Sep 16

Quality in Abundance

Last night’s 6-0 drubbing of Portuguese side Braga was Arsene’s proteges at their very best. Of course, many pundits have been quick to nullify Arsenal’s performance and classify it as a case of weak opposition, but the adage that there are no weak teams in this stage of the Champions League nevertheless rings true. It would be hard to pick out a single player who had an off-game, and the team as a whole showed great connection and off-the-ball movement. The seasoned approach would be to sound the alarm that we’ve been here before and done that, meaning thrashed a team in the early stages of the competition, but the same seasoned Gooners will know how quickly our luck can change, and that one should enjoy the positive results while they last.

My immediate, blog-worthy thought, if you will, came in the 40th minute after 3 goals had been scored. At that point, I knew there would be no heart-stopping finishes, no nail-biting attempts at willing the ball into the net. Instead, I was excited to have the chance not to be anxious about the result, but instead to have the opportunity to watch a real display of incisive football. Thankfully, the team didn’t fail to entertain us.

All the rags are currently lauding Cesc for his performance, and rightly so. Therefore, I’ll only say well done Captain, it’s great to have you back and in this form. Rather, two things caught my eye. Firstly, Arshavin seemed to have a hunger for the ball back. Whether he simply relishes European nights, or sensed blood, he nevertheless put in a performance that was more effective and committed than what has come to be the norm. He roamed from left to right, always trying to link between Cesc and Chamakh. On his day, he is a very efficient passer and direct dribbler. Last Saturday’s game aside, he also has an unusual calmness in front of goal for a non-striking player. Here’s hoping he’s finally re-discovered his best and will go from strength to strength.

Secondly, I’m a bit surprised at how much Wilshere has featured this season. I originally assumed that he’d get a few games as long as Cesc was rested, and would quickly be replaced by Nasri and Rosicky, but instead I almost expect to see him every time the team sheets are announced. He’s been very considerate with his passing and has always been available. Bloggers and columnists can speculate about Cesc’s possible departure next summer as being a reason for Wilshere’s increased responsibility, but speculation is all it is. I am simply delighted to see him getting important game time with the first team. Also, in case people start doubting his goal-scoring record thus far, I firmly believe playing deep is all part of his education. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him further up the field, in the Fabregas role, in a few years. Cesc himself wasn’t given an advanced role until the last few recent seasons. Nevertheless, his genius back-heeled assist to Chamakh shows he still knows his way around the penalty box.

Lastly, and I know this is more than 2 points, but I can’t help but mention Chamakh and Vela. I thought the former be a rough-around-the-edges option in place of van Persie if needed. I was wrong. He is much classier and is much calmer in front of goal than I was expecting. He had a very well taken goal last night, and it’s rather comforting to think he’ll only get better as he gets more adjusted. Vela also had a terrific goal-scoring cameo, something that is starting to become a recurring theme. It’s comforting to know that behind van Persie, behind Chamakh, and behind Bendtner (eventually), there is still quality waiting to be used. He didn’t have the best of seasons last term, especially the latter half, but increased playing time seems to be doing a trick. He looks stronger, more confident, and simply happy to be playing. Well done to him.

This weekend’s match-up with Sunderland will be another test for our squad, but if they can carry on their form, 3 points in the bag shouldn’t be too much to ask for. They look hungry, fit, and on the same wavelength. That’s a scary proposition for any team to match.

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15 Responses to “Quality in Abundance”

  1. Seoirsemac says:

    Yeah it’s looking good so far!

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  2. Amaan says:

    Ramsey injury has pushed Wilshere in the pecking order, had Ramsey leg not been snapped in 2 by a neanderthal, We would have been speaking about Ramsey now.
    Taking nothing away from Jack, he has been fantastic so far and graabeed this opportunity with both hands.

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  3. DW says:

    Great post and absolutely fanstatic showing for the team. I think Jack will be given a long run in the team. AW has done it before with players he thinks can step up eg, Cesc, Theo, Denilson.

    It will be interesting to see what AW will do when Rambo returns. I still Rambo is better player than Jack offensively and Defensively. However, we don’t know how long he will need to get back to his best when he returns.

    I am very optimistic for the rest of the season. We have strenght in number’s.

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  4. The Left Hand Of HENRY says:

    first team at the mo should be:
    ———-ali
    sagna-squeeky-kos-gibbs
    —wilshere-cesc-song
    nasri-cahmakh-vela

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  5. pastaface says:

    Arshavin is an enigma, he places really poor passes that loses the ball, but then is involved with 2 or more goals!!!
    But he is different last few games, he is so hungry and his work rate is immense.

    Still a long way to go, but looking good.

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  6. Daymee says:

    The biggest test this season will be our travels. That is where I see the pitfalls. Away games. That’s the answer, I reckon. It’s not been obviously a problem this season but last season, it was easy to see that we played with less conviction away from home.

    Secondly, injuries.

    No one knows how this will pan out but will go a long way in deciding what we achieve this time. In defence, I think I’d like to see Koscielny and Squill continue and develop a partnership; so that we can have a planB now early on in the season, incase an ugly injury rears its head at the business end of the season. This is the time to build for later on.

    Finally, I think Wilshere should for now be starting alongside Cesc and Song. Vermaelen, I think should also get some rest now. I’d personally keep the Verminator out and get the 2 new CB to carry on. It only makes the squad stronger. Arsenal need to make use of Chamakh more. This guy is the best header of the ball in Europe bar NONE. Clichy and Sagna’s crosses needs improving and I like the threat of Squillaci coming into the opposition box during a corner kick. Keep the squad fresh, rotate rotate, rotate. What you don’t want is your key players getting tired before the big moments come. RVP out now is surely a blessing because when he comes back, I’d suggest we return to 4-4-2

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  7. Arsenalgunner27 says:

    Yes, great blog and I agree. Particularly with the Vela part, he is starting to become very consistent, and its weird because he’s never played like this before, the juggling at Blackpool just shocked me, it was almost like ‘….Who taught him that?!!” I am convinced this is the season for Arsenal but it will be extremely frustrating if we did well this season, well enough to lift a trophy and then have the man of the moment, Fabregas, leave for Barcelona…its almost like we’ve been waiting for a slice of the cake for so long and now that we finally have it, we still can’t eat it.

    but we’ll see what happens, it might not be true but based on Wilshere has said I’m quite sure it might be, besides, I think Wenger really wants to bring in Gourcuff as a replacement but I would have thought that is something he would have done already so that he is ready to take over once Fabby leaves…unless Wilshere takes up this role, but obviously you can never know as I never thought Vela could become the player he has, or Walcott.

    But we have a promising team now and lets enjoy it…as it lasts in the worst case scenario.

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  8. blueek says:

    how come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the referee is against us!!!

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  9. Kevin says:

    The referee should be ashamed of himself.

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  10. John R says:

    What was the refs reason for adding the extra 30 seconds. We should have finished the game off, but the ref helped too

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  11. ole says:

    I saw Phil Dowd drinking tequila with S Bruce before the game, that fat f… is a joke. Terrible decisions throught the game. Do they not test refs for alcohol before the games. I can not come drunk to work, but Phil Dowd can obviousley. I hope teams get red card for these challanges against arsenal, than every oposision will finsish the game with -3 players. Phil Dowd is an all time clown.

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  12. Marty Price says:

    WTF were they thinking letting Rosicky take that kick? He is magic in every way but one…HE CANNOT FINISH! Who the hell wudda thought that anyone but him would spsray that kick over the top of the goal. They played well ten men down, Chamakh is impressive, hope FAb gets back soon, but nevef mind the 30 extra seconds….Tomas say to urself I will let Young Jack or anyone take the kick!

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  13. poppy says:

    good result for the mighty arsenal. if we can improve on all our results from last year we will win the thing for sure.

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  14. Arsenalgunner27 says:

    @poppy: yes, I agree, however, based on last years results (so far) we have actually gone over what we have earnt

    This Years Results | Last Years Results
    (Ainfield) Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal(Points-1)| Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (Points-3)

    (Emirates) Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool(Points-3)| Arsenal 3-1 Birmingham (Points-3)

    (Ewood) Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal(Points-3)| Blackburn 2-1 Arsenal (Points-0)

    (Emirates) Arsenal 4-1 Bolton (Points-3) | Arsenal 4-2 Bolton (Points-3)

    (S.O.L) Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal (Points-1) | Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal (Points-0)

    Total Points So Far This year [11 Points] Last Year [9 Points]

    So overall, we are just performing better…but whether that will save us, who knows, Chelsea look destructive and I don’t what can happen to knock them off form, hopefully a shock result to Newcastle or something. and if you are wondering about the Birmingham thing, thats because they were the first Promoted Championship team we played at home last year as Blackpool was for us this year

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  15. Highbury4L says:

    and to add to that we dropped 33 points in total in the league last year…and we have already dropped 4…plus, chelsea had their hiccups too where as this year as you have said we could be in trouble.

    If you base that on our 33 points last year…not bad, but if you base it on Chelsea only lost 23, so basically, we only have 19 points left to drop

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