Hleb Elemental as Adebayor Continues to Hurt His Doubters

Fans have called for a dominating performance from Arsenal for a long time, now. The scrutinizing fans go as far to pinpoint the first half against Aston Villa as the last time they saw a comprehensive Arsenal performance – and while yesterday’s match against Fulham might not have taken the breath away as much as that half did, this was certainly a match of total domination.

Adebayor FulhamApart from one Danny Murphy shot and a headed goal deemed offside, this match proved a bumper crop for Arsenal possession and a deluge of chances towards the Fulham goal.

The festivities all got started when Hleb – meandering in midfield – hit a diagonal pass to Rosicky on the left flank, who began to arrow in towards the Fulham defence. The midfielder felt it better to offload to the advancing Clichy, who dragged it to the byline before hitting a great cross to a levitating Adebayor, who’s brilliant jump (and brilliant is standard, in this particular department) made the header both easy and a foregone conclusion.

-{Scoring a goal for this club involves putting in hard yards everywhere, with a mix of being ‘straight-out awesome’…}-

It was near-laughable how identical the second goal was, too. Hleb had gotten the ball stuck under defensive pressure in the right corner, with Adebayor rushing towards him to lend a hand. The ball pinged around between the two players, before a cross was lifted in to be fended away by the Fulham defence. The ball returned to Aliaksandr Hleb, who found Flamini – who lost the ball, but recovered brilliantly with a sweeping tackle-cum-pass – back to Hleb, who crossed again, to find Adebayor…again.

If you have not seen the goals, picture Adebayor’s off the ball running in that goal. It was pure Arsenal – everyone helping out, passing along the ground, and then a great cross finished by a player who was helping out on the right flank the whole time. No van Nistelrooi shenanigans, here. Scoring a goal for this club involves putting in hard yards everywhere, with a mix of being ‘straight-out awesome’, in as much of a Napoleon Dynamite fashion as is possible.

Fulham never got back into the game there, and Rosicky missed a chance to make it 3-0 when Eduardo dribbled brilliantly into the box to square it for the onrushing Czech, who hit the post.

Of course, Rosicky did actually make it 3-0 when Eduardo once again found his way into the box on the left flank, and hit an inviting cross for Rosicky to finish at full, splendid stretch.

The only people complaining of the manner of victory will be sour Spurs fans (and there’s one who’s made his home on the comments board already), but truth be told (with a little bit of fan-bias mixed in), it was a wonderful performance from the players. We have been waiting for a dominating performance since our riding of the magical wave of luck in December, and we got it here.

-{It’s Tottenham next in the Carling Cup, and this result will boy on the team…}-

Player ratings as follows:

  • Almunia – 6.5: Marking goalies can be difficult at times, but Manuel had nothing to do today. 6.5 might seem harsh, but it’s not like he made any mistakes – the same way the boss wont fire you for kicking up your heels when his back is turned.
  • Sagna – 7: Strong in the tackle, and Dempsey had no luck with him. Did what was asked; is just a beacon of stability for this side.
  • Gallas – 7: Composed and strong. No foot put wrong today.
  • Senderos – 7.5: An extra half point to get him noticed. He’s starting to put a string of stable, if unspectacular, performances together, and this can only do his confidence good. A Senderos with confidence is a good Senderos.
  • Clichy – 8: A dynamite left back, and I would take him over Evra or Cole any day. A wonderful cross to set Adebayor loose on the scoreline which we would all like to see a lot more of.
  • Hleb – 9: When he plays well, you get matches like Villa Park, Anfield and Madejski. This was one of those matches – magnets in his boots, a fantastic strategic mind, and awesome linking play. A candidate for player of the season, without speaking too soon.
  • Fabregas – 7: Was involved in some scoring opportunities, and generally had a good game. Definitely needs a goal to re-energize himself, but is getting the basics right at least.
  • Flamini – 8: His recovery tackle to set Hleb up for the cross for the second goal sums up his season. Is playing out of his skin, but the mystery continues as to why ‘Katita’ Flamini won’t put pen to paper on that new contract.
  • Rosicky – 8.5: Is really starting to blossom in this side. Continues to score the ‘icing on the cake’ goals, but so long as he keeps scoring, he’s bound to score the ones that count sooner rather than later. Excellent passing, and a swashbuckling style that can be very easy on the eye.
  • Eduardo – 8: The league goals have really helped him settle, because now he’s actually dangerous running down the left flank. A great cross for Rosicky’s goal, and some very dangerous dribbling and trickery.
  • Adebayor – 8.5: The Mohamed Ali of Arsenal: Floats like a butterfly, Stings like a bee. And boy, does he float. Is unparalleled in his jumping outside of the NBA, and 15 goals must really, really make all his critics wince. This blogger is incredibly satisfied he’s stuck with this particular player.

I myself am also quite chuffed that I predicted a team to the core, without us dropping points. So that little bogey is now kicked up the backside, thank fudge.

It’s Tottenham next in the Carling Cup, and this result will boy on the team, even if it will be mostly players who did not play against Fulham. More on that closer to the match.

In other news, Arsenal have gotten in a little bit of trouble with some Dutch player, and Jens Lehmann is convinced he can still play for Germany’s Euro 08 campaign while staying at Arsenal.

Finally, to those who have mentioned Lassana Diarra’s leaving as ‘hurting Arsenal’, and then say that Flamini has been an essential player to the side this season….’Say What?’ I suppose a side with Hleb, Diarra, Flamini and Rosicky in midfield is a little…Fabregas-less? Or maybe it just doesnt matter that a player who has only shown glimpses of brilliance and is an unsettling presence to the side is still an essential player, irrelevant of what rifts he may be forming within a very united team?

Anyways, more tomorrow – how great doth a win feel, ye followers of the red and white?



Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, English Premier League, Match Reports

8 responses to “Hleb Elemental as Adebayor Continues to Hurt His Doubters

  1. tt

    Good article and I agree comletly regarding Diarra what did he ever do for Arsenal? Fabregas needs to pull himself out of the slump and start playing like he did erlier in the season that will make us compleat again.

  2. LongJohn

    Damn, good blog

  3. JohnDemetriou

    Prediction? The scum will be neck and neck with Spurs till something like the 86th minute, and then tap in a forced, negative goal, ending it 2-1 in their favour.

    You’ll win, but it’ll be an ‘Arsenal’ win.

    How very drole.

  4. jammathon

    Some people have nothing better to do than sit on their rivals blog all day.

    Bitter about something, perhaps?

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  7. G4E

    Great blog. Ade is the man.