Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, January 11, 2008

Diarra is arrogant, but Hoyte and underated Senderos can beat Spurs at the Lane

Arsenal Analysis resident ticket holder at the Emirates was there on Wednesday night for the Carling Cup tie against Spurs. These are his “touchline” impressions of the game.

By Eros

I have been reading a lot of reports about Wednesday’s game on the net and since I disagree with a lot of them I thought of putting down some thoughts about the game which are the result of watching the game from inside the stadium rather than from the TV.


Firstly let me start with Diarra who reports say that he excluded himself from the squad, apparently he did not feel mentally up to it with all the transfer speculation!!!

I hate to say that we missed him badly on Wednesday; we had no one to control the tempo of the game as Gilberto was not able to play such a role.

All Diarras’ rumblings in the press make him look silly and arrogant as he has only been with us for 5 minutes and is already demanding first team football.

Flamini proved beyond any doubt that if the coach thinks you deserve a chance then when he gives you the opportunity it’s up to you to make the most of it from there. Under different circumstances I’d be very happy to make a quick profit and sell him to the highest bidder!

However injuries and the ANC makes that extremely dangerous as he may have to fill in either the middle or as a right back. This is one occasion that I hope Wenger for once puts his foot down and keeps him in the team at least until the summer.


I was very impressed with the second half performance of Justin Hoyte when moved next to Big Phil to play as a centre back.

He was composed and his speed allowed us to hold a higher line and start controlling the ball better than we did in the first half. Also he did not get caught out of position and he could prove a useful solution during the next month.

I was very disappointed however with Diaby and Djourou. We all know that Diaby is not a left winger, but I think the reason that Wenger persists to employ him there is so that he can improve and work around his biggest weakness which is his left foot.

However against Spurs he persistently tried to dribble himself out of trouble rather than pass the ball, did not help Traore enough by being reluctant to track back and he consistently drifted infield and made life difficult for Denilson.

I’m lost for words for Djourou, he was simply abysmal. Let’s hope that it was just nerves of the first game back and he will improve over the next few weeks.


However a lot of unfair criticism has been laid on Senderos. Yes he started the game shakily but he improved as the game went on.

He was partly at fault for the nightmare spell 30’- 40’ where Spurs scored and should have had a couple more, but he improved as the game went on made a few good blocks and won a few headers.

I’m confident that next to an experienced and extremely quick defender like Gallas he will excel given some games to get in to rhythm.

Good substitutions by Wenger – even though enforced – we steadily improved in the second half and it was all Arsenal in the last Quarter.

For all the above comments however I am acutely aware that we were awful on Wednesday night. We could not keep the ball and resorted to uncharacteristic long balls and sloppy passing.

Berbatov created a lot of problems especially in the first half pulling defenders out of position, and feeding cute little through balls to any runners from midfield.

For all his class however his team-mates did not have the necessary composure to convert their chances and with that they squandered the best chance they had in a long time to beat the old enemy.

Wenger said he will keep the same team more or less for the return leg but I expect more options on the bench at WHL.

We certainly cannot be as bad again and even though they should be considered favourites now, I fully expect us to go to there and either win or get a score draw to take us through on away goals after extra time.


Anonymous said...

I agree Senderos is under rated immensely I can see a good CB in there somewhere.

Johan was abysmal, Hoyte was good in the second half but he is almost always too slow getting back when upfield at RB. I think he needs to time his runs better and position himself better in order to ensure he can get back swiftly.

As for Johan I dont know what to say a fantastic athlete but not the best footballer sums him up adequately. Possibly try him in midfield or at RB ? Hes strong, athletic and can pass maybe DMF will suit him better because in CD I feel he is out of position and drawn towards the ball a bit too often.

Anonymous said...

Some of the articles on your site are good with good research (ie Dimitrov and Mputu). But some of them seem to be complete trash. This article is in the very good section.

However, the readers that visit this blog seem to not have a clue about football. I kept saying that Djourou was pants... the guy gave away 3 penalties for Birmingham and got a red card as well! He's useless and I always knew Senderos was better than him.

I can't believe that so many people voted on this site for Djourou to cover for Toure. 53% of readers on this site simply do not have a clue about football and probably just watch Match of the Day. If they had a clue about football then they would actually have seen how poor Djourou was before voting for him over Senderos.

On another note, out of your "who should be let go" poll. Diaby is probably the worst performer of all the players listed yet he only got 21 votes. 3 of them from myself from different PC's. I can't believe that more people want Hoyte to go over that idiot who doesn't pass and thinks he can take on the whole planet. Being played in the wrong position is NO excuse and I am sick and tired of people using that as an excuse for his continuously poor performances. Besides, he never stays on the left and drifts into other positions completley cramming the space for the other players.

A footballer should know when to pass and when to try and take on the whole world or not regardless of what position they play in. As Wenger said himself once; a quality and gifted player can play at any position on the pitch. Obviously Diaby is neither a quality player or a gifted player with very low footballing intelligence.

Take this as an example (because more people voted for him to leave); Hoyte has been training for right back all his life yet he filled in at left back fine recently and in centre back with a very good performance against the Spuds. That is a quality player; you can use him accross the back four. Someone we need to keep.

The only regret I'll have this season is if Diarra goes instead of the one dimensional Diaby.

Rant over.

Anonymous said...

It was unfortunate that when Diaby first came to the club, he was compared- including by Arsene himself - with Patrick Vieira.

I think Diaby is talented and has the potential to be a major player...if he works hard on his game and improves his weak points.

However, the only thing that he & Vieira have in common that I can see is that they are black, french, tall & leggy.

Diaby is simply not in Vieira's class.

I think the long standing Arsenal fans will remember Vieira beginning to boss games & dominate the midfield from very early on in his career at Arsenal,if not from Day 1.

The point being that when Vieira played, he was a force of nature, and was a powerful influence on games, as if he owned the pitch.

Diaby has a hell of a long way to go before he gets to that level, if indeed he ever does.

But he has time.

Anonymous said...

Biggest problem with the Senderos and Gallas partnership is that they are both left centre backs. I think with Gallas being the more mobile and experienced of the two he should move to the right. I remember Sol Campbell stubbornly refusing to switch despite his experience with Senderos at right centre back, we were shaky

Anonymous said...

For Christ's sake. EVERYONE knows that Senderos is great when at his best, but this whole confidence bullshit has gotten way out of hand now. The guy is extremely inconsistent, and centre backs must if nothing else at least be consistent. If he gets a run of lots of games can he be great for us like when he has in the past? Yes, of course he can. Is he actually likely to get enough games to find that best form consistently with Toure and Gallas ahead of him? Not very likely. Even with Toure out, Senderos won't have that many games and quite frankly as great as he is at his best, I would rather not see Arsenal piss some trophies up the drain just because they persist with a player who is so inconsistent. It's for those reasons that Senderos, Diaby and Eboue have all been way, way off the m ark this year.

The point is not CAN they be great for long period, but rather will they? Senderos isn't likely to become a first team regular in the coming few years and so all he can expect is to make some appearances here and there. If it takes him 4 consecutive games to find some consistent form it's just a pointless gamble.

I only saw the second half of the Spurs game and he was simply shocking at times. I'm all in favour of giving a player credit when they play well regardless of if it's typical or not for them and Senderos has played at about a 8/10 standard to be fair once this season. But in every other fucking game he's mostly come out as 6 and below.

You're kidding yourself if you think for the next however many years he is our 3rd choice centre back he's just going to walk into the team for the odd game and play like he did in the CL Final campaign. Ever since then he's been VERY inconsistent, and regularly poor. I don't care if he sometimes plays great, I'd rather have a player who was consistently good than one who is inconsistently great- especially in a position as important as CB.

And before that whole crappy confidence argument comes up again, so when Toure comes back and he's relegated to the bench once again for months on end you think he's suddenly going to refind his confidence just in the odd game he plays? Very unlikely.

If he was first choice and playing every week, he could be one of the best in the league, but he isn't and with Gallas lately starting to shake off all those injuries I can't see where Senderos is going to get the 20+ starts a season he needs to play like he can.

It's actually for these exact reasons that Song has been so impressive in the few games he has played this season. He's just played the odd game, come in and has done a good job. No crap about needing to play lots of games or he's unconfident or anything like that, he just gets on with it and does himself justice. Maybe Senderos at his best is quite a bit better, but like I said, a consistent Song who will play well when he's called upon here and there or an inconsistent Senderos who is potentially better and appears to have a crisis of confidence every time he drops back to the bench. I know which I would choose....

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy reading your site but I'm really disappointed with your comment about being at the game.

It's such a sanctimonious attitude to imply that if you weren't at the game, you can't have a valid and informed opinion. What rubbish!!!

I watched Arsenal live for 30 years but due to emigration, the last four years have been on TV. I find that watching on TV gives you a better view of some things and a worst view on others.

So Please stop trying to strengthen your opinions and demean everyone else's by claiming they are more valid just because you were lucky enough to be at the game - Unless you're really Mr Wenger, in which case forget all I've just said!!!

Anonymous said...

to steve duk
i will forget all youv'e said then!