Defender Forces The Issue With More To Come. Apparently.
Back from the harsh suspension imposed by the FA of Mrs YW, my thanks to Consolsbob, Zimpaul, Muppet, Steww, LimparAssist and Darius for their sterling work during my absence. An appeal to the Disciplinary Committee was deemed frivolous but luckily a further ban avoided although issuing a suspended sentence may yet cause trouble.
So time to tick off the checklist for the start of the season. Serious injury to promising youngster? Tick. Senior squad member knacked following an impressive game? Check. Transfer clamouring for new goalkeeper? Check. No-one new arrived yet? Check.
Prior to the ‘big kick-off’, I suggested that Arsene would be happy to go to Stamford Bridge having dropped just two points and the start made by Arsenal so far suggests that this might well be the case. Congratulations to Limpar for avoiding using ‘Oranges are Lemons‘ as the headline for his match report but the limitations of Blackpool were brutally exposed by Theo Walcott’s finishing, in particular, and the overall team play. Playing at home to a newly promoted side, properly reduced to ten men, and handing out the ‘designated’ thrashing is not a sign of a guaranteed title challenge but it is an indication that mentally, the squad prepared to beat the opposition in front of them, ruthlessly.
Watching Alan Hansen’s criticism of Walcott in the Match of the Day post-match analysis was bizarre. The comments were lacking originality – he borrowed Chris Waddle’s bitchiness pre-South Africa – and the highlights chosen merely proved the opposite of the points he was trying to make. Walcott did not deserve either; even by the ludicrously low standards of the pundits sofa, it must have been a first for an England international to score a hat-trick and not receive any praise for doing so, even begrudgingly. I wondered if the Scrumpy had been mind-altering in totality when Lineker defended Walcott in his Mr Nice Guy way.
Liverpool’s capitulation at Eastlands last night has raised the immediate questions about Arsenal’s result at Anfield. Had it been a home match, then they might have been valid but overall, Arsene will have been reasonably pleased with the point. The cutting edge of van Persie was missed as Chamakh felt his way into the English game, his hard work rewarded as he put Reina under pressure for the equaliser.
Almunia was treated with the usual harshness for being beaten at the near post, even though the ferocity of Ngog’s shot from inside of the penalty area would have beaten him at the far post. Almunia’s perceived weakness was apparently worse than Reina scooping the ball into his net – was it footballing karma for the Liverpool fans who still laugh at the mention of Gary Sprake? Had an Arsenal goalkeeper committed such a monumental error in a home game against a team perceived to be a rival this season, the scorn and derision would still be heard today.
Overall, the display at Anfield probably got the result due, the failure to breakdown Liverpool in the second half disappointing after the way they were reduced to ordinariness in the opening forty-five minutes. Many positives were drawn though and Koscielny’s debut dispelled some of the concerns about him prior to kick-off, his partnership with Vermaelen getting off to a good start. The red card was soft beyond words and it will be a test of officiating standards to see if all ball to hand incidents are suitably punished in the aftermath.
The reaction to Joe Cole’s dismissal was equally baffling; the tackle was high and late, the remonstrations post-match were typical of the English game. Cole has not been regarded as a thug but that is irrelevant; it was a poorly timed challenge which received the correct punishment.
Transfers are to the fore at the moment with Sebastien Squillaci seemingly poised to join today or tomorrow following a medical at Arsenal. The signing is typically left-field, not mentioned in the welter of noise about Mertesacker and Tasci for most of the summer. He is experienced, cried out for in the absence of those who have left this summer. That Gallas has pitched up at White Hart Lane is neither here nor there; I frankly don’t care about him playing for Tottenham or anyone else once it became apparent that he was not going to stay at Arsenal. He may give them a full season following his injury plagued time at Arsenal but that was then, this is now and we should be supporting the squad we have not reminiscing about those whose time at the club has past or never will be.
Squillaci has apparently forced Sevilla’s hand in the affair, refusing to play in the Champions League qualifier last week against Braga. It is not hard to imagine how their supporters feel about the affair, I would have been beyond incandescent had Fabregas, for example, pulled a similar stunt to force a move to Barcelona. They are up to similar tricks with a more willing Mascherano at the moment, good luck to Liverpool in fending them off. Such is the innate hypocrisy of the football fan, I am not bothered by Squillaci’s antics as Arsenal are the beneficiaries.
He isn’t the first signing of the past fortnight with the manager chancing his arm on another compatriot although I hope he knows what he is doing with this lad Wenger, does he have the right experience to take Arsenal forwards in the next three years?
The rumours of Mark Schwarzer will still not go away and his convenient injury at the weekend led to more fodder about medicals and goodness alone knows what. The resurgence of the rumour of Stekelenberg filled me with more hope that the ageing Australian whom I maintain is no better than anyone already at the club, easily prone to making mistakes – Arsenal has benefitted from those in the past. The problem is that the media has fed and feeds upon, an insecurity amongst the supporters, breathing life into stories which would otherwise have died a death summers ago.
So a bright new season is upon us with many twists and turns to come. A solid start has been achieved, good foundations upon which to build, especially with the first battle of GBH upon us this weekend, the first trip of the ‘Southern Softies oop North‘. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on August 24, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 188 Comments.