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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4-3-3 is the way forward, plus another Gooner signs for Citeh

The aftermath of the first home game of the season seems to be positive. A 4-1 victory over Portsmouth highlighted the flexibility of the 4-3-3 formation, which has brought us 12 goals in 3 games so far.

The goals are coming from all over the park which is good, as in the past we have suffered from a lack of goals from midfield. Our top scorers in all competitions are now Gallas – 3, Cesc – 2, and Diaby – 2. The strikers we have are proven goalscorers too, the likes of RvP and Eduardo for example.

Defence also seems strong, with new signing Vermaelen looking particuarly solid in the air and on the ground on Saturday.

The 4-3-3 formation looks solid, allowing midfielders to get forward, and the likes of Eduardo and Arshavin to be creative in attack.

Song, Cesc, Arshavin and Wenger all discussed the new system in the Portsmouth matchday programme, and emphasized the redefined roles they will play. They also pointed out that we can switch back to a 4-4-2 when needed.

I think the formation also suits our players, as we have many attack minded midfielders, and a fluid style of passing and movement. The new formation allows us to keep balance in the team, not too defensive, but not leaving the defence exposed either.

On the transfer front things are still pretty quite for Arsenal, but I expect we might see one more face come in the next week or so.

City have signed Silvinho from Barca, increasing their numbers of ex-Arsenal men. I don’t blame him for taking the opportunity, his playing days are nearing an end and he will most likely be on generous wages.

Joleon Lecott is also set to sign for City today, becoming the 3rd most expensive defender on record. I wouldn’t say he was worth £20m plus, but if they have the money then why not.

Thats all for today, should have more stories and a Celtic preview tomorrow. check out Untold Arsenal for a great review of Premier League club debt, makes interesting reading as always.

Toure is gone – We now need reinvestment in players

Emotional attachment aside, if it goes ahead then the sale of Kolo Toure to Man City is a good piece of business. £16 million for a player whose best years are behind them and who struggled to perform last season (a very low rank on OPTA stats) suggests that Arsene knows what he is doing.

Toure is set for a medical today at Eastlands and the deal seems likely to be finalised.

It is a blow for the club in terms of experience, but judging  on Wenger’s comments after the Haladas game he sees the sale as necessary. Toure wanted out in January and we have 7 central defenders already on the books. It looks like it will be Vermaelen and Gallas as our first choice, leaving Djourou, Senderos, Silvestre and possibly Song for cover. The cover isn’t top quality, and Vermaelen is new to the Premiership,  but it could work out.

Wenger has some money to play with now, although we may not necessarily see new faces at the club. It would be a confidence boost, for the fans and players, but Wenger seems to want to stick with the current squad.

Bar a Flamini style transformation, Denilson, Song and Diaby are not quite good enough to warrant first choice in central midfield with Cesc. That in my opinion is the only area that needs strengthening in the squad. The profits from our sales leave us with up to £30 mill to spend (or £15 mill if you count Arshavin’s fee). That needs to be reinvested in at least one player.

Wenger is remodelling this team to challenge for honours, but our weakness over the last two years has been a lack of strength in depth and experience. I’m fine with Wenger selling players on, we make a profit, and generally he knows the right time to sell, but these players must be replaced.

Kolo’s departure may prove to be a good piece of business, but the squad still needs some additions.

Manchester City are in town again, this time after Kolo Toure

Fresh from signing Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal, Mark Hughes and Manchester City are apparently sniffing around another one of Arsene Wenger’s first-team regulars. Several reports are suggesting that they are set to step up their interest in Kolo Toure after missing out on John Terry.

The defender only has one-year remaining on his contract at Arsenal and this means that an offer of around £15m could be enough to tempt Wenger to sell. Considering that he would be offered around £120,000 per week at Eastlands, it seems likely that Toure would agree to the move.

In fact, you get the feeling that that Toure would jump at the chance to join Adebayor at Manchester City. Not only would he be doubling his Arsenal salary, but it would represent a new challenge for him.

Toure requested to be placed on the transfer list back in January after a fall-out with team-mate William Gallas, after all. This request was rejected by the club, but it did indicate that Toure was open to the idea of leaving Arsenal.

For Arsenal fans, this is a slightly worrying trend. Players seem to be considering moves away from the club far more often than they should be. The Gunners are in danger of turning into a selling club with the likes of Hleb, Flamini, Henry and Adebayor moving on in recent times.

What do we think about the future of Toure though? Is he integral to Arsenal’s future or should he be allowed to talk to Manchester City if these reports turn out to be true? Personally, I think it all depends on the feelings of the player.

If Toure has put aside his differences with Gallas and is keen to start the season as an Arsenal player, any Manchester City offer should be rejected without a second thought. Toure is a major part of the Arsenal first-team and Wenger could do without another player to replace.

If the Ivory Coast international is unhappy at the club though, then perhaps Wenger should listen to what Manchester City have to say. Nobody wants players who are not committed to the cause. Hopefully Toure is, but after his request in January who knows what his feelings are?

The final question I want to put out there is – are you worried by the players being sold by Arsenal? Big names at the Emirates are constantly linked with moves away with world-class players rarely being linked with a move to Arsenal. Is this a concern?

By Thomas Rooney

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.

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!

Loss to City shows what a bad state Arsenal are in..

Man City 3 – 0 Arsenal: Ireland 45, Robinho 56, Sturridge (pen) 90 Highlights here..

Yesterday we saw a second defeat in a row for an Arsenal side which was very poor. Yes, we had several first teamers out, and yes, Gallas has put the club and captaincy into turmoil, but you would have expected more against a side who have struggled to win games this season.

Almunia was named as captain as Gallas didn’t travel. We conceded 3 relatively soft goals, but it could have been more really. We had one good chance after Ramsey came on and put Bendtner through, but apart from that it was a poor game.

Wenger looked resigned to defeat, and the players just couldn’t get a grip on the game, even Clichy was making uncharacteristic errors, a mix up between him and Silvestre allowing Ireland to get the first goal just before half time.

We might have been better starting Ramsey, because he was the best player in the second half after he came on, and putting Song to CB with Djourou at RB. That might have added some creativity, because for most of the game we had none.

Our squad is threadbare at the moment – Toure, Sagna, Fabregas, Rosicky, Eduardo, Walcott, Adebayor were all unavailable, and they are all first choice players for me, not to mention the fact that Gallas isn’t going to play any more. I applaud Wenger for dealing with Gallas and I think a new captain will do us good but there are some problems in the squad which have been apparent during the building of this new generation.

We don’t have the strength and depth to play at the top at the moment. Our team this season is probably the weakest that we have ever had under Wenger – conceding 18 and losing 5 before December shows you have far we have fallen.

I think the first team would be acceptable if all the injured and suspended players mentioned above were fit and playing, but we still would have very little depth in the squad. Players like Denilson and Song aren’t ready, neither was Hoyte yesterday, and at the moment Bendtner doesn’t have the quality to be a first team player either.

Wenger is a fantastic manager, but he seems to have got himself into a bit of a mess. Losing Flamini, Gilberto, Diarra and Hleb last season was disastrous, and we haven’t got a midfielder who can fit the defensive role.

Leadership is another problem, Gallas has exposed some deeper problems in the team, and I think we need to make a clean start, bring in two or three new faces in January, name a new captain (Fabregas?) and get on with trying to build a successful team.

Obviously we are lacking in confidence, but we have gone from a team which was last year only a few points away from the title, to one which now may struggle to get 4th place.

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Gallas ‘outburst’ makes Man City clash more crucial than ever

This is a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney

It’s certainly not boring being an Arsenal fan these days is it? There always seems to be something going on at the Emirates that will dominate the national press in the lead up to games. This attention is sometimes positive, but more often that not – it’s negative and has an impact on the whole club.

The last few weeks have been more up and down than ever, it has to be said. First there was the fantastic performance at Fenerbahce, followed by an encouraging away win at West Ham. Then there was the disappointing draw with Spurs and the Rory Delap influenced defeat at newly promoted Stoke City.

The Gunners were able to pick it up again the following weekend to record a priceless win over Manchester United at the Emirates. Everyone decided that this was the result that would kick-start the season and it was now time to hit top form. However, consistent with the ‘up then down’ pattern of the season so far – Arsene Wenger’s team proceeded to lose at home to Aston Villa.

Now the party line is that Arsenal’s title challenge is over and that the season might as well end now. Unsurprisingly, this is a point in the season when the captain of the club needs to come out and rally his troops. With their backs against the wall, the team spirit needs to be stronger than ever.

So, Arsenal captain William Gallas decides the best thing to do is brand his fellow team mates ‘not brave enough’ and reveal that there were a number of arguments in the dressing room at half time of the Tottenham game including one player who ‘insulted’ his team mates with a negative attitude.

These are, of course, not encouraging comments to hear. Nobody wants to believe that there are potential splits in the dressing room or bitterness between Arsenal players. That’s going to do nothing for the results on the pitch after all is it?

Personally, I am going to defend Gallas slightly on this. Yesterday, Sky Sports News revealed the quotes of this ‘outburst’ and focused heavily on the negative stuff. However, Gallas also asked his team to be ‘soldiers’ and that every single weekend they need ‘to fight’.

There is no doubt that this whole scenario is being used by Gallas to fire up his players. Why else would he come out with these comments on a Wednesday in between games? It’s not as if they were heat of the moment comments is it?

Something that Gallas’ views do, regardless of whether you are happy with him, is make this weekend’s clash with Manchester City extremely important. If Arsenal grab a win, it will be Gallas’ comments partly responsible and it could really fire up Wenger’s men for a decent run. If it’s another defeat, then god help Gallas. He will be criticised from every angle and the dreaded ‘crisis’ word will be branded about all over the show.

As for the Manchester City game, well they are strong at home and have a lot of attacking ability in their ranks. Therefore, Gallas and co will be well and truly tested at the back. Arsenal haven’t lost back to back games for 58 league encounters. I don’t think I am alone in having a sinking feeling about this one though.

By Thomas Rooney

Wenger speaks out against the football supermarket

There’s a lot in the news today about Wenger’s comments regarding big money club owners, such as those at Man City and Chelsea. He pointed out that football isn’t a supermarket, and that managers should have control of their teams.

Man City were bought out this summer by an Abu-Dhabi based group, who have now broken the British transfer record to sign Robinho and are looking to bring as many as 18 new players in in January, with Cristiano Ronaldo on their list.

Wenger told the Mail:

“You cannot come out ‘next week we pay £250,000-a-week to Ronaldo and £135m’, when the player has a six-year contract with Manchester United. It is not acceptable. Football is not a supermarket. The football bodies have to make sure that money is ruled properly and used well for the ethic of the game.”

“I am scared not that clubs are becoming more like those on the continent but even less. On the continent, at least you are informed on what players you buy. It looks like some are not even informed any more.

“It looks to be going a very worrying way. Managers face responsibilities and we stand up for it, but at least you want to feel you are responsible for the decisions you are judged on.”

“Clubs should live within their natural resources. If you push that too far, there are no rules any more and there is too much destabilisation.”

Wenger’s point is extremely valid in today’s climate. Football in the UK is turning into a plaything of the rich. Just look to last season when the owner of Man City sacked Sven Goran-Eriksson after Man City’s best season in years, or the instability surrounding Liverpool’s owners.

These ownerships are irresponsible and in the long term are not financially viable – the owner footing a large bill, while the club runs at a loss.

I agree with Wenger wholeheartedly, the way things are heading is bad, eventually the system will crash, if more regulation is not brought in.