Nil all, not too disappointed

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Jan 072011

Arsenally Yours had a difficult Wednesday at work, the Arsenally little one was being a cheeky monkey, and I struggled to get a decent stream. So, I’m afraid, I can’t give you the review I’d like because I hardly saw the game. And I’d like to apologise for saying that Jack Wilshere was suspended when, err, he wasn’t.

The Arsenally quids didn’t do well either. As it ended nil-nil, obviously my bets on first goalscorer came to nothing, and it was hardly the 2-0 victory I’d predicted either. There was some hope for the bet I placed on first yellow card, but Gareth Barry contrived to get himself booked before de Jong, so I’m Arsenally down for the season for the first time after my success against Chelski.

City’s performance highlighted the Italian-ness of their manager. They didn’t play to win, they just played to contain us and only attacked on the break. Which is to be expected, and not just when the opposing manager has a name ending in “-ini”. Try as we might, we couldn’t get the goal the game badly needed to bring it to life.

We were unlucky though. Van Persie went close on a couple of occasions, as did Nasri and Fabregas. But we didn’t get a last-gasp winner, and essentially dropped two points rather than saving one.

These are the kind of games that ManUre are winning. Not that we played badly as they have recently, but the football gods were against us, and despite our domination, we came away with the same points as City, who hardly had a sniff.

There are positives though – especially that last point – that City didn’t create many chances. Granted, they were happy to sit back, and despite Tevez’s boundless energy, he didn’t create any chances for himself or his team mates either. So, we dominated, but came up short in the finishing department. However, it’s good that v Persie had another game without suffering a quadruple leg fracture; Nasri continued his good form, and Theo had a successful run-out.

Yes, I’d be happier if we’d won, but the fact that we were hardly threatened by the Premiership’s new ‘top four’ team is cause for at least some celebration.

I’m not happy about Sagna though, and I’m even less happy about Clatten-pillock. Sagna’s ‘coming-together’ with Zabaleta was pure handbags, nothing more. Why Clattenburg chose to send them both off remains a mystery to me. Two yellows would have sufficed.

We’ll miss Sagna during his suspension. He’s been one of Arsenal’s better players so far this season. He’s the kind of player, and possibly the kind of man that doesn’t draw much comment or attention. I can’t remember a single interview with the man, and he’s been with the Arsenal for a few seasons now. He falls easily into the clichĂ©d category of ‘unsung hero’. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration, he’s been excellent both defensively and offensively, and just like that girlfriend you still dream about, we’ll only miss him now he’s gone for a few games.

Next we face Leeds in the FA cup. We’re still competing in all 4 competitions; and the FA cup is one that is certainly within our capabilities. The game against Leeds is ripe for all sorts of terrible punditry about ‘giant killings’; it’s imperative we approach this game as we would any other, and forget the fact that they play in the Championship.

According to the official site, v Persie and Nasri may well be rested on Saturday. Chamakh has now had a decent break, and Theo looks like he needs a whole game to show us what he can do. Let’s hope those two give AW and the fans reasons to want them on the pitch every week.

Also on the official site is the disappointing news that Havard Nordtveit has been sold to Borussia Mönchenladbach. It’s a shame that he hasn’t lived up to expectations. He’d played in midfield as well as at the back, and that made me think he’d turn into a top ball-playing centre half. Now that won’t happen at the Arsenal. Good luck Havard.

Leeds preview tomorrow.

Arsenally Yours,