Sunday, 23 September 2007

Silence of The Rams: Arsenal 5-0 Derby

10′ [1 - 0] A. Diaby View25′ [2 - 0] E.S. Adebayor View50′ [3 - 0] E.S. Adebayor (pen.) View70′ [4 - 0] C. Fabregas View79′ [5 - 0] E.S. Adebayor View

Last year this match might’ve had a chance of ending up in a 1-1 draw but this year we’ve shown we can put away teams that deserve putting away. A 5-0 manslaughter of Derby County where the class of Fabregas was front and center and Abou Diaby showed why he’s on his way to replace Vieira and Adebayor, well Adebayor deserve a new sentence. He can score goals, nobody’s doubted that, it’s just the goals that he misses really stick with you. After today’s hatrick where he scored from the penalty spot, on a breakaway and made something out of a completely harmless Denilson pass, even the staunchest of Adebayor critics must concede that he looked very close to replacing Thierry Henry. Then again, this is Derby County. But that takes little away from Adebayor’s dazzling performance where it wasn’t just that he scored goals, his dribbling was pristine and his control perfect.
The lineup wasn’t our strongest with RVP, Gallas, Hleb, Rosicky and Eboue all resting or injured:
Adebayor Eduardo
Diaby Flamini Fabregas Walcott
Clichy Senderos Toure Sagna
You saw all that is good and bad about Walcott today, his pace is unstoppable and the defender is always at his mercy when he’s streaming down the right side but once he’s in the box either his shot is either lacking quality or the final pass lets the original run down. In his two chances to score today, he was first overpowered by a defender after outpacing two others and then his shot was blocked. He does create half-chances when he’s in the game, by the end of this year he should create real ones.
Watching Fabregas operate in the midfield is like watching John Stockton play the point guard. Now everybody who reads this blog will completely miss that reference but for those who get it they know it speaks of high praise for Arsenal’s general. When he laced in the fourth goal - another blistering long-range strike - I was just thinking, “Man, is this guy in the zone”. His sense of when to pick off Eduardo and Adebayor and when to lay it off on the right for Sagna or Walcott never seems to be wrong. Billy Davies, the Derby County boss alluded to him being the best midfielder in Europe, he might not be wrong.
Looking at Eduardo’s play you get the sense that he’s still finding his place on the team. The glimpses of skill that he displays are right now being offset by him getting tangled in the box and not finding the space he needs (and was used to in Zagreb) but he’s already looking more comfortable than he did earlier in the season and as things progress, so will he. Like Walcott, he has no problem beating the defender on the wing, it’s just when you get past that he’s still figuring out what his options are. Perfectly natural. Time will fix that.
Liverpool was frustrated into a scoreless draw by Birmingham and Chelsea/Man Utd play today at Old Trafford. On a completely different note, I thought it was somewhat classless of Benitez to not even say a word or two about Mourinho. I’m pretty sure I hate Benitez more than I ever did Mourinho.

1 comment:

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