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

Arsenal vs. Huddersfield Town

Ashburton Grove

30/1/11

12:00

Arsenal v. Huddersfield

Tomorrow two clubs with histories intertwined meet in the FA Cup. With 8 matches in January already etched in stone and another league encounter to follow on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger has no choice but to make full use of his 25 man squad. It's unlikely the FA will fine the club for fielding a team not up to their standards. Some might say that's hypocritical, and you wouldn't get any arguments from this writer.

Vital Quotes:

One of the players sure to get a match is Andrey Arshavin. Wenger had this to say on the Russian's form: "I am not concerned about Andrey`s form because if you look at the number of games he's played, Andrey is too harsh with himself."

"If you look at the best passers in the Premier League, he`s still up there. Sometimes we forget how good we are more times than we are conscious of. Andrey at the moment is in that position, so we have to remind him how good he is."


The opposition is certainly excited to play one of England's top teams. Midfielder Tom Clark had this to say on Huddersfield's official website: 'We are looking forward to the game, it is a massive occasion and one that will live long in our memories - win, lose or draw. We have been training hard over the last couple of days, working on specific set-piece routines and tactics to give us the best possible chance of getting a positive result. The lads can't wait to travel down and play against some of the best players in the world.'

'Everything about the occasion is going to be fantastic - I can't wait to pit my wits against some of the most talented footballers in the world in one of the best arenas. I am sure the fans that are traveling down are just as excited as we are as players ahead of the occasion.'

Arsenal Team News:

With Everton to visit the Grove two days later, I don't think we'll see any of starters, bar one centre-back and the 'keeper, Szczesny. With Squillaci coming back, either Djourou or Koscielny will get a rest. Also, Diaby and Rosicky are back in the squad.

Predicted Starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Squillaci, Gibbs, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh

Player to watch: Abou Diaby

Often I forget Abou is still at this club. He's back for this one and I hope he doesn't hobble off 25 minutes in. Without our most creative players in the team, a lot of responsibility will fall on the lanky Frenchman. He showed how good of a player he can be during the World Cup, and we'll need him to be at his best tomorrow to avoid going out of the cup, or even worse, another replay.

Huddersfield Town Team News:

The unfortunate news for the Terriers is that their top scorer, Jordan Rhodes, picked up an ankle injury in League 1 action this weekend against Carlisle. He will miss a month of action. Expect Lee Novak and Alan Lee to lead the Huddersfield line. Arsenal youngster Benik Afobe will not be able to play against his parent club like Sanchez Watt did for Leeds because the FA have ruled that he joined on a 'youth' loan, despite Arsenal having no problems with Afobe playing. Fellow loanee Tamas Kadar is also out with a hamstring problem, as well as Gary Naysmith (toe) and Damien Johnson (knee).

Player to watch: Anthony Pilkington

With their leading scorer out injured, this pick has become exponentially more difficult for me as I haven't seen Huddersfield play in years. Midfielder, Anthony Pilkington has 9 goals in 25 league and cup matches this season.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal were last eliminated by a club outside the top two divisions in January 1992, when Wrexham prevailed 2-1.

Huddersfield Town have won four of six in all competitions, and avoided defeat in six of the last seven.

If Arsenal do not concede, it will be Arsenal's 150th clean sheet in FA Cup history.

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg is the head official for this one.

Match Prediction:

Despite the fringe players not clicking in the past, I think we'll see them have some relative success tomorrow. I'll go with 3 goals for the home side and another clean sheet.

Next Fixtures:

1/2 (Tue) - Everton (h) - Premier League

5/2 (Sat) - Newcastle (a) - Premier League

Possible replay date is Saturday, Feb. 19 or Sunday, Feb. 20

This match is on ESPN in the UK and FSC in the States.




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 29 2011

Time: 2:27AM

Your Comments

Good chance for Andrey and Chamakh to find their form back
jess_farenesh
Don't think Diaby will start. Arsene might look to gradually bring him back keeping in mind his previous injury record
Eboue=GOD
no point in protecting abou..he;ll get injured sooner or later.. hopefully he will find his form soon.
Sajit
Screw the normal formation Arsene. Play WM today
Eboue=GOD
Bendtner scores - 1-0
DBerg
Great. Nasri injured. That's at least 3 weeks there.
gunnerkid107
Arshavin really has to find his form for the next few games - he has done well so far, just lacking a good final ball.
DBerg
We really are being sloppy in the back and with our passes.
DBerg
Red card for Squillaci - Arsenal in a bit of bother now. Song has to come on
DBerg
Just saw a replay of it - that was a harsh red card.
DBerg
One of the softest red cards you'll see.
gunnerkid107
What? It's a clear red card. The Huddersfield player would've been clean through if Squillaci hadn't stopped him.
ptv-
No DBerg it was deserved Hunt was through and Squillaci was last man. Not to worried about the result more though about Nasri. Hope it is only a couple of weeks out.
Armory
It might be precautionary that Arsene took him off. I don't think Nasri should have started in the first place. He's had a gruelling week. If he is out though then Arshavin needs to fill in for him. And I think he's had a good first half against the Hunt guy
Eboue=GOD
Can't watch the game (it's my birthday). Sounds like we aren't playing too well and not having too much luck... Do you guys we can get through it with 10 men? Nervy stuff...
GoonerLou
If Denilson as centre half doesn't encourage Huddersfield then nthing will.
nikolaijns
Yes GunnerLou I think we can. The team has a few more gears to go up before they are playing on full throttle. And Cesc and RvP are still on the bench. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY:)
Armory
Where is the defender supposed to go? He can't disappear. The more I see it, the more I'm convinced it wasn't a red.
gunnerkid107
We've had loads of luck Lou, no way we'd have scored without a huge deflection. 99% possession yet feck all clue what to do with it. It's gonna be a long painful 2nd half you feel.
nikolaijns
GunnerKid he put his arm in front of Hunt and stopped him it wa a foul and a red as he was last defender
Armory
Happy Birthday Lou. I think the red was fair. Squillaci couldn't have moved I admit but he stuck his arm out and pulled Hunt down. And he was the last man. Dimitri's on as expected.
Eboue=GOD
gunnerkid107: he blocks him off with his arm. The red card is just about the clearest one I've seen this season.
ptv-
Oh well. 2 more posts later I think I am an arse:)
Eboue=GOD
Chamakh off for Song, If espn insist on using Waddle can they please have a commentary free option? regurgitated crap is not what I need for breakfast.
nikolaijns
The Huddersfield player knew he was going down and kicked the ball 15 yards forward. I play had gone on Eboue would have probably been the first person to the ball. The last man is irrelevant because that's not actually the rule. The rule is denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. And certainly that was not a clear cut chance.
gunnerkid107
feck sake, we're doing everything to gift em into the game.
nikolaijns
I didn't think there was a huge amount of contact and its not like Squillaci could have moved out of his way.
DBerg
Nasri injury is a worry, but at least we have a few options to replace him for the time being (Arshavin is actually playing well today). Hope he's not out for too long, though.
TPowell
Happy B'day Lou!
DBerg
embarrassing
nikolaijns
Our we down to 9???
DBerg
That sniper is back taking out Deni
ajwb
why can't he go for a ******** headshot?
nikolaijns
Was that not a clear goal scoring chance - should that not have also been a red???
DBerg
Penalty! 2-1!! That there was the clearest red card of the game and it wasn't given.
gunnerkid107
Get in! where the hell is the reffing consistency though?
nikolaijns
How is that not red ffs?
ajwb
Gibbs is giving me palpitations.
nikolaijns
******** hell phew! we were very very lucky - great game from Huddersfields - it seems these day the lower league teams are willing to give us a better game than most premiership teams.
DBerg
Nothing is never easy going is it? I suppose we did alright playing with 9 and a half men
ajwb
Most heart the team has shown all year. Red card and multiple injuries to overcome. For those that criticise them for having a weak mentality, you should give them credit today.
TPowell
Good win, terrible refereeing, if that was not a red for the pen then how can Squidworths be a red?
Armory
Thing is ajwb our first team when playing together are far more comfortable but once we start putting in fringe players they just make the team feel disjointed and frankly some of them don't play as well as they should.
DBerg
Cheating t*ats why is it everytime ur not winning you cheat why does cesc constantly ask teh ref to give out yellows and reds is he a serial cheater? i would of give him a yellow if i was the ref hes bang out of order and it was well funny when he dived and got booked but that should of been his 2nd yellow the cheating little bigheaded ****er
mark.mcfc
umad mark? your bunch of mercenaries are playing now,so run along please :)
ajwb
Yeah shouldn't you be watching your own team Mark? We were a bit lucky there but good performance from NB52 today, it's a shame the crowd's so quick to jump on his back. Super cameo from Cesc saved us, scoring the penalty and keeping helping us keep possession.
Gun 'Em Down
Get back to watching your unambitious bunch of losers
Eboue=GOD
Ugly ugly win. Sometimes you just have to scrap it out Plenty of lessons learnt to be learnt as well from today. Gibbs' inexperience showed as he really gave Pilkington too much space and also gave away possession many times. He needs some games to fulfil his potential. Clichy's doing a good job so I won't be too worried about it. Elsewhere Denilson. Well where shall I start?? Was it his passing?? Was it his reluctance to track back?? Was it him giving away the ball?? Was it his ability to let mediocre(no disrespect meant) players like Gradel and Hunt go past him as if he isn't there? He's just not suited to the defensive midfield role. He was a passenger today. Really disappointing.
Eboue=GOD
Very soft penalty at the end "won" i thought, almost as bad as Cesc's laughable dive against Ipswich that wasnt given. Being in a pub with about 200 Town fans at the moment they feel very hard done by!
HuddersfieldYiddo
I didn't think Squillaci's challenge was a red card offence, and I also thought it was a penalty. Perhaps I'm being biased though!
gunnerkid107
Credit must be given to Almunia. Surprised to see him start but that save from Lee's header kept us in the game.
jess_farenesh
Phew eh?? :P
GoonerLou
Can't we all pray to Dennis to stop giving us these sleepless nights
Eboue=GOD
Some good news. The centre back problem is solved. The answer was always in the squad. I can't believe we managed to overlook him. There is no need to buy another centre back now. It's only going to "kill" a player like Arshavin
Eboue=GOD
LMFAO come on Notts county:)
Armory
I guess we have to forgive Marky Mark and the funky bunch for his outburst. Watching Jo is enough to send anyone crazy. Joes that are Better at football than Jo: pasquale and swash.....
iceman10
I'm surprised so many people thought Squillaci's was a red. Maybe I'm not seeing it correctly but the player pretty much ran into him and I think Squillaci tried to get out the way. Certainly not a goalscoring opportunity, therefore not a red card. Unsurprisingly, Battennberg bottled it for the penalty: not giving a red there is simply a joke. All relative I know but further proof that Clattenberg is the worst referee in the league. I thought Bendtner put in a real shift and Arshavin was actually our best player (how about that Hernandez-esque sliding tackle?!). Gibbs had a mare and Denilson, yet again, was no better (cue Amos selecting him as MOTM :-p ). Far from vintage but it's never easy with 10 men and the boys deserve credit for digging in. Shame about Nasri but I'd rather, for want of a better word, it be him than Cesc who proved once again what a world class footballer he is. Shame he isn't a leader, eh...
super_gooner
Squillaci didn't seem to get out of the way. He actually stuck out his arm and obstructed the oncoming player.
Eboue=GOD
Errr... City just equalised... :O
GoonerLou
Winning mentality? Please, that's being extremely generous! from our captain definitely the will to win is there, with the rest all I saw was panic as soon as Huddersfield woke up and saw that there was zero cutting edge to our possession. You could see an extremely hacked off cesc going 'again? I have to save this rabble again?' Completely predictable arrogant complacent start to the 2nd where we allowed the tenacious terriers back into a game they were previously just spectators in. Squelchy was a blatant obstruction and as the last man a cast iron red no argument here, tbf he was a liability from the off with Gibbs and Denilson joining him in keystone cops ineptitude. You really won't get an easier fixture than Huddersfield at home yet the 2nd string with a few exceptions aside failed pretty dismally to prove their worth to Wenger and the squad, thank feck we were at home cos we would've undoubtably gone out with that showing away. Positives were I thought Diaby did OK, it's good to have him back despite the odd customary dawdle in possession he adds a bit of bite, Almunia made a fine save which'll give him a boost after an eternity out, Bendtner looked marginally less pants, Song didn't get injured and The Arsenal are through to the next round!. Hopefully the footy deity will be kinder again for once and grant us another lower league home tie.
nikolaijns
Plus another fixture for both the Northern and southern nouveau rich lotto chavs can never be a bad thing, even if they both have home ties which should still see them progress.
nikolaijns
The Os away, top stuff. Should be a cracker.
nikolaijns
sp*rs pffffffftt
nikolaijns
Theres your away trip to a different smaller ground LD. Im delighted
paul_ownz
Lol atleast our day went better than the scum so far - losing 2 nil to fulham and are a player down.
Dberg
make that 3 dberg, hahahahahahahaha what a feckin shower.
nikolaijns
Hope Wenger has a nice bottle of Gevrey Chambertin for Clatterburg, he certainly deserves it. Hell, make ity a case for that non-existent penalty he gifted you.
fifthcolumnblue
don't be bitter fcb just cos your filthy mercenaries were held by a lower league club managed by the mighty Paul Ince hahaha. And it's 4 down for the mighty Stratford interlosp*rs. Glory glory.
nikolaijns
My wife is a gooner but she's not blind like most of you vital arse posters - you got out of jail, and were pretty poor today (hats off to Notts county for making our lives difficult). But stop patting yourselves on the back for getting the rub of the green eh?
fifthcolumnblue
At least Huddersfield came to the Grove to try to score. Same can't be said about Man"park the bus"City.............
Armory
Yeah Huddersfield are a credit to the game, Citeh are a disgrace to English football.
gronedrone
Yeah read my post and tell me where it says we played well, everyone here knows we didn't, that was a push on Bendtner and a penalty though no question, Huddersfield should've gone down to 10 though to keep with consistency so if anything Clattenburg was favourable to them in his decision. I'm sure you're wife ain't blind but if she knew you were on here weeping and whining she'd still slap you and push your sorry arse into the kitchen to get the tea on :)
nikolaijns
no 2 stratford reads the scum banner at the cottage, they certainly will be cos Orient are the no 1.
nikolaijns
spiderman spiderman, comes to the game when it's 4-0 down.
nikolaijns
Hahahha imagine the Spuds who watched our game (there's tons of them you know) and thought the Squillaci red card was funny to watch, then we got into trouble, only to get a bit of luck and win the game which p!55ed them right off. Then THIS!!! Hahahhahahaha if I were them I wouldn't be able to handle it today at all!!
GoonerLou
What was the score when Chelsea went through in the 4th round last year FCB? who did they play? Nobody knows or cares its all about the result in the cup.
iceman10
At least all the Huddersfield fans that HY watched the game with are being offered some serious light relief Lou.
nikolaijns
Yeah gnomedrome the fourth highest scorers in the PL are a disgrace to English football. Have a day off mate. Didn't see the Arsenal game but have seen replays of the red card and penalty decisions. I can't believe some of you are saying that the red was not deserved considering the ***** that you spouted on Vital City when one of our articles suggested that Boyata shouldn't have been sent in our fixture earlier in the season, un-fecking-believable. Very lucky to get that penalty, very minimal contact if any.
bluedub
Indeed Niko lol!
GoonerLou
Boyata was last man, how could it not be a sending off? I dont make the rules, but taking out the last man = early shower
paul_ownz
Why the hell are the bitter mardy mancs here? Is watching them that dull they still have all their energy to expend? Trillions spent and held by the managerial joke that is Paul Ince. Don't take it out on us chaps. Have we not thanked you for the 4 points already? Could've swore I had ;)
nikolaijns
Go back and look at the articles from Vital Citeh that day after we beat them 3-0. Hands down the worst I have seen on all of the Vital network.
gronedrone
tony what's the score? cocky horror what's the score??
nikolaijns
paul_ownz, the rule mentions nothing about last man, the rule says if you deny the opposition player a clear goal scoring opportunity, which Boyata did, and which Squillaci did. You did thank us Niko, I'm just here to point out the hypocrisy from SOME.
bluedub
More Manc fans suffering from Jo syndrome I see. Come here, vent, let it out.
iceman10
Come on dub we all have club tinted specs on at times. At least you lot are still in it, can't we all just get along and laugh @ sp*rs?
nikolaijns
So...no one's gonna say it? It's gonna be left to me is it? h well. That's the trouble with these male officials, they just don't understand the professional foul rule.......
Little Dutch
Happy Birthday Lou! Phew we did get of Jail today and poor Spuds are get stuffed by Fulham! Shame :-)
hackneyval
I'd need to see the Squelchy red again, but I was struck by the fact that the Huddersfield player was only too keen to take the floor option, which suggests he wasn't too confident that he had a "clear goalscoring opportunity." But, I haven't seen a replay, so I stand to be corrected. But how that's a clear goalscoring opportunity and someone who is about to stroke the ball into an empty net isn't, I'll never know. Not sure why the Citeh boys are here in force, but Boyata took out Chamakh when he was one on one with the keeper with the ball under control. There is a difference.
Little Dutch
Fair enough Niko, but was that article I referred to not written with club tinted specs? The writer was subjected to a stream of abuse for it. Anyhoo, enough of all that, I will join you laughing heartily at them sorry Spuds.
bluedub
I'm sure it was dub, none of us are innocent of it, dunno about abuse though we're a bit crap at that here. Good man knew you'd jump on the spud chuckling. No excuses either spuds - full strength apart from Les the slow lad getting the early bath.
nikolaijns
We want 5, we want 5
nikolaijns
And yes I'm stoked about Orient away. One of my best mates from work is Orient home and away and he can't go cos he's on a stag weekend in Barcelona! (When you support Orient, I guess you don't really look at 5th round cup date and regard it as significant). On our performance, very few positives. Arshavin and Bendtner worked hard enough, Koscielny played well. But I don't know where the Denilson of 2008-09 has gone and Gibbs looked very poor again I thought. The clamour for his inclusion over Clichy looks to have been as premature as I suspected. Cesc must be getting a bit tired of carrying this lot at times.
Little Dutch
Littlre Dutch.. Squillaci Close Lined Hunt.. Was a definate Red Card without doubt... Soft penalty too.. We are feeling hard done by.. was a very entertaining game tho!
Terrier24
It was a good game, proper cup tie. Huddersfield had a proper go and, gulp, you actually created more chances than we did. Good luck in the promotion push, Clark's got you guys playing some nice stuff.
Little Dutch
Seeing the incident again will be interesting but my point is that it was never a goalscoring opportunity. Maybe I was wrong in saying Squillaci couldn't get out the way, but I do know that this 'last man' rule is *********: as LD says, there's a clear difference between Boyata's/the foul for the penalty today and Squillaci's. Mind you, he didn't play well in his 45 mins or so anyway (curse of the number 18 perhaps?). So who does everyone fancy on the left in the next few weeks? Arshavin's performance was slightly more encouraging today but his confidence in the final third is fragile to say the least and that's not what we need in a deadlocked game, for example. Rosicky always looks better in the middle so I probably wouldn't pick him, either. It's a problem we didn't need, but far from the end of the world. We have got Cesc Fabregas.
super_gooner
Sorry I meant last man theory, rather than rule.
super_gooner
I think Squils is a red on 2nd viewing, the guy will definetly get to the ball 1st after he touches it round him and will be 1 on 1 with the Emirates ghost.
iceman10
I don't think there is a clear difference betwen Boyata and Squelchy at all, far from it. Both had nudged the ball past the las defender and both defenders utterly took their man out. I don't fathom how you guys can't see it? Both were denied 1 on 1s with the keeper which has to go down as denying a goal scoring opportunity. Squelch blatantly blocked off with his arm as plain as the jowls on Redknaps face. It's such a non argument.
nikolaijns
As for Denilson.....once again he shows major inconsistency during games, the guy waltzed past him before getting to Squillaci and all he did was hang out a leg in exactly the same way that caused him to give a penalty away against Leeds, really poor. Lack of cover for Song in that holding role is scary.
iceman10
John Barnes is looking more like a cadburys creme egg on a daily basis.
nikolaijns
Like I say, I only have the impression I had at the time, they don;t replay these things in the ground. I didn't have a strong opinion on it at the time and didn't grumble at the redf card, until our penalty that is. But I think Squelchy went to "do" the Huddersfield player then stepped back, but I might be totally wrong. Boyata's was clearer for me though, Chamakh had the ball under control on the 18 yard line with no covering defender. Not saying Squelchy's wasn't a red, but Boyata's was definitely clearer, it was seven or eight yards further forwards for a start and Chamakh was in front of Boyata. But, I haven't made a clear judgement on it. My only point is that if that's a red, then the guy that takes Bendtner out surely has to be too? I don't agree that SS played badly at all, I think he was exposed by having to scuttle over to right back every two mins whilst Eboue stood idly and decided which member of the crowd to give his shirt away to next.
Little Dutch
I wasn't surprised to see Almunia start. It was a sensible decision if he is to be part of the playing staff in the remainder of the season. If only because it offered Denilson some encouragement that if it did go tits up (and with the starting front three we had that was always a possibility) there'd be someone else to blame. Almunia did what he had to do well enough and even managed a decent save - the world didn't come to an end. Denilson played well in the first half and kept the ball moving, positioned and moved well himself, supported and broke up play and did all those metronomic things that are important to the fluency of the game but are rarely appreciated. No great surprise that it was he that stayed on and Diaby that went off. He had a bit of a brain freeze with a wayward pass back but in some ways the bigger error was in not fouling Hunt, after Arshavin characteristically lost possession as Gibbs went past him, before Squillaci had to. It was a red card, as it should have been when Bendtner was fouled, but Squillaci had little choice but to make the challenge and hope he got away with it. It enabled us to go in 1 up at half time and that was probably important. Quite why we started so slowly in the 2nd half I'm not sure though I can imagine that the thought was they weren't going to score from open play and we'd catch them on the break. Rosicky played a couple of great through balls which we didn't manage to capitalise on and tried as hard as he could with the lonely task (until Cesc came on) of trying to make the forward play work but also showed that he can keep possession well in midfield and won any number of free kicks as they struggled to contain him. The starting front three hasn’t really worked yet and though we had more success down the flanks (even Eboue found space in the first half) no one really looked comfortable least of all Chamakh who couldn't find a role at all. In the end job done and we'll get another chance to see if we can get our dysfunctional front three to work together more successfully against the genuine Stratford football club.
Amos.
Chamakh has been, frankly, dreadful since early November, bar a couple of good performances. A dip is understandable after he led the line on his own, for 90 minutes, every week for the first couple of months, but having had a good rest recently I expected more from him. He'll turn it round but 'the honeymoon period' theory is interesting, and a trap I confess myself to falling into occassionally: that the likes of Arshavin and Vermaelen are untouchable for the first year but the love soon wears off: my point being Chamakh is still enjoying the honeymoon period and that's why he's not suffering from the fans as much as Denilson and Arshavin. Having said that, the 'harsh' treatment given to the aforementioned pair from the fans is justified, because their good performances this season have been minimal to say the least.
super_gooner
This fixation you have with the front 3 i think is a bit of a red herring, it's down to them doing the simple things wrong and not working as hard as they would against a big club at home in my opinion, they're all internationals who train together daily. Eboue found some space going forward, great, didn't fancy tracking back then. And it wouldn't surprise me if Denilson "characteristcally" gave the ball away more than Arshavin today. Also I think you need to factor in the amount of players today that were coming back from a lay off today. Rosicky I remember one world class through ball and Almunia did what he had to do well with one outstanding save. Still, we're through, with the O's away in the next round (what a draw), the main gutting thing from today was Nasri's injury.
shewore
P.S. Chamackh yeah, it's a weird one, I think the honeymoon period was completely justified as he worked his Arsenal off and got a fair few goals, he was like an upgraded version of Bentdner (whose shot today was going wide before it went in - love his goading of Terrier fans - sheer arrogance!)
shewore
It maybe coincidence the same front three with only one creative midfielder has struggled against lower league opposition in quite a few games now. It must seem so much easier to blame our troubles on defensive midfield or defensive frailty rather than a forward line that just doesn't work and contributes nothing to the creative shortfall it creates. Because Bendtner's wayward shot was deflected in we can convince ourselves that our forward play was ok and that Arshavins miss early on, and other poor decisions, was just the same lack of confidence that afflicts Chamakh or over confidence is it that troubles Bendtner? If they lack confidence at this level of competition then when should we expect them to be confident? But let's not look there let's just imagine that our real problem is in defense and defensive midfield in these games and if we solve that we won't concede the odd goal from a set piece in such games while the goals will simply flow in at the other end.
Amos.
The front 3 didn't struggle to create in the first half an hour. I think most of our problems stemmed from dysfunction in the centre of the park. Huddersfield didn;t have to work hard to cut us open. One pass often had them well beyond Diaby and Denilson. There's a point there about not scapegoating certain players, but there is also a point that said players aren't insulated from criticism every time they play badly. See; Arsenal fans treatment of Eboue. It's amazing that he has gone to the complete opposite end of the scale from being blamed for everything unfairly, to being let off with some really poor performances. Care to do a count of how many times he's put opposing players in very promising poisitions with wayward passes in his own third? It's happening about once a game now.
Little Dutch
Similarly it's the same midfield that has struggled in those games too.
Little Dutch
It was embarrassing huh shewore, rightly laughed at for his air shot then has the temerity to cup an ear to the H'field fans when he flukes a deflection in like how dare they underestimate his genius? Wot an arse. Chamakh seems a completely different player now which is really worrying for when RVP next gets broke in two, I'm hoping it's just cos the service has been lacking in the Arsenal B but he was utterly invisible today.
nikolaijns
4-3-3 just doesn't work with the personnel we had today. I'd rather return to a 4-4-2 with Chamakh/Bendtner plus Arshavin in his preferred no10 position. At least we could stick another head in mf too. Everyone is then in their favoured position not square pegged in the proverbial just to accommodate the system.
nikolaijns
Bendtner only did that cos he was getting some stick from the Hudd fans. A better liked player wouldn't even draw comment from anyone for the same thing. Not like he ran 90 yards to slide on his knees on front of them.// Huddersfield had two more shots on goal than us, two more corners and 58% possession. It's hard to see how that's 100% down to the forwards.
Little Dutch
There is absolutely no doubt that some players are insulated from criticism from playing badly while others aren't. Eboue isn't the greatest defensively but he was also part of the reason we were creating pressure early on but frankly it would be more than a bit disappointing if we weren't creating any chances at home against lower league opposition whatver team we put out. We didn't ever really look as though we were going to score too easily and in the end - at this level that was where our probably lies. It's easy to point to midfield and defense without seeing that possession was being lost and wasted by the forward line far more often than anything we lost in midfield.
Amos.
The 2nd string front 3 got 3 away to Leeds, could have had 5.
iceman10
There are those that feel that criticising a player that air heads take anything out on feel the need to defend them to the nth degree, it p1ssess me off these "cliques" and camps that we have amongst our support, i'll criticise Denilson if he has a stinker and will likewise praise him if he has a good game, some probably see that as being a bad supporter, i'm not sure, all players are insulated to criticism from some. The front 3 should be good enough to dispatch of Huddersfield.
shewore
I'm happy to criticise players for poor play but don't see anything wrong in also pointing out the good things they do as well. If there are cliques among our supporters they're ones that cannot see anything good at all in particular players while other players simply lack confidence. It was entirely predictable that if this game wasn't going to plan who the player(s) to be singled out would be. Its always been that way and I guess it always will.
Amos.
spuddies crash out of a domestic cup competition by allowing 4 goals to a London opponent. Sound familiar?
TPowell
Like your singling out of the low on confidence Arshavin? Of course there are cliques that cannot see anything good in any players (think I referred to them as airheads in previous post) and by the same token, there are supporters that won't have a bad word said about certain players.
shewore
Which is why "Denilson played well in the first half and kept the ball moving, positioned and moved well himself" whilst Arshavin "characteristically gave the ball away"?
Little Dutch
Thankyou LD - in in a flash.
shewore
why is everyone moaning about a win with what is clearly our 2nd choice XI?
TPowell
I'd already singled Denilson out for two bits of poor play so there's no need to rush indignantly to the one criticism of Arshavin. Though it's no great surprise. Quite why we should be looking at defensive midfield for our failure to turnover a side from the 3rd tier of English football I don't know but I suspect the tendency supports my view of the need to put the blame in a safe place.
Amos.
Or maybe, on a day when most didn't play well, the likes of Denilson, Eboue, Chamakh and Gibbs had especially bad games? The forward line didn't really gel, but still should have had enough. However, they at least have the mitigation that they spent the second half depleted by the need to remove Chamakh. The midfield and indeed the defence had the same numbers, yet conceded more possession, more shots, more corners etc. I've done the notes for my match report and I've got Huddersfield as having had five headed chances in our penalty area. I take the point about the forwards not gelling, but that can't be attributed to them surely? AA and Bendtner barely saw the ball between the start of the second half and Cesc coming on.
Little Dutch
The problem is that the forward play has an effect and places pressures on other parts of the team. It's movement up front that allows the midfield to make passes and gives the full backs and midfielders the opportunity and encouragement to go past their respective forwards to create opportunities. If the forward line ain't working then its hard for the rest of the midfield to do their job. Despite our most creative player in Cesc starting in the away game at Ipswich he could have no more effect on that game. You're looking for the wrong problems in the wrong places.
Amos.
But isn't that mutual? If the midfield don't have the ball and aren't winning the ball back- as was happening in the second half, they can't move anyway. We still created enough chances to eventually win the game, particularly when Cesc came on who- it seems- had zero trouble locating our strikers and their movement. (He played badly at Portman Road, but still dirtectly created our 3 best chances that night). But the fact that Huddersfield dominated the play in midfield and created so many chances so comfortably has little to do with the forwards. Like I say, the whole team didn't click, but I don't believe that was down to the forward line in the context of this game. We created plenty until Nasri went off, then created little between him going off and Cesc coming on.
Little Dutch
The fact is we utterly dominated the first half, particularly with Nasri on the pitch. In the first half hour, even though we'd only scored once, nobody could complain. Then Sami goes off injured which was obviously a blow but we still had attacking impetus. Could it simply be that the red card changed the game? No matter how much better we are than them, having a man advantage is, well, an advantage. They did well to make it count by dominating the second half until Cesc entered the fray. As anonymous as Chamakh was, he's still an offensive weapon and we had to replace him with Song, a makeshift centre half, meaning we were short as an attacking force but the defence and midfield were unaffected in terms of numbers. Arshavin and Bendtner played pretty well today and claiming they are more to blame than Gibbs and Denilson who made basic errors in crucial areas time after time is something I can't get my head around.
super_gooner
We were down to 10 men shortly after Nasri went off which would have had some impact. Cesc had the benefit of having another creative player in midfield in Rosicky who could take possession and retain it or turn is man and try to find a pass. That makes the difference between what Cesc was able to do in this game and what he could do on his own away to Ipswich. Similarly in the home leg against Ipswich RvP and Cesc were able to tie midfield and the forward line together. Chamakh simply doesn't know how to play in the forward line with Arshavin and Bendtner. It's no coincidence that Theo, RvP and Nasri help create the fluency that just isn't there with Arshavin, Nasri and Chamakh. In Bendtners case he's 6 years younger than RvP who also struggled to define his role 6 years ago. In Arshavins case he's 6 years older than Nasri and really should be capable of far better retention and decision making than he's been able to show in this league.
Amos.
We also dominated the last 25 minutes or so after they scored. Still carrying the same deficit in the forward line but just with a more creative player on the field. That should show us that our problem wasn't because we were short in defensive midfield just with our attacking capability.
Amos.
Your point about creativity has been justified in the recent past, but what about the opening 30 minutes? Nasri was the only player who you class as creative on the pitch yet we monopolised the ball and created plenty of chances. If Arshavin was not scraping the barrell for confidence, we could have easily have been 4 up by half time. Ifs, buts and maybes of course but while of course the three that started today are nowhere near as effective as Walcott, RvP and Nasri, they're not nearly as bad as you continue to make out.
super_gooner
I'm not sure I said the problem was defensive midfield, just that midfield was one of the problems. Denilson and Diaby don't have the same fluidity and udnerstanding. Crucially, neither were too hot in the tackling dept today. (Diaby won a few tackles, but usually gave the ball away sedonds after winning the tackle). I'll not disagree with the union of Cesc and TR7 being very effective. But Nasri managed to carry the creative can very well and Arshavin had, what, 4 attempts created today?
Little Dutch
All's I'm saying is that when Huddersfield leave the stadium having had 17 attempts to our 15 and 58% possession, however you think the front 3 have linked up, you surely have to acknoweldge that other parts of the team aren't doing their job also?
Little Dutch
We didn't do much better with much higher stats in the games against Ipswich and Leeds using the same forward line. Were the other parts of the team doing their job then because we had possession stats. Cesc on his own against Ipswich away was no more effective. On the other hand a more creative and attacking line up all round against Ipswich at the Emirates restricted them to far fewer chances. Our defensive strength relies on the quality of our attacking creativity. We're looking at the wrong end of the pitch for our failings in this game if defense against these sides is our main concern.
Amos.
The forward line for Ipswich away was Theo, Arshavin, Bendtner. The Forward line you dislike played very well at Leeds with only Nasri as the midfield creator. Song was absent from the Ipswich game but played against Leeds, where he wins the ball and how he distributes it makes a huge difference to how we play imo.
iceman10
I think the balance between Theo, Bendtner and Arshavin was better than the trio at home to Leeds but we still suffered because of a lack of creative options not because we didn't have enough defensive ones. Cesc on his own against Ipswich had the same problem as Rosicky on his own in the Leeds home game. The forward line against Leeds played poorly. Nasri was playing as an auxiliary forward and showed the other forwards how they should be playing.... that and a Sagna thunderbolt. We struggled to do anything more until Arshavin and Chamakh were taken off and RvP and Cesc came on.....and we needed them to.
Amos.
Have to agree to disagree here as in the Leeds away game we created a lot of opportunities 1st half and should have been clear before they got a wonder goal. I'm just not seeing what you see.
iceman10
We were clear before they got a wonder goal but Arshavin and Chamakh weren't taken off half way through the second half because everything was going brilliantly. Someone was seeing what I was seeing.
Amos.
Or maybe Arsene just made his standard changes at 65-70 minutes as per usual, I'd be more inclined to go with that theory to be honest.
iceman10
 

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