Archive for September 19th, 2007

Tonight’s Key Clash: Senderos vs Freddie Kanoute

Add comment September 19th, 2007

With noises coming out of the camp about the possibility of resting Gilberto (a decision that would flummox me) and the return of Philippe Senderos from suspension, it seems certain that the Swiss centre-half will start alongside Kolo Toure tonight.  That could place him up against Malian former-Spurs striker Freddie Kanoute, and that could mean trouble.

At Spurs, Kanoute’s talent was never in doubt, but his application and suitability for the Premiership certainly were.  Despite possessing an impressive combination of pace, power and technique, he was never able to impose himself in the league, and his move to Spain was hardly mourned by the Spurs fans.

At Sevilla, however, he has been a revelation.  Juande Ramos specialises in getting the best out of players, and he’s turned Kanoute into a fearsome goalscorer as well as a pivotal player that can bring Sevilla’s exciting midfield into the game.

Kanoute’s height, strength, and ability in the air might remind Senderos of his most feared opponent: Didier Drogba.  Phil has never conquered the Ivorian, and will be hoping for more success against another effective exponent of classic centre-forward play.  If Kanoute is able to bring the ball under control with the same frequency that  Dimitar Berbatov was at the weekend, we’ll be punished by the fact that he’ll be laying it off to midfielders far superior to those of Spurs.

Ahead of the Sevilla game, Arsene has been discussing the decision to let his own centre-forward, Thierry Henry, go:

“I knew I took a gamble by losing Thierry – but you cannot keep (players like Emmanuel) Adebayor (out). At his age you have to let him play.”

Although at the moment Wenger’s decision to go with his youthful squad looks vindicated (Juande Ramos certainly thinks so), he’s right to point out that it’s still early days.  Tonight will provide arguably our sternest test so far.  Sevilla will come to attack us and score goals, and of course we’ll look to get forward at every opportunity too.  The space in the game could suit Cesc Fabregas, who the manager has compared favourably to Michel Platini.

On paper, this is probably the most mouthwatering tie of the entire Champions League draw – for a tonne of juicy facts and stats, click here.  I’m sure it will be a whole lot more enjoyable if we can take three points aswell as entertain.

Brief takeovery things: 80 or so shares were traded this morning.  You can follow the latest here.  Arsene is keen to point out that matters off the pitch will not interfere with the team.  “You are here in London Colney,” he told journalists. “You can look around and see no-one interfering. We are focused on the game and preparing for the game. That’s all we need.”

Finally, commiserations to Ashley Cole, whose Chelsea side failed to beat the mighty Rosenborg at home last night, in front of a very patchy crowd.  Still, at least he’s popular there…

 Chelsea bully Cuntley


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