Post-Portsmouth Wrap-up

A quick toss-up of the news, as driving around, family commitments and the whatnot like-for-like means I have little time to get Arsenal-related things done as much as I’d like.

-{…van Persie is very frustrating with his injuries and would demolish the league were he able to keep fit…}-

The most frustrating news after our 0-0 stalemate with Portsmouth comes in the form of injury news, in that Robin van Persie remains a no-show for the Everton match tomorrow, as well as Arsenal captain William Gallas remaining a major doubt after having his foot trodden on by Sol Campbell near the end of yesterday’s game.

It’s all brought about ‘Arsenal-hitting-a-brick-wall’ metaphors in the press and amongst fans alike, after we exchanged places with Man Utd for first and second. In truth, I do not think there is that much to get worked up about. Yes, van Persie is very frustrating with his injuries and would demolish the league were he able to keep fit, but there is hope for him to return for our New Year’s fixture against West Ham.

We all certainly do hope that Gallas’ injury is not bad enough to keep him out long term – in the short term, of course, we have cover in the form of Senderos and Alex Song. It all gets a little worrisome with Kolo Toure leaving for the ACN, though. More news on Gallas’ injury when it comes.

More major news stories follow in Jens Lehmann ‘imminently’ seeking a move to his old club Borussia Dortmund – the chairman of Lehmann’s previous club has reportedly come to London for talks with the Arsenal board in taking the keeper on in the January transfer window.

Furthermore, Arsene Wenger has spoken about Arsenal’s drop to second place after drawing with Porsmouth, saying that while a draw was dissapointing, it’s not the end of the world. Wenger says:

We have lost one game since the beginning of the championship so you will have problems to convince me we are in crisis. If we go six months again by just losing none then we will be champions. The expectations are very high and when you do not get to the game you want to play it is disappointing.

If you ask me I prefer to be in front, but with one point difference that is not that big a deal. I believe that if we just focus on our performances and get a good result at Everton then everything is all right.

To wrap everything else up, Fran Merida looks likely to head out on loan in the transfer window; Martin Keown has commented on the amount of rough tackles flying about in the Premier League; Clichy insists Arsenal remain in control of their own destiny; Rosicky says ‘it aint easy being us‘; and Adebayor insists the Henry’s and Eto’o’s of the world would struggle to get into Arsenal’s side.

What a way to end with big words. A more in depth blog tomorrow, I promise. Stay merry in the meantime.

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3 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, English Premier League

3 responses to “Post-Portsmouth Wrap-up

  1. Hattori Hanzo

    Hello. Adebayor is a gimp up front in this 4-5-1.
    I woud like Bendtner and Edu to be given more chances. I can see us losing to Everton on Saturday though. AW tactics plain wrong at the mo. He is still the main man mind.

  2. Cjones

    If we dropped all three at Goodison I would be very surprised. However, the pertinent question, from this moment of the season onwards, is where the goals will come from if the midfield is misfiring. It’s kind of a funny question given how things were last year, when we got no goals from midfield. Adebayor can only hold the line by himself for so long, it is evident it is taking his toll on him, despite his good work ethic, his occasional goals and good attitude. At least he can not be faulted for finding goals when we play the scum, quite good in that respect. And RVP not being fit is becoming quite a frustrating affair. As arseblogger at arseblog said “we all love him and I know he’s been unlucky but at some point you have to start wondering how long you can carry a player who is injured for half the season, every season”. I agree with this 100%. I love van Persie, he is an exceptional player, and he more than any other player not named Henry or Bergkamp in the last 10 years in an Arsenal shirt can think of can create a goal out of nothing, goals you thought impossible, think of that wonder goal at Charlton, or when he ripped Robbie Savage and Brad Friedel a new asshole at Highbury, or more recently maybe one of the best free kicks ever against Sunderland, but think of what havoc he could unleash if he could be fit for 35 games a year. He’d be good for 20 at least, given his tremendous skill, if not a Golden Boot candidate. Some can say whatever negative things they want about Adebayor, about his prolifigacy or his inability to link properly with the midfield all the time, but at least he has started pretty much every game, and been useful in most of those. RVP is like our own Solskjaer, except much much more talented, and thusly more frustrating. Even Henry only seemed to be for us a “problem player” when he was not playing. We need RVP in the squad, or an approximation of. Otherwise, of course, he is fucking brilliant. On that note, regarding our striking situation, I think either one of two things needs to happen. We chase a proven striker in the transfer window, (Kanoute? McCarthy? or someone like *thppt* Anelka? though obviously Kanoute is Champions league-tied and given our recent tribulations with Sevilla probably off limits, though he might like to stick it to Juande Ramos, now with the scum) or give Bendtner or Eduardo some minutes. Both have a fine pedigree, Bendtner in his strong upside and Eduardo in his tremendous non-Premiership goalscoring capacity. If we plan on grinding out our results in the spring, then we need some teeth at striker. Someone of the likes of Francis Jeffers, an uncreative “fox-in-the-box” Linekar type will not cut it. I wish RVP will be fit but can’t bank on it. Our passing game deserves a monster in the final third (especially for passers as adept as Fabreagas and Hleb), it is too silky to not deserve another world class finisher/creator in the mould of Henry. Perhaps Benzema? Eboue is making me quite frustrated with his shots into row Z, and Walcott, despite some fine assists, has not shown much more ruthlessness either. And we can only nick so many goals from corners (how weird is that, that a team that never used to score from set plays, paritcularly corners, now is winning points from them?), because Gallas or Bendtner will eventually be marked properly and thus will only get so many. Also, our back four has done quite well this year in my opinion, and of course I will put my faith in Arsene, but with Kolo off to the ACN perhaps a central defender would no go amiss? We had record-breaking turnover this year, with a new stadium properly financed and takeover bids dashed, and therefore we are one of the most affluent clubs in Europe. So all that said, usually I am not one to scream for transfers, particularly in the January window (of course I must remember when we got Diaby, Walcott and Adebayor two years ago, within the span of days). We have the cash, and we can afford to let some of the driftwood go (Jens, and as much as it pains me, Gilberto). We can afford the likes of someone like Tevez, or whoever else, it’s all there in the balance sheet, so why don’t we buy them? In order to compete with the ManU’s and Barca’s you need players of a proven quality. As much as I love and respect Arsene’s faith in his squad, to think he doesn’t have these thoughts is naive. We can win things with kids, but maybe another phenomenally gifted kid or two? And perhaps to illustrate and address a bigger point, we are known for playing a football a cetain way. To me, it stands to reason, the most gifted footballers should be able to adapt to any system (particularly our system) = and play that way. Not sure it would ever happen, but I personally would love to see Eto’o (or someone of similar quality) finishing from a crisp Cesc pass, as well as another redwood holding up the back four. Senderos doesn’t count. I think, after all of this, my big point is, we need to win something big this year to prove we can play with the big boys and to attract more big boys. Undefeated over a domestic campaign a few years ago is cute and all, but we need some success in Europe this year. Those few Champions League games mean so much. Milan is the only club to not win at home yet this camapign in domestic play amongst all the “big four” leagues which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Derby has won at home, but not Milan. Despite the buoyancy of Kaka, we can take this tie. I like the look of our steel in the Champions League this year, at least in games that count, but would like our next year outlook a lot more, domestic or otherwise, if we could eclipse the resting home which is Milan. Oh man I’ve been rambling Arsenal style. Flittering passes across the midfield. Oh well.

    PS Here’s to three at Goodison, with Flam popping in a winner, and Jens can fuck off back to Germany.

  3. jammathon

    CJones, while I may not agree with you on some points…man. That’s comment of the year on any blog, heh. Full marks for the effort.