Elstreegooner

Elstree\’s finest Arsenal blog

The worst team to grace The Emirates?

Tonight we witnessed what was probably the worst premiership team to grace The Emirates: Manchester City. This is a team that Arsenal should have beaten by at least 10. but in the end  only managing 3 to their 1.

The first 12 minutes saw The Gunners dominate possession, passing the ball around at will, and eventually resulting in an Eboue cross with Super Tom getting on the end again, pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday’s goal. Its the next 30 minutes that really saw Arsenal waste their golden opportunity to put this game out of site, the game turned into a training day knock around, it was all too easy. Once again we proved our frailty in defence which resulted in Lehmann miss cuing a clearance, and giving it straight back to Man City, a couple of half hearted tackle attempts later, we witnessed day light robbery, with Beasley making it 1-1.

Its not until, play came down to the North end that I was able to witness for myself, just how weak we are down the right side. Eboue and Hleb don’t link up well and simply down look classy enough for Arsenal. Eboue constantly being caught out of position, and for one so young, really struggles to get back and defend, relying on Gallas and Toure to cover for him. OK against a weak side, but a position that will be surely punished by the top teams. As for Hleb, he’s a one trick pony with only a left foot, his only offering is to cut inside, into the middle of the pitch and either waste an opportunity or pass backwards. The ONLY time I have ever seen him use his right foot was tonight putting in a weak cross only for Adebayor to make Isaksson pull off a good save.

We were saved by a Cesc wonder strike from out side the box curling it a way from the diving Swede into the top right corner, 2 goals, 2 games – good on ya Cesc! A consolation goal for The Beast 10 minutes from time settled the game, and allowed us to all breathe easier.

If we are to compete for the title next season, we need to show a more ruthless streak, and make far less mistakes. On a more positive note both Rosicky and Clichy look better with every game and most of tonights most threatening play came from the left side, both these players made telling tackles, got stuck in and really looked like they were fighting, if this passion could be replicated on the right, we’d look a far more threatening team, i now just think, apart from a great goal scorer (Henry aside) we just need some maturity and strength down the right, and also for Lehmann not to be quite such a knob – he had a bit of a mare tonight, apart from one decent save.

Were now upto 3rd as Liverpool didn’t play tonight, but we’ve lost our game in hand, only stupidity now stands in the way of Champions League football next season. Let’s now look forward to beating the Scum at the Lane!!!!

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April 17, 2007 Posted by | Matches | 5 Comments

At last, Arsenal 2 – Bolton 1

This afternoon, The Gunners managed to extend their lead over Bolton in 4th place, with a nervy 2 – 1 win.

It didn’t start to well with ex. Arsenal player, Anelka putting the visitors ahead after a poor defensive display on 11 minutes.  Arsenal had dominated the play, despite ‘fat Sam’ saying he tactically new how to beat Arsenal – yeah long ball, kick everybody up in the air a get 11 men behind the ball – what a muppet.

Despite going 1 up, Arsenal manged to produce some attacking football, even if Bolton had shut up shop, and on 30 minutes a persistent and  dogged Rosicky scored at the south end!! the goal drought was over. Once again we were deprived of a goal by yet another keeper making spectacular save after spectacular save. Despite having the majority of the pay we went in at half time level.

The second half had hardly started, with most of the middle tier still a having their free aperitif  when Cesc, despite taking his time, hit the back of the net to put us in the lead.

The remainder of the second half was pretty uneventful, with Arsenal taking the opportunity to do a bit of tactical time wasting. I don’t like this tactic, even if we are winning, the team slowed the pace down and looked lethargic, giving the ball away too easily. It wasn’t until the clearly, overweight, and off the pace, dirty Campo was sent off for another miss timed challenge that we started to produce more chances with the extra man. It was time for the seasons most comical moment – Diaby and The Beast, both beating the offside trap with just Jaaskelainen to beat a certain goal……not. The Beast seemed intent on trying to take out Diaby to make a name for himself, unfortunately he failed and the mix up saw Diaby fluff another shot and allow a comfortable save. Baptista really didn’t do himself any favours this afternoon, and I sure his days in the red and white of Arsenal are numbered, he’s just not good enough for the Prem.

Ok – so the demons have been cast aside, lets see what we can do against a poor Man City side on Tuesday night?

We weathered the last 10 minutes and managed to scrape a much needed win. you could visibly see the relief of the players who actually hung around on the pitch congratulating each other for far longer than normal.

April 14, 2007 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

season over? I think so……..

Within 10 days Arsenal have seen hopes dashed. Their recent inability to find the back of the opponents net along with a propensity to screw up in front of thie own goal has see them drop out of the FA cup, lose in the final of the League cup and fail to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League, and if Arsene seriously thinks they can now focus on the title he is in serious denial.

Tonights game once again saw Arsenal dominate a side that sets its stall out to defend but fail to capitalise on the chances given to them. Even Thiery failed to impress and was clearly carrying an injury, I’m really not sure as to why it was nesccesary to bring him on and risk yet further time on the treatment bench? It wasn’t that the team were failing to make  chances, they just failed to convert them, I thought The Beast looked threatening, and didn’t think he was the one to come off.

Without, Rosicky & RVP it is difficult to see where the goals are going to come from? Surely we must strengthen the  attack in the summer if we are to challenge for honours next year? The current squad of young players even next year at an average age of about 22 is going to be too inexperienced, there needs to be a better balance, a bit more resilience and host of goal scorers throughout the team.

Let’s hope this team has the reserves to dig deep and make sure we take 3rd place in the prem. Come on Arsene, tell the fans what they want to hear, see something for a change and say we just aren’t good enough, no more excuses please……

Looking forward to another day of grief in the office tomorrow……………..not

March 7, 2007 Posted by | Matches | 6 Comments

As Good As It Gets……..

An afternoon to remember at The Grove, today we witnessed a new Arsenal team’s coming of age.

The expectations were high, both managers predicting a possible classic, and whilst that didn’t really transpire it was 90 minutes of pure entertainment, even 93 minutes!!!!! The Gunners wern’t their fluid selves for the first 10 minutes, allowing Man U time on the ball and knocking it around pretty much at will. Even with this possession they never really threatened Jens’s goal. Arsenal, after this nervy start, settled down well, passing the ball, closing players down and making great tackles. This team, was really up for this game, and it didn’t take long for the ‘dirty northern bastards’ to resort to their usual bully boy tactics, but this time to no avail, this new Arsnal side can no longer be bullied.

The first half proved a great spectacle, with both sides breaking at tremendous speed. It was great to see Ronaldo forced to switch wings, when realizing that Clichy had the measure of him. His step overs and skills faired a little better against Eboue, but the young right back acquitted himself well and proved why Lauren was let go this week. with honours even after 45 minutes, the expectation grew, we could definitely win this game, they were their for the taking.

The second half started well, with the young Gunners passing the ball around well and creating chances. It was another quick break that saw an cheating little shit, Evra get past, Eboue, and Kolo to put in a cross with great pace to the far post only to see Clichy leave his post, follow the ball and leave the Granny shagger on his own to head past a haples Lehman.

The team were quick to respond, breaking fast and almost levelling the score within a couple of minutes. As witnessed at the Emirates on a number of times this season, the opposition resorted to time wasting, but this time at a level worse than the minnows, what justice that their cheating was to prove fruitless. With 7 minutes of normal time left, RVP sneaked in at the far post, chasing, what looked lime a lost cause to hammer home the equaliser past his bemused Dutch team mate. The Northerners, continued their time wasting tactics, clearly happy to settle for a draw and it was truly inspirational to see Arsenal turn the tables, a fight for every ball with an intent, knowing they could win this game. Into the 3rd minute of injury time, Eboue put a cross that split the United defence to see a rising Henry power his header past the time wasting Van der Sar and give Arsenal a deserved lead with one minute of extra time remaining.It was also great to see, not only Arsenal do the double over the Northern Monkeys but to see a completely full stadium celebrating a momentous win well past the final whistle.

A liitle statistic to finish, every time we have done the double over Man U, we have won the league…..a bit presumptious, maybe. Let’s see we still have a long way to go.

January 21, 2007 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

The silky football returns to haunt Pardew

The confidence was clearly back in the team tonight, is this beacuse Henry was back or just because they were able to play their own game? Clearly Charlton did not put up much of a threat, it was more like a training game, which was probably what was needed ahead of the next two games. The team knocked the ball around at will, creating chance after chance, once again however the opposition goal keeper Carson was outstanding, denying, Henry, Hleb, Rosicky, RVP, Cesc and Gilberto with a string of outstanding saves. We still managed to score 4 with no reply.

It was good to see Henry applauding his team mates for trying passing moves and through balls that didn’t quite complete, hopefully he has  come back into the team with a bit of humility and encoragement for the more junior players rather than berating them for not getting inch perfect passes. Gilberto continued his run of impressive performances fighting lost causes and showing real vision in the midfield, lets hope the knock he received chasing a goal scoring opportunity is only superficial.

We really should have embarassed Charlton, quite definitely the poorest Prem team I have seen this season, a fitting tribute to a f..ing useless manager, who incidently was taunted all night by the Arsenal fans. It will be good to watch him fail, if dissapointing to see another London club to drop down a league.

The dissapointment tonight, apart from not scoring more goals was the noise of the crowd, or lack of it. 60057  people should be able to produce a rousing chorus, just like we did against the Scum. Come on gooners let’s show the same commitment at every game, I’m sure the team will respond, look what the crowd did for Sheffield!!

Hopefully the injury crisis will soon be over and we can get a good run of wins under our belt until the end of the season. We need Champions league football at The Grove.

January 3, 2007 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

Is Arsene in denial?

Once again we visit one of the so called minnows of the Premiership, and get well and truely out played. Yesterday was the turn of Sheffield United, clearly they were up for the game and my earlier prediction that they would come out wearing boxing gloves was not far wrong. We had a bright start that produced a couple of shots on goal, but that was pretty much it for the rest of the game. The pitch and weather was not best prepared for a slick passing game, but it was the same for both sides and Sheffield played the conditions better than us. We were sloppy all over the pitch, missing passes, giving the ball away, and not winning enough tackles in the air or on the ground.

Warnock had got his side mentally right for this game, they new, in these conditions with a crowd that was right BEHIND their team from the off that they could out muscle an under strength Arsenal side.

It looked for once that the Arsenal team should some passion and looked as though they wanted the win, however this side is physically way short of the mark. Apart from perhaps Kolo, Clichy and Gilberto the other players, including the so called ‘beast’ were to easily pushed off the ball or intimidated when challenging for the ball. We may well have the prospects of a great side in 2/3 years, but that’s not good enough to keep Champions League football at The Grove.

A top 4 finish is going to be a challenge, but one that must happen. The team had better spend a few more hours in the gym than developing silky skills and passing moves, and they had better do it before Saturday. We can all guess what Pardew has told his new team!!!!!!!!!!

December 31, 2006 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

We beat the scum 3-0

Arsene, you’re forgiven, the most important match to date at The Grove and The Gunners proved their worth. Today Arsene put out probably his strongest side for an afternoon when we couldn’t afford to lose. To coin an old footbal cliche “The atmosphere was electric” – we’ve found our new home, the crowd barely stopped singing (and standing) for 90 minutes, a proper footbal match, and the reason we keep coming back.

I’ve never heard such support, from before the team walked out of the tunnel to well after the final whistle. For the first time at the new ground, I didn’t once hear the oppositions (so called) fans. Come on Gooners, we want that atmosphere at every game!!!!!!!!

It was also great to see a TEAM that after Wednesday’s dismal performance that was truly up for it. Every member, chased, closed down, tackled and passed like their lives depended on it. What a refreshing change to see not only Arsenal’s great passing game but also a team that didn’t give the scum an inch. Let’s keep this patern of play for future games, based on todays form we could well go on a 20 game unbeaten run a compete for the title

 As I’ve said on a couple of the blog sites this week, I like the way Adebayor has started to show his worth, today was his finest hour (85 minutes to be precise) clearly today’s man of the match. With ADEEEBAYORRR ringing around the ground, he scored our first goal, tackled, tracked back, jumped and generally made Ledley King look like a second rate, bit part defender, well done Ade, you were fantastic.

I can’t pick out one other player that shone, they were all equally brilliant today, Gael, Freddy, RVP, Jens, Eboue, Djourou, Kolo, Cescy, Gilberto, Rosicky, you were amazing, please, please play like that every week.

I’m sure we’ll hear lots of sour grapes over the next few days, but what ever is said, we still beat the Scum 3 nil!!!!!!!!!!! and I’m bloody happy.

December 2, 2006 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

Passionless performance

Fulham 2 – Arsenal 1, quite possibly one of the worst performance I have watched in the 36 years of supporting The Gunners. Stood in the Putney satnd of an unusually full Craven Cottage, I witnessed an Arsenal team that was totally out played in all positions. This Arsenal team, lacks the grit and determination previously shown by the boys in red and white. Fulham out muscled Arsenal with only RVP, Kolo and Cesc showing the passion to get stuck in, chase the ball and close down.

This team needs a f..ing rocket up their arses if they are going  to save an embarassing performance against S***s. Henry needs to show he is a leader, its not good enough holding your hands up in disgust when passses aren’t inch perfect and looking for help from the refs every time an opponent gets within a yard of him, Thiery show us you care………….

It’s impossible as a true Gooner to critisisze anything that Arsene does, however I have to question his judgement with Song, in every match I have seen him he has singularly failed to impress, with cheeers of we want Cesc Fabregas ringing around the Putney end. I’m clearly not the only one that doesn’t rate this 19 year old. Flamini looked very out of place at left back, and has to take responsibility in both of the Fulham goals.

I’m the first to love the gunners flowing football, that’s a true spectacle to watch when things are going well, but when things aren’t we need guts, strength and passion, Adams, Dixon, Bould, Winterburn, Keone, Wright et al. Is it a surprise that all these guys are English? We need some of the bull dog spirit back in this side. Fulham are a sh*t team, that totally taught us a lesson in team work, passion and commitment.

I can’t say any more, I’m totally disgusted. Until Saturday.

November 29, 2006 Posted by | Matches | 2 Comments

Arsenal 1 Newcastle 1

It started so well, The Bank of Friendship, pint of Directors, update picture of the North Bank – just the same as the Liverpool match, so much for superstition!!!!!!

What more can I say that hasn’t already been said? From my point of view we should have won, but we didn’t. Once again we dominated the play, having most of the possession, the majority of the shots, numerous corners, but walk away with a draw. The first half was just not good enough, Newcastle made one break, had one shot and scored one goal. Eboue, whilst great going forward looked vulnerable when defending, and this proved decisive when Dyer decided to put in some effort and run at the defence, Eboue backed off then invited him to curl the ball at will around a hapless captain Lehman.


The second half looked more promising with Arsenal clearly desparate to score, and this time it was Given that had to make a string of great saves to deny the gunners. Again, like against Everton we had to rely on a wonder strike, this time from Henry to get us back in the game. We continued to apply pressure making chances at will, but failing to have the killer instinct to win the game, we need more UGLY goals!!

I’m not going to go on, so here’s some nice pictures, including the ‘Perry Groves’ banner in the West stand Sounds like his book is a good read, and having heard him on Talk Sport this week, his humility is something to be admired, hope you were listening Cashley. As Perry said, he new it was the shirt that made him famous, and he felt privileged to have worn it.

Anyway, here’s to better things on Tuesday night, until then……………

November 19, 2006 Posted by | Matches | 1 Comment

Glorious Gunners Goal Fest 3, Liverpool 0

The afternoon started in the Bank of Friendship, with a group of gunners, low in expectations, talking of what might have been and hoping that Liverpool would come to the Grove to play. It was at the Bank that I first heard the new Cashly song – “We’ve got a Willy and you’ve got a C..t”, if only we were to know what was to happen in about 9o minutes. The other memorable event at the Bank was the loud cheer as Reading put a third past the scum, it was to be an afternoon to remember.

The campaign, to get Perry Groves book on the best sellers list was making the rounds around the Bank, go Perry you can beat the twat Cashley, “We all live in a Perry Groves World”

On the way to the ground, I grabbed a photo of a very forlon ‘North Bank’ , as building work continues a pace at our beloved Highbury.


I didn’t have my usual ticket to todays game, and fund my way to the upper West stand, finding my seat in the corner of the ‘Not Clock End’ and the West Stand. It’s only when up here in the god’s do you realise the size of the stadium. a spectacle to behold.

 

Looking down on the game was a new experience, and it didn’t take long for the action to start, with RVP breaking through, only to have his goal dissallowed for a Maradona like helping hand. From my new seat, i was as clear as day that RVP wasn’t totally honest in his persuit of the Gunners first goal. It looked like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon, as the Red Army knocked it around creating half a dozen chances and not finding the net. Further frustration ensued as The Freak netted the ball for the Pool only to be judged offside.

Some great play down the right wing, saw Eboue breaking thru, a number of times, putting Hleb in a position to cut inside regularly looking to cross, it had to happen down this side as Cesc was put through into the box, putting in a low cross for a tumbling Flamini to put home his second premiership goal. A resounding 1 Nil to the Arsenal echoed around the Grove, this was the best atmosphere so far at our new home, a great way to finish the first half.


The second half started with Liverpool trying to dominate, pressing Arsenal looking for the equaliser, only to be thawarted on the break, with Toure breaking through, and superbly nutmegging the hapless Reine.

The Gunners never looked in real trouble, and with Benitez not being able to provide any answers to break down a solid Arsenal defence, it was only a matter of time before we were to grab yet more goals. It was an RVP corner that saw Willy Gallas unmarked in the centre of the box to head home his second A rsenal goal – Are you watching Cashley Hole?????

A great afternoons work, a handshake between Arsene and Raffa, and 60000 happy Gooners., Oh yeah, and they’ve covered up some of the concrete.

November 12, 2006 Posted by | Matches | 2 Comments