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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wenger’s switch of half time talk wasn’t the only one that inspired Arsenal’s win at Anfield

By 1970’s Gooner

It was a game of two halves really. In the first Arsenal played well under par with Liverpool playing more forcefully and closing the space in midfield very well, not allowing room for Fabregas and Co to weave their magic. They created chances, scoring just before the interval.

In the second half Arsenal played more as a team, managing to put passes together in the more advanced positions and getting more forward on Sagna’s side. The own goal did wonders for the confidence as much as it dented Liverpool’s.

But besides the half time dressing room hysterics by Wenger what actually worked equally well on the pitch was the switch of positions in the second half between Nasri and Walcott.

This switch created more space on the right as Nasri tended to come inside more rather than hug the touch line. I think this should not be overlooked.

It was Nasri who drifted inwards and crossed low to a position where the ball should be put: Between the goalkeeper and the central defenders. I do not think that Walcott would have done that. Not the way he was playing tonight.

What also worked in this move was Walcott’s presence in the middle of the box forcing the mistake by Johnson for the own goal. He drifted in the middle from the left as Arshavin himself drifted back into midfield to collect the ball and pass it to Fabregas.

Wenger’s inspired switch also did the trick again for Arsenal’s winner.

It was Walcott’s presence in the middle of the box challenging for Fabregas’s cross which put the defender under pressure thus allowing the ball to travel to the little Russian demon.

Arshavin had momentarily stayed leftish as Walcott found himself in the centre forward position anticipating Fabregas’s cross who had found space on the right hand side of the pitch, again.

Something which would not have occurred had Walcott not made the switch with Nasri in the first place.

And the rest is history as they say…


104 comments:

paulyh said...

we are up shit creak this season if wenger keeps playing walcott , he clearly is at best average , sell him and the keeper in january and go and buy a top striker

Anonymous said...

I agree with your article but I think it was actually Nasri who crossed for our first goal

Anonymous said...

the way liverpoo lost today reminded me of how we lost to the mancs earlier this season at trafford. then we battered the macs in the field yet still lost becoz of an own goal by diaby(johnson), a stone wall penalty not given against fletcher on arshavs(gerrard v gallas), so these things do happen, lets not be overcritical.

Kalix said...

A little harsh on the boy? He need games to develop. He´s been out injured most of the season

Anonymous said...

musher said.. i would c how long could u defend walcott.

1970's Gooner said...

Thanks Anon 10:12. Now corrected..

Anonymous said...

Absolutely over the moon about the win, we really needed this and I am so pleased to hear wenger saying they dont deserve to wear the shirt playing like that in the first half!!! be great to buy a world class goalkeeper and walcott can stay put he has only been back 2/3 games it will take a while for his fitness and he is only 21?? give him a break

Boris Godunov said...

I just read your previous pre-match post - spot on.
Denilson and Walcott messed it all up, as usual. Diaby was not seen after being introduced. The rest of the kids made me proud. It goes to show that sometimes you need a kick in the ass, as apposed to a pat on the back. First half was so poor, that I wondered if I should continue watching the damn game. We definitely need a good replacement for RVP.

Anonymous said...

Actually I thought in the first half Theo had some really great touches it just some things didn't come off. He kind of went missing in the 2nd half and then he was subbed. I think some should rewatch that dreaded first half if you can.

Anonymous said...

Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan-fucking moan. All the bitchers are here already with their iron-cast knowledge about what happens in the Arsenal team. No one knows but Wenger. Theo was pretty whack, but he definitely deserves time!

As for Denilson, I can't say I'm his biggest fan and would prefer him to be a reserve player. Big games like this... I don't think he's great.

As for Almunia ... it's not looking good for him.

Harshal Deorukhkar said...

Nice article. Although Walcott did not do a lot from the flanks, he indirectly played an important part in both the goals.

Having said that, hoping that Theo improves leaps and bounds soon enough!

lolcat said...

denilson had a pretty good game by anyone's standard.

people seem to be oblivious to what he does right. it's bizarre.

he was certainly no more guilty than anyone in the first half of being caught on the ball, and actually played at least as well as fabregas.

as for walcott - he's only had a few games, we'll see what he's doing nearer the end of the season.

seems like 'fans' always have to be wailing on someone, bitching about something, telling us so and so isn't good enough for the team.

even when we win.

Anonymous said...

Deneilson gave UNNECESSARILY away 4 free kicks from the same position, and it was from one of these that the goal came as well as the other dangerous attacks. He could also have gotten us down to 10 men with his arsing around. Vermalean was the outstanding player and Gallas (except for the penalty that would more often be awarded than not) The keeper issue is pretty clear now, with so few saves to make he made a complete mess of the little he was asked to do. Even his distribution was very very poor. The L'pool strategy was to close down Song and Cesc ASAP and it worked well first half. But when AW switched the forwards and shifted attacks to the right flank things started to happen. A year ago Theo was a real threat down the flanks and he will be again when fit.Ramsey must get more playing time if we are to resolve the midfield problem when Song goes south.

Aloise said...

Denilson saved our necks!he kept his calm in the centre.cant stand fans who dont appreciate our players efforts.they too dont deserve the arsenal tag.as for Almunia,well he needs to put some effort

Anonymous said...

Theo Walcott ,like most English players lacks a great first touch ,whereas Cesc ,van Persie ,Nasri,Arshavin and the other non-English players have great ones,no suprise here when Walcott can,t put the ball in the back of the net as evidenced against Olympiacos in the last Champions League game ,it,s all about technique .

Anonymous said...

The reason people are oblivious to what Denilson does right, is that taking the ball from the centre halves then passing five yards sideways to the full backs is not difficult but it does seem to be his only contribution.
No matter how much effort he puts in he is good enough to play for Arsenal and never will be.

Anonymous said...

obviously should have been NOT good enough!!!

Anonymous said...

paulyh said...

we are up shit creak this season if wenger keeps playing walcott , he clearly is at best average , sell him and the keeper in january and go and buy a top striker
December 13, 2009 10:11 PM
___________________

What a clueless prick, or a spud, or both...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Boris Godunov said...

I just read your previous pre-match post - spot on.
Denilson and Walcott messed it all up, as usual. Diaby was not seen after being introduced. The rest of the kids made me proud. It goes to show that sometimes you need a kick in the ass, as apposed to a pat on the back. First half was so poor, that I wondered if I should continue watching the damn game. We definitely need a good replacement for RVP.
_________-

Another wanker... Fuck off

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I thought in the first half Theo had some really great touches it just some things didn't come off. He kind of went missing in the 2nd half and then he was subbed. I think some should rewatch that dreaded first half if you can.

December 14, 2009 2:05 AM
____________________

Spot on. Theo lkooked sharp considering he has played about 2 games all season.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason people are oblivious to what Denilson does right, is that taking the ball from the centre halves then passing five yards sideways to the full backs is not difficult but it does seem to be his only contribution.
No matter how much effort he puts in he is good enough to play for Arsenal and never will be.

December 14, 2009 2:06 PM

________________

Clueless twat

Anonymous said...

Guys get voting here for the top sporting moments of the decade vote for the Arsenal “ unbeaten run”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/6788169/Top-20-sporting-moments-of-the-decade-Arsenal-complete-Invincibles-season.html

Anonymous said...

you are all wankers and clueless twots apart from me

davi said...

Walcott didnt force the 1st goal at all. He made a good, intelligent run into the box, but didnt really apply pressure to johnson. The ball deflected behind theo and johnson messed up. So it was a good run, but you cant give him credit for the goal, thats too much.
For the 2nd goal he made a simpler run into the box and the play bypassed him. It's good that he was there, but he was one of the forwards - where else was he going to be?
So he made a couple of good runs off the ball, great. Overall he played ok, didnt try to do too much for once, but not spectacular. Id still much rather have vela in the side over him. At least he has good control and can do something with the ball.
If vela had half the confidence theo does, hed already be an henry-level player - that confidence might come with some playing time!

davi said...

"Theo Walcott ,like most English players lacks a great first touch ,whereas Cesc ,van Persie ,Nasri,Arshavin and the other non-English players have great ones,"

Arshavin doesnt have a great first touch - you just assumed that!
Walcott's technical ability is adequate to be a very good player imo. He needs to play *within his ablity though and not try to beat every defender every time he receives it

Anonymous said...

"Not Good Enough and never will be"

The never will be is the key. In showing that you're talking sh*t. Saying that a player isn't good enough during a match is fine though highly annoying, but 'never will be'? That's just stupid. Maybe you're talking about your own life, in which case you shouldn't have been too harsh on yourself. We all can be better with the right effort you know.

Robespierre said...

Walcott had a mighty indirect but crucial contribution to the win. people should not underestimate that .Wenger always said that what impressed him about Theo from the very beginning was not simply his god given speed, but the smart timing of his runs. At this stage this is the most developed part of his football brain and when he runs at defenders WITHOUT the ball with this monstrous speed it frightens the shit out of them . Neither a winger nor a forward neither a dribbler or a shooter (YET) Walcott in the 2nd half was instructed to make those runs so as to release the others, and he did that exquisitely.people may say that this is pathetically limited thing to do, but it worked!, in the first goal he did not simply run he burned the field from the half line, breezing by johnson who panicked, the ball coming just behind him Theo dragged his right leg and cause the mistake. The fear of Drogba makes defenders do mistake e.g. vermaelen's lowpoint this season . Theo is no Drog but he can have this effect simply since a defender knows he cannot be ever caught and can be forced to mistakes. the 2nd goal as well, he took the forward position occupied the middle,outjumped Cara! had Johnson hesitate about positioning since he felt he might need to cover for slow Carag, that let Arsh some space on the left that johnson was too slow to recover. Of course Arsh is the genius here. but Theo as 'decoy forward' and 'false winger' so to speak had a huge contribution. Theo cannot be a winger that is clear, and he should be given tactical instruction to be a direct threat with his speed. if he scores a couple from that position he will aquire not just confidence but even more menace on defenses. That is quite remarkable asset to have on your team if used smartly. now , he is only 20, he is a thoroughbred that needs more time to mature. it might come to nothing, but when you see this kid you feel that if he comes good he will do incredible things for the team. Be cool, be sober be patient!

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