Archive for November 4th, 2009

The calm after the storm

Add comment November 4th, 2009

It’s been a mad seven days.  After the North London Derby and the launch of TwoHalves, I then had just a couple of days to finish another non-football related work project.  Thankfully, it’s now all done, and the only price I’ve paid is my health – I’m lying in bed, feverish and somewhat grumpy.

The derby itself was a fantastic day for Arsenal fans.  There’s no point me writing up the game now – you’ve all digested it elsewhere.  My broad thought about the match was that we encountered a Spurs team without several of their best players – Modric, Lennon and Defoe – and whose threat was nullified by the selection of Peter Crouch, which encouraged them to play an ineffective long ball game.  Vermaelen and Gallas were both outstanding and made sure that Crouch’s impact was minimal. 

That said, we were comfortably the better side and kept up our fantastic record in derby games.  With Liverpool and City stuttering, there’s just the slightest sense of a breakaway by Arsenal, Chelsea and United.  Whatever you might feel about the latter two, we’re keeping fairly illustrious company, and so can be pleased with our start to the league campaign.

As I mentioned, Saturday also saw the birth of TwoHalves, and whilst the day itself was fairly hectic it was also incredibly rewarding.  Following the link will furnish you with a pdf printout of the paper or, should you wish, contact details to get your own sent out by post.

Since I last saw you there’s been some unfortunate injury news: Nicklas Bendtner could miss a month, while Gael Clichy is expected to be out for at least that if not longer with another back injury.

Perhaps surprisingly, I consider the loss of Bendtner to be the bigger blow.  Whilst Kieran Gibbs represents a natural replacement for Clichy, we do not have another forward with the physical presence of Bendtner.  Deploying him on the flank gives us an early out-ball as well as a threat at set pieces.  That said, we still have plenty of options for that position, even with Theo Walcott out: perhaps one of Eduardo, Eboue, Vela or even Wilshere will take the opportunity to shine.

Tonight we face AZ Alkmaar in the Champions League.  Doubtless Ronald Koeman will set out to frustrate us again, but I suspect we may have too much for the Dutch champions.  We should have beaten them in the away tie, and will be keen to set things right tonight.  I fancy Eduardo to start and score.

It’s nice to be back on the blog.  It’s going to be busy here over the next few weeks.  I can’t wait.

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