Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Arshavin explains why it took so long to score and what Wenger said at half time
By 1970's Gooner
Andrey Arshavin seems to do a lot of his talking through his personal web site. As he explained he was delighted for having provided another assist for Arsenal’s important first goal scored by Robin Van Persie.
“It was a difficult position. To score from there, I needed to hit the top left corner, an easier option was the pass, which resulted in a goal” he said showing how mature a player he is.
Indeed one of the reasons why Wenger brought him to the Emirates was his age, 27, and the experience that goes with it.
His explanation for taking so long to score was that Arsenal in the first half were playing in a slow tempo which allowed Hull to get players behind the ball.
“Our attacks were quite slow, which allowed Hull to close the spaces, in some cases they displayed real heroics. They were wasting time as well.
I'm glad that the referee started booking them for time-wasting in the beginning of the second half although he could have started in the first”.
But what surprised Andrey was the use of only one match ball during the game. This added to the time it took to restart the game either from a throw in or a corner as the players had to wait for the ball to be retrieved.
“They (Hull) benefitted from using only one (match) ball and that was pretty surprising for me. Every time the ball goes out, you have to wait for it.
The attacker loses momentum because of that, letting defenders get back and close the free spaces, it slows the game down. It gives an advantage to teams who play a slower game. I'm used to having balls scattered all around the pitch”.
Indeed we think that Andrey has a point. For Champions League games FIFA allows a number of match balls to be used during a game. We have seen even at the Emirates in European ties how quickly a ball boy throws the ball back to the player ready to bring it back into play.
The Premier League however chooses to be behind the times, as always. Its rules allow for only one match ball which often results in delays and gives an unfair advantage to teams wishing to adopt delaying tactics. Like most teams visiting the Emirates…
But in the end class showed through. Wenger made the substitutions and the players carried out his half time instructions which were to play at a higher tempo.
“He told us that while we were doing the right things, we needed to speed up a bit to get the result. He asked us to stay positive about the game till the final whistle” Arshavin said.