Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal Highlights: The second team gets a run out

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal: Bendtner 13, Bendtner 41 pen, Vela 56. Highlights from the Arsenalist

Comfortable is what you could call this result, and the 3 points have now secured 4th place in the league, and Champions League qualifiers next year. We are now unbeaten in 21 league games, and have equalled a club record scoring at least 3 goals in the last 5 away games.

Arsenal’s youngsters dominated for most of the game, although Portsmouth did have their chances to even the scores. Wenger rested most of the first team, including Almunia, opting for Djourou and Song in central defence – Vela and Ramsey also got starts, whilst Arshavin captained the side.

Wenger:

“We were sharp, composed and mobile with a great attitude.”

The changes were obviously made in order to give as many players as possible a rest before the crucial Champions League game on Tuesday. Walcott and Bendtner were both taken off in the second half – Sagna and Song were the only players from Wednesday’s team to play 90 minutes.

Randall, Bischoff and Merida got their chances in the second half as subs and the team looked impressive, by the end of the game we were in complete control.

Bendtner’s first goal was a header from Arshavin’s cross which David James dropped and let itno the back of the net. That will add more weight to the fans calling for Almunia to get his chance in the England squad.

Then Arshavin was brought down just before half time in the box, and a penalty was given although Arsh himself thought it was a clean tackle. Bendtner slotted home, and then in the second half Vela added another.

The only other event of note was Portsmouth’s red card – Arshavin was through on goal and Pamarot the last defender took him down. The resulting free kick came to nothing, but Pompey were down to 10 men with little chance of getting anything from this game.

The visiting Arsenal support was in high spirits, there is a little hope that we can beat Man Utd on Tuesday, and now that the league position is secured, the Champions League is what will make or break this season. It’s going to take a more composed performance than the first leg to go through, but we still have an outside chance of making it.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Portsmouth Highlights. Arsenal get the points that matter.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Portsmouth: Gallas 81

Yesterday we saw Arsenal beat Portsmouth 1-0 with a decent performance. Highlights here.

We played poorly at times, but that is understandable for a squad down to the bare bones, and lacking almost all confidence.

We were lucky to escape some of Pompey’s earlier efforts, but as the game stretched during the second half our quality started to show. Ramsey and Vela came on to good effect, and 10 minutes before the final whistle we saw Gallas rise to put a Denilson free-kick beyond David James.

We lacked the creativity that Fabregas provides, and it might be more telling against better opposition, but with some January investment we can survive.

It was always the result that would matter, having so spectacuarly capitulated in the previous three games. I’m happy with the win, and hopefully we can build on the result.

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Was Emmanuel Eboue misunderstood?

The debate over Eboue is pretty one-sided these days, since the Wigan game I’ve been thinking about the player who was at one time regarded as our best right-back.

These days people see him as more of a liability in his role on the wing. But he isn’t actually our first choice in that position.

I don’t think he is a great winger, but he is a decent defender. A few months ago I wrote a post and one of the comments left was this:

“Wenger probably has been wanting to develop Eboue and make him into a Ray Parlour type player.”

This is partly true, people criticise Wenger for selecting him, but there are several points to be made about Eboue:

  • Wenger plays Eboue because we have no choice – Walcott, Rosicky, Eduardo, Nasri are all reguarly injured.
  • We lack experienced playerswho can fill in – Walcott last year, Vela this year.
  • Wenger may also select him because he sees potential to turn him into a midfielder.

Eboue has the potential to become a good winger – he can cross, we saw that in his days at right back. His main problem is dribbling and passing – he finds it hard to go round players and his control isn’t great – his scoring ability is also reminiscent of Francis Jeffers.

He has been utilised on the left this year – as Theo has made the right wing slot his own. This hasn’t helped – he has had to cut inside to use his stronger right foot. I think that he did have some stronger performances early this season – but he has also played very badly – the Wigan game is an example, I was there.

The Wigan game and the booing have knocked his confidence, and I think that it will take him a while to regain that. It really isn’t helping the team when fans act like that.

Overall he would never be my first choice winger – he doesn’t have the pace, the control, the vision or the passing, and his dirty play and diving only piss off most Arsenal fans. He dives way too much and is extremely petulant. He doesn’t contribute to the team in the way that players like Nasri do, and many attacks end with his mistakes. But the thing is that Eboue is Wenger’s squad player, Wenger doesn’t see him as a first-teamer.

He is a useful utility player, he only gets to play so much due to our injury list. Vela seems to be playing more games, and may eventually be used to fill in on the wings as his performances have looked classy. Eboue is just filling in!

Don’t get on his back – he isn’t a great player, and he does stupid things, but a bad patch of form is just a bad patch of form, remember that he has been played out of position, and when only just returning from injury.

In the end, I’m saying that Eboue  is a useful squad player, we shouldn’t turn him into a scapegoat when things go wrong. I personally will never boo him.

Arsenal 1 -0 Dynamo Kiev Highlights: Steady performance by Fabregas’ Arsenal

Arsenal 1 – 0 Dynamo Kiev: Bendtner ’87 (ITV Highlights)

A steady performance by Arsenal tonight, qualification from the Group stage guaranteed, and overall a very good start for Fabregas’ captaincy. We didn’t really make a huge impression but we controlled the game and got the crucial goal – Fabregas’ quick reaction from the drop ball – putting a long ball to Bendtner who slotted away neatly to confound the pink boot bashers.

I think there were some good signs, but we shouldn’t get too excited, as Wenger said: with the press it is easy say you are in crisis one minute, champions the next – the reality lies somewhere in between.

With Arsenal we have the potential to do great things, at the moment I still think we need a defensive midfielder. Song was alright, but he not really up to the job right now, neither is Denilson who played on the wing tonight. They are good, but not good enough yet.

Gallas seemed settled at the back which is good – I know I said maybe a fresh start without him is worthwhile, but he is a good defender and if he can adjust to his new role in the team then he is worth keeping.

Ramsey and Vela played very well, I think they have a great future at the club, as does Wilshere – now our youngest Champions League player ever.

So a decent win, we now need to build on this and hopefully it can instill confidence for Sunday’s game against Chelski. I don’t know how we will fare at the Bridge, the Premiership is a different game to the CL, but if we work hard we can get a result. A clean sheet tonight was very welcome too.

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Arsenal 3 – 0 Wigan highlights, Carling Cup Kids win in style!

I watched a fantastic young Arsenal side beat Wigan tonight. The average age of our team was just 18.7 years old, and they played fantastically, and beat Wigan with 3 excellent goals and dominated the game with large amounts of possession.

Arsenal started well with plenty of great chances keeping Kirkland very busy. We could have had 5 in the first half, Vela, Wilshere, Simpson and Ramsey all sparkling.

Wilshere set up the first goal, he played a defence splitting pass through the middle to Simpson who poked it past the onrushing Kirkland.

In the second half a punch out by Fabianski to Ramsey who played an amazing long ball 2/3s of the pitch, Vela was running onto it and beat the defender, rushing into the box, and pulling it back for Simpson to smash home another.

Minutes later, a run forward from Djourou and a lovely pass forward put through Vela. His first touch was amazing, and under pressure he put a delightful lob over Kirkland to make it 3.

Click here to view the full highlights.

The whole team played fantastically and Wenger has pledged to stick with them. Why not? He says they are the most complete youth side we have ever had.

Very exciting to watch, and I think some of those names will be much more familiar to us come next season.

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Arsenal 4 – 0 FC Porto: Highlights

Arsenal responded resoundingly to their critics tonight, outplaying Porto and winning 4 – 0 to put them top of Group G with 4 points.

To watch highlights of the whole game click here.

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Match Report

Arsenal started well, although there were a few close calls early on – a badly defended corner lead to Clichy clearing off the line, and a Porto shot skimmed the bar.

Van Persie looked so much sharper than on Saturday, and he got the first goal – a lovely move, leading to him sliding in Ade’s cross. Click to watch.

Ade got the second, heading down into the ground from a corner, the ball looped over Almu and in off the underside of the bar. Click to watch.

RVP scored again in the second half, this time taking it past the Porto defender and smashing it home with a left footed drive. Click to watch.

Ade finished the scoring from a penalty after Bendtner was brought down in the box. Click to watch.

Goals: Van Persie 31, Adebayor 40, Van Persie 48, Adebayor 71 pen.

Player Analysis

We could have scored more, Bendtner, Nasri, Eboue, Walcott all spurned chances. Walcott played well, as did Nasri – I thought he added an extra dimension to our play which was much needed. Clichy was also back to his best on the left!

Eboue, Bendtner and Vela came on, Eboue didn’t contribute greatly, except by making the crowd laugh at his imitation of Ronaldo step-overs – badly.. Bendtner, who I think is excellent, wasn’t sharp at all, but still looked ok. Meanwhile Vela performed fantastically and is definetly one to watch!

Overview

All in all a good, standard Arsenal performance, Porto weren’t great, but we kept possession well and closed them down, which made it hard for them. The goals were well taken and we could have had more. In the last 10 minutes we got a little complacent but we still won 4 – 0, a clean sheet is always welcome!

One point to make is that Porto never really got going, and we were lucky that Clichy cleared their best chance off the line. They like to play attacking and keep the ball on the ground, that is our game, and we can beat anyone at that on our day. The Fulhams and Hulls of the world are teams who you need to beat to win the Premier League.

4 points now in the CL – top of Group G, so lets take this result and push on against Sunderland on Saturday – another team who will be hard to beat.

Arsenal 1-1 Sevilla: Amsterdam Tournament Video Highlights

Arsenal 1-1 Sevilla

Arsenal Line-Up

Fabianski

Hoyte  Senderos  Djourou  Gibbs

Wilshere  Ramsey  Randall  Thomas

Bendtner  Vela
Arsenal won the Amsterdam Tournament last night after a 1-1 draw with Sevilla. Wenger rested key players ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Qualifier against FC Twente.

Carlos Vela scored Arsenal’s goal in the 4th minute after a lovely run down the left wing, holding off the defender to slot the ball underneath the keeper.

Sevilla dominated the young Arsenal side for most of the match, but only managed to score 9 minutes from the end with a Javier Chevanton strike.

That left the score at 1-1, but Arsenal went on to win the tounrnament for the third time.

Huddersfield 1 – 2 Arsenal: Video Highlights and Trophy Celebrations

Huddersfield 1 – 2 Arsenal (0 – 0 H/T)

Goals: Michael Flynn (75), Sanchez Watt (79), Nacer Barazite (87)

Arsenal played Huddersfield earlier this evening at the Galpharm, coming from behind to win 2-1.

The game was part of Huddersfield’s Centenary celebrations, and was dedicated to Herbert Chapman, a manager who achieved great success with both Huddersfield and Arsenal throughout the 1920s and 1930s. After the game Arsenal lifted the first Herbert Chapman Trophy.

The line up was a young one, Wenger taking no risks with the upcoming Champions League qualifier against FC Twente on the 13th August:

Fabianski

J.Hoyte G. Hoyte Djourou (c) Gibbs

Lansbury Randall Ramsey Wilshere

Walcott Vela

Trophy Celebrations

Arsenal’s youngsters got a run out here and came away with a decent win. Ramsey looked very good in the centre of the park as did Randall, who is surely one to watch for the future.

Half-time Substitutions

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas ->Gavin Hoyte
Emmanuel Frimpong -> Aaron Ramsey
Jay Simpson -> Carlos Vela
Nacer Barazite -> Theo Walcott
Sanchez Watt -> Jack Wilshere
Vito Mannone -> Lukasz Fabianski

65th Minute Substitutions

Havard Nordtveit ->Henri Lansbury
Kyle Bartley -> Johan Djourou
Rui Fonte -> Justin Hoyte

Wilshere: No.19 – The new Arsenal or more transition??

Yesterday, Jack Wilshere became the new Arsenal no.19. He is only 16 years old, but an amazing young talent, he played twice in the Emirates Cup and shone there and with 7 substitutes in the Premiership this season he may well get his chance to play for the first team.

Wilshere has played for Arsenal since the age of 9. Last year he was used in the Under-16s, but then became a top player for the Under-18s. He has impressed in pre-season and now forms part of a new influx of youngsters into the squad, Vela, Nasri, Ramsey, Mannone and Bischoff.

Reserve Team manager Neil Banfield on Wilshere:

“If the young players work hard at their game, listen to the advice of the coaching staff, they realise they will have every opportunity here,”

“Jack was given the opportunity by the manager to go on the Austrian Training Camp, along with five others who have all done really well. Jack has taken his chance, and he is one of quite a few we have here that we have high hopes for.

“You have to adapt to the physical aspects of the game, and I think Jack is strong enough. It is about how you physically develop and I think with Jack, even at 16, it doesn’t mean he won’t be as physically strong as someone at 18 or even someone at 20.

“That has been the benefit of our Reserve team. The experienced players that our lads are up against means they learn on the pitch. The senior players then show them what to do while the game is going on. That is carried on for the young lads who learned so much in Austria.”

This is very promising news. It is exciting to have so many young prospects in the team.

One problem is that last year our squad looked lightweight and inexperienced, and we haven’t brought in any very experienced players, only replaced them with young ones.

I don’t doubt our ability – last year we played fantastically and were unlucky to come away with nothing but does this bode well for our chances of silverware?

Wenger has his critics and they will be salivating at the thought of bringing these new young talents down to the ground very hard.

I am excited for the new season, but I really really really don’t want to turn it into another ‘transition year’.

Click here to see our current squad.

New Mexican signing – Vela!

Carlos Vela, a player who everyone has been talking about all season is on his way to Arsenal. The 19 year-old Mexican has been on loan at Osasuna this season, and we have just applied for a work permit to allow him to play in England. He should recieve a Spanish passport soon, which will mean he won’t need the work permit.

When he gets the permit/passport, he will be like a new signing for us. He has played on the left wing all season, but Wenger has said that Vela will get a chance up front next year:

“We have applied for a work permit for him now, and he will be involved with the first-team next season.

“He has played the whole season at Osasuna on the left wing and he had to work hard there. But for me it is not his position he is a central striker, an Eduardo type.”

Just as Eduardo was going to be like a new signing for us in January this season, so will Vela next year. He will have a chance to fit into the hole left after Eduardo’s injury.

You can keep up with the latest on Vela at Carlos Vela News, a wonderful blog dedicated entirely to him!

He is an excellent prospect for the future. But I think the expectations might be a little high.