UK time is: 22:13:27
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Gunners' Fire Blanks at Pompey

I`m not much of a traditionalist, but the Boxing Day fixture is always one I look to with relish. When you have a family as big and diverse as mine (not to mention as predominantly female as mine), the chance to escape the house post Christmas is most welcome! Having seen the fixture computer throw up Pompey away, I decided some weeks ago to spend my Christmas with family in Brighton, reasoning that a short jaunt along the coast would be simple enough. Of course, I did not legislate for the fact that England`s public transport system is run by morons. No trains to Portsmouth at all on Boxing Day. Well that`s a brilliant idea for the day Pompey are playing at home isn`t it? Being an environmentally conscious individual, I don`t drive (alright, so I can`t be bothered to learn, big whoop). So I had to make the journey from Brighton back into my native South London. Only to be driven all the way back down to the South Coast by my chauffeur for the day. The genius of Southern trains was further cemented when it became apparent that there would be heavy road works on the M275. Upon seeing these acts of inexplicable ineptitude, the daddy of all inconsiderate morons, Sly Sports just couldn`t let their title of "world`s biggest c***ts" go unchallenged, oh no. So they moved the kick off to 7.45pm, making the journey that little bit more arduous for hardy souls like me who have to work the next day. Woe with bloody me!

Anyways, we arrived in Fratton in good time and decided that, having all stuffed ourselves full of Christmas turkey 24 hours previously, a KFC would be a simply marvellous idea! Arriving into the Milton End through a different turnstile than in previous years, a late Christmas present arrived in the shape of a roof over the away end, well blessed be! Taking my place directly behind the goal, I spent much of the warm up wincing as Nicklas Bendtner blasted strike after strike into the net yards from my face. Having a roof over the away end, aside from the obvious shelter it provides, also keeps the noise in much better. In past years, Arsenal voices have been lost into the sea breeze, nullifying the atmosphere (especially infuriating as Pompey are the only team left in the top flight who actually make noise at home games), but the travelling Gooners sounded in much better voice, even giving an airing to a new number, chanting Mathieu Flamini`s name to the old theme tune of retro cop show, 'The Sweeney.` Manuel Almunia even got a jovial chorus of, "England`s number 1." (Wouldn`t it be so deliciously ironic if Arsenal were to provide England`s first ever bona fide foreigner?)

Having just been comprehensively thrashed at Anfield and given their shot shyness at home, Portsmouth were always going to set up to be cagey and tough to break down. After all, Pompey have two main stays of a back four that finished an entire Premier League campaign undefeated! (In fact, Pompey started the match with three members of the Invincibles side, Arsenal started with one). But the Gunners` looked to have found their rhythm early on, in the first minute of the game, Eboue put in a teasing right wing cross which Cesc Fabregas could only brush wide. A little more hair gel might have seen him test the evergreen David James. Eboue continued to look Arsenal`s most potent threat early on, playing a swift one two with Adebayor on the edge of the box before sending a vicious strike whistling over the crossbar. It was Eboue again who would test James for the first time around about ten minutes in, sending in a low shot. But Pompey got a foothold back into the game thereafter, though they rarely troubled Arsenal with Benjani taking up something of a wide berth and Gallas resisting the aerial threat of Kanu. With Fabregas lacking sharpness (I lost count of the number of times he let team mates` passes whistle under his feet) and Adebayor looking isolated against the incredibly resilient Campbell and Distin, Arsenal struggled to break down Pompey`s stiff resistance. However, the Gunners fought the good fight in midfield, particularly pleasing to see Mathieu Flamini fly into challenges with the gargantuan Papa Bouba Diop. Just before half time, Tomas Rosicky cut in from the left, and sent a deft curler towards the top corner only for James to pluck it from the air. Half time arrived with trepidation, as the worrying sight of a pained William Gallas had all in the away end whispering to the heavens. With Toure about to join the Ivory Coast, we cannot lose our already indispensable skipper. (In fact, if this game were to be played one month hence, how different would the starting line ups look?) Song warmed up rather more strenuously than his counterparts at half time, which multiplied my fears. (Meanwhile, Abou Diaby undertook a hilarious cameo in goal, with Bendtner and Lehmann shooting at him. I can confirm he has no future in the number 1 shirt!)

Ironically, at the start of the second period, given his comments about abuse from opposing supporters this week, Sol Campbell was given a rousing reception by the travelling faithful, which looked to have genuinely moved him. Sadly, Lauren was largely ignored which I find strange given his stellar contribution to Arsenal. The second half saw the Gunners` attack with slightly more intent, but no more end product, time and again, Adebayor found himself stranded up against the towering infernos of Campbell and Distin. Pompey created their first meaningful chance of the match; Benjani latched onto Bouba Diop`s punt forward, rounded Almunia outside the box, but Gael Clichy hurtled back to prevent the Zimbabwean adding some points to my Vital Dream Team. Wenger threw on Diaby too add some power in the final third when Bendtner would surely have been the better choice. I could see the logic with Diaby`s close control and physical presence, but Bendtner has an abundance of both which he could use higher up the pitch. It seemed to me at the time that the last thing we needed was to add another midfielder to the mix. Especially, as Diaby`s cameo was a literati of misplaced passes and poor control. Bendtner was eventually thrown on as Pompey began to tire, nerves infusing their weary limbs. The ambition was not there as they were unwilling to commit men forward; Arsenal sensed their advantage and went for the jugular. With two minutes remaining, Pompey half cleared an Arsenal corner, Fabregas sent in a tame shot, which Gallas controlled on the six yard line, he swivelled and shot in one movement but hooked the ball over the bar. I was right in line with Gallas about four yards away from him as he took the chance and I can tell you it was more difficult than it looked given the speed of play.

I mentioned a few weeks back that Bendtner always seemed to make something happen when arriving from the bench, and he would do so again. Cesc hooked a cute ball to him at the edge of the box, the Dane chested down, turned past two Pompey defenders and hooked the ball back for Rosicky, the goal yawning at his mercy, but he inexplicably snatched at the shot and screwed it wide in injury time. The Milton End simultaneously stood aghast, heads in hands. At the final whistle, the PA announcer publicly thanked the travelling support for their good behaviour, which was met with warm applause. It`s nice for clubs to show a little bit of class like that, if only that utter tosser at the Riverside knew similar humility, I probably wouldn`t laugh myself silly at Boro`s current predicament. In the end, a point is no bad result at a place like Fratton Park, we matched them physically and earned the right to play, but really we should have thrown Bendtner into the fray much sooner, as I`ve a feeling he would have made light work of heavy legs given more of a chance. It`s disappointing not to be on top anymore, but United are playing brilliantly, for which they deserve fulsome credit. But they were in a similar situation to us back in the early autumn, not playing brilliantly, but clinging onto our coat tails with unspectacular results whilst we were firing on all cylinders. No prizes are handed out in December and there are many surprise results in store for both sides (who had United down for a defeat at the Reebok, or us down for defeat at the Swampside?), as Jimmy Cliff once crooned, there are many rivers to cross yet.LD




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Join the Vital Fantasy Football League - its Free!

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 27 2007

Time: 11:41AM

Your Comments

Have to a agree, think Arsene got it wrong re bringing on Diaby instead of Bendtner, maybe he did so poorly cos he was warming up in goal at half time? Seriously though i haven't been that down on the way back from an away match for a long time. I hope the Flamini song catches on, first heard it in the boozer before Villa away.
AFC85Lew
I was very down as well on the way home! And how bad was that traffic jam getting away from the ground Lew?
vavavoom14
Unfortunately that's a biproduct of trying to get off what is essentially an island & as has been mentioned no effin public transport!! Still tho, in liverpool this weekend, and i'm coming back on the Sunday, so none of the boll0x on the M26 from Anfield.
AFC85Lew
I actually got away quite nicely, in retrospect I really don't know what to make of this result. It's neither good nor bad, I was sitting there thinking a point was decent until Rosicky's miss. In that instant, I think it became two points dropped.
Little Dutch
I feel a bit numb to be honest, United have pretty much a dream team to call upon. I just kept saying to myself that if we could be top come new years day then i feel we may've had a chance. Oh well, stranger things've happened eh. On another note, d'you reckon Vela may get a little run out when he comes back?
AFC85Lew
I was unable to watch the game (Started at 1.30 AM!!). I seriously wonder why people are crying at this result. We lost our top spot. Big deal. The only question that comes to mind is whether we can continue to grind out results for some more time (remember Kolo will be leaving in a few days and gallas I hear is injured). I wonder how long we can keep doing this. The squad will be exhausted. We need Djourou back.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
I think Vela will be broken in next season in much the same way Bendtner has this. United look very good and are undoubtedly the team to beat, but they still have weaknesses. They played at Bolton without Rooney and Ronaldo and were awful, they still don't have a quality goal poacher or target man, which could cost them if they run into some indifferent form or Ronaldo gets injured. They got quite lucky against Everton and this is a brilliant time to be playing Sunderland. It's too early for conclusions and our form will return, as surely as United's will desert them yet.
Little Dutch
Vela coming back wont be a big thing. He'll be an Eduardo kinda player I guess. Playing mainly in the Carling Cup being given ample time to settle in England and adapt to the way football ids played. It'll be a season or two since we see the best of him.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Sorry, by no stretch of the imagination am i pinning any hopes on Vela, it's just an off topic question. Superb encouragement there LD. If we get a result at Goodison i'd say all in all it was a pretty successful December.
AFC85Lew
Discounting the unbeaten season, all of Arsenal's recent title successes have been forged on hanging on in there until around March before using superior fitness to find our form and bomb to the title. Ironically, when I looked at the fixtures for December, I remember saying, "the only one where I would fully expect three points is Boro away!"
Little Dutch
We're also going to have to get used to teams playing this way against us again and again. It's a blueprint that most will follow. Whoever is going to win the title, I think it's going to come down to results away from home. Man U and Arsenal should win the majority of their home games, it's how you get results away. I still think we're starting to overplay a little and be too focused on winning in our style of play, whereas Man U just have that ruthless streak in them to get the result - i.e. don't concede, get the first goal and then play the pretty stuff.
Gooner_Vin
I think we need to change to the 4-4-2. Adebayor is working his socks off and I'm not too sure how much more he can run. He's been playing the lone role for over 2 months and I wouldn't be surprised if his legs are about to fall off. He needs help upfront but more importantly, he needs a rest. Hopefully we can rest for our next home game.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
I agree with the last post, we have to look at two upfront and Bendtner deserves a shot. Ade is doing everything you can expect of him, but needs support. I don't think we're overplaying as such, it loos that way because the balnce is wrong, we need two up to occupy defenders. As soon as Bendnter came on he occupied two defenders, leaving Rosicky free to run into the box unmarked. Plus, when a team defend as deep as Pompey did, it's very hard to get through and random shooting won't fix it. In short, we need RVP Back as he is capable of the moment of brilliance to break through. But to put this result in perspective, if Rosicky takes that chance at the end, we're sat here talking about a brilliant smash and grab away performance where we were tight and determined.
Little Dutch
RVP not back against Everton, Gallas a doubt.
Little Dutch
The speculation is that RvP will not return until the new year.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Well that would most defnitely add up WYBit, what with West Ham being our next fixture on Jan 1st. Still, looking forward to a commanding performance from Big Phil, as strange as it may sound, i think this game could be ideal for him - it'd tee him up for Jan when he'll most probably have to step unto the breach
AFC85Lew
The only thing I'm happy is that when Senderos plays for Arsenal, Drogba will be in Africa
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
just like to mention the pompey fans,i cant believe how pathetic they were,when everytime an arsenal player was injured they were chanting "same old arsenal always cheating" muppets!! its a shame that the players have respect with each other,i wish the fans could show a little bit,considering 3 of their players are ex gooners,and tony adams part of the staff,does that make them cheaters as well?
fran merida
This Is Why You WON'T Win The Title....!!!
horseworrier
"This is Why we wont win"? Care to elaborate horsewarrior
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Fran people like Eboue who is a constant cheat and all round ***** is not helping your club. What was all the commotion when he deservedly got booked what a drama queen. The dude was on one knee with his hands joined praying, just take it like a man ffs!
cockeril
Who is getting worried about RVP and his inability to stay fit for sustained periods ? Reminds me of vicente in spain, the great winger who turned into legend of the glass angel. If he continues this pattern of getting injured all the time we will need to go out looking for a new hitman as the strikers we have currently dont have that something. Cheeky bid for Villa anyone ?
hazzagooner
I am very concerned about RVP. Have been for a long time. Anyone who says that we don't need another striker is being very brave indeed. What will happen if Ade or Bendtner or both gets crocked ? ...I cannot believe that AW will gamble on RVP's fitness with so much at stake. Does anyone else think that Ade, Bendtner and Walcott can see us through ?
radar
You're forgetting Eduardo which makes four strikers which is plenty considering United operate with 3 strikers.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
please start Nicky B at Everton. it will make all the difference...... One thing i've never quite understood about Adebayor by the way is that his touch is so inconsistent. it can be absolutely fantastic, as if the ball is glued to his feet one minute, and then as if the ball is alergic to his feet the next... whats with all that...
ArsenalRob
Oh yes forgot Eduardo......and yes Man utd do only operate with 3 strikers...Rooney, Tevez and Saha....who all get plenty of minutes on the pitch...and are class experienced internationals...I would be seriously worried if we were turning up at Old Trafford this season with only Bendtner, Walcott and Eduardo.
radar
It really pains me to say this, but ive been watching Arsenal for over 40 years and was at the game last night and said to my 11 year old son after the game that I really dont think we are good enough to win the title this year. I think if we get second place, we have done remarkable considering the money man utd invested last summer and chelsea splash out year after year! teams that set up to stop us playing do seem to make it work away from home I think its clear to see that we are a better team when playing 442. Bendnter only had 10 mins last night, but as soon as he came on and we changed formation, we looked more of a threat! I was very down last night, but look how far behind we were last year! We are still a young side that will keep improving.
vavavoom14
Well.. I think this team will mature year on year.. but the fact is that we need to win things to really take our game to a next level like Utd are doing.. I mean, they seriously look complete and it will need some real firepower and determination from our side to dislodge them from the top. The fact is that as LD said, no prizes are given out in December and we have a huge Jan coming up considering the ACN. Hopefully we'll go through that period unscathed and back our resilience with some good football and most importantly, wins.
arsenalrulz4ever
I was a bit worried last night because we didn't look like we had a plan B at all while the likes of Cesc and Hleb weren't at their best, RvP out, playing in a 4-4-1-1 against 10 defensive men. Just when I felt better after some good sleep today, I heard RvP's out for a bit longer and our fantastic captain Gallas is a doubt for Everton. We need help! I personally feel he's even more important at this point when we're a bit short of really good defenders and his partnership with Kolo and understanding, coupled with Almunia's good form, has just started to bear fruit. We're losing Kolo very soon, please let us have Gallas back! With Djourou back, Song decent in that position (but still relatively untested in top-flight league games), Senderos as a backup, we still can't afford to lose Gallas to injury in the ACN period. I'm just concerned, and I'm an optimistic person, I believe Arsene will find a way to cope with all these problems.
Louisa
I pretty well agree with all of that LD. Neither a bad nor good performance. Given the rocky November/Decembers we have had in the past we are emerging from this one reasonably unscathed though we have a tricky fixture at Everton to get past yet. There is some benefit from sitting just off the leader it is much harder to win from the front though ManU did that last season. Bendtner will play an increasingly more sognificant part as the season goes on and Rosicky looks to be realising the flair that we know he has. Gallas is looking more and more irreplaceable with each game. Shame to hear he may miss the Everton game but I would rather he missed that and was fit when Toure is away than risk him now.
Amos.
cockeril,i wasnt talking about eboue,he wasnt even injured....anyway your so anti arsenal your opinion is based on hatred and therefore invalid.
fran merida
Being in 2nd could work in our favour as our players might get their motivation back. I certainly hope we hit the peak again in the coming months.
Louisa
Watched you and Pompey and Man U and Sunderland - hafta say, as a neutral, Man U look like the better team. I mean Man U and You - natch. Soz! By the way, thought you were very lucky to win at Spurs too. THFC were more than your equal on that day.
jammydodger
one draw and its all doom and groom if you would of said in July that we would be second and one point behind the leaders i would of bit your hand off chopped it into little chucks and made a nice pie out of it.
ExRox
yes I suppose its fair to compare us playing a good side (Portsmouth) and Man U playing a crap team that is one off the bottom....
radar
i always thought this to be a tricky game, portsmouth have conceded how many at home this season, we had only dropped 11 pts all season upto yesterday.. it had draw all over it. but i am not disheartened, long way to go and if my united uncle is like tripping over being top of the league at this point of the season, then let him trip, many games to play and i thin k jan and feb will be our months for a strong surge. I think everton is the toughest of the xmas period, and united away at west ham could do us a favour.
PUREGOLD
A bit off topic but earlier today Eurosport had an hour's higlights of our Champions League final match against Barcelona from a couple of years ago. It was the first time I'd seen the match again and, apart from again feeling the pain of Henry's second half miss when he was one-on-one, I saw a couple of pieces of Eboue that I'd forgotten about. The first was a bad foot up challenge on Deco and the second was his dive for the free kick that led to our first goal. I have to say I don't think he should be with us any more. He doesn't offer us anything and has a nasty side to his character it would appear.
Gooner_Vin
Full Respect to you Gooner_Vin! At last a gooner who admits to what a nasty Piece of **** Eboue really is and the most amazing thing is he is not that good. surely Hleb should be playing there and with the strikers at your disposal Bendtner or Dude should be alongside Adebayor?
cockeril
For once I couldnt agree more with cockeril. But it has to be said that many of us on this site have been harsh on Eboue for his antics.
gunnerkid107
Did you guys see anything in Bendtner and Eduardo that made them not worthy of a starting place, despite an away game? I think they're ready but apparently Arsene had rather have 1 more midfielder (Eboue presumably) there over a striker. You guys know more about football than I do. Can you try to explain that to me?
Louisa
I don't think Bendtner is ready to start.. I think he's better for now as an impact player.. he can come on for 15-20 mins and change a game.. but i really don't believe that he can do the same for 90 mins.. the Premier League is a different ball game if u compare the Carling Cup or even the CL to a certain extent.. so, I think that's why Wenger is keeping him on the bench... As for Eboue.. I don't think he offers anything tangibly.. but the fact is that we have excellent stability on the right side defensively and offensively.. Sagna and Eboue do interchange alot and that allows either go bomb forward to get crosses in while the other pretty much covers and they seem to have a good understanding too.. I think ppl underestimate him too much.. esp after that Barca game.
arsenalrulz4ever
The Eboue part I understand. I'm just curious just what Bendtner's lacking at the moment? (Maybe he's wondering too.) If he could last for 120 mins at Blackburn, what makes you (or possibly AW) say he couldn't cut it at Portsmouth? They're both physical and defensive. I can't argue on Everton because it's an even tough place on paper. But Portsmouth he should have been good enough for a start. And even if in AW's opinion he wasn't, he could have come on much earlier than on 80 mins. I kind of understand why Eboue was there, but I don't see why not Bendtner, or why so little of him when the game's clearly a stalemate that needed more creativity and strength, both of which the kid had.
Louisa
Louisa I dont know why AW doesnt think Bendtner and Dudu are ready for 90 mins of EPL action. His belief in the 4-5-1 is based with a plan of having Hleb playing more as a striker in the 'Bergkamp' role. But Hleb is getting fustrated up there and coming back into the middle of the pitch to get the ball. This crowds the middle and therefore making the passing lanes diminish. This was especially evident last night with Pompey playing their usual 3 CM and crowding the middle even more. This played a huge role in us not creating enough chances last night. Im not saying our poor preformance is Hlebs fault but I think it is clear that he is not at his best in this role and should be placed back on the RM with a true striker playing alongside Adebayor. And this should help Ade get back to his best form as well. I really hope AW shares this concern with me and fixes it for the Everton game.
gunnerkid107
Oh the reason AW didnt bring on Bendtner, as a offensive outlet, earlier is because he did not know how long Gallas was going to last and he couldnt put on another attacker unless Gallas could make it the rest of the way.
gunnerkid107
Yes I agree with you more gunnerkid. My reasoning's that if we talk about Eboue's defensive work and understanding/overlapping with Sagna, Hleb does that reasonably well too. For the 4-4-1-1 to work, we need a really lively Hleb at his creative best (i.e. pulling strings, putting in the good passes and trying to score when opportunities arise), which he hasn't been since he came back from injury. Though he's getting closer and closer to his pre-injury form now, it takes a few games to get back there. It seemed weird to me bcos defensively it didn't seem much better with Eboue in RM, attack-wise Bendtner could have added more value up front, with Hleb/Cesc/Rosicky supporting them in the midfield. I'm just trying to understand.
Louisa
Gunnerkid, yeah I also saw what AW said about why he didn't bring Bendtner on earlier than he did. But the fact remains that he sent on Diaby for Eboue on about 60 mins, Bendtner for Hleb on 80 mins. We still had an unused chance to send Song or Diarra in case Gallas couldn't last 90 mins with his injury. So AW's answer didn't quite explain it to me to be honest.
Louisa
Yea AWs explanation doesnt make much sense to me now after looking at what you just said.
gunnerkid107
Oh I get it now, it's not about the quota of using 3 subs, but that we needed to be rock-solid at the back (achieved through Gallas and could potentially be compromised through Song/Diarra) before we started strengthening the attack with 1 more striker. Is that what AW's saying or what you mean?
Louisa
Yea I think thats what AW is getting at. Still a bit confusing.
gunnerkid107
If that's the case, i.e. AW thinking about not losing before trying to win at Portsmouth, it sounds a bit too cautious. Anyway, sorry for the silly questons, I'm just trying to understand. THe tactics (including formation and subtitutions) just seem puzzling to me.
Louisa
DON'T PANIC! we gonna go out there and win the tilte all together fans and players! if we start to painc we are not gonna to win anything! it is only one point and we lost only once ! we are in good stand
Gooner SA
You're right Gooner SA, if we hit the pre-Villa form again, we'll win the league. Just like ManU's win and our draw put them 1 point ahead, we could go 1 ahead by winning and them drawing/losing in a matter of a weekend.
Louisa
Lets not go back to pre-Villa form, but first half Villa form. Thats the best we've played all year. :)
gunnerkid107
good point louisa.. anybody who thinks its a big deal that united toppled us ought to remember that there's just 1 point in it.. a single round of matches can reverse that.. as for bendtner.. i myself have been screaming for him to get a first team start in the leaue for quite some time now.. but i see that he can be much more of an impact player and gradually develop into that role for 90 mins and be a real star for us next season.. the only grudge i have is why AW didnt get him on the pitch around the hour mark.. i am sure he could have made a difference.. not to say that we didnt have the chance to win.. gallas and rosicky inexplicably wasted opportunities that otherwise would have ended up in the back of the net..
go4it_adi
we always have a stronger second half campaign, and we have to know that wenger knows what he is doing.. he must be looking at feb and thinking about the games coming up.
PUREGOLD
as u said, we do seem to hv a stronger 2nd half inside us.. and apart from trips to united and chelsea away we r more or less done with most of the tough fixtures whereas united, chelsea nd l'pool hv plenty of potential banana skins awaiting, including trips to white hart lane (given the way they r playing at the moment).. the only way from here is up and that is where we shall be.. i predict a return to the top of table as soon as Saturday
McGooner
Louisa - I just want to know ur thoughts on Diaby's performance in that game.. cuz I don't think he was involved much at all.. the thing with him and Bendtner is the same thing in my opinion.. they just have to get more games (by that I mean substitute apps.) to really mature.. with regards to Dudu.. he simply lacks confidence and I don't think that he has adapted to the physical nature of the EPL.. I'm sure we'll see more of him next year and the same goes for Bendtner.. he's a good player, without a doubt.. but it just seems that it might be better for him to wait, just a bit more.. I think Wenger felt that playing him would expose the midfield to a certain extent and the fact the Bendtner and Ade are kind of similar must've weighed against his favour. (Wenger has said that Bendtner and Ade are similar). So, I guess that wud hv been his thought process.. I may be wrong.
arsenalrulz4ever
Puregold and McGooner, good point on 2nd half - yes it's reassuring to remember that we're usually stronger in the 2nd half of the campaign, just like we're the ultimate 2nd half team in a game because of our resilience. And yes, I almost forgot that apart from going away to ManU and Chelsea, we're almost done with the tough places and London derbies already. It's encouraging to imagine (not "expect" yet) the 2nd half to be even better than the 1st. The only potential risk lies in the ACN period when Kolo goes away - pray Gallas stays fit. Oh yes good news, he's passed fit for EVerton, THANK GOD!
Louisa
Arsenalrulz4ever, I was disappointed it's Diaby and not Bendtner that AW brought on to replace Eboue. I don't even remember exactly what Diaby did after that to be honest. Not to say he didn't add value, but the change was much more noticeable when Bendtner came on, with more balls into the box and chances created, his pass to Rosicky in the dying minutes the most obvious (and obviously wasteful) one. I still feel the team's much more fluent when we play a proper 4-4-2; and that 4-4-1-1 only works when Hleb (or whoever in that "Bergkamp's hole") is really fit and creative with precise passing and confident shooting, which has not been the case. While Hleb's starting to gain back his form, I think we'd better stick with our familiar 4-4-2 so it's a matter of using Bendtner or Eduardo while RvP's out injured. Even if AW's not confident of Bendtner lasting 90 mins, he could sub him with Eduardo later (don't know how feasible that is, you guys know more than I do and can comment on that). For Everton, with Eboue rested, I hope AW plays Hleb in RM and go back to 4-4-2, versus shifting Rosicky to RM, Diaby in LM, Hleb staying as a 2nd striker (which I think is quite a possibility given AW's recent tactics). Especially when Everton should come out a bit more, I think we should play a more attacking formation.
Louisa
And guys, don't you think Calderon's really annoying with his repeated claims of getting Cesc to the Bernabeu? Just like their "vows" of getting Kaka these past 2 years, he should just give up and shut up! Glad Cesc's agent came out straightaway and said that Cesc's "absolutely committed to Arsenal" and not thinking about anything else. But those Madrid people just ***** us off.
Louisa
chelsea fan in peace. i think you lots should not get your hope to high you will not finish better than third. hate me but it is the truth. however, your players will gain huge experience from this year which would make you guys a top league contender right now i can not see you guys being consistant till the end.
kaybee
Actually.. I feel that against Everton, there is a chance of Dudu starting.. the problem there is that AW seems to stick him out wide left.. which is quite annoying to be honest.. and if he doesn't start, we'll see rosicky on the left, hleb on the right and diaby through the centre.. I really don't see Bendtner starting for some reason.
arsenalrulz4ever
Just read the match report for the first time - as a Pompey fan I really enjoyed reading it and found it a really fiar account of the game... Oh by the way whether it was the roof on the Milton End or not that was the best Arsenal crowd we've seen at Fratton for many a year.. you very nearly gave us a run for our money ;) Well we have to better bettter than you at something ..imagine the noise if there were 60,000 !! - Cheers Lads
Chix
kaybee, and what is your ranking for 1st and 2nd?
CoastarianGooner
Drawing v Pompy is the classic sign of a crumbling team, usually followed by a loss at Goodyson.
Blue is the colour
It sure was Goodyson you chumpy little chav loooooolllll
nikolaijns
BITC(H) talks more crap. Didn't we lose against Everton, BITC(H)? Well, did we, BITC(H)?
BMF
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Naijagunner 78
2. Amos. 77
3. Chippy Brady 62
4. Rocky7 52
5. Deltaforce 33
6. Guyfox 22
7. FunGunner 20
8. elbondo 18
9. NYArse 12
10. damiano_tommassi 12

League Results (view all)

Latest Results

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Arsenal 0 0 0 0 +0 0
2. Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 +0 0
3. Burnley 0 0 0 0 +0 0
4. Chelsea 0 0 0 0 +0 0
5. Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 +0 0
6. Everton 0 0 0 0 +0 0
7. Hull City 0 0 0 0 +0 0

Breaking League News

Swansea City Boss: More Signings To Come
» Swansea : 30/07/2014 21:09:00
Borini Poll Result..
» Sunderland : 30/07/2014 18:15:00
Ghanaian International Coming On Loan?
» Sunderland : 30/07/2014 17:20:00
Going, Going……………Gone!
» Chelsea : 30/07/2014 17:14:00
Now Who Did You Pick?
» Chelsea : 30/07/2014 17:09:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Which area does Arsene need to strengthen next?
Suggested By:  
Keeper 6%
Full back 6%
Defensive Midfield 64%
Wingers 4%
Striker 20%