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Hull City vs. Arsenal

Kingston Communications Stadium

17/1/09

17:30

Hull City v. Arsenal

This week has been a sour dross for Arsenal fans, as everyone is eagerly anticipating a new signing yet, as always with this club, you are made to wait. But the good news is that football has returned, as Arsenal travel due north to take on a Hull team that is now in a completely polar state of confidence compared to when they visited the Emirates earlier in the year. At that time they were on the up, now they are very much so on the down, though they did win their last match.

Arsenal on the other hand have put together a three match winning streak and have not lost since our trip to Porto on the 10th of December. The squad looks to have settled since the injury to Fabregas, and now they must turn their attentions to working our way back into the Champions League positions.

Vital Quotes:

Adebayor hasn't had the season we all expected, but the Boss still believes in his ability. 'He has not had the same form,' said Wenger. 'At the moment, he is working very hard to come back to good form and is on a good way.

'He had dropped off a little bit, but that can happen sometimes. Ronaldo scored 44 last year, and it does not look like he will score 44 this season, because he and Adebayor had exceptional numbers.

'What is important is that he works hard and contributes to the team - if he opens the way [to goal] for other players, for me it is the same [importance].

'He is looking to come back to his best now.'

Wenger wants his squad to focus on this match rather than the last one against Hull. 'We want to continue our progress - it is not about revenge.

'We feel we are on a good run and want to focus.

'I am confident that we look solid and have a team who can make results away from home.'

Hull City Team News:

The big news for Hull City regards the imminent loan transfer of the highly talented African forward Manucho from Manchester United. If he can get a work permit by game time, then expect the 25 year old Angolan to line up against the Gunners on Saturday.

Kevin Kilbane will be in the running for a spot on the team sheet, but defender Kamil Zayatte is suspended. Though Andy Dawson and Anthony Gardner have recovered from minor knocks.

Player to watch: Geovanni

We all know the quality of strike Geovanni possess, but what worries me is where he likes to operate. Like van Persie, he operates between the midfield and defensive line, and with Arsenal not having a true defensive midfielder than I can see this positioning by Geovanni causing us problems again.

Arsenal Team News:

Really no new news to report. Song faces a very late fitness test, but no one else will return. Gallas, Silvestre, Fabregas, Walcott, Eduardo, and Rosicky are all still out.

Player to watch: Abou Diaby

I believe this is the make or break it game for Diaby in the centre of the park. If he is still ineffective through the first half of this encounter, expect Nasri to slide into the middle again, but this time for good.

Match Facts & Stats

It seems clean sheets are important to this squad

Arsenal have won all seven league games in which clean sheets have been kept.

Arsenal have kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in 17 league outings since mid-September.

Home and away

League (inc PL): Hull 2 wins, Arsenal 2, Draws 1

Prem: Hull 1 win, Arsenal 0, Draws 0

at Hull only

League (inc PL): Hull 1 win, Arsenal 1, Draws 0

Prem: Hull 0 wins, Arsenal 0, Draws 0

Ref Watch:

Rob Styles will be the head official for this match. He has managed thirteen matches this season handing out 42 yellows and 3 reds, one of them to our own Robin van Persie for his stupidity at Stoke. These numbers give him a 3.46 card per game average.

Match Prediction:

I think Arsenal will win this one and continue their good league form as of late. 3-1 to the Arsenal. van Persie, Adebayor x2, and Geovanni to get on the score sheet.

Next Fixtures:

25/1 (Sun)- Cardiff (A)- FA Cup

28/1 (Wed)- Everton (A)- Premier League

31/1 (Sat)- West Ham (H)- Premier Leauge




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 16 2009

Time: 6:24PM

Your Comments

With Diaby, there is no make or break game. He might have a poor game against Hull, but will have a brilliant game the next week. Frustratingly inconsistent. We will line up in a 4-4-2, although I would prefer Nasri in the centre, and Diaby on the left. Nasri offers that creative presence that we sorely lack.
prits
Yes Diaby can have his good games, but I was meaning that I think this is big game for him in Arsene's eyes. Wenger keeps giving him his chance in the centre but Nasri keeps having to bail Diaby out. One more dismal outing, and I can see Arsene giving up on him in that position.
gunnerkid107
I sort of agree with GK that in Wenger's eyes this could well be a make or break game for Diaby in the middle. If he gets yanked early in the second half in favour of Ramsey, or Vela with Nasri moving inside, I don't see us keeping him as anything more than a sub. But I hope he has a career defining game! 1-3 to the Arsenal!
elbondo
Especially if we sign Arshavin who would play on the left, freeing up a place for Nasri in the middle.
Tom14
I don't know, something about this game worries me, we lack creativity and with at the moment
Armory
Hull's back line is decimated by injury at the moment- when you are hoping Anthony Gardner passes a late fitness test, you know you are in trouble. So even if they pack the box, they don't have the players to keep us out forever. I hope!
elbondo
Chelsea is struggling and now losing at home to Stoke. Honestly I think that over the season they are going to be in a three way battle with us and Villa for the 3rd and 4th spot.
gunnerkid107
Oh my Ashley Young just got a straight red for a late challenge. Villa is drawing at Sunderland. Don't want to jinx it but results are going our way this morning, but we still must take care of our own personal business.
gunnerkid107
Villa just got a lucky pen and scored from it. 2-1 to the Villa and they are proving yet again that the luck does stick with English-biased ref's ;-)
Tom14
way to jinx it GK, lol
TPowell
I am sorry. I have officially jinxed it. Chelsea are no longer losing and Villa is winning. My apologies.
gunnerkid107
And so are manure GK.
Armory
Villa are the luckiest team ever this season. Today a handball and a penalty got their goals.
gunnerkid107
its ok, at this rate Chelsea will be the ones in 5th place!!
TPowell
Again I am sorry. Now Chelsea scores again.
gunnerkid107
oh no, now I jinxed it
TPowell
ohh crap... it all startd so well...now we have 2 win....
HENRY`14
Yeah, skill when you win luck when we do Tom14. Pathetic really! :o)
The Fear
You must admit Fear that the amount of own goals and huge breaks that have gone Villa's way this season has been miraculous.
gunnerkid107
Is it pathetic? And no Arsenal fan will tell you we have skilled our way to a mere 38 points this season, but we have been VERY unlucky in some games. All Villa have is three (six) points more than us, its hardly like you have played with any more consistency this season.
Tom14
not true The Fear, our wins this year have little to do with skill!
TPowell
With all due respect, Villa are a top team. They deserve to be where they are, but we do not deserve to be 5th, that is my real gripe.
Tom14
Not trying to insult you or anything Tom, but explain how we don't deserve 5th.
TPowell
I think we deserve 5th, but I also think we can turn it around later in the season
gunnerkid107
We deserve it on points gained, but compared to how we have played in every game compared to that of Chelsea and Vilaa, we deserve to be third or fourth because we have been no worse. Lets put it this way, had we been Villa this year, and we had their points and performances, we would still be *****ting ourselves due to the expectations and nature of our fans. Had Villa been on this seven game unbeaten streak with a few grinded out results, they would be very happy and looking great because they have lesser expecations. I am not discrediting Villa, but they are still only six points ahead of us (hopefully three in a few hours) which is basically their win over us at The Emirates. They are hardly runing away with it.
Tom14
Will villa get any more points this season which are not O.Gs, Or dodgey penalties. Getting ridiculous now
paul_ownz
not really, we might have had a slice of luck here and there but we've had years of the opposite. The pens I've not seen many complaints on the ones we've been given. Just some can't show grace that when another team is doing well they are lucky, if their own team is doing well, it is all skill and hard work. Our lot are the fitest they've ever been, we have good pace and skill and more importantly a never say die attitude and some resiliance. Again, something we've not had for years. With a few additions we could be an even more serious outfit and it is about time a club this size who used to be up there competing got their act together. Amazed you folks are talking about luck as the 'big four' have had huge slices of luck from refs for as long as I can remember. Little less arrogance and a little more dignity perhaps would go a long way. ;o)
The Fear
We have grafted for every point we've gotten this year, very un-Arsenal like, likewise we've been pathetic and thrown a lot away. And I am a big fan of the way Villa are playing, and if someone had to take our CL place I'd like it to be them, but anyone saying Villa haven't had a nice chunk of luck this season is being defensive/blinkered/partizan.
Rocky7
lol, good point TPowell! I'm sure the transition will come good in the end though, aren't you? Wenger has certainly earnt the time and grace to try I'm sure! Or is it time to really shake the tree? Doubt it. I always think that teams deserve to be where they are in the league, the cups are different as one slice of luck can make all the difference but over a season these things even out. We have had good luck (if you can call it that when the fitness team do so well) with injuries this year but then from seasons gone by we've been decimated and used to have Dougy Boy not willing to build a squad the right size to compete. ANyway, sorry folks, will leave you to your match thread. Good luck (but realistically for Villa COME ON HULL !!!!)
The Fear
Villa are great this year, we all accept that. But you are still only three points above us (assuming we win tonight). You deserve to be there, but there has been A LOT of luck that has gone your way. I would love nothing more than Villa (my second team) to finish in the top four, but not at our expense. The sheer amount of injuries and bad luck we have had has been ridiculous. I cannot accept that Villa have been any better than us other than winning the game at The Emirates (the deciding factor at the moment). But good luck, lets both kick out the scum (Chelsea)
Tom14
Tom14, you know nothing about Villa obviously, we are 10 unbeaten, five wins on the trot away and the expectations are and always have been huge at Villa. It was a while back now but the European Cup was won by us and we have a fine fine record in the league cup and FA Cup (although I concede the FA Cup isn't good in the modern era, last one was 57). Not asking you to like us, but don't underestimate the size of Villa and the capabilities. Maybe you are a younger fan (not an insult dude) but Villa are up there. Sir Chewalot in his autobiog said he expected Villa to be the main competition in the 90's first year of the PL we were second pipped only at the end. We had the Ellis factor, an old man who held on too long and let the club slip. To say you deserve to be higher is just daft, we all get what we deserve and it is only the end of the season when it all counts anyway!
The Fear
God damn it Tom - "assuming we win" .... now you've gone and done it!
Rocky7
No matter the result today, we'll at least be able to go to bed tonight knowing we're not at the very bottom of the table!!
TPowell
I think Arsene must have been sh***ing Wiley's wife, he keeps giving freekick for "fouls" that for the life of me I can't see.
Rocky7
diaby needs to stop giving away so many FKs !!!!
HENRY`14
AAAHH Robin! So close. lovely hit
ArsenalRob
F*&%!!!!!!!!! Make that 14 times Rob has been denied by the woodwork this season.
Rocky7
ADE!
ArsenalRob
so that's 14 times he has hit the woodwork this season. Now I'm not one to go on about luck, but that is truly an astonishing number. ADEEEEE
TPowell
GET IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rocky7
Manu should've scored there.
ArsenalRob
I identified Diaby as a player who needed to have a good game, and I think he has gone out and done that. Well done to Abou. Ade looks so much more confident now since his goal. I think he will go on and get another one.
gunnerkid107
We definately deserve the lead but once again it's an uninspired performance.
Rocky7
I would disagree that Diaby has been good. He has done alright but he did give away a few free kicks and had a few bad passes. Big improvement, but Nasri would be so much better in the middle. Arshavin is needed this season.
Tom14
I haven't seen that good of a game from Diaby, GK. I agree with Rocky, yet another uninspired performance. Our midfielders just aren't that good. Granted, Eboue and Diaby were never intended to be starters in Wenger's mind at the beginning of the season.
TPowell
I would like to see Arshavin replace Eboue to be honest. And maybe a creative CM to play in the middle with Nasri staying out on the left.
Tom14
****
ArsenalRob
Clichy u ****
paul_ownz
Clichy has now lost confidence and getting ra*** down the wing.
paul_ownz
Shocking defending yet again. We'll get everything we deserve this season. NOTHING. Almunia is useless, he's superglued to his line, and when that ball went past him he produced a spectacular dive to make it look like he made an effort. Oh yes, and the ref is still a c*&%!
Rocky7
this is so pathetic
TPowell
Don't be mad at the defence Rocky. It's not their fault our midfield is incapable of keeping possession or completing short passes.
TPowell
I think there's only the front two (and Sagna) I'm not mad at right now. Wasteful all over the pitch. F*&%$ing useless the lot of them.
Rocky7
NASRI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rocky7
I was just about to type that I thought we came out flying at the start of the second half and thought we were gunna muller them, but we just kept ******** things up. Great work from van Persie for the 2nd goal and a lovely finish!
Rocky7
Thank god for RVP, one of the few that seem to care in our team. Clichy has been awful from the start. He has made Mendy look like Messi! It might be a blessing that he's supsended for the next game.
jubair
NICKY!!!
TPowell
NICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank %$*& for that.
Rocky7
3 assists for RvP - Wonderful display and my shining light in a shower of ****.
Rocky7
Hat trick of assists!! Well done Bendtner and van Persie!!
gunnerkid107
Almunia really is a massive bag of Bollox!
Rocky7
Thank god for RVP and Nasri. The only two Arsenal players who ever look like making something happen. Adebayor will often get a goal but has looked poor for a few months. And as i say that Bendtner post... Well at least it wasnt RVP with his 15th woodwork of the season
paul_ownz
It's funny, in my honest opinion we've been shoking again today, but if lady luck had been shining it woud have been 5-1 .... odd.
Rocky7
Out of our team today, i think it is clear that Almunia, Diaby, and Eboue are not 'top 4' quality. It is no coincidence that when Eboue came off this week, and Diaby came off last week, our team immediately began to perform better.
TPowell
I agree TP! Though I reckon Diaby would be a useful squad player, the other two should be elsewhere.
Rocky7
Arshavin is desperately needed along with a creative central midfielder to partner Denilson with Nasri on the left. Also, lets give van Persie - Bendtner a few games, in the FA Cup at least.
Tom14
I really rate Denilson as a DM, we just need a proper player alongside him in Cesc's abscence. But not a DM because Den is not good enough going forward to play an attacking role. Or maybe sign a left winger as well as Arshavin and have Nasri in the middle and Arshavin on the right? Or play Vela?
Tom14
Aside from one of the worst placed passes I've ever seen Denilson must have been good today as I never noticed him on the pitch.
Rocky7
Yeah Rocky, I guess Diaby could still be useful as a squad player I suppose, but with Merida, Ramsey, and Wilshire coming through the ranks, I would say we could get rid of him as well. And I agree with Tom that Denilson is noticeably improving as a DM, and the only way for him to get even better at this point is through experience. However, with our injuries, I think we should try Song and Den in central midfield with Nasri and hopefully Arshavin out wide. If not, then Nasri and Den should be in the middle if we get Arshavin.
TPowell
Is Bendtner our new Freddie? 3 goals from wide, is technically not gifted (Like Freddie) but gets in the box and gets his timing right. Brilliant impact from him that will silence the boo boys for a couple of weeks.
iceman10
For the first 60 minuites (then my thingy went thingy and I had to listed to ATVO) he looked alright. Don't know about the rest of it. But lest be honest. We sign a DM and we have to play Diaby in the middle because Denilson is by no means an AM. We sign a box to box AM/CM and we play him alongside a fast maturing Denilson. There is only one winner for me.
Tom14
I give up we could have won 5-1 we win 3-1 and all there is is moans. For god sake we won 3-1 villa won 2-1 first goal in off hand second a flaky penalty yet you lot are praising villa. I just give up.
alwaysgunner
^^^ I sort of feel the same. Villa are by no means superior to us but their results seem to be held with higher esteem.
Tom14
AG - Who is praising Villa? People have praised their season, and I guess rightly so, but to a man everyone have said Villa were very lucky today. As for the moans, the majority of them were made during the game in which we were, in my opinion, shocking, and if we perform like that against a better team we'll lose. These are legitimate worries in my book.
Rocky7
Early in the season we were winning 3-1 as well, though some of us felt we were not playing as well as our place in the table, and we were right. I saw the same exact problems in this game as we had earlier in the season. I am happy we won, and I'm even happier with how certain players have been playing consistently well for us lately (Nasri and RVP). By the way, is anyone else watching the Barcelona game? They are just ridiculous.
TPowell
Yeah TP, focussing on the positives, Robin has been brilliant this season. Our best player for me so far, and no coincidence that he's had a massive run of games without injury. I think with Rob's new found work ethic, ability to hold the ball up (which was formerly Adebayor's main strength) and eye for an assist, and partnership between him and the deadly Eduardo coud be a winning formula!
Rocky7
Denilson had no impact on this game defensively or offensively. Today he was merely a spectator who's only contribution to the game was only to give away cheap fouls.
gunnerkid107
Tom why would we sign a box to box midfielder to partner Denilson?! Crazy talk. We have Cesc Fabregas, we need to look to find a partner for him instead of his lesser counterpart.
gunnerkid107
Denilson is a great partner for Cesc. But Cesc is out and unless we play Nasri, we have no creativity in the middle. Denilson may not be the best DM, but he is much better than any attacking central midfield option we have available, other than Nasri. Had Cesc been here, I would argue that we do not need a CM at all, but without his creativity, we lack him in the middle. Denilson and Fabregas are not similar .
Tom14
It is only crazy talk if you class Denilson as our creative force in the middle and our replacement for Fabregas, but he is not. If we signed a DM to replace Denilson who was much better and he was paired with Nasri - fair enough. But that would be much harder to do than signing a creative player to replace Fabregas and keep Nasri on the wing, because nobody wants Eboue in the starting 11.
Tom14
Besides a shaky defense, our biggest problem in the first half of the season was that Denilson and Cesc did not click. Flamini and Cesc clicked and that was evident with the performances by them both last season. If Denilson was such a great partner to Cesc we would of seen that earlier in the season, but obviously we didn't.
gunnerkid107
I think we did see a slightly good partnership but Fabregas was awful, as was Denilson but to a lesser extent, before he was injured. Denilson at least showed good form. As I said, if we signed a better DM than Denilson, fair enough. Its like Sagna over Eboue. But Denilson is good enough and has not had a proper partner with any sort of consistency this season. Should Diaby or Nasri start to play every week with him we would see how good he is, but as Amos pointed out very early in the season, we lack a top class winger more than anything and it makes the rest of the team look worse.
Tom14
Was Fabregas bad because of his partner though? I guess that's the question that needs to be answered. Your basing your argument off of the theory that you believe Cesc and Denilson can work successfully together. I, on the other hand, am arguing based on the facts we saw on the field.
gunnerkid107
I saw Denilson and Fabregas play very well together in many games. Against Man Utd, Newcastle, Bolton (although Song played as well), Porto, Everton (Song played again), Blackburn, Fenerbache, FC Twente and Chelsea (with Song) and a few others. You may have watched a set of games where Denilson did not play well, but I guarantee that Fabregas was not as good either.
Tom14
Fabregas was not poor because of Denilson, he just could not pass as well as he did normally. I used to think like you, that fabregas was held back by Denilson, but the lad has proven me wrong. He is having a stunnign season without any recognition. If he was that bad, Wenger would have paid that 2 mil more for Alonso and he would ahve pushed more for a DM.
Tom14
Congrats on your away win, give us at Pompey all your support for our match on Sunday. The to55ers are bottom & we are hoping that's where they'll be come Sunday evening.
storagematt
Adebayor seems to be watching ronaldo's chops lost count of how many he did
gunner24
I only saw the 1st half, and I thought we were pretty good. We've improved our creative side, which has looked average for the past month or so. We created about 4 good chances to score in the 1st half. Perhaps, the 2nd half was so shocking to evoke some of the moans, although its strange as we scored 2 goals !
prits
Come on Pompey! Storagematt, you've got our support mate. I'd like to see Pompey do well, now more so coz Big Tony is in charge. Of course, the Spuds being bottom is an irresistible bonus.
prits
Why are we still going abut Eboue for the first 30 min he was our best player, ho made that run that made our first goal? Eboue!!!
Armory
"ho " who
Armory
Both Eboue and Diaby looked really good today Driving forward, but both failed with their passing.
paul_ownz
I dont want to jump to any conclusions, but i think Clichy might be a weak link in the LB role. He seems to make crucial mistakes which cost us big time. Maybe its a lack of experience, because he is good at recovering, defending against wingers running at him and fantastic driving us forward in attacking plays. Maybe he is just unlucky that a lot of his mistakes end up with the opposition scoring. Man city away, Birmingham away, Spurs at home, Middlesbrough away and todays goal spring to mind. Perhaps we would look more solid if he played on the Left wing and bring Traore back to play left back. What do you guys think?
paul_ownz
You got a good point there PO. Clichy did not play that well to nite and if I may add , Sagna is beign made look so good becouse he has Eboue in front of him to help him defend.
Armory
Traore is worse defensively, than Clichy. His positional sense isnt very good. Playing Traore at LB, and Clichy in LM will only worsen our defensive issues. So, no offence paul, I think its a bad idea.
prits
If anything, it should be the other way round with Traore at LM, with Nasri in the middle, and Traore can get back to help defensively like Eboue does on the right.
ArsenalRob
 

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