UK time is: 08:48:52
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

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

Everything In Its Right Place

van Persie looks to have his sharpness back, Gilberto has regained some form, Song looks to be a find at centre half, we're scoring deflected goals. That's right, it's all coming together at the right time! In all seriousness, this game wasn't going to tell us anything about the side we didn't already know. Reading were beaten before they took to the pitch and did not look like a side in desperate need of points. We took to the Grove with masses of empty seats embarrassingly visible. I cannot tolerate this awful attotude of 'oh well, we're not going to win anything, it's on TV, it's only Reading, early kick off blah, blah, blah.' These people are not supporters and are better off staying away in my opinion. I have often remarked on these pages that I will often goand see Millwall, my local team, with friends in a bid to appreciate what we have. Spoiled, fairweather fans should be made to do the same. The club gave out noisy, foldout fan thingies which made for an even worse atmosphere in an already moribund Grove, as scores of children and two over excited Germans to my left thudded them excitedly. This made for an embarrassing, contrived, showy American style clapping which makes me weep. Atmosphere at football is a thing of the past unless you are with a hardcore away contingent. If you're not an Arsenal fan and you're reading this preparing to mock, please don't kid yourself into thinking your club is any different.

With the pressure off, the game had a distinct end of season feel to it in the opening twenty minutes. Arsenal looking and Reading looking incapable of producing a contest worth watching. But after an intitial malaise, Arsenal began to dominate proceedings. It was Alex Hleb who was the catalyst. With Reading bizarrely playing a high line, Hleb put a through ball in for the marauding Fabregas, but Bikey put him under pressure as he raced through on goal, and the Spaniard could only prod tamely at Hahnemann. Walcott began to stamp his class on the game as well, he played a neat one two with Gallas on the edge of the area, his searing pace visibly frightening Reading's backline, but his pull back was cleared in the six yard area. Arsenal began to turn the screw as Robin van Persie's free kick was touched wide by Hahnemann. Song headed the resulting corner just wide. A gilt edged opportunity presented itself moments later, when Toure's cross saw Adebayor miscue a free header. But the Togonator made amends when an extremely fatigued Toure supplied the ammunition again, clipping in a sumptuous cross, which Adebayor controlled beautifully, sauntered past Sonko and provided a composed finish to break the deadlock. That was Ade's 27th goal of the season, yet he still attracts savage criticism. Unbelievable. My friends and I discussed this phenomenon amongst Arsenal fans for finding scapegoats when I remarked that Senderos has not played in any of our domestic defeats this season. Gallas, Eboue, Senderos and Ade all come in for it and I think it stems from people's embryonic impressions of players. All of the aforementioned were written off too quickly, and when things go wrong people revert to deafult setting and criticise these players because they desperately want to be proved right.

Reading collapsed at this point and Arsenal went into cruise control. The home side effectively played with three upfront, Adebayor central, Walcott pushing up from the right and van Persie sitting off, showing touches of true class. van Persie managed ninety minutes and rode a few heavy knocks which was pleasing. There was a point in the second half when, tired of feeling Bikey's studs, he turned Bikey inside out twice in a matter of seconds. He was also angrily confronted by Liam Rosenior in the second half and walked away. van Persie appears tohave mastered his temper and is letting his feet do the talking. van Persie picked up the ball with his back to goal half way inside Reading's half, turned and spun a beautiful ball to Toure on the right, Toure cut the ball back and Cesc Fabregas just couldn't make the connection. But sixty seconds later, Arsenal did have their killer goal. Fabregas teed up Gilberto who unleashed a shot which flew in via the head off Andre Bikey. How we are fortune's fool, to have received that kind of luck in recent weeks. The delight of his teammates suggested that that could be his final goal for the club. A flowing move saw van Persie play in Adebayor, he cut back to van Persie who did not get a true enough connection to steer his shot past Hahnemann.

The second half was played much like an attack v defence training session. Fabregas began to take hold of the match, he played a probing ball to Walcott on the right, Fabregas then headed Theo's teasing cross just over. Walcott has matured impressively, he plays with his head up now and varies his positioning. He wants the ball and is prepared to drift infield and cause team's problems. Physically he looks more confident and is beginning to look every inch an Arsenal player. The boy is subjected to far too much pressure, but I really think we'll see a big season from him next year. van Persie was continuing to fine tune his aim, a crashing free kick thudded bar and post before coming out. Fortune appeared to have remembered itself. A telling incident thereafter when Bendtner did not clear a corner and Fabregas and Lehmann furiously remonstrated with the Dane. I rate the boy but he appears to be tremendouly unpopular as a personality with the players. The Gunners pressed for a third as Fabregas again dribbled through a bewildered Reading defence and played in Walcott, coming in fromthe right touchline and he crashed a shot against the bar.

Reading mounted their first dangerous attack when Song was dispossessed next to the corner flag and Bobby Convey's shot was tipped over by Lehmann, who in all likelihood bade farewell to the the Arsenal fans yesterday. More ups than downs in the crazy German's tenure but I'll remember him fondly. The crazy bastard. (The fact that he didn't level Sonko after taking a knock from him in the first half was probably the most surprising incident of a colourful Arsenal career). There was one final flourish when Bendtner played in Fabregas, he composed hismelf and took aim only for Duberry to brilliantly clear off the line. It was a satisfying performance but there is a lingering sense of regret that we didn't absolutely thump Reading. In seasons past when we have been involved in dead rubber games, Arsenal have run up big scores. (The 7-0 versus Everton and the 6-1 versus Southampton come to mind). 2-0 suggests the game was a lot closer than it was, but there were pleasing signs of Ade, RVP and Walcott working in tandem. Disappointing that somany stayed awayand that Eboue appeared to be booed when he came onto the pitch. On the pitch it all came together, just when it didn't really matter.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:Sunday April 20 2008

Time: 11:53AM

Your Comments

Lovin those Radiohead Titles LD ! No suprises from me! ...sorry
TR7
I was tempted to go with 'Jigsaw Falling Into Place', but that would have been crap...........
Little Dutch
Sometimes people don't appreciate what they have. I am sorry to hear about the atmosphere on the stadium, there are so many Arsenal fans around the world that would kill to be there one day, let alone, every week. On the game, Bert played very well, Eboue did great at RB - his natural position, Song was outstanding and Adebayor... well his "poor" first touch set him up nicely, and his "horrible" finishing got him his 27th (!!) goal this season. The silly ***** who still bash him for reasons that make sense only to them will continue to do so, no matter what the big man does. The fact is no one here expected him to get more than 15, but after RvPs injury he stepped up and showed what he can do. Even Georgie Graham praised him recently in an interview, saying he has the potential to become a world class striker. Seems that AW will not be looking for goalies next season as it seems Mannone will be getting a bump up in the pecking order.
G4L
I see that Cesc made 105 passes in this game 95 of them successfully completed. It isn't the first time this season that he has gone over the ton but it is a mark of how poorly Reading coped with our overall play. RvP brings back that important ingredient of the unexpected missing in a good part of this seasons play. Oh to have had him fit for a whole season.
Amos.
Watching the game, how we didnt score more than 2 I have absolutely no idea. Basically we bent Reading over the table, spread their bum cheeks and stuck it where the sun don't shine. It was like watching us back at the beginning of the season, quick, flowing one touch football which we have all seen and loved over the past 10 years,which the Reading players hardly got near us. I was really impressed with Walcott yesterday as well, who was unlucky not to score to be honest, as LD said he looked a constant threat to the opposition defense and had the hunger and desire that we all like to see in a player. Hopefully that will shut his critics up for at least a few weeks. I'm not going to get carried away with yesterday as we were playing a team who are in a relegation dog fight, but with the one or two quality players Arsene is talking about signing, I have high hopes for next season.
itsup4grabsnow
I thought eveybody was excellent yesterday, and G4L is spot on about Ade's first touch. Obviously MOTD disagreed and put it down to 'bad defending from Sonko'. It's getting to the laughable stage. And funnily enough they complained at United not getting penalties, but no comment on Rooney's assault. I don't know why I still watch it, probably for a laugh I guess. But back to Arsenal, it's a good sign of things to come, especially Alex Song, who although didn't deserve the stick he recieves, looks a different player to the on we saw 18 months or so ago. But then again, so does Adebayor, Hleb, Flamini and Clichy.
super_gooner
Good insights LD. I was a bit disappointed by the Bendtner incident, which seemed to confirm our suspicions about his unpopularity - Bendtner's attitude has become a lot better recently. The lad has ability, attitude, tremendous self-belief - a pity. I agree with the scapegoats comment as well, there are these usual suspects that come in for criticism (although I believe Eboue deserves a large share of criticism, sometimes, it goes over the top for him as well). Excellent game overall, pleasing to see the performance, disappointing to see only 2 goals scored. I will take that at this time of the season. We have re-discovered our comfortable winning touch and thats important.
prits
Good piece LD. I always enjoy your write ups and like you cant stand these fairweather johnson fans. I bet a lot of these fans dont remember the 70's and 80's. They have been spoilt and have had no experience of living and breathing football with your team and not win anything. Wenger is a great manager and has a belief in his team. I, like any fan sometimes dont agree with his choices, Wreh as one example but I can live with Eboue as a squad player and Song like the Flamster will grow. If we can sign a couple of quality players, next season looks good as every new season does. For all true gooners, keep the faith.
themadafrican
It was a bit somber at the Emirates, but you cannot expect every fan to be as passionate as you are. I am probably too passionate & sung through out most of the game, but it was is more an effort when it is a nothing game. A bit of an anti-climax to the end of the season. Also the singing section sung "we love you arsenal" for 10 minutes straight near the end which was really nice. I think Bendtner should be let go due to his unpopularity at the club. Its not as if he get up one or two peoples noses, it appears to be the hole team. Appart from the corner you mentioned, an instant where he chose to chip it with his left foot to Fabregas rather than slip in RVP with an easier pass was met with disaproval. I am loving Theo's confidence, and with a few more games under his belt he will become even better.
paul_ownz
You're right paul, I myself wasn't exactly wildly excited. But to not even bother showing up takes the *****. It's just arrogant and spoiled.
Little Dutch
Yeah good signs all over the pitch. Agree on everything said above so I won't repeat. I may be jumping to conclusions, but is it time now to abort Eboue's RM experiment? If Kolo (who I thought had his best game as RB actually) stays out after apparently taking this knock in the game, we should have Eboue there. Theo should stay at RW. If Hleb gets retrospectively penalised for raising his hand at Murty, we need Denilson/Diaby to stand in (they have to combine to last a game). I don't know how the rules are applied anymore, what's the punishment, 3-match ban for a red card if the ref said he didn't see the incident and the FA choose to give a verdict after the fact or something?
Lou the Gunneress
Incidentally speaking of tw*ts on MOTD, did anyone hear that cretinous thug 'Elbows' shearer talkking about Hleb's slap on Murty ? you'd have thought it was an asault, then they play the aliadiere / Mascherano slap that got aliadiere a red, then old elbows comes in with "I really think the FA should investigate that one" ! Talk about Pot and kettle! the bloke is a disgrace, how he got a job on TV is beyond me, mind you when you look at Hansen... I rest my case!
TR7
not all fans can afford to go week in week out with ticket prices so high. fans wiil always find away of getting the money for the big games even if it means the kids dont get fed that week[joke] but there not gonna spend 40 50 60pounds on a game like that n let the kids go hungary again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dspurs64
Yes a great display yesterday regardless of who we played! i would like to say one thing, we should really get behind our team and stop flip flopping reagrding them. I remember reading on this same board how Walcott wouldnt make it and now he is the truth. Ade was great and now he is crap because he missed some easy chances! but yet he has improved leaps and bounds and will further improve, how dangerous will he be? come on lets be positive regarding our team. Even the criticism of Eboue as a mid feilder, the experiment as the Lou the Gunneress calls it is due more to injuries and the immaturity of Walcott. Eboue played wonderful at right back, he was extremely composed and smooth with the ball. We are already a great team and with a few additions and no injuries i would like to see who could stop us! Champions next yea!!! God Bless!!!!
Paulsito
dspurs, the game was a sell out. People not there were people who could not be bothered to go. Also, does anyone look back on old posts and think they sound illiterate. I am not, just sloppy on blogs.... i think
paul_ownz
BABY IT AINT OVER TILL ITS OVER we can still win the league. 2nd or 3rd aint bad either, i remember when even QPR finished above us back in the day. Its fair to say you can't compete with money these days. quality players make a team, money makes a squad ( "i'll sit on the bench for the rest of my life" players on 60k a year) brown, cudacini, wright phillips, sylvestre, saha, carrick, pizarro, kalou, sidwell etc. theres a 5 place side in its self. i havent even started on liverpool!
KingGunner
paul ownz. the people that coudnt be bothered to go are they the same fans that think arsenal are crap, or those that ripped up their season tickets during the boro game
spursinbarca
You dont have to kill for tickets, i will sell you my next home game for an inflated price
paul_ownz
Look Paulsito, I said I wouldn't repeat things cos I agreed with what's said above - including Eboue being good at RB. I've been incredibly polite about this Eboue experiment, because Arsene's a great believer in playing people in different positions to make them versatile and suit his mobile game where people keep running and exchanging positions. All I meant if you did read was that 1 year has passed without success and it's time to put him back where he belongs, which is RB. And yeah, with you, I'm an advocate of getting behind the team and staying positive. You mean Eboue's injuries and Walcott's immaturity contributed to Eboue's sub-standard performances at RM? I don't understand. Anyway, the guy has some good attributes which would make him a great RB, while it's good to try something else as he's still young, I think it's time to call it a day and use him where he's most effective. Now without Sagna and Kolo, it's the best opportunity to see what Eboue's made of.
Lou the Gunneress
paul-ownz- we dont all go over our blogs with fine tooth comb worried sick we may have made a typing error only sad little geeks like you do that. a few spelling mistakes does not make one illiterate. not just a cock on a forum....i think
dspurs64
as you probably know,i wasnt going to go this weekend coz i hate early kickoffs,my friend who usally goes with me couldnt make it coz it was an early kickoff,i knew the atmosphere would be flatter than a pancake...it was on the box,the £90 would have come in usefull,and i was just too peeved...i went in the end,i managed to find someone who wanted to go,they didnt have any money so i can write that off too,but to be fair it was a very enjoyable game,and im happy that i went...but what im not too happy about is certain people making assumptions regarding loyalties of fans who choose not to attend,its like you are trying to say that because you wanted to attend you are somehow a better class of supporter,above a "fairweather" supporter like myself.i remember the eighties coz i was there,i just feel that i would rather keep the £43 and put it towards my season ticket for next year,and go n watch the reserves on monday,and give some of those fans who are desperate to see Arsenal play live who i keep hearing about on this site a chance.
fran merida
Sorry Lou the Gunneress, i was agreeing with u. It must have come across the wrong way, no disrespect at all intended. Blessings
Paulsito
No what i meant was that Wenger did not trust Walcott enough (defensively it seems) start him regularly and with the Injury to Rosicky Wenger must have thought he was the best option available. I think ur posts are great and would never want to be an idiot, cool?
Paulsito
Nah, no need to apologise at all. I just meant to say I'm all for staying behind the team, cutting the guys some slack and everything, though I do understand where the Eboue bashers' frustration is coming from. I always think we should give people due opportunities to prove themselves if the manager shows that he thinks they're good enough by fielding them. It's just where we draw the line and assess things that Gooners have differently ideas about. Some started yelling in the first few bad games Eboue had in RW. Some started when we dropped points. Some are starting now that we've lost all title hopes. I just happen to think 1 year is enough to see whether you can convert someone. Eboue in RW and Diaby in LW (to a less extent as he played much less there) are what Arsene needs to review in summer - which to some is too late. And more fundamentally it hints at the lack of options, which I trust Arsene will address as well. Sorry for being so long-winded on this. And I'm glad the Eboue-doubters/haters didn't flood in to attack him. While I see his attitude has improved lately, with his set of talents I think he'll do a good job in RB now in place of Sagna/Kolo.
Lou the Gunneress
I found the Reading match very interesting, quite a number of possitive pointers. Most interesting was the ease with which Song fitted into Centre Back, he also looked so comfortable on the ball especially when going forward and brought more to the attack than I have seen Senderos do. During the summer he should do a crash course in centre back. Interestingly also was with Song at the back I noticed that Gallas was more confident going forward. Theo, was brilliant and had good ideas not just the train going downhill with no brakes as he was doing in mid season. Cesc well what more can I say. It is nice to see RVP getting his range back. Furthermore, despite being patrolled all over the pitch by the bully boys he kept his cool. I am dissapointed that we are out of all competitions but you know what I am still happpy with the effort and am sure if not for the Dudu incident, the story would have been different!! Do you guys think we should go for David Villa?? I personally think it would add a new twist and the fact of it alone would make the others cringe.
phreddy
I remember watching Djourou for a couple of seasons and he looked very composed on the ball and fairly calm at the back.. but Arsene sent him out on loan and he's come back and got injured. The only game he played was against the Spurs where he had a really bad game.. wht I'm trying to say is that Song needs to maintain some level of consistency for us to call him a good CB. In my opinion we still need a good back up CB after Kolo and Gallas.. and I think Wenger has himself admitted that we are short at the back.
arsenalrulz4ever
Before LD includes the question "After this performance, will Theo start the remaining games?" as one of his 20 new questions this week, Arsene has already given his positive indication and, furthermore, his "hope" regarding Theo's goal tally next year: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/04/21/sfnars121.xml
Lou the Gunneress
Reading that Telegraph article infuriates me, why can't people paid extortionate sums to write about football do some research before writing. Saying that Theo was not playing at the beginning of the season is infuriatingly inaccurate and is a blatant attempt to spread this "Arsene hates English players" myth. Walcott has had a lot of playing time at Arsenal, which other top six club would have given him the time that we have? I think the way Wenger is handling his development is absolutely spot on, he's managed to keep faith in him when he wasn't playing so well and not get too carried away when he's played well. It is blindingly obvious that they have worked hard on his weaker points, like his strength and his willingness to get involved and let defenders worry about him rather than vice versa. His decision making still needs a lot of work, but only game time will give him that- which he is getting in abundance. Journalists like that frustrate me because they epitomise what is wrong with football coaching in this country and have such a lack if intelligence for a game they are paid to be experts on. What should we have done? Just **** it and throw him in, don't bother working on the kid and let his potential fizzle out just as Aaron Lennon's has. Fran, my point on the tickets is, would you have thought twice about going if we were still in the title race? I guess I'm an all or nothing guy, but I'd call that being selective in your support. If you already have a ticket then you must have budgeted to go? I might be being harsh, but I know several silver members who couldn't get to this game and couldn't get tickets for the Everton game because people bought them when we were in with a good shout of the title, and now the very people who denied others the ticket can't be arsed. On that respect, you weren't willing to let the seat go empty, which I would strongly urge people who cannot/ do not want to go to do.
Little Dutch
dspurs64 "only sad little geeks like you do that". Good one. I take it you are born in 64? A 44 year wasted life then.
paul_ownz
just for curiousity sake, i went to check out vital spud for the 1st time...what a laugh...i see lots of spuds slagging one another...I dnt see gooners doing that here..glad to be a gooner!!
lhchye
yes the way the media is trying to run us down is amazing, but hardly surprising. is it becos AW is french or is it becos he is not english? if u believe them then "Arsenal FANS" are generally unhappy at how things had gone wrong at the club - they have conveniently forgot how they have written us off at the start of the season with a so-called BIG club in the making (currently ONLY 32points behind us) poised to push us out of the top 4 spots. AW's apparent unwillingness to spend insane $$ is magnified ten-fold. In a nutshell, AW has failed miserably this season if the media is to be believed
Temasek
anybody visited www.rightresult.net before? supposedly made up of members of the Association of Football Statisticians, this site indicates that we should actually be occupying 2nd
Temasek
Spuds In Ignorance, sorry Barca - go away. You are a sad case and no one cares what you have to say.
Moorish
LD how about an article on clichy "My Iron Lung(s)"
Chipo
sib....what are you talking about??? if you read what was written by me,you would see that i said i didnt want to go,but i went in the end. whats does that have to do with you? and why are you attacking my sexuality? you sound very immature,because you do not have any point to make other than personal abuse,i pity you. dont bother replying because you have nothing interesting to say.
fran merida
king gunner. am with u. anything can happen. Arsenal for the title
TeamSpirit
p.ownz. nice1 mr know it all. your wrong again. dont worry your little cotton socks about my life. i would be more concerned about PAULonhisOWNz life no friends except a keyboard.
dspurs64
"no friends except a keyboard". Says the person who spends time trolling another teams blog. I also like the way you made my name in to capitals and added your own in small letters, very clever. Only someone with superior inteligence could of even attempted that let alone nail it. Well done Chum..p
paul_ownz
"Well done Chum..p".Like it very droll. Paulonhisown its been a pleasure. but your starting to bore me now & i think your starting to grow quite fond of me which is abit scary. So im gonna have to say farewell old Chum..p
dspurs64
 

Have Your Say

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

Recent Arsenal Articles

It's The Positives That Worry Me (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Arteta: 'Shocked and Frustrated' (Monday November 24 2014)

The First Goal Matters (Saturday November 22 2014)

Wenger & Ozil Share a Mutual Trust (Wednesday November 19 2014)

Memories: Jens Lehmann (Wednesday November 19 2014)

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. Amos. 105
2. paul_ownz 49
3. Naijagunner 48
4. Wyn Mills 40
5. Galway Gooner 40
6. shewore 29
7. Joe_@** 21
8. Little Dutch 15
9. damiano_tommassi 13
10. NYArse 11

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 3 - 0 Burnley
Sunderland 0 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 2 - 2 Hull City
Chelsea 2 - 0 Arsenal

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
5. Newcastle 12 5 4 3 -1 19
6. West Ham 12 5 3 4 4 18
7. Swansea 12 5 3 4 3 18
8. Arsenal 12 4 5 3 5 17
9. Everton 12 4 5 3 3 17
10. Spurs 12 5 2 5 -1 17
11. Stoke 12 4 3 5 -2 15

Breaking League News

Super Frank...
» Chelsea : 26/11/2014 07:43:00
Five Star Chelsea
» Chelsea : 26/11/2014 07:29:00
» Chelsea : 26/11/2014 07:27:00
Messi - He`s Not Coming and He Has Never….
» Chelsea : 26/11/2014 07:20:00
Was That Simply the Best Last Night?
» Chelsea : 26/11/2014 07:12:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

With a stuttering start to the season what league position can we still reasonably aim for?
Suggested By:  
First 6%
Second 12%
Third 12%
Fourth 29%
Fifth or lower 35%
Still too early to bother with predictions 6%