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Following Tuesday's night's humbling in the Marshlands, it was imperitive to get a good result against Newcastle, not just in terms of progressing in the F.A. Cup, but a defeat could have had disastrous consequences on the rest of our season. I think the team Wenger selected, virtually full strength, exemplified this. The Geordies brought 5,000 fans with them (they were entitled to a further 3,000 seats but could not sell them) and their contribution to the atmosphere was paltry. It drives me to distraction this utter myth about their raw passion and boisterous support.

Keegan stayed true to his promise of cavalier football, as there was plenty of space on offer for the Gunners in the final third of the pitch. However, the correct injection of urgency was not there in the opening 45 minutes. One couldn't help but think the benched Alex Hleb would have revelled in the space between the away side's midfield and defence. Arsenal exploited a gap early on, Clichy's long diagonal ball towards the onrushing Fabregas just missed the Catalonian's boot as he sought to flick it beyond Given. But the hosts began to take the game to Arsenal and forced the first clear cut opportunity. The Arsenal defence did not clear an N'Zogbia corner, Alan Smith turned and hooked the ball goalwards, only to see Gael Clichy superbly head it off the line. The Barcodes had a taste for goal and Milner and Carr worked an angle down the right hand side, Carr put a low cross across Arsenal's six yard box, but thankfully the chance fell to Michael Owen who, true to form, missed badly.

But Arsenal heeded the warning and began to gather some momentum. Diaby carried the ball forwards, Butt's crunching tackle saw the ball spin towards Steven Taylor on the edge of his own area, Taylor misjudged the flight of the ball and Eduardo sent a quickfire volley towards goal which Given comfortably beat away. The game was becoming an end to end affair, another Newcastle set piece was not cleared properly by Eduardo, Duff lopped the ball over the defence and Steven Taylor's header surfed onto the roof of the net. In first half injury time, Fabregas, who looked to be back into his early season pomp, sent a ball to Diaby who spun away from Butt brilliantly, before sending a curling shot towards goal which Given tipped over. It was an absorbing first half, but you felt Arsenal had a couple of gears left in them.

The Gunners began to glide through those gears, Walcott, who had been forced out wide by yet another Rosicky injury, played more as an auxilary striker, playing on the shoulder of the full back. Eduardo took a slightly wider berth as well as Arsenal looked to stretch Newcastle. It worked a treat, Fabregas ran into space between defence and midfiled and a delightful touch found the bouyant Eduardo, the Crozilian opened his body out and curled a low shot against the foot of the post. The rebound fell to Adebayor, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and smashed it past Given. The transformation in Ade's finishing over the last two years has been sensational, it is now hard to believe that Ade once had a reputation for missing sitters. The guy has taken another giant leap forward this season and this goal was the perfect apology for his lunacy on Tuesday night.

The confidence visibly sapped from the visitors thereafter, for all the craft of N'Zogbia and Duff, Smith and Owen were proving to be the most impotent strikeforce in living memory. Arsenal began to draw on their one touch football. Hleb found Cesc in the area, he gorgeously turned the ball round to Eduardo in the six yard area, but Cacapa made an exceptional last ditch block. It was a matter of time before the second and typically Hleb was at the heart of the move which yielded the deciding goal. He moved down the elft and played the ball into Adebayor, he span past Cacapa, beat Butt before Eduardo neatly blocked off Cacapa, moved the ball past Stephen Carr before firing a low shot into the net via Steven Taylor's shins. Chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' rose up from the red section in mocking of the kamikaze running of our visitors. There was time for a third when Fabregas' free kick saw Eduardo lurking with intent and Nicky Butt had little recourse but to head the ball into his own net. When this happens I am always struck by Arsenal's gentlemanly decorum, we must be the only ground in the country that does not announce the name of the own goal scorer over the tannoy. (Unlike our less classy hosts on Tuesday night, who announced Bendtner's name with an all too apparent glee).

Ade nearly had time to grab a deserved hat trick. Hleb crossed to him on the left, Ade twisted and turned beyond a maze of black and white shirts, throwing themselves at the Togonator's feet like desperate soldiers seeking to smother a landmine and bear its terrible brunt. Alas, Given sprawled to save from close range. This sees us safely through to the next round and with the littany of possible lower league opponents, it is hard not to get excited about the prospect of a trip to Preston or Bristol (such is the insanity of the football fan!) But this time, my ideal scenario? The Spuds draw today, taking United to an unwanted replay, which Tottenham win so we can obtain some revenge!

Back to the Newcastle game and there were a number of positives. Philippe Senderos had a very assured game, proving my suspicion that he needs a decent run of games to truly show his class. Theo Walcott, though still short of confidence, looked much more dangerous palying as a wide front man. Eduardo seems to have grown in stature, whilst he was adapting, I think we could all live with his penchant for doing precisely bugger all in a game other than scoring, he has shown some devastating skill and was involved positively in all three of our goals. His all round contribution is growing. Fabregas looks to be back to his swaggering best after an indifferent return from his pre Christmas injury, Flamini continues to impress. But the biggest positive has to be Adebayor who is really turning into some player, no longer merely a target man, his ball control and the variety of threat he provides defenders makes him a real handful. Which brings me finally to Sky Sports, my esteemed editor texted me as I made my way home to inform me that they have been plundering our material and mining our variety of Adebayor puns for their own gain! Mr. Murdoch, I await the royalties cheque, for we are the Adebay-originals.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 27 2008

Time: 11:11AM

Your Comments

excellent writeup.. hope rosicky is not too badly injured..we can ill afford to miss him at this stage of our season.. rosicky's venture down the left with clichy is telepathic n that was missin last night
as for diaby he did find a killer pass last night but an absolutely last ditch tackle took the ball away from adebayor or it could hv been a landslde victory
Pity the denigration of away fans again by the journalist - knowing how expensive it is to regularly commute up and down from the NorthEast and with another game at the Emirates to go to on Tuesday, is it really surprising that they cannot fill their allocation? Not everyone are London moneybags
ES another stupid post! Its the newcastle fans that come out and say that there the most passionate fans in the world! Well if you are gonna come out with such statements then dont send back 3000 tickets for a 4th round FA cup game!!!
Eduardo is a growing influence in our game. His movement allowed Cesc to pick him out first time and he seemed to work out his shooting opportunity before Cesc received the ball. He had also worked out how to create the space to allow Ade to get a shooting chance by carefully watching and 'restricting' Cacapas movement. This performance and a couple of great through balls in earlier games says that their is much more to Eduardo than his finishing abilty. The far more important league game up next. Hopefuly we will have learnt more about Newcastle from this game than they will have learnt about us.
Stereotyping Londoners are we ES? I thought regional stereotypes were to be frowned upon! Your determination to find some fault, no matter how obscure, in everything LD writes marks you out as a genuine internet crank. A certifiable, obsessive, dyed-in-the-wool, A1, first class nutter.
ES you truly are a neurotic imbecile. Are you obsessed with the writings of this guy? I'd get a little bit worried LD, make sure there's no stalkers mate. The point about Newcastle fans is not an uncommon one amongst supporters, it's just that sadly, some people really do believe whatever they see from the comfort of their armchairs on Sky Sports.
It looks like the manager's assertion that Eduardo could be a secret weapon for the second half of the season may have legs on it and Walcott, after a shaky first half, looked a real threat as the wide man in a front three, Eduardo providing the threat from the left, perhaps it is a triumvirate Arsenal can rely on in home games whilst RVP is on life support. Diaby looked dangerous in the final third yesterday, but his defensive work has to improve. Newcastle will have to go with much the same team on Tuesday, hopefully we can have worked them out a little more and with the space they were leaving, Hleb might be the key again.
Little Dutch
Oh and anyone who has a programme from yesterday check page 44 on the noticeboard, there might be a familiar name!
Little Dutch
ES I'd have thought that given our league game is midweek and the FA cup gives Newcastle some chance of silverware, that a Saturday game would be the preferred choice for a Toon fan choosing between one or the other. With the number of people crowing in recent weeks about Newcastle fans being one of a kind, no-one understands, unprecedented passion etc etc, LD's comment on their low numbers yesterday was worth mentioning.
Bloody theiving money grabbing hoodlums. No not Tottenham Hotspur, Skysports. How brazen. I'm thinking about filing an Adebay-Lawsuit.......I'm sorry!
No point, sky have that much money that we couldn't compete, the whole thing would just prove to be a pointless Adebay-chore..........
Little Dutch
when is the draw for the next round?
But LD, I'm running low on funds, I need some Adebay-More cash!!
Im Adebay-sure one of the claims 4 u companies will accept ur case.
Maybe we need a Vital whip round to collect some Adebay-dough!
LD i agree with you mate, i was only saying on saturday how he has come on since the departure of Henry. he has gone on from strength to strength and defences are starting to have that fear of him like they did of Henry !
It's true - Adebayor is doing a bit of a 'Drogba' on us. Fabregas was better but he is still only at 75%. Clichy however seems stuck at 100%. With Sagna hopefully starting on Tuesday, we should have an improved avenue on the right when he combines with Hleb.
The Adebay-draw is Monday lunchtime.
Little Dutch
I'm off to Adebaysnore
any latest news on Toure's injury. the Ivory Coast coach said its not that serious and they have to access it, but still not heard anything today. im getting worried now with Milan just a few weeks away..
I have to say that I agree with ES, the cost of tickets and travel for premiership games is dear enough therefore I think the clubs should lower the thicket prices for cub games to help out skint fans. As I remember we tried to do that for the cc semi but were stopped from doing so by London moneybags but for the live of me I cant remember who, can anyone help.
Well, I've tried Dutch, but I really cannot find fault! Comes to something when the home fans have to serenade the visitors with 'There's only one Kevin Keegan'. And that was before my own three and a half hour journey home...
Both of Adebayor's goals this weekend were taken so well. Whilst watching the MOTD highlights I bet if I squinted and tilted my head sideways I could have been watching TH14 cutting a path through the Newcastle defense. I know non Arsenal fan feel the Arsene Wenger gets to much credit in the press for his signings, but he just doesn't get enough for the signing of Adebayor. This guy wasn't on the radar before he joined us (at least outside France he wasn't) and now players and pundits are calling him one of the best in Europe. Also, to continue the TH14 comparison, I notice Adebayor has stopped smiling after he scores and has taken to tapping the club badge after each goal.
personally I'd like to see a adebay-MORE of the togonator in this form! i'll get my coat on the way out....
That was plain Adebay-awful! :-)
Little Dutch
should be against the Adebay-law.
Dear God, someone pick these comments off the Adebay-floor.
I know Dave they are truly adebay-poor.
They're making my head Adebay-sore.
yep, they get proper stuck in my Adebay-craw.
Hey guys the first few were funny, but this is becoming a bit of an Adebay-bore...
Lou the Gunneress
Er... back to the point I actually wanted to bring up... I'm confident of the 3 points mid-week, with Sagna and Hleb in the starting line-up, don't you think? Does anyone know anything about Tomas and Kolo?
Lou the Gunneress
on a lighter note, anyone see that ***** get sent off for the spuds today HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Oh yes, and my laugh sounded like Adebay-haw-haw-haw!
Oh yeah, I kind of expected them to **** up again when they took the lead through Keane, especially when facing ruthless ManU. But I was just waiting for some defensive slip-up to happen, and that even exceeded my expectation. Getting sent off is one thing, but using his hand like that was just hilarious! Things back to normal...
Lou the Gunneress
Preston and Bristol are great, failing that, I'd like Boro - again, just for revenge. Only 6 PL teams out of 16 now, you just have to like teams like Coventry. But judging from our luck, we'll draw Chelsea or ManU next round.
Lou the Gunneress
andhebuyswhores is a knob jockey i actually think he should be fined a moths pay after what he said and did to nicky b. it doesnt matter that he might be good he has to be punished, it worked with cantona, and cantona kicked a pikey, buywhore hit a rookie player - tool
puregold yea we lost to man utd away what a shocker i hope that brings some light to your embarrasing week.......puremug
Good result, and its nice to read that there were some good performances from Dudu, Ade, Cesc, Flamini, Clichy. Ade's finishing is becoming better and better.
5-1 (the odds on sp*rs beating Arsenal in a competetive game) whats the going rate for moths these days? Do they get paid for flying into lightbulbs?
I cant wait until he scores Adebay-4 against Sp*rs next season
5-1 change your name, cos after next month everyone will have forgotten your supposedly great result against the reserves.
5-1, grow up.
yeah 5-1, you won one insignificant battle, we won the Adebay-war
only one thing for 5-1...or is it 21-1...ignore ignore ignore..Andy-ignore
Apparently we are in for Woodgate!! Boro confirmed they have received a 3rd offer which was accepted & now it's upto Woodgate. Can't really see how he would improve the squad considering he also spends all his time on the injury list & is even out injured at the moment!!
Ashburton Gooner
i was about to ask about Woodgate...hope its not just rumours. I think its a good move for us
Woodgate = yes please.
Don't see it happening. Made up by SSN to get people tuned in for a few hours. Could be Liverpool I reckon, they could do with a centre back. He'll be too expensive for Wenger's liking.
Depends on the Toure diagnosis - if that looks a 6 week repair job then Wenger may have to go for someone else. Woodgate is a good player when he is fit and price wise he will cost only a little more than we received for Diarra. He has only just turned 28 so he will still have some residual value in a couple of years.
get him! We need backup for every position, and frankly Djourou isn't as good as Woodgate. Gallas, Toure, Woodgate and Senderos learning off all of them. Flog Djourou to Birmingham for 2m and we're fine for CB for the next couple of seasons.
Don't agree with you Saisho re the price, although i haven't been privvy to SSN, only clocked the Guardian site this morning.
saisho, seems you could be right about ssn!! It appears Boro are now saying only two clubs (spurs & newcastle) have agreed a fee with them & it's still expected he will join the spuds later today!! I can't say I'm disappointed because we need someone who can play a consistent amount of games & he is forever injured!!
Ashburton Gooner
AB, I don't agree mate. We don't need someone who can play lots of games - we've got Toure and Gallas as the main CB's. We need quality who can come in a play occasionally - giving the main guys a rest if they've got niggling injuries and shoring up the defence in all the cup games. Plus we'll need quality at CB for the Big Cup games if Kolo isn't around. Gilberto has been disapointing there and unfortunately we can't rely on Big Phil. 8m is a fair price for an established, 28 yo CB. And he's English which will hopefully shut Blatter up for a couple of months.
Whether he remains injury free or not I'm pretty sure he'll be looking to be a first choice centre back at his age, I just cannot see him breaking our current centre back pairing nor do I see him being content with a place on the bench. With Spurs on the other he knows he's got a very good chance of establishing himself as first choice very quickly.
Woodgate is injured at the moment so how would signing him help us now?? Toure & Djourou are already out for a period of time. If Wenger had truly wanted him then he would've made a move at the start of the transfer window, he (if it's even true) is only making a move now because of our current injury problems. On top of that, you have to ask why Boro are so happy to sell the best defender they have. Nobody can seriously believe its because they are "well stocked" in that department. They may have a number of other CB's but none are anywhere near Woodgate's quality, which leads me to believe he has something more serious wrong with him.
Ashburton Gooner
You may be absolutely right on all points AG but one reason why 'boro might wish to sell Woodgate is to help finance a reported 12m+ bid for Alves. In any case they wouldn't be able to hide anything really serious from a decent medical. The worrying thing is that for this story to be anywhere near true the injury to Toure would have to be more long term than we can accept.
interesting points all round. I think there are pro's and con's to Woodgate joining us. I take your views that he has injury concerns but I htink there are more upsides. He's got International and Big Cup experience and he's played (I use that term loosely) in Spain. At 28, if he could sort himself out physically, in two seasons we could easily get back the 8m he'd cost us from another Prem team or on the continent somewhere. I think he's worth the risk.
On a side note, FA Cup draw's happening in 40 mins - any views on who we'd like? Preston or Cardiff at home would be nice - a chance for the reserves to redeem themselves.
How about that thug of yours start working on his social skills eh??
Blue is the colour

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