Adebayor shows his true colours, Arsenal were unlucky: Man City 4 – 2 Highlights

Arsenal played some fantastic football at times yesterday, but we were undone again by defensive problems. As soon as we pushed for the winner at 1-1 the defence was left open, and City scored 3 goals in 7 minutes to make it 4-1. Rosicky’s goal was deserved, and we came close to another in the last few minutes – but overall a disappointing game.

Worst of all was Adebayor’s attitude. For the whole game he played like a man who was desperate to prove a point. The fact that he never played like that last season shows just how disloyal he is.

I know that he did get some stick last season – but that is to be expected when you hold the club to ransom over a transfer and get a massive new contract out of it. All that fans wanted to see was Ade get his head down and work for the team – he didn’t. In any case Adebayor did not get that much trouble from Arsenal fans last season.

In his mind though he is a persecuted induvidual with a point to prove – and yesterday it got too much for him.

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Thanks to Gunnerblog for the gif

Cesc’s ankle was almost broken, then he stamped on Van Persie cutting his face with his studs – an event that RVP has spoken out against. As well as that was the celebration which was utterly disgraceful, and left a steward unconcious after causing pandemonium in the away end.

Kolo did the right thing and chased Ade the length of the pitch to pick him up, that is a real player there. Apology or no apology Adebayor is in big trouble, and it’s only right that the FA are investigating the matter.

Apart from that it was great to see Rosicky back – he added real attacking flair with an assist and a goal.

Sadly it was defence that cost us, 3 times we were exposed on the left as Clichy came forward – and City exploited the space.

Alan Hansen said on MOTD last night that Arsenal are the only team who can play so well and not win, and he is right. It is all down to defence. On the left the cover from Diaby was poor, and Song filled in on one occasion, but his tackle was non-existent.

The only hope I can take from this game is that Arsene will be determined not to let this happen again.

There is a shakiness about Arsenal, a lack of confidence, that means even when we play our best football we still don’t pick up the points. We need to correct these problems as soon as possible, the defensive balance is something we have struggled with for 4 years now. We rarely keep a clean sheet and that doesn’t win you titles.

If Wenger can re-address the problems within the team then we could be title-challengers, until then we will continue to play good football with little to show for it.

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Was Man City Adebayor’s first choice? Loyalties exposed by Sir Alex

Player loyalty is a quality which is not always apparent in football today. The case of Emmanuel Adebayor, one good season, hold the club to ransom, and then leave whilst blaming the manager and fans is a brilliant example of what fans don’t want to see.

According to Fergie who has been sniping at City for the last few weeks, Adebayor stooped even lower while in negotiations with Man City; trying to get offers from Man Utd and Chelsea.

“At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us.”

“When someone offers you that kind of money, it’s a big attraction to people nowadays. That is the reason they have gone there.”

If this is true it shows you the lack of loyalty Ade has for any club. Man City offered a lot of cash so he went, no more reason than that. I’m sure he would have much rather joined a club which will be playing European football next season. Personally I think £25 million is a great price for him, as long as the money is reinvested in the team.

The fact is that we have several very good forwards at Arsenal, the best of which is Robin Van Persie, if he can stay fit, then he has plenty of options to partner him, Bendtner, Arshavin, Eduardo being first in line. Adebayor wasn’t our best striker, his departure should benefit the club. Ferguson’s comments have only exposed him for what he is.

The big question – will Arsenal miss Adebayor?

Whether you are happy with it or not, there is no getting away from the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor’s transfer to Manchester City is the main talking point as far as Arsenal news goes right now.

The Togo striker completed his £25m switch to Eastlands over the weekend to leave some Arsenal fans wondering why Arsene Wenger has chosen to sell one of his top players under a month from the start of the season.

What is the general consensus though? What do Arsenal fans think about the sale of Adebayor? How will Arsenal respond to his absence? Will Wenger look to bring in a replacement?

Basically, there are two sides of the fence to sit on. First up, you can argue that Adebayor was far from his best last season, meaning that his transfer is no great loss at all. During the 2008/2009 campaign, Adeabyor’s commitment was questioned and he only managed 16 goals in all competitions.

Nevertheless, these are 16 goals that Arsenal will have to find elsewhere in the coming months and this will form the basis of the ‘What is Wenger doing?’ argument. Regardless of commitment issues, Adebayor was still one of Arsenal’s biggest players who – on his day – could win a game for the Gunners.

Therefore, the fact that he has joined fellow influential players Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini – who left the Emirates last summer – out of the club could potentially be seen as a bad move. Arsenal missed the presence of these two last season and they it is entirely possible that they will miss Adebayor this season.

What side of the fence are you on? Personally, I think that it could end up being a good thing for Arsenal. The fact that he agreed to move to Manchester City suggests that he wasn’t 100% loyal to Arsenal and if this was the case, then the squad is better without him.

Nobody wants a player that doesn’t want to play for the club as it can be extremely disruptive. Perhaps Wenger agreed with this and made a decision some time ago that Adebayor would leave. Then, to get £25m to make this happen, makes the deal even more sensible.

The only issue is whether Arsenal will replace him and if so – who with? Arshavin, van Persie, Eduardo, Bendtner and Walcott provide Wenger with plenty of attacking options, but perhaps something extra is needed.

What do we think Arsenal fans? Can Arsenal benefit form Adebayor’s sale?

What are Arsenal fans’ views on the future of Adebayor?

One of the main talking points as we reach the end of the 2008/2009 Premier League campaign is the future of Emmanuel Adebayor. There has been plenty of speculation about the Arsenal striker’s future with Inter Milan, AC Milan and Chelsea all reportedly tracking his progress.

Sections of the Arsenal crowd booed the Togo striker during the recent defeat to Chelsea and in doing so, made their feelings clear on where they hope Adebayor will be playing his football next season – away from the Emirates. Is this the case throughout Arsenal’s support though?

I am intrigued to find out exactly what Arsenal fans think. Is Adebayor a world-class striker that Arsene Wenger would be crazy to get rid of? Or is he a player that the club should cash in on as soon as possible?

During another season without a trophy for the Gunners, there is no doubt that Adebayor hasn’t hit the heights of the previous campaign. Compared to 30 goals last season, he has only managed to find the back of the net on 16 occasions. In fact, he has only scored in the Premier League three times since the turn of the year.

It hasn’t just been his lack of goals though. Many have criticised him for a lack of effort and commitment to the Arsenal cause. It has, perhaps, looked like he is happy with the fact that his time with the Gunners is coming to an end.

Nothing is certain as yet though and the forward’s future is very much up in the air. Arsenal lost key first team players in Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva last summer, so they should be wary about breaking up a relatively settled side once more.

Surely Wenger should be adding to what he already has rather than selling one of his most talented players? Consistent selection often pays off in the end and if Adebayor was sold, he would more than likely be replaced by an unproven striker trying to make a name for himself in England.

On the other hand though, if Adebayor doesn’t want to be at the club anymore, why should Arsenal hold onto him? If he is kept involved against his wishes, it will surely have a negative effect on team morale next season.

What is your opinion though? A groin injury is likely to rule Adebayor out of Sunday’s game against Stoke City, so he could have played his last game in an Arsenal shirt. Would you be happy if this was the case?

By Thomas Rooney

Arsenal 3 – 0 Villarreal (4 – 1 agg.) Through to the semis!

Arsenal 3 – 0 Villarreal: Walcott 10, Adebayor 60, Van Persie 69 pen. Highlights from Arsenalist.com

I’ve just returned from a glorious Arsenal win against Villarreal. Three goals, and it could have been a lot more the way we were playing!

Image courtesy of wonker

Walcott’s goal after 10 minutes was sublime, a Cesc backheel fooled the defence and Walcott lobbed the onrushing Lopez. I thought it was going out until I saw the back of the net ripple.

Wenger on Walcott:

“We know he can finish but now he is transferring that to the games. His level of confidence has gone up”

The game progressed well and we passed it around nicely. Defensively Toure and Silvestre looked solid in the centre. Gibbs looked alright, although he wasn’t seriously tested, and Eboue did well. In midfield Song was solid, as were the attacking Fabregas, Nasri and Walcott.

We were first to every ball and RVP was back to his best, battling to win the ball and laying it off for Adebayor – his amazing pass set Ade up for his 9th CL goal in as many games.

The final goal was from a penalty, which at the time I thought looked like a foul on Walcott, but seeing the TV replays it seems there wasn’t contact – Theo tripped on the ball. In any case the goal was deserved, and Van Persie put it away – Adebayor and Eboue got him to do their little dance cameo in celebration.

The atmosphere was very good, and it was nice to hear Robert Pires get a standing ovation several times during the match, and at the end of the game, this was his goodbye to the Arsenal fans.

We now face Man Utd in the Semi’s after their 1-0 win over Porto in Portugal from Ronaldo’s 40 yard strike. Wenger commented:

“I would not like speculate on any weakness of Man United. They will be strong on the day, but it should encourage us to be at our best”

It’s going to be an interesting run in – we now face Chelsea twice and Man Utd at least three times in League and Cup competitions combined. Our form is excellent – but this is a huge challenge for the Arsenal team. Their chance to prove themselves is now.

Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal. Good result served with injuries

Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal: Senna 10, Adebayor 66. Highlights here.

Arsenal came away with a valuble away goal against Villarreal last night, which places us well for the Quarter final second leg at home next week.

adebayor-villarreal-bicycle-kick

Adebayor scored an amazing bicycle kick in the second half to equalise after Senna had scored a long range goal in the fist half. The fact that we got the goal is most important – I will take the result, even though we could have finished them off in the second half.

The Fabregas/Adebayor partnership again provided crucial goals – making it 3 in 2 games for Ade, with Fabregas providing every assist!

I didn’t see the game, I downloaded highlights after the match – and I was disappointed to see us go a goal down. It hurt to lose Gallas and Almunia, and as Wenger said – this meant he couldn’t change things around at half time.

Gallas has knee ligament damage – so he may be out for the rest of the season – a blow seeing as our defence has been very stable since December. Almunia is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury – so we will have Fabianski in goal for the next few games which will define our season.

I think Fabianski will do good – but he has made rash decisions at times during games this season – this is his chance to prove himself – he made some good saves last night.

Overall a good result – some annoying injuries – but this looks promising. The fact that Porto got two away goals at Old Trafford means that they have a good chance of going through – no British team has ever won at Porto – and they have the advantage!

What do you think Arsenal’s chances are? Leave a comment below.

Arsenal 2-0 Man City, a sign of things to come?

Cesc Fabregas and Adebayor returned triumphantly against Man City, Cesc set Adebayor up for both his goals – and it showed how much we have missed his incisive passing.

Image courtesy of mcaparrotta

The 4-2-3-1 formation really plays to our strengths and allows all of our more attacking midfield players to get forward – yesterday Arshavin, Walcott and Fabregas were all over Man City, whilst Song and and Denilson provide cover.

Another clean sheet was a good step in the right direction – Almunia made some good saves, and the defence looks a lot more alert compared to earlier this season!

The only thing that could worry me is that all of our victories have come against lower teams – but that is good, as these are the teams we dropped points against at the beginning of the season, and we know we can beat the other top 3.

This means that the team has started to raise their game against smaller teams and understand the value of every game. A few months ago we sometimes played like we had won the match before it began – and that cost us points!

So a great result, and with our captain back from injury things are looking up!

How many of Arsenal’s team would make it into Manchester United’s starting eleven?

As much as the end to the current season could be extremely exciting and successful for Arsenal, they are still not quite where they used to be as a club. There was a time, of course, when they were unbeatable. There was a time when it was only the Gunners and Manchester United fighting it out for the league title.

So, what has happened in the last few years which has prevented Arsenal being one of the ‘big two’? For eight seasons in a row, Arsenal finished no lower than second in the Premier League. This was until the last three when their final positions have been 4th, 4th and 3rd.

One way to see just how far away Arsenal are from being Manchester United’s main challengers again could be to see how the individual players compare. How does Arsenal’s full strength team match up to the best team the Champions can put out?

This is something I would like your opinion on, so without too much analysis, let’s take a look at my views:

Edwin Van der Sar v Manuel Almunia – Has to be Van der Sar unfortunately.

Gary Neville v Bakari Sagna – Personally, I’d rather have Sagna in my team.

Patrice Evra v Gael Clichy – For consistency purposes, it has to be Evra.

Rio Ferdinand v William Gallas – This is a close one, but I think the odds would be in favour of Ferdinand.

Nemanja Vidic v Kolo Toure – For similar reasons that Evra won, Vidic is the winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Theo Walcott – For what he has achieved in the last couple of years, it’s going to be Ronaldo.Ask me again this time next year though.

Ryan Giggs v Andrei Arshavin – Giggs is still a decent player, but for creativity and variation the Russian wins this one for me.

Michael Carrick v Cesc Fabregas – No competition, Fabregas all the way.

Paul Scholes v Denilson – A number of players could fill this position for Arsenal and all of them will be as good as/better than Scholes at some point, but for now, the former England man has to get the nod.

Wayne Rooney v Robin van Persie – For me, this is the closest one of the lot. In fact, I can’t choose between them. This one is a draw.

Dimitar Berbatov v Emmanuel Adebayor – Neither have been fantastic this season. However, the Manchester United man (and Carlos Tevez) has produced the goods more often.

The end result for this ‘experiment’ is Manchester United 7.5 v 3.5 Arsenal. Whether this means much, I’m not sure. However, it does suggest that Arsenal are just two or three established high quality players short of challenging for the Premier League again.

This could happen in the next couple of years when the likes of Walcott, Clichy and Denilson really kick on as players – you never know. It certainly makes a change from the days of Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, or Tony Adams and Ian Wright and co when Arsenal would have been much closer to Manchester United in this type of analysis.

Something to think about isn’t it? Let me know your thoughts.

By Thomas Rooney

Internationals throw up three more injuries + Rocky7 Anniversary

As expected the first round of international matches have provided us with an extended injury list. It doesn’t make for good reading:

  • Robin Van Persie – Groin
  • Abou Diaby – Hip
  • Nicklas Bendtner – Knee

Bendtner’s injury may be serious enough to make him return to London, but Denmark seem to be trying their best to rush him into Wednesday’s game with Albania. Denmark assistant coach Peter Bonde:

“If he is ready then he is ready. We cannot be thinking about Arsenal. We treat players well, but we will play them if they are fit.”

So basically it doesn’t matter who owns the player – we need him to play against such top quality teams as Malta and Albania. This is a joke – for players to be injured playing games of such little quality, and returned to their clubs crocked.

We have seen this many times, and now Diaby has been withdrawn with the hip injury and RVP – our best striker this season is out too. The teams they were playing – Lithuania and Scotland.

There will be no end to this saga – international football is at the centre of FIFA and UEFA’s plans – I don’t mind internationals – but when they interrupt the club season at random intervals and cause injuries it doesn’t make sense.

It would be better to introduce a winter break in the UK like in many European countries – and play internationals then.

At least one player has returned from injury – Adebayor – after several weeks on the sidelines, during which we have regained our form. Ade got a goal for Togo against Cameroon, and although he is unpopular he is a dangerous player when on form. If he comes back into the squad plaing well then we may not miss Van Persie.

Finally, a mention for David Rocastle, a true Arsenal legend, who played for Arsenal from 1984 – 1992, winning the League Cup and two League championship medals, including the famous 1989 season. Today marks the 8th anniversary of his death, RIP Rocky. Arsenal Insider has a great tribute and interview with his sister Karen here.

Image Courtesy of wonker

Rocky7 Website

A clean sheet and a point. Spurs 0 – 0 Arsenal

Tottenham 0 – 0 Arsenal. Highlights here

Take what you will from the match today. With 10 men for an hour and Adebayor taking a hamstring injury at the same time, we still managed to take a point and kept a clean sheet, which is positive with our defence.

The downside is that we gave away the chance to go 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th place. This was a great opportunity, Spurs took no advantage of their extra man, and with 11 we should have taken 3 points.

The sending off was inevitable, Eboue is a liability. I have defended him before on ArseSpeak, but today his actions were unprofessional in the extreme. I hope that Wenger has serious words with him, and I hope Arshavin takes his spot on the right.

Before any Wenger bashers start going off on one, the only reason Eboue is plaing is because Rosicky and Walcott are injured as well as several other midfielders, he is not Wenger’s first choice, but our injury woes have forced the choice upon him.

In any case, I was happy with the defensive display, but Eboue’s sending off cost us the match, putting us on the back foot.