Arsenal ended up on the right side of the scoreline in their inaugural Emirates Cup clash with Paris St Germain, running out 2-1 winners in a match they certainly didn’t dominate for any long stretch of time.
Flamini and Bendtner were the scorers, with Bendtner missing a penalty in the late stages that could have seen us go out with a two-goal advantage. A very interesting line up came out in the first half, with Diaby on the left and Flamini on the right. It should hopefully mean Wenger is at least looking for a wide man of sorts – the second half was slightly more interesting when Hleb replaced van Persie, and took up a central attacking role, much like his old Stuttgart position, and the team seemed more comfortable with the changes, which also saw Eboue take up the right wing in front of Justin Hoyte at fullback.
A full match report can be found here. Overall, good to see the finishing improving slightly: PSG mirrored what we were last season, given their first half dominance. But it seriously means we must find at least one wide player out of the hat, somewhere. Diaby/Flamini is just not a title-winning combination for wingers. They just aren’t wingers, for a start.
Post-match, Wenger spoke about ‘the hardworking performance’, Eduardo’s work permit, and the possibility of signing Anelka, interestingly enough. If I have to say it again, Anelka would be a luxury signing that would paper over the cracks, and not solve any pressing issues. Yes, it would be nice to have him competing with RVP, Ade and Eduardo, but he cant exactly play on the wing regularly now, can he?
On Bendtner, Wenger remarked: ‘I felt he of course lacks some experience but we have seen ingredients and think that there is a special talent…He is quick, much quicker than people think and there is a lot to work on and I feel there is good potential.’ Well, so long as he’s quick – when playing for Birmingham, he seemed a little stilted at times, but hopefully it’s just a matter of playing in the right system.
An interesting article on the prospect of Glenn Roeder, of all people, becoming Arsenal’s new Director of Football. It mentions Wenger’s preference to develop youth due to restrictions on spending, but Wenger’s already refuted this, saying “I can bring in who I want and the board do not interfere in that, unless there is a compulsory financial situation that we cannot afford.” Basically, money shouldnt be an issue, unless you’re dreaming of Tevez or David Villa, in the £20-30m range. We’ve never signed players in that price range, and wont be for a few seasons yet. Bloody good players can be bought in for as little as £7m, you know. Interestingly enough, I do believe we’ve spent more than Chelsea this season, haven’t we?
And that’s all for now. If a youtube report props up, I’ll slap it on here for your pleasure. Always, pleasure.
Update: Flamini and Bendtner goals here: