Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, March 05, 2007

Should Thiery play against PSV?

First a few observations on the Reading game.

Again AW got it wrong on the substitute changes

Mistake number 1. To take out Hleb amd put Senderos in unbalanced the team.
Mistake Number 2. It gave a sign to the opposition to come at Arsenal.
Mistake number 3. The substitution was made when Arsenal was defending a corner! Everyone knows you never make a substitution in such a situation.

And then two players, Senderos and Silva jumped together for the corner thus impeding each other. This smells of disorganisation on the bench. You should send a player on with instructions on where to play and what to do to combat the situation he will immediately face when he comes on the pitch.

Cesc is getting better and better

He is now adding the long range shot in his armoury and when he learrns to add a swerve when shooting, as Lapmard does, then he will start scoring from outside the box. Especially if he also shoots low so that he can benefit from any possible deflections. All his goals have come from inside the box so far.

Baptista needs to learn to pass through opponents rather than sideways.

He is an untypical Brazilian in that he does not possess so much skill as you would expect from a player brought up in Sao Paolo. Or he has not shown it yet! He is all muscle and bustle. But he has still to convince on his Arsenal credentials. There were a few occasions against Reading when Lumberg made those runs behind the defence that needed that incisive type of pass that Arsenal are good at but he could not see it. Will AW sign him? He has to improve a lot for this to happen. On the other hand AW was ready to sign him before Baptista opted for Real Madrid so he must have seen something in him and I hope it was not just his muscle.

Should Thiery play against PSV?

This is a crunch game for the Arsenal. They are out of the FA cup, the title race and lost the Carling Cup final. If they exit the CL then they will have nothing to show for their endevours. The good thing is that the protagonists of Cardiff are of course eligible to play. But PSV are a very cunny team in that they sit back and try to get at you on the break and even then they do not commit many players. They do not even have to score now that they are one nil up! Throw in a very capable 6ft 5 goalkeeper and you have the makings of a very frustrating night for all Arsenal supporters.

How can Arsenal progress?

Arsenal will have to combine srtength and agility in defence (a goal conceded will probably prove too much) and maintain a very high tempo from the off. The high tempo is crucial to the way AW will want his team to play because if you give the opponents time to take defensive positions then a packed defence is likely to frustrate Arsenal.

Under this scenario should TH start? To tell the truth in the games he has played recently he has been out of sorts and has, if anything, been hindering the fast pace the team try to play. This is especially true since most of Arsenal's play usually goes through him.I think if he is feeling an injury he is best coming off the bench rather than starting.

An important player for the CL game will be Ebue because of his thrusting runs down the right hand side. If he is fit and plays he may prove crucial.