Archive for February 5th, 2006

New Boys Add Steel In 2-0 Win

328 comments February 5th, 2006

An Arsenal team featuring seven players aged 21 or under scrapped to a 2-0 win at St. Andrews yesterday, with a new-look Arsenal side potentially emerging.

This season has been so full of stops and starts that I’m slightly unwilling to pronounce this as yet another corner turned, but it certainly looked promising.

The main difference appared to come from our two new signings. Emmanuel Adebayor made his debut, and his size and strength up-front provided a fulcrum for a team who were winning just their third away match of the season.

The lanky African’s contribution was marked by his 21st minute headed goal – the sort of scrappy effort we’ve often been criticised for failing to convert. A Thierry Henry flick played in Abou Diaby, whose cross-shot rebounded into the air for Adebayor to nod home.

Diaby himself was sensational. His power and technique, combined with his loping gait have lead to understandable comparisons with Patrick Vieira. But Diaby is his own player – he’s less of a holding midfielder, and more of a counter-attacking powerhouse. The physicality we have added to the squad between he and Adebayor will be a massive help to us on our travels.

It was another teenage midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, who slid in a through-ball which Thierry Henry raced onto for his 200th goal for the club, and the three points were in the bag. Congratulations Thierry – nice touch doing it on the ground where you also grabbed your 100th.

Special mention must go to our defence. Marshalled by the superb Jens Lehmann, a back four with an average age of 20 managed to keep out the highly physical pairing of Chris Sutton and Emile Heskey, with Heskey amusingly sent off late on.

The defence will be augmented when Sol Campbell returns to training on Monday. Let’s hope we can all put the events of the past week behind us.

Nice, winning away from home. I’d almost forgotten…

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