Arsenal 0-1 Olympiakos: Ramsey dazzles as Vela leaves his shooting boots at home

Arsenal 0-1 Olympiakos: Ramsey dazzles as Vela leaves his shooting boots at home

It was a lonely night for Carlos Vela

Arsenal 0-1 Olympiakos Report

It turned out to be something of a non-event in Athens as a very young Arsenal side lost 1-0 to Olympiakos in the final match of the Champions League group stage.

Arsene Wenger fielded youngsters Kyle Bartley, Thomas Cruise and Kerrea Gilbert along with Mikael Silvestre and Lukasz Fabianski in an unfamiliar defensive five. Alex Song provided the experience in the middle alongside Aaron Ramsey and Fran Merida while the line-up completed with a nippy front three of Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshere.

While the young side did well against the Greek champions and had quite a lot of the ball, the final score was fairly predictable. Leonardo punished a lapse in the Arsenal defence to score the only goal of the game just two minutes after half-time. We created a number of clear opportunities to get back into the game after going behind – Vela in particular butchering two one-on-ones – but didn’t quite do enough in the final third to demand a result.

In truth it was a fairly boring game, only lit up by the dazzling performance by midfield man Ramsey. The Welshman had gone off the ball recently but produced some excellent passing from the centre of the park, best illustrated by a sensational through ball with the outside of his boot to set Carlos Vela away. Ramsey was well-supported by Song in the middle of the park as well as the Cameroon man lead by example while debutant Kyle Bartley also had a strong game and was desperately unlucky with the goal.

There’s really no point reading too much into the negatives from today although supporters will be understandably disappointed with the performance of Vela. Like Eduardo he is a player that is very much judged on his finishing and ability to put the ball in the back of the net and like Eduardo, he’s struggling to do that at the moment. You just get the feeling it could rain goals if he could just get one and the Mexican is certainly creating the opportunities, so let’s hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Looking Ahead

The big picture is that we’ve qualified on top of the group and can look forward another year of knockout Champions League football. Looking around the other groups our opponent for the Round of 16 will be one of Stuttgart, Porto, Milan, Bayern Munich, Inter, CSKA Moscow or Lyon, so we’ll have to be at the top of game come January if we’re to make further progress. You’d have to think that Stuttgart or Porto are the best option, although I’d back us to knock just about any of those teams out as long as Nicklas Bendtner is back!

With the midweek game out of the way attention will now to turn to the big match at Anfield on Saturday. Liverpool finished off their campaign with another loss, this time to Fiorentina, and with our big names back in the side it’s a great opportunity to make a statement of our quality to the rest of the competition.

That’s it from me apart from a very small reminder that if you love reading the Arsenal FC Blog you can subscribe via Email or RSS for free by clicking here. Enjoy the rest of your week if you can!

Have your say on Arsenal’s 0-1 defeat to Olympiakos by leaving a comment.

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47 Responses to “Arsenal 0-1 Olympiakos: Ramsey dazzles as Vela leaves his shooting boots at home”

  1. millefiori
    December 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    liverpool game’s sunday.
    i remain seriously concerned of our lack of size and speed up front. am not expecting anything for us from the liverpool game. Brace guys.

  2. chudi illoh
    December 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    If AW did not replace Adebayor bcos of Vella it is beginning to show that he made a VERY BIG mistake. Vella does not have the killer instinct and appears to be over rated by AW. The gaffer should pls spare us some pain and look for quality in January.

  3. Gibbs
    December 10, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    Fabianski should be our number 1. He – unlike Almunia – attacks the ball, comes out for crosses and he was quick off the line to deny them a few times. He must be given a chance.

  4. marbellaron
    December 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Arsenal’s highly inexperienced line-up did the club a lot of credit in the final Champions League group game last night. Sure, they failed to find the net, but chances aplenty were created, and hopefully, Carlos Vela will finish with greater aplomb the next time he is presented with the kind of opportunities he enjoyed against Olympiacos.

    Arsenal lost a few hundred thousand of UEFA’s prize money euros through the failure to gain any points, so a few weeks of Theo Walcott’s wages were sacrificed, but if ever there was a game where the result was irrelevant, then this was it. What mattered was the benefit it gave to the learning curve of the more inexperienced players and a number of them demonstrated that, if required, they could step into the first choice starting line-up should they be asked to plug a gap.

    To Olympiacos, not conceding was all that really mattered, a draw enough to guarantee their own progress, and they approached the game that way. When the Gunners were caught out on the counter attack, it was a consequence of the way the team play – and there was little difference here between last night and a good number of matches this season. It’s a huge weakness, but one the fans have become accustomed to. To be critical of its appearance in this fixture would be churlish.

    Star of the show was Aaron Ramsey. It might be a little over the top to say he ran the game, but his performance wasn’t far short. In brief, he was brilliant. And against a team that set up to challenge the Gunners to score against them, he played a full part in almost making that happen. Song’s presence in the middle undoubtedly helped and when actually in defensive mode (as opposed to being caught on the break), the team performed creditably.

    Given the average age of the side was 20, and without Silvestre in its teens, this defeat was no disgrace. The players stepped up to the plate and could have won this game had they taken their chances. I’m not going to fret that they didn’t, just hope that they will improve and do better. Vela’s going to the World Cup finals with Mexico and if he is equally profligate, he will be back in plenty of time for pre-season training.

    One final thing that struck me. I don’t know exactly how many traveled to Greece to watch this line-up, but for anyone that didn’t, most of the faces can be seen at the end of the northern line, normally on Monday evenings, about once a fortnight – for free.

    This was the youngest line-up ever to take the field in the history of the competition. I suspect it is a record that may stand for decades, and perhaps the legacy that Arsène Wenger leaves in this competition. Can’t say in my heart of hearts that I can see the manager winning the thing, but hell, it’s a cup. Maybe we’ll get lucky. Roll on the last 16 draw to see where the spring will take us.

  5. rocking Guns
    December 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Arsenal,u better be ready for the liverpool match.Your lacked at greece is forgiven.But your lack of forward and defence was unforgivable! If Arsenal can’t even have at least a point on sunday….Let’s just say,Dejavu in the chase for the premier league title.(maybe chelsea or man utd will be crowned champions)and that is against my principal!!!

  6. Rian Joubert
    December 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    I apologise to the fans but Vela is shocking. He has not impressed me

  7. Le Panda
    December 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    Wasn’t a fan of Walcott on free-kick duty. With Ramsay and Merida.

  8. Tony Attwood
    December 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    I’ve watched Arsenal since my father took me to Highbury in 1957. We lived in Tottenham and at that time (as possibly now) the streets of the area were mixed between Arsenal and Tottenham supporters. Being an Arsenal family in Tottenham was not the slightest bit unusual.

    Having watched the team over many years, and had a season ticket in the two George Graham championship years, I know that what I have witnessed in the past 500 games is not just better than anything before, it is light years ahead of everything we had before.

    Two things arise from this introductory point. First, my late father was watching Arsenal when Chapman was there, and he told me stories of the 1930s, the Golden Age before my generation.

    All I got was to stand through all those years without a trophy (17 years was it – I can’t be bothered to look it up) and wondered what it was like to win something, or to be taken seriously by the media.

    Second, when Wenger arrived he was utterly unknown, and not thought to be of any use. We had had a terrible year under Rioch. I know opinion is divided here but to me everything felt wrong with the club at the time. The back four were solid, and Bergkamp was starting to shine, but there was no flair. Ian Wright was playing on the wing and asked for a transfer, and we scraped into the UEFA Cup on the last day of the season.

    After the success of the Graham era it was fairly awful.

    When Wenger was announced Tony Adams said, “what does he know about English football? He’s French,” and that was the attitude of the day. English football is different from the rest of football, and you can only know it by being English.

    This self-centred vision was central to English football at the time, and we still come across it today (”you won’t win the league without a spine of English players”). England (the national team) use to bring in a big strong centre forward because the story was that funny foreigners couldn’t stand having a big Englishman running at them.

    So I was there, in the North Bank with my dear mate Roger, (the guy to whom “Making the Arsenal” is dedicated), watching our most successful manager ever (Pat Rice, who took over while Wenger was still in Japan, and ended his tenure of four or five games unbeaten), and onto the pitch came Patrick Vieira. My mouth fell open, and I said to Roger, “look at that Vieira – he’s just taken over the whole centre of the pitch. He’s running the whole game…”

    Now I should point out, as Roger often did, that my ability to pick good players at first sight is limited. My comments about Henry not being any good as a centre forward during his second match for us came back to haunt me again, and again, and again, and again…

    But the fact is that from the start Wenger was a revolution. On the pitch it was utterly wonderful, and we began to see a totally different approach to football. And then we started winning stuff. Not just stuff we had won before, but impossible stuff too, like going a whole season unbeaten, like 49 unbeaten…

    It is easy to forget but an unbeaten season was considered impossible. All the history books commented on Preston’s achievement in the 1888/9 season but pointed out they only had 22 games to play, and only two competitions to play in. Wenger gave us the impossible, and played the greatest ever football.

    So emotionally I had, some years after my father’s demise, entered his world. And football is about nothing if it is not about emotion.

    But there was more to come, because Wenger was obviously instrumental in taking us to the Emirates, and at the same time he took world-wide scouting to another level.

    We started seeing players that no one had ever heard of, and who two or three years later were players who had come on so far that had we wanted to buy them, we couldn’t have afforded them. Patrick Vieira cost £3.5 million – and two years later was worth… well, make up a number.

    Then along came Chelsea, and Manchester United were taken over, and I realised we had entered an insane world. I remember writing several articles at the time (long before I started this blog) saying, there are three models for big clubs…

    a) Chelsea’s approach – find a rich backer. The dangers are he might leave, he might turn out to be a crook (cf Manchester City’s first attempt) he might not have the money after all (Portsmouth) he might get bored, he might get arrested, he might get shot…

    b) Manchester United’s approach. The danger here is that this only works if there is another buyer at the end of the tunnel. If there isn’t the whole pack of cards comes tumbling down. I expressed my doubts about there being enough people who wanted to buy into this game, for this sort of money. The notion put forward that growth is based on growing marketing just doesn’t add up to me.

    c) Arsenal’s approach based on world-wide scouting for the very best talent – both the relatively unknown mature player (Freddie to Vermaelen) and the youngster with possibilities (Ramsey, Cesc, Theo). What I also hoped and what we eventually got was that young players could come together in our youngest teams and push their way up through – and that is what we have seen in the last two years. The double winning youth team of last year mostly came together aged 11.

    Now my point was, and remains, that these are the only three models that can possibly work to generate a successful club at the moment. The problem with a) is it is all dependent on one person’s fantasy world. The problem with b) is that it is a huge gamble on finding another buyer at the right time. The problem with c) is that you might not get victories all the time.

    But c) gives us other benefits – a club that will survive no matter what. If Wenger left tomorrow, and we got a manager only half as good, we would survive, because our debt is manageable.

    This stability is what I admire, and it is not there in the other models.

    Liverpool have severe troubles because they have tried model b) and run out of money. Manchester City are proving that model a) does not automatically work.

    And – and this is my biggest point – I don’t know anyone else who is “doing an Arsenal”. I have heard of several chairmen say that this is what they will do, but they haven’t, because they haven’t understood the nuances.

    Doing an Arsenal, means having the scouts in place. It means having Gilles Grimandi touring France every day, until he finds Clichy. It means having someone in Spain who can find Merida and Fabregas. It means having a man in Mexico to watch Vela who is not only on the spot but who also knows what he is looking at – spotting talent before others.

    So our model of bringing through youngsters might not bring us trophies each year, but I am certain that within five years Manchester United and Liverpool will have slipped down the rankings. Not as far as Leeds perhaps, but down out of the top four on a regular basis. Liverpool’s demise could well have started.

    I think that we are on the edge of a new golden age – because of our financial model and our youth policy, and that is all down to Wenger.

    In short we get glorious football, some league wins, a club with managed finances, and a sustainable future with a new stadium, and no worries that the owners might run out of cash or bugger off. Not a bad deal.

  9. Filipino Dan
    December 10, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    I’m so suprised at the criticism of Vela.

    Wilshore was invisable, Theo was shocking (it was him who couldnt make use of Ramsey’s terrific pass, not Vela) and yet the criticism from comments above is aimed at the Mexican boy wonder.

    He has shown he can finish. He has also shown he can play nice passes and touches, even in recent tough games against Chelsea and Man City. Against Sunderland it was only when he came on (and was denied a stone-wall pen) that we looked capable of scoring. In his first start of the season against Liege we won 2-0. His only other start have been in the Carling Cup where injury robbed him of more performances like the one against West Brom in September).

    Last night he got himself into decent positions and missed two good chances. Fair enough. But not as bad as Eduardo’s recent misses, where he had plenty of time.

    It’s hardly time to start writing him off, folks. Him and Bendtner could well be the future yet at 20 years old some are forgetting that players need a decent amount of game time (and strikers need service) to develop.

  10. Rocking Guns
    December 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    Do not underestimate Rafa Benitez’s side.Liverpool maybe rotten this season,but their starving for revenge!!!!

  11. Arsesession
    December 10, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Tony,
    Thank you for sharing your story and views. Its the best post I’ve read in too long.

  12. chris Agazi.
    December 10, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

    my love 4 arsenal is bigining to fade away ‘cos of arsen wenger! He is a very sturborn old man who has failed several times, whith his so called philosophy. AW doesnt even care ’bout the pains, arsenal fans has faced through the years. it’s better he resign to save the current ace! why the surden passion 4 little boys since the exit of the likes of viera, hlep, flamini, henry etc. the january window is open 4 transfer not admirance or bidding. we lack defenders & strikers alike!

  13. Dally
    December 11, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    @Tony Attwood
    An excellent bit of writting, well done. I too am old enough to remember the barren years, but I must admit these past 5 years have been harder to bare as we were used to winning things on a regular basis. I have now atched the highlights of last nights game, and we could have won with a bit better finishing but you have to remember Olypiacos are a very good team at the top of there league and we had our reserve team out. Vela, hopefully, just needs some matches under his belt, strikers score and get confidence, if they don’t score they don’t get confidence, a catch 22, hopefully if he plays on Sunday he will get that confidence back.

  14. radads
    December 11, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    @Fillipo Dan,I actually loved Theo’s last night movement in the box, We dont have much players who move like that in the box since RVP got injured,RVP himself, Bendy,Ade,TH14 all know how to do this with a powerfull speed to over run or escape defenders. Vela has been always late runnin and got himself behind the defender or most of the time pushed aside to fall, he is a good and sharp lad but he wont cope physically agst the fully experienced and the strong Bone matured defenders of the PL and the CL.Theo’s run is what we need at the moment,of course he needs a bit of games cos of his injury caused abscence but I see him as RVP’s solution.I need to point out that This isnt about speed, this is about creativity and sharpness in the box.I dont know about you guys but the ONLY and UGLY SIDE of our actual performance is that: WE DONT HAVE CREATIVITY IN THE BOX BECAUSE NOBODY IS TRYING TO GET IN THERE EXCEPT CESC & ARSHA and THE Absent RVP, Everybody just ring and chill out around the box but there is no real attempt.Imagine a 90% BALL POSESSION and 2 SHOTS ON TARGET, What is that mean??? Our defeat agst Chelsea was a direct example of that, they only attacked us twice and they scored with their second attack, We dominated the game for more than 30mn without any single good shot on target or a real danger for Peter Cezch.
    This is what we lack and I strongly beleive that Theo wanted to proove that last night, that he was up to the challenge to be a striker.He’s been always talking about this and i know that he really wants to be a striker so why cant AW give him the chance?? I see his physical (Muscle and Height) growth lately, he is strong and fast.

    Sagna-Gallas-Verma-Clichy
    ——–Song-Deni——
    ———–Cesc———
    Nasri——Theo—–Arsha

    thats what I would suggest but i know that AW would play Arsha as main striker this sunday since he also scored the 4 goals agst them last year.
    Theo——-Arsha—-Rosicky

  15. Filipino Dan
    December 11, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    @radads

    If that was Theo up to the challenge of being a striker then it’s time to worry. If that was him showing how his ‘muscle and height’ has grown, then it’s time to panic.

    Look, Theo was lacklustre last night but that’s down to injuries and a lack of match time. He will come good. But so will Vela, given the chance.

    Theo is great on the wings but for me, Vela is better prepared to play as a center forward at this stage in their respective careers. Just because his off night was highlighted more than the others’ due to a couple of chances not ending up in the net, doesnt excuse him being singled out for criticism.

  16. radads
    December 11, 2009 at 3:17 am #

    @Filipino Dan, Theo has barely played this season, I beleive that its only now that he really starts to regain his form and confidence, which means we havent seen much of him yet this season.
    Saying that Vela would do better with more match time: Yep i agree! but I’d still stick with Theo, based on his PL/CL game experiences,his strength and power.
    However, I need to tell you that I am a Theo walcott fan which could make my point a bit exagerated but that doesnt mean that I hate Vela and single him out for criticism.
    And beleive me that it doesnt have anything to do with the couple of chances that he had missed last night.Being a basket ball team coach once,I look more at movement and sharpness(without the ball)on the pitch rather than goal scored, and I can tell you that Vela is as sharp and talented as RVP,DUDU,Bendy and Theo in the box and I love his movement but his lack of boldness and strength to fight and to overrun defenders in box make me mad at him sometime, and thats what a PL striker really needs.I think Vela needs more muscle work like Song did last year.
    I must admit thou that Vela hasnt been given as many chances as Theo has been given to and I cant tell you his outcome if he would be given more match time like Diaby or Deni, but I can tell you Theo’s outcome if he wont get injured again.

  17. Filipino Dan
    December 11, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    Well let’s assume that like the others, he will gain strength with time.

    He has just signed a new contract.

  18. GetGunMN
    December 11, 2009 at 3:37 am #

    @Tony Attwood, great history lesson and this kind of stories put things in perspective in hard times. It is really difficult to even call this hard times as we are sitting third in the league and won our CL group on the way to last 16. Hard times, only because there were a lot of desperate fans the last couple of weeks on this blog.

    Having said that, I watched the game last night and as you all mentioned above the find third found wanting. I believe Vela, Walcatt, and Edwardo need uninterrupted run of games to get their fitness and confidence back. What is puzzling to me though is the fact that sometimes we just don’t rip a shot from around the box. Is this a training thing? When we do, things seem to happen.

  19. Ianinja
    December 11, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    Theo should go out on loan

  20. charles
    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    will arsenal beat liverpool?

  21. Medeski
    December 11, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    Vela’s finishing was woeful. What made it so much harder to swallow is that we all know he has the ability. We have all seen him make truly difficult goals appear simple. He just didn’t appear to have the ‘striker’s confidence’ last night. Almost as if he had to think just a little too much about each attempt on goal instead of just letting it happen. Maybe it was the atmosphere of a Champions League away match that put him off. Outside of his atrocious finishing, I thought he played well. His movement, in combination with Ramsey’s brilliant vision, really opened up the home team’s defense. A little more experience in big games should hopefully help reacquaint Vela with is shooting boots.
    The one area that really concerned me during the match was the time spent on the ball. Just about everyone on the pitch for Arsenal held the ball too long. Many a move were stopped short because of passes that should have been simple but were made exceedingly difficult. The man who really stood out (and not in a good way) was Song. He took at least one extra touch just about every time he had the ball. He continually drew defenders to him, only to hit them with a poorly struck (or maybe poorly thought out) pass. His defending was pretty standard for this season, but going forward he was off. I don’t mind missing those penultimate passes into the box if you’re trying to put someone through, but making errant passes in the center circle will be the death of any team. Especially a team that has trouble defending the counter-attack, like Arsenal.
    I’m not troubled by the result of the match. Our very young team held a decent home side to only 1 goal. We opened them up on numerous occasions and on a different night, the scoreline could have been much different. The youngsters showed their age, and many of them still have lots of improving to do. Ramsey showed what he has learned from training with Cesc. He has a similar ability to play well paced, incisive passes into the forwards. Song’s poor offensive play may have something to do with the relative inexperience of the players around him. Not everyone was on the same page sometimes. If Song can play a little more simply going forward and Theo can manage to not dribble right into the defender’s feet every time he touches the ball, we can do well on Sunday.
    I have to work Sunday, and the bar I work at doesn’t get the soccer channels so I will be stuck watching American Football.

    —-Almunia/Fabianski———
    (I can’t pick, neither is what I consider a good first choice)

    Sagna – Gallas – Verminator – Traore
    ———Song————-
    —Ramsey—–Cesc——–
    Nasri—————Vela
    ———Arsha———–

  22. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    rocking Guns – I don’t think a lack of forward and defence was unforgivable, it was quite forgivable given the team that traveled to Greece. I can’t really see the point in making criticisms about this defeat, it was arguably our least important game of the entire season and a good opportunity to let some younger players play.

  23. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Rian – Vela wasn’t too bad, it’s just that he didn’t finish his chances. He’s having a bit of a tough run at the moment but the comment that he is “shocking” is way off the mark.

  24. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    @ Le Panda – Yep, couldn’t understand why the others didn’t take them.

  25. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    To those that enjoyed Tony Attwood’s post, you can read more on his blog here:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/

  26. dholu
    December 11, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    excellent website andy and yes i have read some of tony’s pieces too – its a place to go when all are engulfed in negativity. 😉

    the only 2 sites i visit

    keep it up guys

  27. reshem
    December 11, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Excellent article, Tony. All the reasons you mentioned applies to me as well..

    The reason I started following Arsenal was DB10. He was everything I ever wanted in a football: creativity, link-up, strikes and movement. I especially loved his performances for Holland in the WC’98. Back then in India, we only got the odd replays of the world cup and nothing of the Premier League. The following year when we got the cable tv, they started showing highlights of Premier League and as I was a big follower of football since my school days(football was my first love!!), I used to watch them and saw that Bergkamp played for Arsenal. I started ‘following’ Arsenal and Arsenal became my favorite team. I didnt know much about the manager then but Arsenal showed why I love my Arsenal. Watching Arsenal play(even now not just the victories but even the draws and defeats) brought the ‘emotions’ I’d when I used to play myself. I used to jump around the TV room when we used to score and win, feel sad (and sometimes cry ) when we lost. Arsenal made me feel like I was a player myself.

    Slowly I started to read about the club, the history, Arsene Wenger and the players. The oddest thing I noticed back then was how our club and our manager’s first name had the same letters!! Back then I had the feeling that this was a match made in Heaven and I can now say that I was RIGHT!! The Double in 2001-02 and the unbeaten season along with 49 matches unbeaten made me over ‘Cloud 11′(If there was one). Every single player who wore the red and white of Arsenal became my hero.

    During that time, Chelsea started their new life under Roman and my like for Chelsea went down the drain. I liked the way Chelsea played under Ranieri with Zola. I was always against giving lot of importance to money in Sports. This is the main reason why I lost interest in Cricket. But the declaration for Arsene and the board of Arsenal about not going for that model and the move to Emirates along with ‘Project Youth’ made me full member of AKB or a pro-wenger follower. Even though we havent won any trophy for the last few seasons, this “Project Youth” brings my childhood back in me and I still feel like a school kid when I watch Arsenal play. I’m sure this team will win a trophy soon. That day will be one of the best day of my life..

    Sorry for the long comment. The article made me write this. It brought all the emotions on why I follow Arsenal.. Thanks Tony..

  28. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    @ reshem – I know so many people who have got into Arsenal because of Bergkamp, myself included. What a great influence he has been for modern-day Arsenal.

  29. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    @ dholu – Good to hear. I think Tony and I share a similar goal of always trying to keep things in perspective.

  30. GetGunMN
    December 11, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    @Andy, thanks for the link to Tony’s blog. I have to admit I really enjoyed reading his various articles. I saved his link in my favorites too. It is enjoyable.

    And you’re absolutely right about the game last night. There was nothing riding on that. Simply a game to give our youngsters an experience. So, we should see it for what it is.

  31. theicehammer
    December 11, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Watching that game was like ground hog day, over and over and over again. Plenty of style, silk,and slickness just like the first team. I really felt sorry for Song for he worked his socks off for the cause. And for what, for a game that was unimportant. He was by far the best Arsenal player on the pitch. I have said it before and i will say it again. Wenger needs to promote an out and out striker. Someone who knows how to stick a ball into the net. Arsenal have a few young players who play up front but are not really strikers. They have very good technique and good silky moves but require far far to many chances to score a goal. Vela can do the same level of a job on the left wing as he can in the middle and also the right wing and just behind the forward but unfortunately he has not mastered one position. I believe two many players have their tallents spread over to many positions. Andy is not finishing chances what a striker is supposed to do and what he is judged on. I can see the team being potless again

  32. theicehammer
    December 11, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Im beginning to have my doubts about Walcott. He goes missing far to much during a game. He does not get on the ball enough and is very predictable. All pase and very little end product.

  33. C-Bass
    December 11, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Vela gets a new contract and Big Nik has a setback. I’m a bit worried about this fixture against Liverpool. Let alone our strike force going forward. I hope Arshavin’s ready to do his thing.

  34. GetGunMN
    December 11, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    @theicehammer, I don’t know if you want to write off both Vela and Walcott as they are still young. Walcott is coming back from injury too. They need to be given time and extended run of play to judge their ability. You can tell Vela lacks confidence as he hasn’t scored for awhile. For the couple of chances he had, a confident Vela would have put them away.

  35. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    December 11, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    @ theicehammer – I think in Vela and Eduardo’s case they will be judged on their goals, as I said in the article. I think you’re being a little harsh on Vela and Walcott – give them time.

  36. rilub
    December 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    superb articles – well done guys.

  37. shambogunner
    December 12, 2009 at 3:27 am #

    like the look of bartley…power,guts and pride…wud be happy to see more of him
    apprehensive about the weekends game.3 pts in our current state wud be unbealievably good

  38. Mac Daniel
    December 12, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    I;m sorry I couldn’t read all the posts. Credit to this blog. I like the blogger and the posters. Re Theo Walcott I would sell him yesterday. By the time he settles in the first team and start producing I will be out of rehab and into the funeral home. I like him as a person but he is not progressing quickly enough. If Vela dosen’t produce by end of this season sell him too. We have a lot of youngsters so who cares. Keep only the ones who can show up in the morning.

  39. theicehammer
    December 12, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Maybe vela, but walcott is progressing very very slowly if at all. I have not seen anything new in his game other than pase. What about you. Dont you think he is out of the game far to much. He should be frightening once he is on the ball. But is he realy.

  40. theicehammer
    December 12, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Sorry pace. He runs to straight with the ball, needs to zig sag a little.

  41. Hey Nonny Mouse
    December 12, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Both Vela and Theo have fantastic skill. They’ve already proved that. What they need is a good run of matches to get the confidence and consistency going. Theo only seems to play a couple of games in a row before he picks up an injury and is out again. There’s no reason to assume, however, that this will always be the case. Vela’s really only just coming into the squad so you can’t even say he’s had his chance yet – and some people are already writing him off! Ridiculous!
    Barring persistent injury problems these two are both going to be dynamite – it may take a coupe of seasons before they really ignite but when they do – hoo boy …

  42. radads
    December 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    Sol campbel is a gift from heaven for Arsenal, he is the tall and uggly defenders we need and he is not an injury prone, he is as strong as a lion and experienced.

    SAGNA-GALLAS-SOL CAMP-TRAORE

    ———–SONG-VERMA——-
    ————-CESC———–
    NASRI——–THEO——ARSHA

    I would play like this if i was the Arsenal coach, but unfortunately I’m not!!!!

  43. shambogunner
    December 13, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    spuds lose,city and chels draw…great incentive for tomorrow,if the lads are serious bout being contenders and believe they can win the league they will show us a gutsy performance tomorrow from the start and really go at liverpool,if we get another lackluster one pace, pass pass pass effort well then wel know we really are not contenders,contenders capitalise on lost points and we must do that tommorrow
    come on arsenal

  44. shambogunner
    December 13, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    utd down 1-0…..lads if we can pick up 3pts tomorrow the momemtum will seriously shift,especially with some of our boys comin back from injury…the addition of a goalscorer in jan wud really help!

  45. Hey Nonny Mouse
    December 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Amazing results in the Prem yesterday. 6 draws. Thpurth lose at home to Wolves. Chavs draw and concede 3 goals. Of course, best of all, the manc wanks beaten at home – and not even gifted their obligatory home penalty – in fact – Rooney, the dirty, stinking, cheating, fat, slag that he is booked for his dive. What is going on? It’s wonderful!
    I feel very confident about our chances tomorrow. Liverpool are the favourites and that will suit us I believe. Arshavin to score 4 again! Cuuurrrmon The Arsenal!

  46. Hey Nonny Mouse
    December 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    And who said Chelsea would drop points, and had the pundits scoffing? Oh yeah, it was Arsene Wenger. Ha ha ha ha

  47. Medeski
    December 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Our boys need to take advantage of the points dropped by everyone. This has the potential to be one of ‘those moments’ that everyone points to when looking back on a championship season. 3 points at Anfield and another 3 from our game in hand and it is on!

    All I want for christmas is a six win December.

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