Archive for October, 2005

Black Cats Blown Away By Young Guns

17 comments October 26th, 2005

Despite the plea of Thierry Henry that, “You don’t have a lot of players who arrive at 17 and are successful instantly”, our youngsters managed pretty well last night, comprehensively crushing Sunderland by three goals to nil.

After a tense first half, Emmanuel Eboue opened the scoring with a thunderous 25 yard drive. Mick McCarthy, for one, had plenty to say about the Ivorian’s performance:

“If they can let Justin Hoyte come to us on loan, then it shows what quality they have in the reserves.
The full-back Eboue rattled a goal in, and he is younger than Hoytey.
Andy Welsh has never had a kick against him and he has caused problems to everyone he’s faced this season. That tells you the strength in depth they have.”

Personally, I think Eboue has loads of potential, and it was certainly a memorable way to get his first goal for the club.

With an hour on the clock, the goal seemed to give the younger players confidence, and on the 67th minute they doubled their lead. Artuto Lupoli was brought down inside the box, and Robin van Persie showed Thierry and Robert what they ought to do next time, smashing the ball high into the top corner.

In the 87th minute, Swede Seb Larsson slid the dutchman in for a simplistic second; Arsenal’s third, on what for many of the younger players in the squad was a very good night indeed.

Vela to sign?/Cole to go?/Sunderland team news?

8 comments October 25th, 2005

Yes, Sunderland team news.

It’s the league cup after all, that competition full of thrills, spills, and 17 year olds.

Our squad has been announced as follows:

Alexandre SONG
Pascal CYGAN
Emmanuel EBOUE
Sebastian LARSSON
Patrick CREGG
Fabrice MUAMBA
Anthony STOKES

The expected mixture of experience and unknowns. It’s a big night for players like Quincy, Eboue and Song: those who are just on the fringes of the first team. It’s also nice to see Sol Campbell making his return to lend some experience to the line-up. My tip? If Nicklas Bendtner makes it on, most likely as a sub, I’m sure he’ll impress you. Strong, skillful, and with a goalscoring touch, he reminds me of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. There’s mo-one like him at Arsenal.

17-year-old Mexican playmaker Carlos Vela, valued at around £2.5m, is spending the week on trial at London Colney. He was a guest at the Man City game at the weekend, and was doubtless impressed by our penalty taking expertise. Word is, he’s quite the talent.

And finally, Roberto Carlos has said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Ashley Cole replace him at Real Madrid next season. The thunder-thighed full-back said, “The club has to look at other players because every position needs cover and Cole is a very good player”.

After last summer’s controversy, I don’t think anyone would be too surprised to see him go if the offer was upwards of £15m. Personally though, I’d like him to stay and try and resolve his differences.

He’s the best left-back in the world. Gael Clichy isn’t. Simple.

Henry/Pires Inches from Genius

9 comments October 23rd, 2005

Yes, it was a stupid thing to try at just 1-0 up. Yes, it was appallingly executed. But if the trick attempted by Robert Pires and Thierry Henry had come off yesterday, then we would all be lauding it as one of the great goals.

As it happened however, it just looked plain ridiculous.

But hey, it was lucky escape. We still won. Pires had, fortunately, not made a complete idiot of himself on the first penalty, smashing it high into the roof of the net.

Of the second effort, Henry said, “I take the blame because it was my idea, I want to apologise and from now on I will take all the penalties – But what I want to say is that I won’t take the blame for Robert’s leg going numb!”

Right then.

Arsene claimed that, “Robert was uncertain and scared to miss the penalty”, and that is why he passed.

Arsene was lying.

Oh well: 3 points ahead of a resurgent Spurs next weekend. Not bad.

Reyes Rib Relief

6 comments October 20th, 2005

Jose Antonio Reyes has not fractured his rib but has suffered bruising that makes him doubtful for the visit of Manchester City on Saturday,” confirmed Arsenal’s official website.

That’s not so bad, is it. Doubtful for Saturday when we feared it could be as long as three weeks.

The idea of having an in-form Reyes and returning Henry in tandem is mouth-watering.

Ian WrightWrightWright has spoken of his admiration for Henry’s record-breaking antics, saying, “He deserves it, he is a fantastic player. He has won everything, apart from the Champions League, which I am praying he can do”. Nice to hear.

And finally, the hugely reliable SportingLife would have it that we’re interested in partnering Henry with young Spaniard Fernando Torres.

That’d be nice.

Titi Races Back to Claim Record

2 comments October 19th, 2005

On yet another surprisingly successful European night, Thierry Henry returned to claim Arsenal’s all-time goalscoring record.

The magic moment came in the 74th minute, when he latched onto a Robert Pires pass to slot home Arsenal’s 2nd of the evening, and his 186th goal for the club.

On a night on which Arsene Wenger expected him to play for half an hour at most, Henry was forced into action after just 15 minutes; Jose Reyes going off with a broken rib.

Within 6 minutes he had given the Gunners the lead, controlling a long ball on his heel before sending a shot swerving into the far corner off the outside of his right boot. It was a stunning goal – the sort that only he is capable of. Without him we have lacked a cutting edge. In one split second, he showed exactly why. If ever a goal was worthy of equalling the record, it was this one.

After that we shut up shop. Toure and Cygan were dominant, and whilst Clichy’s inexperience was evident, Gilberto and Flamini gave him sufficient protection to survive.

We came out for the 2nd half in an unfamiliar 4-5-1 formation, with Van Persie and Fabregas operating on the wings, and Pires floating behind an understandably immobile Henry.

We lacked some of our usual fluidity, but as the game wore on we kept the ball better and better, eventually resulting in that fantastic moment for Thierry, the team, and the club as a whole.

2-0 it was, and a turning point it could well be. The return of King Henry will give everyone around Highbury a lift. The ovation he’ll recieve on Saturday could carry the team to what would be a highly significant victory over Man City.

Here’s hoping.

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