Posts Tagged ‘Nicklas Bendtner’

1) Congratulations to Arsenal for a fantastic performance and a brilliant comeback. They players played really well and they deserved their victory.

2) Jack Wilshere – 19 years old and playing some of the best football I’ve seen. He was absolutely fantastic last night. He was composed, calm, showed quick feet and good movement, released the ball at all the right times. Ran with the ball when required and generally held things together in midfield. Song was doing the dirty work, but his yellow card early on meant he was treading a really fine line. Wilshere was picking pass after pass. He was instrumental in controlling the speed of the game during times when Arsenal had large spells of possession.

3) Its funny how the English press went on about Theo Walcott and how the entire Barcelona defence was pissing their pants because they had to face him. He was largely ineffective. He had some good moments early on, particularly when he danced around the Barca defenders just outside the box (atleast, that’s what I think he was doing), then squaring the ball for Fabregas who looped it to Van Persie. This was Arsenal’s first chance of the night and RVP was on target, but Valdez made a save.

But coming back to Walcott, he was quiet throughout most of the game otherwise. One other moment comes to mind was when he played in Fabregas who then crossed to RVP but Abidal managed to head out. I can’t remember him doing too much. He wasn’t using the full space of the pitch. He needed to go out wide, but he was coming in. He was eventually substituted by Wenger for Bendtner, which was surprising at the time, but in retrospect it looks like a really good change.

4) Laurent Koscielny had a cracker of a game yesterday. His reading of the game last night was top class and he spotted some of Messi’s runs before Messi himself perhaps. This is a really good signing by Arsene Wenger and it’ll be interesting to see who his Center Back pairing will be when Vermaelen is back from injury. One thing is for sure though, it won’t be Squillaci. Back to Koscielny, I thought he was really in command of the defence yesterday. I actually thought the entire Arsenal defence looked at ease for large parts of the game. For some time between 20-40 minutes, Barca were playing some really good football, keeping the ball, making the English team run around. But they were able to soak up most of the pressure and defended like a unit.

Perhaps its because they had Szczesny in goal who according the Djourou is always shouting instructions and takes charge of his defence really well.

5) Lionel Messi had a shocking game last night, by his own ridiculously high standards of course. He was wasteful in front of goal and seemed to be lacking drive and desire in the second half of the game. Andres Iniesta didn’t stamp his authority on the game either. Nor did Pedro really, who spent most of his time falling over. David Villa looked good and Barcelona’s best chances came when he was on the field, I felt. Perhaps it was a night of substitutes, because David Villa was taken off for Keita, a defensive move, whereas Arsene Wenger made two very astute changes – Arshavin for Song and Bendtner for Walcott.

6) Andrei Arshavin is having a poor season. Despite this, he has the most number of assists for Arsenal this season according to ESPN Soccernet, with 11 assists. He’s also scored 5 goals for Arsenal, including the decisive strike against Barcelona last night, I believe. ¬†Another decisive strike earlier on in the season at Blackburn. A goal and an assist in a 2-2 draw against Wigan and recently pulled Arsenal level against Everton in a game Arsenal went on to win 2-1. What a horrible season he’s having.

Didn't really silence the crowd last night, made them erupt more like

7) Robin Van Persie was a little off form last night I though. He had everything yesterday, except end product. Of course, he did eventually go on to score, but the point is against Barcelona, you have to take all your chances and make the most of every half chance. His link up play was good, he held up the ball really well, but it was just end product that was missing. A vital requirement when playing as a lone striker. He did eventually score of course. Valdez really has to be questioned though for that goal, it was really dodgy keeping. How on earth can you get beaten at the near post from that angle? Well, ask Valdez. I don’t know if RVP meant to hit there though, it looked like he did, and Arsenal fans will swear on their mothers that he meant it.

8) It was a fantastic victory for Arsenal last night without a doubt, but I still feel that Barcelona are favourites. You’ve got to fancy them having a go at the Camp Nou. Of course, they can’t put out a much stronger side than they did at the Emirates. In fact, Pique is suspended for that game, so its definitely not their strongest side. Regardless, certain things will be different, for example -David Villa won’t be substituted after 60 odd minutes. The crowd at the Camp Nou will also be tremendously important not to mention the referee. Barcelona aren’t out of this tie by any stretch of the imagination, they have an away goal as well, which may prove vital later on. However, Arsenal now have the belief that they can beat Barcelona if they stick to their own tactics and gameplan. There’s no reason they can’t do it again.

 

Arsenal are known to play a beautiful style of football. You can’t deny that they play very attractively, although not with the best results at the most of times. However, now it seems that Wenger has managed to find a mix of flowing football with a hunger to win. Perhaps it is the long trophy drought that has spurred the players on to playing this well.

A 3-0 win at the City of Manchester Stadium is not the easiest to achieve even if you are playing 11 versus 10 as was the case last weekend. Forget that, they seem to be disposing of their opponents in style. 5-1 against Shakhtar in their last Champions League game, 4-0 against Newcastle last night in the Carling Cup. They’ve also won some tricky fixtures – away at Blackburn, away at Man City and also managed to salvage a point away against Liverpool on the opening day of the season thanks to a Reina howler.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter how you get the points, so long as you manage to get them. People were quick to write them off as title contenders after they lost their game against Chelsea. And also some doubts arose after the home defeat to West Brom, but these are just blots on the landscape. I feel Arsenal have the capacity to launch a title challenge this season (barring any horrible injuries to their squad).

Since I mentioned the squad, lets talk a little bit about the players that Arsene Wenger has at his disposal. Heart and soul, Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard is essential to the team and many felt he wouldn’t give his best given what happened during the summer, but he seems to be enjoying his football and going about his business.

Claims he'd love to beat Barca at Wembley

Jack Wilshere is a brilliant player to have in your squad (so long as he doesn’t keep taking tackling lessons from Paul Scholes) and Aaron Ramsey’s return will definitely boost their creative options in the center of the park.

On the right they have Samir Nasri, who was absolutely outstanding against Man City and can also play in the same role Fabregas plays. I think he will have a really good season and his goal scoring contribution will be more than welcomed by the Gunners. They have Andrei Arshavin on the left who in spite of not being in his best form has 5 goals and 6 assists to his name. Funny how his doubters are the same person who were singing praises of the¬†diminutive Russian when he first arrived and after his stunning four against Liverpool. He’s having a bad run of form in my opinion (granted, it has lasted for a while) but once he finds his form, he will definitely be a threat).

Walcott also a threat for Arsenal. The pace that Walcott (once dubbed Wallclock by yours truly) possesses is phenomenal and he always causes opposition teams trouble when he runs at them. He could do with improving his crosses though.

Up front, the return of Nicklas Bendtner is a boost for the Londoners. The acquisition of Maroune Chamakh is fabulous for the team and if Le Grove is to be believed, he’s played 12 games, scored 6 goals, got 4 assists, won 5 penalties and got 4 players sent off for fouls against him. Do not forget that they have this player called Robin Van Persie who’s capable of scoring some really impossible goals. Jay Emmanuel Thomas (lovingly nicknamed JET by Gooners) is also a good option and Wenger has been drooling about him in recent times, although the manager does say he’s one for the future.

Impossible! - RVP goal against Charlton at the Valley 06-07

One position I foresee trouble for them is a strong holding player in the middle. I don’t know what has happened to Song. After he coloured his hair he seems to think that its okay to run with the ball. I think he’ll be a much better player if he just cleaned up in front of the back four. However, the thing is if Song is out, Arsenal don’t really have many options in that position. Denilson is a joke, I remember a certain cunt in a Man United jersey running past him easily last season. Diaby is.. wait, where is Diaby?

The defence isn’t Arsenal’s strongest point, then again it isn’t as bad as it was last season. Koscielny and Squillaci might not be world-class defenders but they’re good. Vermaelen will be back soon. Djourou is just a fill in, but expect the other three to be fighting for starting berths so long as they’re fit.

Those who are going to fuss about Arsenal’s goalkeeping options, well.. lets just say that Almunia isn’t going to be number one after Fabianski’s recent performances. He’s been quite solid to be honest, but then even Almunia went through a similar period and I remember one game in particular where Almunia was stunning – Champions League semi final against United at Old Trafford. Arsenal fans will be hoping this isn’t another false dawn. Szczesny (is this how you spell it?) was fantabulous last night against Newcastle and will definitely do well so long as he is given enough games.

Expect Arsenal to pick up silverware this season. I don’t know what trophy they’re going to win. I don’t think they’ll be able to win the Premiership, they generally tend to lack consistency towards the second half of the season, but I think they will definitely win one of the cup competitions. Having said that, I don’t think I would be very surprised if they win the Premiership this season either..

Let me tell you first off, that as a United fan, I’m relieved! Finally an away win. But we shall get to that in a bit. I’ll just shed light on Saturday’s fixtures first before going into Sunday’s.

Chelsea won against Wolves to keep their position up at the top of the table. Goals came from Malouda and Saloman Kalou who has targeted 20 goals in the season for himself. So that put pressure on the other big teams.

He wants 20 goals

Spurs and Everton played out a 1-1 draw. Spurs looked like they were suffering from the much used cliche – “European hangover”. It will take them time, definitely to get used to playing the Champions League in mid week and the Premiership in the weekend, especially considering they played the European Champions midweek. Van der Vaart scored another goal, although to be fair, it was already on its way to the back of the net. I don’t care, because he’s there in my Fantasy football team!

You know, I wasn’t really sure about Arsene Wenger’s comments about Stoke playing rugby instead of football cause I hadn’t seen the game to which he was referring. However, after last night’s game against United, I think I have to agree. Ferguson was forced to play 4 defenders who at various points of their career have played a Centre Back – John O’Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand and Neville. What puzzles me is why Neville started when Wes Brown was available (he did come on later for Gaz). According to Ferguson, he’s the best center back in England when fit. He must have had his reasons of course.

Hahahaha

Hernandez scored a brilliant header with the back of his head. I have no idea how he managed to arch his back that much to score, but he clearly did, cause he got enough power on the header to take it past Sorenson. Tuncay scored a brilliant goal after Scholes gifted possession to Stoke. Hernandez got his second later on to take United to their first away win of the season.

Brilliance!

Man City got a man sent off almost before the match began. Boyata got sent off for tripping Chamakh after he was played in by Fabregas. I don’t think anybody can say anything about the card – which was definitely deserved.

Arsenal took the lead through Nasri, after a brilliant build up to the first goal. The 1-2 that he received was brilliant and Yaya Toure wasn’t close enough on Arshavin who returned the ball to Nasri. Gareth Barry (England’s defensive hope!) did an equally poor job of marking Nasri as he ran in to receive the pass. The Frenchman kept his cool and put the ball past Jo Hart. Arsenal’s second chance in the game came from the penalty spot but wasn’t converted. Fabregas was tripped by Kompany in the box for reasons best known to the Belgian. Fabregas tried to put the ball in the right corner, but Jo Hart made a superb save after guessing the right way. The penalty was at a good height, but still it was a phenomenal save.

Arsenal seemed to have been playing a different system which works in a parallel dimension. Song kept pushing forward leaving Fabregas in midfield. I have no idea why, but maybe I’m not meant to know because Song got on the score sheet later on. Arshavin chipped a ball from the left to the right to Nasri who gave it to Fabregas who then tried to play in Chamakh with a beautiful weighted pass but the pass was intercepted by Wayne Bridge (second half substitute for Yaya Toure). The interception teed up the ball for Song who obliged with a brilliant finish.

Nasir celebrates after Arsenal's first goal

Nicklas Bendtner, the poster boy of Denmark came on later on in the night and scored his first goal for the season. I’m sure Arsenal fans are delighted to have Barbie back, especially considering his finishing. Although I’m sure they would be more happy to see their Vice Captain – Van Persie returning. Walcott too made an appearance and his contribution was to run around really fast.

My least favourite player was taken off just after half time and Emmanuel Adebayor came on instead. No doubt Man City missed their captain who would’ve just run throughout the game.

Goal deluges across Europe

Real Madrid hammered Racing Santander for 6 in their weekend fixture at the Bernabeu with Cristiano Ronaldo (self proclaimed best player in the Universe) netting four. After a performance like that though, I think he has every right to call himself the best player in the Universe.

I have been a little critical of Angel Di Maria, but I think he played quite well against Racing and I can see him improve under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager looked very relaxed as his side took control in the first half itself with Higuain netting the first, and Ronaldo scoring two. In the second half, within minutes of restart, Ronaldo got his hat trick thanks to a brilliant run by Di Maria. He netted his fourth from the penalty spot a little while later.

Mesut Ozil too got on the score sheet after a brilliant pass from Xabi Alonso split the entire Racing team in half. Ozil for his part, kept cool and provided a brilliant finish to make it 6-0. Sergio Canales came on for Ozil later on and looked very lively. The youngster is definitely a good talent and its only a matter of time before he becomes a brilliant player. Diop got a consolation goal for the visitors but refused to celebrate (for obvious reasons)

In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven absolutely HAMMERED Feyenoord 10-0. Yes you read that correctly. 10-0. Feyenoord are supposed to be one of the better teams in the Dutch League. PSV has been receiving Champions League payments for nearly the past 10 years except last year when they were pipped to the title by Steve McLaren’s FC Twente. Does this mean that PSV are a really powerful team in Europe? Hardly. However in the Netherlands, you better look out for them.