crazy things like

We missed Nasri tonight who has a little knock. We missed Diaby and we missed Song who’s at the Olympics. I don’t know if our midfield tonight was ideal but it’s certainly not far from the midfield we’ll play on Wednesday night.  I’m not concerned about that. But I would have been very concerned tonight if we had one or two injuries in midfield. We can’t afford that at the moment with Nasri and Diaby out. It’s very positive for us that we have no injuries tonight.

There’s no cause for concern for the boss until Arsenal suffer one, two, maybe even three more injuries in midfield.  And why isn’t he concerned?  Because Alex Song, that’s why.  Alex Song.

Meanwhile, yesterday Arsenal scraped out a 3-2 win over Ajax.  Sure it was a friendly, sure Kolo Toure is recovering from malaria, but Arsenal’s defense look jaded in the first half.  You don’t have to take my word for it, you can watch it yourself.  Kolo looked weak and slow and William Gallas failed to close out his opponent not once, but twice.  Wenger tries to spin it, calling both goals “unstoppable” but the reality is that the defense looked tired, slow, and insanely disorganized.  Watch the video, the Arsenal players are tripping over each other in defense.  I actually got shivers watching the match. The defense is that bad right now.

Fortunately, Adebayor saved the team.  I don’t care if the big fella missed 50 shots that were all tap ins that a one legged drunken midget could make (he didn’t) the criticism of him as wasteful in front of goal needs to stop.  It’s old, like jokes about Britney Spears, and if it keeps up, I swear to your god that I am going to put on some makeup and make a YouTube video — “YOU LEAVE ADE ALONE!!!”

But seriously, he saved the team yesterday with a brilliant performance and all credit must go to Ade for the comeback.  If he plays 50% as well as he did yesterday for the whole season there is no doubt in my mind that he will be the best striker in the EPL, if not the whole world.

Today, Arsenal play Sevilla at 10am local time and Doyle’s Pub is supposedly playing the match live.  I can’t see anywhere on Setanta or on Fox Soccer Channel where that time is confirmed so I am marking it down as “probably not going to happen.”

Anyway, that’s it for today, I’m hoping for a much improved Arsenal defense today.  We shall see.




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