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You just cannot trust Tottenham to do anything can you? In fairness, it's still been a great weekend for the Gunners with United dropping points and Chelsea joining United, Liverpool and ourselves in being unable to win at Fratton Park, which sees the Premiership pendulum swing back our way. In fairness, we ran into City at the right time, they are a team low on confidence whose season threatens to slide into obscurity. So it was with some confidence and not a little fatigue that I left my humble abode to arrive at the Grove at 5.30am (cheers sky) to board the coach North. The wind was bitter, but the sky was relatively clear as we made our way through Eastlands into the stadium. The whole area appears to relfect Citeh's current renaissance under Eriksson, boarded up council flats sit directly adjacent to brand new uber modern complexes, a street ironically entitled 'Temperance Street' which houses a huge industrial wasteland, which looks to be undergoing much needed renovation at long last.

I'm not a fan of midday kick offs, not just because of the ungodly hours that us erstwhile travelling supporters have to endure, but it leaves for a moribund atmosphere inside the ground, as it proved yesterday. Both the home and away fans appeared to still be rubbing the sleep from their eyes as the game got underway. There has always been a good level of bonhomie between Arsenal and Citeh fans, through a mutual dislike of United we have forged something of a bond. However, a good deal of that geniality probably evaporated when City fans decided to resurrect those awful chants about Arsene Wenger. Perhaps the Citeh fans should concern themselves with the character that currently bankrolls their football club.

Arsenal were not suffering the same mental inertia as the support and started brightly, looking to have rediscovered the flow that had deserted them over Christmas. Eriksson's man looked to be compact and hit us on the break, but afforded the Gunners too much respect. They were punished on 9 minutes as they sat off of thr majestic Hleb, who picked out Sagna on the right, he skipped past Ball before cutting the ball back to Adebayor who proved that, as the Gooners' sing mercilessly, if you give him the ball, he will score. The ball looped in off the sprawling Hart and a surreal two second delay ensued in the away end as nobody could tell if the ball had gone in or not, before Adebayor wheeleed away, confirming our advantage. City continued to sit off with the visitors happy to pick them off. The home side were again made to pay as Diaby found the onrushing Clichy on the left, he produced another delightful cross, which Adebayor had the awareness to nod down to Eduardo. Eduardo flaunted his immense composure in the box by chesting the ball down back to goal and hooking it beyond Hart. There was certainly a hint of offside, but it depends which of the thousands of subsections and sub paragraphs of the rule you wish to apply. My understanding is that the 'daylight' rule has now been replaced with if the receiver of the ball has a part of the body that can score beyond the last defender then it is offside. I think nowadays referees, linesmen, defenders and managers alike have a better grip of Fibonnachi's golden ratio theory than anyone has of the current offside rule.

But complacency would creep in once more, it has been a mistake that has cropped up in games against Sunderland and Birmingham this season, which makes Clichy's uncharacteristic error all the more frustrating. With City looking beaten, Gael tried to beat Corluka on his own touchline. Corluka dispossessed him, beat the recent French call up and pulled the ball back for Gelson Fernandes to half the defecit. Suddenly we had gifted City a lifeline in a game we were coasting. The Gunners continued to target City's left, with Michael Ball a weak link in an otherwise resolute defence and with Petrov not the most defensively industrious. Hleb picked out Sagna again, whose cross was headed goalwards by Adebayor, but his header was well saved by Hart.

The second half began with Eduardo pushed out to the left hand side and Diaby tucking in. Diaby did not reproduce his good performance from midweek, the amount of times he successfully took the ball down, bat two players only then to lose the ball with a careless pass or with his dithering drove most of the travelling factions to distraction. Sunburn looked more likely than a City equaliser for most of the half, with the Mancs lacking the confidence to try and hurt Arsenal. Indeed the Arsenal should have had a penalty, Fabregas' slide rule pass sent Adebayor through on goal only to be bundled over by Richards in the area. If somebody can view the replay and show me at which point Richards connects with the ball I would be very grateful. Unless of course, Ade dived, when he's through one on one with Hart in the goalscoring form of his career? But City came to life on around 75 minutes when Petrov looked to latch onto a Dunne long ball only to be flagged offside for Vassell's idiotic run. The sense of injustice appeared to galvanise them. A Corluka long ball this time saw Gallas only able to glance the ball back towards Lehmann with Vassell baring down on the German, Lehmann was out sharply to challenge, but the ball fell to Elano, who held off Senderos but put the ball over with Lehmann not home.

From this point, City came forwards but lacked any penetrative impetus, they were left open on the counter attack, as Eduardo and Hleb time and again scurried into the wide open spaces. Fabregas hit a stinging volley which swung wide, but Arsenal sealed the points with a minute remaining. The ball broke to Adebayor, Gelson cynically tripped him, but the referee played a commendable advantage as Hleb carried the ball down the right, he found Fabregas in the channel, who in turn fed it back to Hleb, Dunne got a decent challenge away but the ball broke to the imperious Adebayor who steered beyond Hart. As the final whistle sounded, the players were prevented from coming over to acknowledge the away support by some over officious stewarding. News of a last ditch United equaliser silghtly dampened high spirits on the way home, but with those around us dropping points, you could not deny the weekend belonged to us. From our perspective, it seems as though the fluency has returned to our play with Hleb and Fabregas back at something approaching their best form, while Adebayor continues to scale the heights with his all round play together with his awesome scoring form. The only disappointment was that the game should have been over much quicker and much more ruthlessly than when it was eventually slain. But for now, Adebayor continues to stretch certain journalists' lexicons with his match winning displays.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 3 2008

Time: 1:59PM

Your Comments

so how many more Adebay-puns you lot are going to make?
As many as humanly possible Kev. It is our reason for being.
as many as the Adebayo-xford dictionary allows
k, we've got Adebay-all kinds of puns still, more than in some of the stretched journalists' lexicons. ;) So yeah, there's still Adebay-more to come.
Lou the Gunneress
Adebay-more is a player who is earning a very rich reputation right now...
Oh, I see it's still very much alive....oh well... *adebay-sigh*...
Yeah very much alive, in the press too, e.g. "Emmanuel Ad-dicted to scoring":,16368,1766_3105737,00.html
Lou the Gunneress
And when we have finished with the tail end of the name we can start again from the other end as in Header-bayor. After his first born he will be known as Dad-abayor and has already been described as Mad-abayor by Bendtners dad.
Good report as ever. We did let them back into a game we were coasting. The habit we have a making our own problems when the opposition aren't providing any at all is a frustrating one. Good thing is we didn't panic and always looked as though we could create another goal. Sometimes the gods of football take joy in amplifying our mistakes. On this occassion they didn't but I would feel more comfortable if we didn't test them too much in future. Having said that Gallas is looking just about the best defender/captain the club has had for many years.
Check out this quote from Ade: "Thank you," he said. "I am enjoying life like a little child. Everyone loves me, the fans love me and the goals are coming in every game. "I will invite the rest of the team to have a drink with me. They all deserve it." Doesnt sound like the so-called intrest from Italy and Spain will be bothering this man.
He is adebay - awesome, but he ha adebay - all the grace of a hippo with clogs on. :) Worth a punt for top scorer methinks.
And Senderos had his best game in a long time, long may it continue. I don't think Toure was missed at all thats how well he played. As for Ade well what can you say, I'm one of those who criticised him a lot for missing too many chances and a bad first touch (still think he can improve there) but he has come on in leaps since the start of the season and most after christmas's and I think some of that is happening becouse Eduardo is coming into his own. That gives Ade more room as defenders have to keep closer eye on dudu and theyr increasing understanding of each others approach and runs is cousing opposition defences increasing problems.
what were the chants the city fans were singing - was it "with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile arsene wenger is a pedophile" by any chance? tut, tut, very immature isnt it gooners :)
You'll notice that Wenger didn't moan and whinge about getting abuse from the fans in the same way that the ever so delicate and sensitive little flower that is Fergie did when down at the Emirates.
And if City fans come out with similarly distasteful chants next weekend, you'll take a similar stance I take it united4life?
Little Dutch
He's been posting comments about Wenger being a "sour old pedophile" on the Utd vital site. Not sure why he hasn't been taken offline seen as he is another gutless w***** who hides behind a computer screen!!
Ashburton Gooner
exactly AG. Off topic, I want to invite all of you ladies and gents to pull out your Guinea shirts and scarves from cellars, attics and drawers, refresh your Guinean chants and support them in their quest against Ivory Coast!!
Thats a bit harsh G4L, if Toure loses to Guinea he will come back to London a broken and shattered man. And Swiss Tony is doing alright anyways. LD, the cynical trip was Elano mate.
Ozi Gooner
and Toure isn't coming back after that hammering!
Too bad for G4L, Ivory Coast thrashed Guinea big time. Kolo's name didn't even get mentioned that much - that's how dominant they were. Yaya was fantastic, together with Kalou and, who else, Drogba. If Kolo's happy achieving something there, I'm happy for him - as long as he comes back unscathed.
Lou the Gunneress
BTW (I'm the off topic queen), heard Song did pretty well in CM. Did you guys watch and what did you make of his performances there? I'm just wondering if he, apart from lining up after Gallas, Kolo, Djourou and Senderos in the CB queue, is also after that spot that Diarra has vacated as a back-up DCM when Gilberto's going.
Lou the Gunneress
Lou the Gunneress
Lou, that was effing brilliant... I can't stop laughing. As for internationals and happiness, I don't see Robin Van Persie's smile that much since that... Holland game?
Well at least RvP hasn't recovered soon enough to play for Holland next week - only to get injured again to miss some more club games. And speaking of which, I don't know why Rosicky got selected when he's still out injured. Now I pray he, Dudu and our entire back-4 come back unscathed. And I'd be happy if Aragones continues to use Cesc as a sub. I'm also glad Hleb's going nowhere during this break. Now I'll be thrilled if Kolo gets fit in time for Milan - oh btw their golden boy Pato went off injured today, added to Gattuso who's already not gonna face us, out 3 to 4 weeks.
Lou the Gunneress
What was up with Pato Lou?
H e injured his ankle and is expected to be out for between 2 and 4 weeks. It only happened like 2 hours ago but so you cant really be sure yet wether he'll make the game at the Grove or not.
Ozi Gooner
Niko, the commentators said it looked like he hurt his ankle when challenged by a Fiorentina guy - could be from days to weeks. He was stretchered off after he sat on the ground for quite a bit so it didn't look too good for the kid. I only started watching in the last 10 mins. Just realised that Pato was on for injured Seedorf (even better...!) from this article:
Lou the Gunneress
This sums it all up really: "This time, led by a considerably more mature Adebayor, Arsenal have taken their first defeat by Tottenham in the 21st century as if nothing had happened. And, after becoming the first side this season to take three points from Eastlands, Wenger reflected that his were a team who have made a collective leap forward." Pretty good article:
Lou the Gunneress
Niko LOL, did you do that to Dida too? He had to give way to Kalac today, but he's in the squad, i.e. dropped to the bench if I understand it correctly. With Fiorentina dominating the game earlier, his great save towards the end helped them keep the 3 points. Lucky them, but he looked more solid than Dida the clown. But he's even older, at 35, so you never know who'll play in goal against us. (Oops I've just given you another one to 'work on'.)
Lou the Gunneress
only 9 or 10 more wins to win the title :D
I know this all about Ade but Sagna is a beast. Petrov started cutting inside because he was in Sagna's pocket all game. That guy is amazing. The best right back in the Premiership.
I wouldn't disagree with you keplaz, but for the simple fact that he has only been in the Premiership for a few months he isn't going to be given that tag for a while atleast.
LOL lou, that was hilarious! Gunnerkid says Ade wants to take his teammates out for a drink - I wonder if anyone can understand him after a couple of beers!! But I guess they would speak french...
Fantastic performance. I agree that we did let them back in with a weak goal (must be Clichy's 1st mistake of the season), but we looked like the home side, with so many chances created even when we were 2-1 up. Diaby had a poor poor game, and it was frustrating to see him lose the ball so often. I have been supportive of him, and still am, but he needs to sort that part of his game quickly. Fantastic finish from Dudu !
Man U will still pip you to the title and take you out of the cup.
Yeah alright MFC - for you to come here and say that means your worried, and you know what, you should be. We are not gonna let go of this lead, and will be thanking the spuds come May! Man-who? Ade will pip ROnaldo to top league scorer too. I'm off down the bookies to put some money on it!
This is absolute gold
Little Dutch
Afri-gooner, imagine listening to some ultra-fast talking in English after a few pints! LOL let alone French! I don't think anyone can even transcribe and translate it to make any subtitles for him! LOL
Lou the Gunneress
Oh and Ade only started speaking English regularly when he came to Arsenal 2 years ago. Not sure if he only started learning then, I remember I read about that somewhere before - that'd be even scarier. This is how fast he speaks his SECOND language. I wonder how fast he speaks French. Great pace both in running and speaking!
Lou the Gunneress
French itself is quite fast already...but it's certainly faster with Ade! lol
I must admit that I was a bit dubious about him last season but this year he's really proved he can be one of the Premiership's best.
Brilliant LD - my fave is the reservior dogs one!
So he didn´t knock anyone of yours out then? a small improvement one could say..
Blue is the colour
BITC we wouldnt mind all your little visits here if you were actually funny, but your a ***** mate. ***** off.
Ozi Gooner
So, Ashley Cole didn't knock anyone else up this weekend then? A small imprvement. Exuse the bad typing, but "oh ***** I'm shaking." Maybe that's what causes him to swerve his Bentley about with such carefree abandon?
Little Dutch
If he keeps playing like he played against portsmouth, he can shag girls aloud, girls almute, I don't care. lol
Did he play well, or bad? I didnt notice, I couldn't see him.
Ozi Gooner
he was very good.
I thought Pompey played better.
Lou the Gunneress
So did I but most of there chances came down Belletti's side so maybe Cole did play well.
Ozi Gooner
I'm going off topic again, Milan's injury crisis (good for us):
Lou the Gunneress
just realised that milan are now 5th in their league with a game in hand. how many players they got injured?
Yeah they, kind of like Chelsea, quietly won a few games in the past 2-3 weeks. Only a few points from a CL place now and that, like Liverpool, is what they're fighting for this season. Gattuso is definitely out for a few weeks so not facing us. His replacement Brocchi was useless in the 2 recent games I saw. Seedorf's supposed injury (he went off in the game in which Pato got injured after replacing him) doesn't get mentioned anymore so maybe he's recovering. Pato's injury is not as bad as first thought, according to Maldini. But even so, I think they should fear Ade more than we fear Pato. But Kaka, who seemed to perform better with Pato there, is also suffering from a minor injury which we don't know will last how long. And Dida's apparently dropped for this 2nd-choice keeper but, looking at our very own Almunia, we can't write off any 2nd-choice keeper can we!
Lou the Gunneress
folks yu shud have a look at this..
Lou i dont want them to have anyone injured. it's never goot to see any player injured. i want us to have our best team against their best team and then when we beat them, it will be that much more satisfying..
So Adebayor doesn't have to breathe...impressive. John Terry can break a foot with his head.Hah, we win.
kevin what happened to the new gallas/wenger wind up material yu were working on, i'm still waiting for the good stuff :p..
Duh Luckys! Now while Milan are 'hopeful' that Gattuso and Pato will be ok to face us in the CL 1st leg, our own Mattuso has just got injured with France! ARGHHHHH!!
Lou the Gunneress
And it's not that I want anyone to get injured, our players or theirs. All I'm saying is that if they have players out, it's to our advantage. Any problem with that?
Lou the Gunneress
it's for the game at the bridge , luckys. I can't use it now...Chelsea is
wtf r u serious? what happened to matty, can you give me the link where u read it..
the problem is i dont want anyone to be injured lou, i want to see the best players play against each other, the best 11 of both sides, and only then we can know who the better team is. anyway gimme the link quickly dude, this is really a ***** off, how many players we've had injured on international duty this season, it is ridiculous to have friendlies at such a cruicial time in the season. arsene must be pulling his hair right now at this news..
and have a look at this. the biggest ******** in world football is sprouting his ***** again..
its on setanta.. its a minor ankle blow so they say n hopeful that he'll be ok for rovers by monday.. i'm guessin a knock n small bit of bruising
just read on sky, hope his injury isnt serious, fingers crossed..
i'd say rest him for rovers. bert can come in for him. just get everyone fit for united and milan..
Who doesn't wanna see Arsenal Bext XI vs Milan Best XI! Everyone does! I fully understand and agree to what you said. Milan injury news:,19528,11670_3110781,00.html Or if you read Italian, you can see what Galliani said, or just use some online translator to read: Sorry for the late reply - I was watching Theo in the U21 game - in which he scored a pretty good goal, albeit with lots of space given. :)
Lou the Gunneress
The kid does grow in game, his confidence obviously went from low to medium to high throughout that one game. And when he's confident, his pace and skill is there for all to see. I feel he's already ahead of the other kids but not good enough for a senior team. Nothing else other than repeating: give him time.
Lou the Gunneress
boring boring he just goes on scoring goals how awful for you
ozanne park rangers
For a change we managed to hold Chelski. Diarra was fantastic. Any more Arsenal 'rejects' we can have in the summer?
Lou the Gunneress

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