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Holland v. France in Red & White

This was a game that had always held a great deal of promise with the array of present and former gunners on offer despite reports of discord in the French dressing room prior to the match when Lassana Diarra demanded a transfer to Mali unless he gets more playing time.

The first half was a cagey affair with only the one current gunner Billy Gallas on show. Gallas marshalled a defence shorn of the quality that Sagna and Clichy would have given as best he could. Graciously, the humble Arsenal captain had persuaded Thuram to wear the captain`s armband in what would surely be his last major tournament. Having gone a goal down Gallas exerted his side to greater effort and they showed a little more spirit in the second half with his brave words at half time no doubt ringing in their ears.

Evra, whose parents were thought to be gooner supporters having christened him after the Arsenal full back legend and assistant manager PatRice, began to exert an influence from his position at full back. Without the benefit of the sophisticated training levels available at the Arsenal University of Football Henry, a shadow of the player created there, missed an excellent chance to equalise. Urged by former gunner Gio van Bronckhorst the Dutch coach finally brought on van Persie. Within minutes of his appearance he had converted a difficult chance with an unstoppable volley despite Coupets best efforts. Overcome with admiration for his game turning feat the Dutch team rushed to honour their saviour while Gallas once more tried to rally his deflated side.

Responding to Gallas` prompting Henry momentarily rolled back the years and using reflexes developed at his former club proved that a good education is never wasted as he deftly finished a chance. However van Persies impact on the attacking prowess of the Dutch side was palpable as Robben instantly restored their lead. Gallas continued to urge his side forward despite the lack of support around him. Anelka came on but having dropped out of his course before it's completion at Arsenal he was unable to effect the same impact as the more committed students of the game. An uphill struggle was ended as deep in injury time another piece of consummate skill put the final nail in the French coffin.

Having trotted down the right hand side looking to waste time the horse-faced former graduate of the Old Trafford Diving School, van Nistelroy, finally released the ball with an overhit pass to van Persie. Robin brought a difficult ball under instant control and released an unerringly accurate pass to Sneijder on the edge of the area. The perfectly weighted ball was easily collected. Showing a remarkable turn of pace van Persie burst into the box. His imposing figure attracted French defenders like flies to a cows` arse with the obvious exception of Gallas, the only defender to hold his position correctly. Sneijder took full advantage of the space created and was left with the simple task of putting the ball in the net.

Gallas counselled each of his team-mates in defeat as man of the match van Persie received the acclaim of the Dutch hordes promising to play as much as 45 minutes if called upon next time.




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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday June 14 2008

Time: 12:52PM

Your Comments

nicee match report....very impartial and neutral..........
karley
nicee match report....very impartial and neutral..........
karley
"Sneijder took full advantage of the space created and was left with the simple task of putting the ball in the net.".....LOL,,,,,,,thats good stuff
karley
"Sneijder took full advantage of the space created and was left with the simple task of putting the ball in the net.".....LOL,,,,,,,thats good stuff
karley
Hehe like this red & white tinted view! Now do you guys want France or Italy or Romania to go through? It's all still in the Dutch's hands really, still more tricky twists and turns next week.
Lou the Gunneress
Hehe like this red & white tinted view! Now do you guys want France or Italy or Romania to go through? It's all still in the Dutch's hands really, still more tricky twists and turns next week.
Lou the Gunneress
Very good, though I'm surprised you didn't mention Henry's jealous rage when he tripped van Persie :-)
Little Dutch
Very good, though I'm surprised you didn't mention Henry's jealous rage when he tripped van Persie :-)
Little Dutch
You're right LD - I should have thought of that - something along the lines of a 'the king is dead long live the king' moment would have fitted in well. It was just that sort of reaction wasn't it.
Amos.
You're right LD - I should have thought of that - something along the lines of a 'the king is dead long live the king' moment would have fitted in well. It was just that sort of reaction wasn't it.
Amos.
Yeah that's a bit of a "passing the red & white mantle" moment between TH and RvP there. And that little chat between Gallas and RvP at the end, it also looked like they're going to swap shirts and RvP was comforting his club captain.
Lou the Gunneress
Yeah that's a bit of a "passing the red & white mantle" moment between TH and RvP there. And that little chat between Gallas and RvP at the end, it also looked like they're going to swap shirts and RvP was comforting his club captain.
Lou the Gunneress
Isn't it wonderful that Diarra left us cos he of the Euro Champs and he hasn't played so far, has he? And now they're probably going out. Well done Lassana, proving the immutable law that whoever leaves Arsene shall perish!
Gooner_Vin
Isn't it wonderful that Diarra left us cos he of the Euro Champs and he hasn't played so far, has he? And now they're probably going out. Well done Lassana, proving the immutable law that whoever leaves Arsene shall perish!
Gooner_Vin
Arsene's verdict on France's situation is spot on: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/06/15/sfnfra215.xml
Lou the Gunneress
Arsene's verdict on France's situation is spot on: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/06/15/sfnfra215.xml
Lou the Gunneress
Hilarious article. Apparenty, during the RvP-TH tangle, Arsene said on french tv that at arsenal, relations were not always good between the 2 players but it got better in the end. Maybe some hope there for lonely Bendtner.
Gael-Force
Hilarious article. Apparenty, during the RvP-TH tangle, Arsene said on french tv that at arsenal, relations were not always good between the 2 players but it got better in the end. Maybe some hope there for lonely Bendtner.
Gael-Force
I see that David Bentley has asked for a move from Blackburn. Is it just me or is there something increasingly unlikeable about Bentley? My opinion is he just thinks he's far better than he actually is. I think Joe Cole and David Beckham were better than Bentley at the same stage/age of their career.
Gooner_Vin
I see that David Bentley has asked for a move from Blackburn. Is it just me or is there something increasingly unlikeable about Bentley? My opinion is he just thinks he's far better than he actually is. I think Joe Cole and David Beckham were better than Bentley at the same stage/age of their career.
Gooner_Vin
Gooner_Vin, there was always something unlikeable about Bentley, the kid reeks of ego and arrogance. The Dutch played beautifully but let's see how they can last. Holland and Spain are notorious for flattering to deceive, starting well and then imploding. I'd love to see either country go on and win it because it's so frustrating to see two of Europe's most talented, attacking squads underachieve at every tournament. Holland's perennial problem has been infighting. One good omen is that van Basten has at least resolved all previous arguments he's had with RVN, who was omitted from the 2006 wc, the two were barely on speaking terms. The issue with France is that Domenech has not found the right balance between youth and experience, the right partnerships and pairings---after all those friendlies and qualifiers. A better, more gifted manager would've done that by now. Also, the team lacks commitment, passion, cohesion. They look disjointed. And Arsene's analysis is on-target. But PLEASE people, don't judge the talent of individual players based on this tournament. You can have all the individual talent in the world--but if you don't have squad cohesion, a manager who inspires, if you don't have enuf hunger and commitment, all that talent means very little. Look at Brazil in 2006.
jaelle
Gooner_Vin, there was always something unlikeable about Bentley, the kid reeks of ego and arrogance. The Dutch played beautifully but let's see how they can last. Holland and Spain are notorious for flattering to deceive, starting well and then imploding. I'd love to see either country go on and win it because it's so frustrating to see two of Europe's most talented, attacking squads underachieve at every tournament. Holland's perennial problem has been infighting. One good omen is that van Basten has at least resolved all previous arguments he's had with RVN, who was omitted from the 2006 wc, the two were barely on speaking terms. The issue with France is that Domenech has not found the right balance between youth and experience, the right partnerships and pairings---after all those friendlies and qualifiers. A better, more gifted manager would've done that by now. Also, the team lacks commitment, passion, cohesion. They look disjointed. And Arsene's analysis is on-target. But PLEASE people, don't judge the talent of individual players based on this tournament. You can have all the individual talent in the world--but if you don't have squad cohesion, a manager who inspires, if you don't have enuf hunger and commitment, all that talent means very little. Look at Brazil in 2006.
jaelle
Jaelle - agreed. By the way, are you worried about facing Argentina on Thursday? :-) I saw the Brazil game and they weren't impressive; Dunga needs to do some major work it would seem. That said, Paraguay worked REALLY hard. (Sorry Jaelle, I am assuming you still support Brazil. And don't think I don't; like everyone else, I LOVE Brazil!)
Gooner_Vin
Jaelle - agreed. By the way, are you worried about facing Argentina on Thursday? :-) I saw the Brazil game and they weren't impressive; Dunga needs to do some major work it would seem. That said, Paraguay worked REALLY hard. (Sorry Jaelle, I am assuming you still support Brazil. And don't think I don't; like everyone else, I LOVE Brazil!)
Gooner_Vin
Flicking through some of the football channels tonight I stumbled on a U-21 game of france and england from 05 and they showed the france lineup and there was Clichy and Sagna in the same team! Random I know but I thought it was interesting :)
gunnerkid107
Flicking through some of the football channels tonight I stumbled on a U-21 game of france and england from 05 and they showed the france lineup and there was Clichy and Sagna in the same team! Random I know but I thought it was interesting :)
gunnerkid107
gunnerkid107, I watched that game and taped it. Great to see Sagna and Clichy so young and doing well at the U21 level. If Domenech were a better manager, he'd have spent all his years as national team coach blooding in young players like Clichy and Sagna instead of constantly relying on the veterans. Gooner_Vin, hell yeah I'm worried about Argentina! We've had a good record against them in recent years but this Brazil team is just so unimpressive. Even at their best (like in the Copa America final), they're totally uninspiring. I remember feeling numb after that victory--and confused as to why I wasn't celebrating. Dunga makes exciting players like Diego, Kaka, Robinho and Dinho look pedestrian. As for Paraguay, they're a good team--strong, creative, tough defensively. A lot of people don't realize that in recent years, teams like Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador (and always Uruguay) are not easy teams to beat. The competitive level in South America has definitely improved since the days when Brazil and Argentina could just walk thru every qualifying round. There are things I like about Dunga (his refusal to accommodate the stars, his willingness to try out little known players) but his formations and style are just dreadful.
jaelle
gunnerkid107, I watched that game and taped it. Great to see Sagna and Clichy so young and doing well at the U21 level. If Domenech were a better manager, he'd have spent all his years as national team coach blooding in young players like Clichy and Sagna instead of constantly relying on the veterans. Gooner_Vin, hell yeah I'm worried about Argentina! We've had a good record against them in recent years but this Brazil team is just so unimpressive. Even at their best (like in the Copa America final), they're totally uninspiring. I remember feeling numb after that victory--and confused as to why I wasn't celebrating. Dunga makes exciting players like Diego, Kaka, Robinho and Dinho look pedestrian. As for Paraguay, they're a good team--strong, creative, tough defensively. A lot of people don't realize that in recent years, teams like Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador (and always Uruguay) are not easy teams to beat. The competitive level in South America has definitely improved since the days when Brazil and Argentina could just walk thru every qualifying round. There are things I like about Dunga (his refusal to accommodate the stars, his willingness to try out little known players) but his formations and style are just dreadful.
jaelle
 

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