Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eboue comes of age

By 1970’s Gooner

Now don’t tell me that Fabregas is tired because he didn’t have a pre season! His performance at Bolton was outstanding.

There are a lot of Arsenal fans who take everything that a certain blogger, who once wrote a very average book about “the professor”, dreams up as a fact of life.

Fabregas’s below par performance in Kiev was thus explained and accepted by a lot of Arsenal fans.

But there are a lot of other players that played in the final stages of the Euro who had a shortened pre season. Like Chelsea’s Deco and Bosingua as well as Liverpool’s Alonso for instance; and they do not seem to me to be suffering from fatigue.

My reasoning for Fabregas’s below par performance in Kiev had more to do with the tactics and formation adopted which demanded that he played out of his normal position further up field. This left very little space to weave his magic.

Against Bolton at the Reebok Fabregas was reinstated in the centre of midfield where he belongs and he did indeed weave his magic.

Surprisingly Bolton left spaces open in the midfield areas in the first half by not pressing or marking very tight. This allowed Fabregas to run the show and once you do that the result is almost inevitable!

He was also very ably supported by Song. I think he will be the anchor in midfield now.

The trouble for Wenger will be what to do with Denilson who had another fine game again scoring his second goal of the season. Maybe Nasri will have to stay on the bench for a while when he gets back to fitness.

But the real revelation this season has to be Eboue. He has been putting some very fine performances and the main reason is that he is beginning to use his head.

Gone are the displays where he would run like a headless chicken into cul de sacs and then more often than not give the ball away. Now he is much more patient when on the ball, looks up to see what’s on and invariably picks the right pass.

He has the pace and defensive skills which when complimented with some nous create the ingredients for a very good wide midfielder. Let’s hope he keeps up the quality of his performances.

The victory at Bolton is a fantastic tonic for everyone’s confidence including the players themselves.

It was obtained by playing proper Arsenal type football which was complimented with resilience and stout defending when Bolton pressed very tight in the midfield areas in the second half not allowing the Arsenal players too much time on the ball.

They started bombarding the Arsenal goal with high direct balls which were however dealt with adequately. Unfortunately Arsenal’s defense did not have the same level of concentration in the first half where Kevin Davies rose above Kolo Toure to head home.

Nevertheless the pressure in the second half was soaked up and once Bolton had run out of steam Arsenal struck again.

Walcott’s pace was too much for them and his sweet diagonal pass to Adebayor allowed him to find Denilson in the far post who coolly slotted it into the net beyond the despairing Jaaskelainen.

Liverpool’s insistence in bombarding the Stoke defence with high balls was like feeding fodder to cattle.

These are the kind of balls that are usually played in the Championship, more like it was in the 70s when I used to watch Arsenal at Highbury. And Stoke’s defenders are used to dealing with this type of football.

It was a good result for Arsenal as was the draw between Chelsea and Manchester United which keeps them below us in the League table.


Anonymous said...

Agreed, Eboue is a much improved player this season and if he continues like this he will be in the first eleven every week. I take everything back that I said about him last season!

Anonymous said...

You're determined to be 'wrong and strong' in your views aren't you? Eboue is much improved because this is his second season in midfield and he is starting to come to grips with his new role. Cesc was not 'outstanding' although he played well as did the rest of the team. I also object to your view that people who think Cesc might be suffering from lack of a pre-season are people who have swallowed Piles' bullshit whole. Firstly I do not read that racists' sad ravings, so my views are not influenced by any garbage he might spew. Secondly, Arsenal's fluency is all about partnerships, which flourish as a result of training ground practice, so I'm not surprised that Cesc and Denilson are having to develop that during matches as opposed to on the training ground, which has been curtailed by the former's late return and early season injury, quickly followed by the team being on the road with limited opportunities to practice together.

Anonymous said...

I think Eboue should continue to play on the left. Playing there yesterday was like watching Ljungberg of old on the opposite wing with lung-busting runs after cutting inside. Also with Walcott playing on the right we would be much more direct and able to break like the Invincible from one end of the pitch to the other in seconds.

Michael said...

How could Fab be fatigued from the Euros when he only started one game, which he never completed and only made cameo performances in the other three games?

The other Arsenal players have played more meaningful minutes than Fab and seem to be handling it OK up til now. Fab is out of sorts because he hasn't had the time to train properly with the team due to the Euros.

Anonymous said...

agreed eboue is our new leader!
on cesc i did hear that he came back from the euro's feeling a bit down,suprisingly seen as his lot won it,but cesc will be back to his top service soon!

HackneyGooner said...

Eboue played well because he played on the left. He always gets into good scoring positions but his shooting is awful coming in from the right - he always seems to snatch at his shots and drag the ball wide of the left post. On Sat, when he was cutting inside, he always looked like he could get a goal as his shooting angle looked more natural. Its a good option for us and still plenty on big guns to come back - we didnt buy in the close-transfer...thats because Wenger Knows Best!

Anonymous said...

Another cheap dig at Myles... thing is - he's not bothered - he doesn't bother reading crap like this. If you don't like ANR - don't read it, and keep your views to yourself. Your sniping is very undigified. Myles has alot of fans, he doesn't need your approval..

Ak said...

Eboue won the penalty against newcastle, scored against bolton. So technically he has improved his scoring ability. What we need is a good centreback, a no nonsense player who is a beast! Toure and Gallas are freakin chickens, they care too much bout their looks than anything else.

Anonymous said...

denilson and song have done well so far this season,den has had 1 or 2 slightly dodge displays and we need to see if song can carry on his high performances but apart from that it has been good start to the season.i stil beleive a more experienced central midfielder would help though. as for eboue he does seem a changed man and as for walcott he has finally relised with a bit of confidence he can be what he wants to be. that hatrick against croatia could end up being more of a benefit to us than england the way he has played just feels good knowing we have nasri comming back next week and his start to the season has been one of a world class player. and with rosicky and eduardo who are great players to be fit by the end of this year aswel as vela and bendter who is also maturing this season it could well be a better year than we thought

Anonymous said...

I think to adapt as a midfielder from a full back needs some period. It was not that Eboue was useless last year, but he was adapting. Now, he feels more comfortable.

Anonymous said...

Eboue for captain!!

Anonymous said...

ahhh that miles wrong hand-palmer... Not sure why he's still being read... could eboue be the new ray palour?

Philippe Ralphs said...

I was thinkin when i was watching the game, who is this player, he looks like a totally different player who isn't afraid to just run at the full backs. Also i can see him getting a lot more goals this season, i think his shooting has much improved from earlier in the season. Wenger as done it agai, he has brought at the best in an player who was low on confdence from his own fans getting annoyed with him, but good luck to the lad and hope his form continues.

Goonerman said...

Myles blog:

My friend who works at the daily mail, says this, I believe him, he bums me.

Meaningless, irrelevant comment in bold type with no further eloboration.

In september 2005 arsenal played a football match, someone scored. we went to fifth in the league. Then we played another game. We scored a good goal. Then I had a wank.

this is an extract from the professor which I wrote and updated and is for sale for £5.99.

Anonymous said...


PS Boo Adebarndoor

Begeegs said...

Goonerman - you forgot

'I went to a concert and saw JimmyJoeBobJimBob. I used to know Jimmy when I was a music journalist and we hung out on Carnaby St in the 70's. It was quite a different era.'

Most of the time, his blogs do make me laugh because whatever he predicts, you can bank that the opposite will happen.

Anonymous said...

For those of you saying Cesc only started one game, he actually started two, the final group game and the final itself. He came on as a substitute in every match (usually at half-time but as early as the 30th minute when Villa got injured in the semi-final against Russia). He played almost as many minutes as Xavi.

On a side note, why did Mineiro train with us and now he's going to Chelski?

Anonymous said...

If you want a laugh at Myles take a look at The Real ANR on Arseblog. It's hilarious.

jcb said...

What gets me about Myles is that whatver crap he writes gets enough hits to make it into the top stories of NeasNow!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's time to resist the pontificated self-absorbed ramblings that try to posture as analysis, like "A friend of mine said, I have... just got back from; having had a beer, my son and I” (who gives a rat’s arse?), and leave his blog to whether we know if he farts in his house and know one listens or reads, will it be a fart.
I never bought his or anyone’s recriminating, and often abusive take on Eboue, whom I remember from his first year of taking over at right back, and how well he performed in a number of crucial games in our champions league run, shutting down, for example, Robinho et al, and in the following year, Ronaldo in both league games. People also tend to forget a number of fantastic balls that he delivered to, among others, Henry. That he had skill was beyond doubt; the issue was could he take a role on persistently, and if he did, would he be allowed to? People forget he was out injured or a long time, and, was asked to play a utility role on a number of occasions, having been moved from right back to various roles in midfield. Wenger does this a lot; some adapt quickly, pothers need time. We are seeing the fruits of Wenger’s patience with Eboue, and as usual, while he has always been wrong about some people, he knows, and has seen in ways that none of us have every day on the training pitch, of what Eboue is about and is capable of. We should also be reminded that Eboue is one of the most popular players among his mates, and that his work rate has been second to none.

I also think the point about Cesc from “anonymous” is well taken. He did play well, but not up to the high standards we expect of him; and much of that has to do anticipating and flowing with those (or those who substitute them) over time. That said, Cesc often finds his own partners. The real point, however is, as with Denilsion, like Eboue, when things go badly, we want an easy scapegoat, which for most is the inherent deficiencies of the player, and the limitations of the manager for not seeing them. Wenger is not God, he makes mistakes, but most of the time he sees in players things in embryo as well as fully formed that we do not see. See, for example, how people were getting on Bentdner recently? It’s time to chill out sometimes, even when we don’t play well.

Anonymous said...

Im not as easily pleased as some. 3-1 against Gary Megsons Bolton is good but nothing to wank over. Lets all stay came till November and the tough games. Last season Chelski and Manure players were publicly quoted as saying they knew we wouldnt last the distance in the title race so lets calm down and prove them wrong. Why hate on ANR coz he gets hits thats sad just dont read it. Blogs are just OPINIONS why does everyone get twisted knickers we all support the same team lately you wouldnt think so damn.

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