Adebayor and Arsenal storm back to the top

Adebayor and Arsenal storm back to the top

Arsenal are back on the top of the Premiership table after their 3-1 win over Manchester City was coupled with dropped points to both major title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger’s side got of to a great start when Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring on nine minutes, scrambling home the ball after a great burst of speed down the right by Bacary Sagna. The lead was doubled just 15 minutes later when Adebayor’s cushioned header allowed Eduardo da Silva to fire home after turning superbly.

Adebayor celebrates the final goalManchester City stole a goal back just a couple of minutes later when Gelson Fernandes slotted home after an error by Gael Clichy. But the game was put beyond doubt just before the end when Adebayor got his second for the match, finishing calmly from twelve yards out after good lead-up work from Cesc Fabregas and Eduardo.

It was another excellent showing by Wenger’s side and the fourth Premiership game in row that Arsenal have scored three goals. Every single player put in a good performance (excluding Clichy’s error) and that was evidenced by the number of chances that Arsenal created and the ease with Manchester City’s attack was controlled over the 90 minutes.

With two more goals – taking his Premiership tally to eighteen for the season – and willingness to be involved in absolutely everything up front Adebayor was undoubtedly the best player on the park against Manchester City. Unsurprisingly, the manager was full of praise for the Togolese striker following the win.

“His movement off the ball, his finishing, his calmness. I don’t know if some people have seen when he first came to us he was not really composed in front of goal. Now he looks really composed.”

It’s been said many times in the past that the one area that Adebayor could work on is his finishing but ten goals in his last eight games and 21 in all competitions indicates the improvement that he has made since last season. He’s just one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United man failed to score in his club’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham so there’s every chance that Adebayor could finish with the golden boot, an outcome that looked unthinkable going into the season.

Arsenal celebrate being back on top of the tableSenderos doing well

Other standouts from the win against City were Bacary Sagna and Philippe Senderos. Sagna had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt, bombing forward on a consistent basis and crucially setting up Adebayor for the first goal. Senderos also impressed. The Swiss defender’s weakness has always been a lack of pace and a tendency to give the ball away when in possession so it was a nice change to see him distributing the ball with such authority in this match. 

In recent weeks he has performed admirably and been able to forge a solid partnership at the back alongside William Gallas. I’ll be the first to admit that I was sceptical about Senderos’ future at the club and while this short spell will not necessarily change my view it’s nice to see such a likeable player performing well.

The man that Senderos replaced in the Arsenal defence, Kolo Toure, has recently spoken of his fear of becoming ‘burnt out’ after playing for his country at the African Cup of Nations. The Ivory Coast defender is worried that he will struggle to be back to his best for Arsenal when he returns to England due to the physical demands being placed on him during the tournament in Ghana.

“It is a concern that if we get to the final or the third-place match I will go back to London after being involved in five games in about 18 days. I can’t just expect to walk back in because I have played a lot of games in a short time for my country.”

Toure did not play in the Ivory Coast’s 5-0 win over Guinea yesterday – he’s been struggling with groin problem that has troubled him since the second group game – so even taking the heat into account I’m not sure fatigue will be such a problem for him. However, I do like his admission that he can’t just expect to walk back into the side. Toure has always brought a good attitude to the club and I feel his comment is well-placed given the performances that Senderos has shown during the Ivorian’s absence.

So, another fine weekend for the Arsenal Football Club. A two-point lead at the top of the table means the pressure is back on Manchester United and Chelsea to respond. This could force some less-than-perfect performances and if Wenger and his side can keep their head it wouldn’t surprise me to see the lead at the top extended after next weekend. Things are looking very, very good for Arsenal.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s win at Manchester City by leaving a comment.

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24 Responses to “Adebayor and Arsenal storm back to the top”

  1. knightman
    February 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    CHEERS for adebayor’s performance.just like SF am a great fan of ade and i want him to get th golden boot n am sure he will. anybody misses RVP th way i do? am afraid for him though as it gonna be hard to displace da silva..

  2. vlcgooner
    February 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    I think that Toure’s comments are not just ‘good attitude.’ If a warrior like that talks about being burnt out it is because he is genuinely tired. Arseblogger, I think, notes that he would be playing all the same were at Arsenal. But the African Nations Cup is different. The heat, being away from home, and most of all the intense pressure of representing your country there, have to be very waring. It could even be that his injury was brought on by fatigue. I am a bit (just a bit) concerned because we need him at this best for Man U and Milan. Wenger really is skating on thin-ice at the back. All the more reason we should be encouraged by Senderos’ recent displays.

  3. Le Gunner
    February 4, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    Knightman- Eduardo scores a fantastic goal fair enough but to suggest RVP will not get into the side is pathetic. When RVP in tip top shape he is way ahead of Eduardo he is a complete player he can assist as well as score fantastic goals. he scored so many crackers I can remind you of one flying volley goal against Charlton last season I have never seen anyone doing that. Also have you noticed we are not scoring free kicks anymore. RVP used to bang them regularly for us. Its a shame he is injury prone otherwise he’ll be the next big name. If you ask Adebayor who he would like to play along side him the answer will be RVP no doubt. RVP is still the man.
    I don’t want to sound like a spoil sport here but to me Senderos will remain a liability. He’s done well in this game purely because city didn’t have the aerial threat. He struggles against strong players the likes of (Kenwyne Jones ,Drogba) type of players.lets hope he stays focused until we get Toure back.

  4. ArsenalKenya
    February 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Adebayor is fantastic. He will go on to get the Golden boot now that he has learnt from his past errors. Diaby is the player i think should improve in holding on to the ball and making quick decisive passes as he looked rusty in that game. Overall Arsenal will win this title and the more the games come up the more the team is determined. We will soon see the best of Adebayor and Eduardo with Adebayor scoring two goals per game or at times a hatrick.

    GO GO THE GUNNERS!!!!

    SF: FOR YOUR INFORMATION – KENYA IS NOW PEACEFUL AND THE POLITICIANS HAVE STARTED TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER AS THEY PREACH PEACE. PLEASE ADVISE THOSE HOLIDAY MAKERS WHO LOVE THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY KENYA TO IGNORE THE TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND VISIT KENYA ANYTIME.

    KUDOS FOR A GREAT POST.

  5. darragh
    February 5, 2008 at 12:42 am #

    The more Eduardo plays, the more I’m impressed with him.

    He reminds me of Rooney or Robbie Keane in a way – determined to score. He seems to be in the right place at the right time. He is in a different mould to adebayor (obviously due to height and power) and different to Van Persie – a player who scores “the perfect goal”. Eduardo quietly takes his chances and seems to convert them into scoring opportunities.

    This is what is different from last years attack – variation. Adebayor, Eduardo, Van Persie, and Bendtner all have different styles. Wenger is able to put on the player to suit the style of the game, and thus is managing to make his team score lots of goals – he doesn’t have to rely on any one player, like Henry or Bergkamp in the past, to convert opportunities into goals.

    I believe this dynamism has allowed Adebayor to convert opportunities into goals – he doesn’t have as much pressure to score knowing their are lots of other capable scoring players – and thus can play his natural game. This has been lacking in previous season.

  6. darragh
    February 5, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    I should add, that when Arsenal last won the premiership they had goals coming from everywhere – Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Lungberg and even Veira from time to time. Once the scoring is shared, the team performs well. Other teams like United with their scoring powerhouses of Rooney and Ronaldo rely too heavily on these players. They have been lucky with injuries.

    Note their last season with many injuries (two season ago) – they didn’t win the championship. This is what I believe is the failing of Ferguson. He’s a great manager, indeed the best the premiership has seen, but he seems to build the team around one or two pivots from season to season. Eventually this will be his undoing. Wenger plays total football – every player is allowed to play their natural game – hence the beautiful football.

  7. BERNAS
    February 5, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    Bravo ARSENAL,WE ARE BACK ON TOP SIMPLY BECOZ OF TEAM WORK AND HARD WORK.I must say that we are almost there let us continue with the same spirit.The calmness and accuracy of Adebayor and edwardo on the goal was is what is needed all the time.Im excited more than ever,ARSENAL ROCKS.Man united gave us the chance that they shouldn’t have given,in fact Man united Survived being beaten.Any way im sky rocking right now and arsenal is improving more in each and every Game.Here is a quote of the Season”WHEN A SCORING CHANCE COMES YOUR MAXIMISE IT AS IF TOU WILL NEVER EVER GET THAT CHANCE AGAIN”.HAVE A GREAT ARSENAL DAY.BENRRY

  8. knightman
    February 5, 2008 at 1:51 am #

    Le Gunner – just like u, i think rvps game is superior than tht of eduardo but he’ll have to work his way back to th squad n am sure eduardo won’t hesitate to show tht what rvp can do, he can do it as well. th point is with eduardo – ade combination producing goals, wenger will cross his fingers praying tht they last one more game..:) arsenalkenya, which part of kenya u living in? our asses r getting burnt in th North Rift! 🙁

  9. Jay
    February 5, 2008 at 3:53 am #

    I am one who agrees with knightman. Everyone knows RVP is still a fan favourite and is no wonder why. An aerial threat, free-kick king and super left foot. I can’t wait till he is back playing week after week. But in recent weeks Edurado has stood out. Now if Wenger was to take either Eduardo or Ade off, Obvs Ade will stay on due to his super form, but i don’t see RVP walking straight back in because Da Silva has performed well and no-body saw his potential, then when he started scoring it was a big shock to some people. Personally I like to see Ade-Theo every so often because it is a mixture of height and power with small and speed. That does work. In the prem it shud be Ade-RVP but Eduardo wil defo get playin tym. I jus lyk to see Theo ( am a massive fan of him, tht not the reason tho ) play.

  10. Arsenal Haggis lover
    February 5, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    I was really impressed with our performance for the first 25 minutes. Seemed as if we had a bit of our swagger back. It’s definitely the most assured we’ve been pre the Sevilla defeat.

    Totally agree with you SF on Ade, congrats for always supporting him too. I have to admit I can’t say the same. In the past I doubted if he had the sheer finishing prowess to warrant his place in the side, but I always appreciated his work rate. Now that he’s added a fantastic scoring tally to that work rate he’s arguably the finest centre forward in the world right now.

    Considering he’s scored 18 PL goals by Feb, and the Drog in his best ever season only scored 20, is undeniable proof of how far he has come in two very short years. A rough diamond who has been massively polished, and I’m really happy to eat my words.

    Not sure we’re going to win the league, though. I generally feel we are the Premierships’ best team, but are less professional at closing games out than United. I am a massive pessimist, though, so hopefully I’ll be proved wrong, because the way we’ve played – without our talisman – this season, really does deserve some silverware.

  11. Taygoon
    February 5, 2008 at 7:12 am #

    Very assured performances of late. Ade, Eduardo and RVP are going to be playing together when RVP is back, but it all hinges on how well Eduardo acclimatize on the left. I believe that is why Wenger shoves him to the left consistently at some point in almost every game. Have hearts gunners. This one is ours. Man U are more inconsistent than us and yet it supprises me how people choose not to see it. The only consistent team I am worried about is Chelsea. My prediction now is Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U. A lot of people are going to be surprised by Man U dropping more points. The only thing they have is that some teams just roll over to Man U and think they can get something from Arsenal. That explains the goal difference. We have the most potent strike force of any team in the epl, considering our best striker has been out for eternity. If Man u lost their best goal scorer for last season(Ronaldo) for as long as we have lost ours(RVP), Man U would be struggling to catch the miserable Liverpool at this point. Frankly, I am now thinking about Tokyo/Japan next season.

  12. BigGun
    February 5, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    The best thing about being top of the prem? Nobody saw us being there. I personally beleive arsenal are the best team in the league, and on there day amongst the best in the world. I am slightly worried about our defence at times, and wouldnt be surprised if Wenger sought to improve there. We have a wealth of experience all over the pitch. One thing I would like to raise, Why de people still see Man Utd winning the premiership this season? They rely to heavily on certain players, and I beleive this will cause them problems, should Ronaldo, Roony or Tevez go and get injured.

  13. Spanish Fry
    February 5, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    vlcgooner – “The heat, being away from home, and most of all the intense pressure of representing your country there, have to be very waring. It could even be that his injury was brought on by fatigue.”

    Great comment mate. Did not consider the intensity of representing his country. Despite that I think he’ll probably be alright, he’s only played 1.5 games so far and that’s less than he would’ve played for Arsenal in the same time.

    TayGoon – “Frankly, I am now thinking about Tokyo/Japan next season.”

    What do you mean?

  14. Spanish Fry
    February 5, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Arsenal haggis lover – Without sounding like an arrogant fool, it is nice to see Adebayor justifying the faith I (and many others, mind you) have shown in him. He’s doing well and long may it continue. Just on your point about Arsenal “swaggering” for the first time in a long while, I totally agree. At no point did I ever feel City were going to get something from that game and with the score at 2-1 for so long that’s saying something.

  15. Spanish Fry
    February 5, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    ArsenalKenya – Good to see things are looking up. I’d love to visit Kenya at some stage so some advice down the track wouldn’t go astray. I’m actually planning to go to Ghana at some point in the next couple of years as well but we’ll see how that goes.

  16. Jay
    February 5, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I must admit as SF knows (we had debates about this all the time, me and him disagree all the time) I didnt hav faith in Ade and even wanted him to go out on loan at the start of the season I only thank god I am not the manager cuz I wud hav made the worst mistake. I take it all back and am a Ade fan rite now, he is unstoppable. 18 epl goals, 1 behind Ronaldo who will soon lose form. 2 games from Man Utd in the F.A. and 3 games from Milan in the Champo league. We have Blackburn b4 united. Pato who has dun well 4 milan is now injured ( i hope he misses the arsenal game ).

  17. Spanish Fry
    February 5, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    It looks like Pato will miss the Arsenal game. He has a relatively serious ankle injury – likely to be out for three weeks. Definitely good news as Milan are having a bit of a ‘striker crisis’.

  18. TayGoon
    February 5, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    SF: I am dreaming about the FIFA World Club Championships as CL winners this season. I am convinced that we will go past AC with relative ease, unless AW tries to be too cautious. The reason we reached the final was continental teams do turn up to play and we have no problems with teams that plays. AC Milan will play and I can see us putting 3 or 4 past them @ Emirates. We can comfortably hold them at San Siro, heck everyone in Italy seems to able to do it. As for the EPL, I hope Man City and the Keegan bunch realy turn the screws on Man U in their next games.

  19. Rvp Fan
    February 5, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    Well, I just thought of something that while reading through the comments, that no one has though of.. Why not, when RVP is back, play all three strikers? It means one of the midfielders will have to drop out though i spose, but anyway, it is an interesting thought..

  20. memino
    February 6, 2008 at 1:58 am #

    ARSENAL……the team &the only team that has got specail fixture (i.e. team work,winning spirit,even the love that includes the great emotion among the players,the coach as
    well as the fans ) every thing at this moment is PERFECT!
    how can we make a spich better than this ……………
    just one spech is left for the fans i.e.
    “ARSEN KNOWS JUST BE WITH HIM AND WITH HIS KIDS”
    OOOOOOOYYYYYAAA!!!!!!!!!!
    GO GO GO GOONERS……..

  21. cem
    February 6, 2008 at 2:38 am #

    sometimes I think the signs are there that Man U struggle more than us in some matches, but because I´m a massive pessimist I fear we’ll lose out on the title.
    For instance their recent match against Reading showed they really they were a bit lucky to win.
    We beat Reading comfortably 3-1 away.
    They really were lucky with one point against Tottenham. They had a last minute penalty to win against Everton.
    The signs are there and hopefully we will win the league, INSALLAH

  22. mj
    February 9, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    welcome to my blog
    http://blog.sina.com.cn/majiemj

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