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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Super-charged and super-confident Adebayor is to be believed in

Arsenal 6- 2 Blackburn

This performance by the Gunners demands a short review. The incision, collection team cohesion and pace of our play was outstanding and demonstrated that when the team gets into its rhythm its potential for producing scintillating total-football is unlimited.

After this match the tough Blackburn manager, Mark Hughes, severely contradicted himself. Being someone who admires bravery and not backing down to an opponent, he praised himself for selecting a team for the match at the Emirates that would not sit-back but rather play an open game of football. But then in the same stream of thought he seriously questioned the wisdom of his decision given how his team for large parts of the match were cut open by wave after wave of electric pass and move attacking play.

Personally, I don't think that even if Hughes had selected a 4-5-1 system he would have stopped the attacking 4-4-2/4-1-3-2 system used by the Gunners yesterday. Wenger has now definitely reverted back to the two strikers up front option which I was advocating before the Spurs match, and yesterday with a super-charged and super-confident Adebayor causing havoc and van Persie displaying more technical excellence the Blackburn defence was stretched to breaking point.

Adebayor is to be believed in! He has put on some muscle to give him a real physical presence that when added to a 6 foot 4 frame gives Arsenal an imposing physical option up-front that has not been seen in the Wenger era and is much needed against some/most Premiership defences. And where before he looked to lack some confidence on the pitch, he is now striding across the pitch like he owns it and is even now choosing himself to take on the responsibility to take penalties. Add that he has close control similar to the deft Kanu and is not afraid to dribble with pace and power into the heart of defences and it is really clear that there is massive potential in the Adder.

His teammates must love that we now have an outlet who has the sheer physical qualities to stand up to any defence. And personally I was really impressed by how he made John Terry look more normal than any other Premiership striker has managed to do in recent times.

Yesterday Adebayor was superb in taking the game to the Blackburn defence. Whenever he collected the ball he looked a serious threat and the Blackburn defenders simply were hanging on trying to handle him. He set up Hleb for Arsenal's second, scored the third from the penalty spot, produced excellent combination play with Rosicky which saw the Czech play-maker strike the cross-bar at 3-1, and then went on a massive dribble followed by playing an acute through-pass to Fabregas who then found an open van Persie for the fifth goal. These were his major moments, but there was so much more in his all-round play which meant that he was fully deserving of the standing ovation given to him when he was subbed.

It will be significant to see how Thierry links up with Adebayor. To me this has the makings of a really complementary and exciting parternship. A super-charged and super-confident Adebayor can only inspire Henry to re-find his fighting best upon his return from rest. And Henry will ensure that Adebayor remains humble and focused on improving and producing for the team.

I have focused on Adebayor but I don’t want to take away from the whole Arsenal team for their collective performance yesterday. Although at times there was defensive indecision which is indicative of this season being one season to soon in terms of having the overall maturity and consistency to challenge for the title, they showed in their total-attacking cohesiveness the definite potential in future seasons for this young squad to make their mark.

Because when they get into their stride - as they did yesterday - their football is quite irresistible and for me its truly fantastic to watch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article.

The main thing yesterday showed is the poor quality of Arsenal fans.

This was the same man they were slating just a few weeks back.

I am glad that Ade had the confidence and support to turn things around. But I feel sorry for a much more inexperienced p;ayer like Song.

Arsenal FC deserve much better support then the fickle crowd who infest the stadium currently.

12/24/2006 12:04 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crowd's fickle because your so called magnificent stadium and you have been droppig more points than a porcupine. Blackburn didnt really play yesterday until they went behind 3-1 and then they upped it to score and then had no more. You had a proper battle with Pompey last week so why this article is out after one match shows how glorious Arsenal fans here take their team. If the crowd are disgruntled it says more than one match.

12/24/2006 3:09 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks for the comments.

I definitely don't think fickleness is something particular to Arsenal fans- but I agree that we shouldn't be harsh on players who are very young in their careers and learning the game... and for every Gunner who may have been starting on the likes of Adder or Song you would have found another who were/are prepared to be patient and wait for them to find their moment.

12/24/2006 4:08 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Well six goals makes for any disgruntlement, no? It shows that chances are being taken and plenty. I know little of the view with Gooner fans and Toure maybe favourite instead of Henry, but for me I like seeing Silva with the armband and I think he is something like a calm presence amongst talented players around him who he consults well when necessary. As for his goal, yet another to pull Arsenal back and a textbook superb header.

As for the penalty, it looked minute and I felt RVP made more of it, but one rule of thought I have always mentioned is that you must ensure you make contact with the ball otherwise you risk a penalty. I never forget Sol Campbell for England against Chile as he tackled rashly on Marcelo Salas some eight years ago, a clear example.

Amusingly came the last goal. RVP with some skill, left it to Fabregas to dragged the ever eager Robbie Savage to the corner only to nutmeg him with ease, like enticing a horse to a container of water only to shut the lid at the last moment. Fabregas jinked into the box for Flamini to finish. A impressive rout on something of a intermittent Blackburn.


12/24/2006 4:56 pm

Blogger T said...

Yes redsman- the nutmeg of Savage was a classic moment! Similar to when Henry made a fool of Danny Mills at Highbury a couple of years ago!

12/26/2006 11:55 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says......Well done 'T', the Anon at 3.09 must be a very bitter supporter of a very poor team to come on this site to slander the crowd and the " so called magnificent stadium".

As for dropping points etc etc....well I will be very happy to only drop the same amount of points in our next six matches too!

I know its wishfull thinking but you would think Arsene has been reading some of the comments made by us all, the sudden change back to 4-4-2. Well just in case AW is viewing.....please make an offer to Manure for Foster..we need him more than they do. You could finance this by selling a fading star in Freddy and a lad that has been with us too long Alliadierre.

Finally, I still want some innovation re; our defensive midfielders ie; Kolo or Gallas to partner Gilberto in front of our defence....we have enough talent in Senderos & Djurou to plug that gap.

Happy new year to you all...especially God Arsene

12/27/2006 7:12 pm

Blogger T said...

Ha Ha Ha... it would be great if Arsene or one of his many backroom staff decided to check out some Arsenal fansites for some inspiration after the Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Fulham matches... saw us debating the merits of the 4-4-2 system against the 4-5-1 system (particularly for home matches) and were persuaded by our arguments to revert back to it!! It is very wishful thinking... but you just never know!

Yes, Foster is an excellent prospect. But I don't see Ferguson sanctioning a sale to Arsenal. Afinkeev of CSKA Moscow is a very interesting prospect as is Gordon of Hearts... I see these two as more probable options.

Happy new year to you too GP... and thanks for your valued contributions over the last 12 months.

12/28/2006 1:58 pm


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