Posts Tagged ‘Denilson


Everyone writes us off, except Patrick Vieira


As usual, with any lull in actual football there comes a flurry of activity in the press. For the last three years each of these spells has been primarily negative for Arsenal and this one is no different.

What I can’t understand is why the headlines never match the quotes, like this one from ESPN: “Rio rules Arsenal out of race for title

Reading that headline I fully expect a ganja induced tirade about how Arsenal lack the quality, need to spend big, and are going to drop out of the top four and fire Arsene Wenger. Instead the quote is:

It is not beyond Arsenal but it is my personal opinion that it will be between the other three this season.

So which is it? Are we written off or not?

Or this gem from the Guardian: “No one scared of Arsenal any more, says Vieira.” Wait a minute, that’s not what he said, he actually said:

One of the problems for Arsenal as well is that they are conceding too many goals. I think that teams now play against Arsenal knowing that they can score so that can be a little bit psychological.

Far cry from “No one scared of Arsenal any more.” Every team that faces Arsenal know that they are in for a good fight. Sure, there are teams that have taken points and as Zola pointed out yesterday, that’s more down to clubs figuring out how to play them. Please note that Zola points to all of the “big four” as teams who clubs have figured out, not just Arsenal.

I really like what Patrick Vieira actually had to say about our young team as it comes from the outside and flies in the face of the conventional wisdom I read every morning. Basically, he urges the fans to have patience, support these Young Ones, and appreciate the talent we have because we probably aren’t getting anyone new. Read it for yourself, it’s pretty good stuff.

I especially like his estimation of Denilson. This young Brazilian is often the butt of criticism with places like Arseblog now offhandedly calling him out for not being a quality player. But Vieira, who’s opinion about Holding Midfielders I hold in the highest of esteem, sees it otherwise

When you look at the talent of Flamini and the talent of the new Brazilian guy [in midfield], Denilson, it’s not the difference. He is really talented but maybe he needs more time to express himself. He needs to learn more because the more you play, the better you will be.

Denilson has put in some very good performances and some poor ones as well, but there’s no denying the talent or commitment of the player. He lacks the pace of a real wing player and yet when asked to do it, he’d play anywhere on the pitch. The only thing he’s lacking is that last little bit of killer instinct on both ends of the pitch, well, that and the size that Song brings.

But more importantly is that the team doesn’t seem to be playing as a unit right now and that exposes the frailties of every player on the pitch; with me even calling out Cesc.

But I’m thinking that it’s our long term injuries and some misfortune at the outset has cause this team to get mixed up in ways that is not conducive to team play. Think about it, the entire squad of Wing players are currently injured; Nasri, Theo, Eboue, and Rosicky have all had various long and short term injuries. Sure, Wenger should have seen that Rosicky would be out for a large portion of the season and that Eboue might not be up to snuff but still you can’t expect all four of them to go down. And so, we end up with Diaby and Denilson on the wings. All credit to them for trying but that is clearly not their best position. This throwing players in to unfamiliar roles makes it very difficult for the team to gel and also undermines their individual belief.

Given all that, it’s no wonder the team are struggling, but do they lack the quality to win the league? Really?

Dudu to Play

It’s now being confirmed that Dudu will play tonight. Hopes are high, but let’s be realistic, he was moments away from losing his leg after Martin Taylor’s horrific tackle. Let’s all wish Eduardo the best of luck and give him some room to breathe, he may never be the same again and we all need to accept that.

Other injury news has Theo coming back in February and Rosicky is seeing yet another specialist though there is no time-line shift on his return with “March” as his supposed target. No surprises there.

Also, you may have missed this story but Arsenal signed a big name defender to a long term contract yesterday: Hoyte the Younger.

Right, that’s it, I have to brave the treacherous ice covered streets of my city and go to work.


Arsenal 3-1 Everton; The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good

The obvious talking point here is that we came back from 1-0 down and won 3-1. This was as complete a reversal as I have seen: from the worst 1st half I have seen since we played Sheffield United on a peat bog during what looked like World War 1, to a second half in which we played the kind of commanding football that Arsenal are supposedly known for but which we only seem to be able to do in spurts. No, that talking point is too easy. Huzzah to Arsenal, you pulled your collective heads out of your asses.

The question for me is given the Boss’ very public concerns for Theo being overused was it a good to bring him in? On the one hand I say no: Theo cannot play every single game. Especially since it’s quite clear that we are going to need him to stay competitive and that means we are going to need a 100% healthy Theo when we face top teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U and Hull City.

On the other hand, this game has to be a huge boost for Theo. He now knows more than ever that he has the ability to take over and pretty much single-handedly win a game for Arsenal. This is a major boost to Theo’s confidence and understanding of the game. For that reason and that reason only I’m giving this to Theo in the “good” category.

Also showing some real quality was Mikel Sylvestre. He wasn’t the flashiest player on the pitch, but he was 100% committed and more than anyone else in an Arsenal strip willing to put himself about in order to win the ball. He is the type of no-nonsense defender that I haven’t seen at Arsenal since Sol Campbell. Rather than play the ball out of the defense like we have grown accustomed to, he is more than willing to just hoof the ball out. I know that this often just returns possession to the opposition and I know that Wenger’s game is predicated on keeping possession, but I have to say that I felt so much more assured when Mikel hoofed the ball out than when Song tried to dribble the ball out. In some ways, Mikel is exactly the kind of defender that a lot of us have been asking for. Sure, it’s just one game in and I can see where he might make some mistakes, but all our defenders are prone to mistakes so given that it’s a breath of fresh air to have such a straightforward, 100% committed defender on the team.

Likewise Samir Nasri is a hurricane of fresh air (mixed metaphor!) compared to that bloated, farty, self-important, gassbag Alex Hleb. Nasri provides width to this team, which Hleb and his insistence on dribbling into the middle could not and Nasri, and I know that you all think I over value this, also has the ability to score goals which Hleb did not. In 4 games Nasri has as many goals as Hleb had in 29 games last season.

The Bad

What was Arsene thinking playing Eboue on the right wing and Song as right back? After the match Wenger admitted that it was strange and said that he wanted Eboue to bring some “defensiveness” to the right wing. Well, that didn’t work, because it was the right side that was opened up for Leon Osman to traipse into the Arsenal box, past a sauntering Denilson and score a ho hum goal.

I don’t know what sort of magnificent player Wenger thinks Song is bit I’d rather that Song not be used in that sort of formation again.

Also bad is that Toure picked up a shoulder ligament “twist” and Samir Nasri may have picked up a thigh injury. Kolo is currently being ruled out of the Fener clash on Tuesday and Nasri is listed as day-to-day. That leaves Arsenal with really no choice but to field Sylvestre and Song in the back, Diaby on the wing, and  Theo on the other wing. Not the ideal situation really.

There are some reports that Djourou might be healthy for the trip to Turkey, fingers crossed that’s the case.

The Ugly

The whole first half.

Denilson deserves particular mention here because he wasn’t even really trying until after Theo came on. More than any other player I credit him with Osman’s goal, that was his marker. Watch the video (over at the Arsenalist, of course) Osman beats Denilson and he just walks back into defense. Maybe, MAYBE, communication was an issue. If you watch, he throws his hands up as if to say that it wasn’t his fault, so maybe someone called him off Osman. I’m not sure. All I know is that he walked back into the defense. If you want to be Arsenal’s defensive midfielder you have to have a much better sense of defense and much more commitment than that.

And finally, both Theo and Cesc are reportedly in contract negotiations and the press is having a field day. There was a news story started by News of the World that Cesc Fabregas is rejecting a massive contract offer from Arsenal. To his credit, Cesc immediately denied the reports but for me this is what you get when you make public statements like he did earlier in the week. On the other side of the coin, Theo is reportedly delaying contract negotiations with the club as well. Right now, I trust that Theo has his head on straight about this issue, after all he’s said as much in countless interviews. We’ll have to wait and see, January could get really ugly for Arsenal supporters.

That’s it for today, I’m going to go have a kickaround, drink some beer, and then my old lady is going to make me a roast dinner and pecan pie. It’s my birthday after all!



Oh Christ… Appiah update

It was as if Arsene Wenger heard a thousand happy Arsenal fans and reached out with one fell swoop to silence them.  Because today the boss stated that Stepen Appiah is NOT heading to Arsenal. The manager said the guy is “not on our radar” or some such.

Diaby and Denilson will just have to do.

Please form an orderly queue below to register your complaints.

Update: the dauntless press are reporting that Arsenal are also in the hunt for the 5’6″, 86 year old Herta Berlin failure and bizarro last minute goal scorer Miniero. Thank god for free agents or the press would have to link midfielders who aren’t coming to Arsenal exclusively to the January transfer window.


Rumor and innuendo prove Arsenal are collapsing

The wheels are surely coming off Arsenal now.  I know because I read it in the Mail; they heard that someone told them that Newcastle have bid £4m for Senderos, which is clear evidence that the rumors they heard that Arsenal are in financial trouble are true which is a rumor that was sparked by the “sacking” of Keith Edelman.  Yes, that’s what they actually reported this morning. But fret not Arsechums, David Dein and Alisher Usmanov can save the club because Dein is a close friend of Arsene Wenger and would handle all of these transfers and Usmanov is so rich that he could actually just purchase a trophy off the shelf.

Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas is leaving for Real Madrid unless Arsenal win a trophy this season.  Me too; if Arsenal don’t win a trophy I’m changing the name of the blog to “7am jugador” and cashing in all my Arsenal stuff for Real Madrid gear.  Sure, the quotes attributed to Cesc were completely and categorically denied this morning by Cesc but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true!

Sticking with the Mail Online as my main news source I see that Sir Alex Ferguson is prepared to bid for the services of Thierry Henry.  Forget for a moment that Henry has ruled out playing for another Premiership team, that he’s past his prime, and that he has stated that he’s staying in Barcelona, the logic employed by the Mail is impeccable: this story is true because Fergie is known to take chances — like when he took Cantona from Leeds. Air tight logic there.

Of course all of this transfer talk is moot, the Mail also reports, Arsenal have their replacement ready and waiting in the wings: Denilson.  I know this might seem to contradict their earlier article that Arsenal are collapsing but in the Mail newsroom two wildly disparate stories can coexist.  It’s like magic.

Joey Barton Watch

Poor Joey Barton, the Premier League’s most unlucky player, was released from prison today having served 75 days of a six month sentence.  You’ll remember that he was sent to prison, unfairly, for having a man’s face hit his hands in a McDonald’s parking lot after someone had forced him to drink too much.  King Kevin Keegan reacted swiftly to the news that Joey was finally released by saying “I look forward to giving Joey a second, second, second, second chance.  There’s no doubt the lad deserves it.”

And finally…

Malaria?  HA!  That can’t hold Kolo back.  Kolo Toure flexed his biceps and simply squeezed the Malaria parasite out of his body.  Here are some pictures of him in training with the team.  I’m pretty sure that Senderos couldn’t beat Malaria, hell he couldn’t beat octogenarian Sami Hyypia last year, so maybe the rumors of him leaving for BartonKeeganCastle are true.

Man, it’s good to be back!

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June 2020