Do I really have to talk about Arsenal v West Ham? + Arshavin in London

I’ll start today’s post with a question: is there really any point going over Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with West Ham?

I’m pretty sure most people’s answer would be ‘no’ and I’d have to agree. It’s not that we played particularly poorly at the Emirates on Saturday – after all, 63% possession and 22 shots on goal hardly represents a poor performance. It’s just that we never looked like scoring. For all of our possession, for all of the attacking players we had on the pitch, we completely lacked the spark to break down an incredibly negative West Ham side.

The lack of attacking spark is a real worry simply because it’s become so common. Indeed, in our last six Premier League home games we’ve scored just four goals. That’s right, four. It’s an astonishing statistic, really, given everything that has been written about our supposedly awful defence and gives some perspective as to why Andrei Arshavin is being chased so ferociously. He’s expected to sign today, by the way, and this time it might actually be true.

Going forward, there were some casualties from the West Ham game. Emmanuel Eboue looks like he’s been quite seriously injured and will be out for some time. Watching the game with mates, it was a real case of the Boy Who Cried Wolf as everyone hurled abuse at the Ivorian for staying down, understandably expecting him to spring back to his feet when the ball was kicked out. That he turned out to be injured was of course a little cruel, but at the same time somewhat comical. Poor Eboue.

His injury means that the imminent signing of Arshavin can come no sooner. Reports have suggested that the Russian has flown to England to complete a medical that will see him announced as an Arsenal player. It’s sure to be a busy day/night on the blog, I suspect, and I’ll be sure to update things as they happen.

The other casualty from the game was Abou Diaby, who picked up a fifth yellow card and will be forced to miss the North London derby on Sunday. I thought the Frenchman played a decent game against West Ham and he was desperately unlucky to be booked after slipping into the challenge. In saying that, if his absence means the door is open for Arshavin to make his debut for the club then perhaps it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps.

Anyway, that’s it in a pretty short blog. I really can’t be bothered saying anything more about the weekend and it’s likely that today will be dominated by the ‘will he? won’t he?’ situation surrounding Andrei Arshavin, so there’s little point carrying on.

Cheers and have a good one. 

Have your say on Arsenal’s draw with West Ham or Andrei Arshavin by leaving a comment.

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48 Responses to “Do I really have to talk about Arsenal v West Ham? + Arshavin in London”

  1. Mexican Gunner
    February 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    And Cesc said that he will be fit soon than expected, he will back to London next week and he said that he start to running this week.

  2. astroangel
    February 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    what about the FA Cup ?I know it’s still too early to say about that.

  3. brooking still the best
    February 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    You Gooners are in denial, your not going anywhere apart from backwards. Your so called talented forwards are not going to even get you in the champions league this year. That is going to cripple you as your already struggling to pay of your huge dept for the emirates. It’s a good job Wenger never see’s anything isn’t it cause the Arse are no longer a top four team and may not be for a long time to come.

  4. Kyle
    February 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi fokes. I feel gettin a champions league spot is the most important 2 do now, wid al the injuiries we have a new player is welcum. Arshavin should fit in wel. The gud news is that we r stil the best team in london. Chelsea r not playin wel at al and the spuds r just plan poo! We wil beat them on sunday. I recon we wil finish 3rd in the table and were stil in 2 big competitions. So cum on the arsenal. Show them wat we can do. Nasri and van persie 2 score. 0-2 2 the gunnurs

  5. Gibbs
    February 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Whatever brooking! What are you? A Yid, a Chav, a Manc or a Dipper? Get a life fella, seriously. Arsenal will bounce back, just wait and see.

    Anyway, i dont want to get my hopes up. I did it on September1 and i got burned. So ill be happy with the signing but i wont be suprised if we dont sign Arshavin.

  6. Spanish Fry
    February 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    @ brooking – Some really well thought out comments there. Fool. I’d like you to point out the Arsenal fans that have commented on this post that are ‘in denial’.

  7. Andy
    February 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Adebayor has to be the laziest player to have ever donned an Arsenal shirt during Wenger’s reign, or perhaps even longer.

    Henry could be criticized for not harrying, but by saving energy he was able to destroy defences with his pace and power.

    What may I ask is Adebayor saving his energy for?

  8. Spanish Fry
    February 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    @ Andy – I don’t know. It’s a shame because I think Ade won a lot of people over last season by working his arse off. It seems to have gone down the gurgler a bit.

  9. MoMONEY
    February 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Yes he was never the most clinical finisher but I always let it slide because of the effort he gave… He was also real good at tracking back and holding the ball up until others arrived… This year he has not been the same…

    All of a sudden Chelsea is level with Villa… Difference is that we play Chelsea again, and at home. I think if we sign Arshavin, keep on the pace until others get healthy, then beat Chelsea at home (we should have everyone back by then), then we make the Champs league easily… Plus I think Villa will drop. We just need Arshavin to cover the gap until everyone gets healthy…

  10. Hans
    February 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    I have some news for all the optimists out there, and it is all bad. The signing of the Russian will not make any difference to the downward momentum of the Arsenal. One swallow doesn’t make a summer. We need some men in our side. Not kids with incomplete bone structures who by the very nature of the rough and tumble of the Premier leauge are more vulnerable to injury than adults.
    As long as Wenger persists with his current “I do not need squad fortification, my players can do it” attitude, we are doomed to be also rans. His senile attitude will cost Arsenal not only now, but in the future also. Out of top four = out of europe = out of pocket = no money to buy players. My prediction is another exodus at the end of the season, just like last years capitulation. He’ll sell off those we need and buy some more under 18 players who will be injured in the early season by playing them amongst the men of the Premier league.
    Remove him and bring in a good manager!!!! When he turned from the Bergkamps, Henries, Vieras of this world to his new found “inspiration”, ie buy children… that is when he lost his marbles. Sorry to say boys, but next year we’ll be on the road to nowhere like the Newcastles of this world. I live in hope and remain a faithful supporter.

  11. Femi Jacobs
    February 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    I am surprised that we are just getting to know that Ade is minus-one! He is not giving all to Arsenal simply because he is afraid of injury. Even Nasri is more forceful than Ade. The reason is not far fetched – No body to bench him. Wenger should begin to compare him with Wilshare so that he will get it into his forehead that he is diminishing. Nasri should try penetrating for goals. He can do it

  12. MoMONEY
    February 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/724/premier-league/2009/02/02/1089492/report-aston-villa-eyeing-micah-richards-swoop

    7 mil is easily worth it though its probably too late now… They mention him playing midfield as well…

  13. Neilo
    February 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    AGain, I am agreeing with Hans. I can’t even watch The Gunners anymore … frustrating beyond belief but also so predictable and just boring. Not boring reassured like in the past when we were a sure thing at 1-0, but boring shaky. Normally, I’d be over the moon with Arshavin arriving, but he is just not enough. There are too many holes to fill and they are not being filled. Everton could even pip us for 5th as they have a bit more bite and passion and Tim Cahill and the bit between their teeth. Like Chelsea, we are heading backwards and something needs to happen. It’s Grim and I really think that Wenger is in denial or is just going through the motions and does actually not believe in the dream any more either!

  14. Gibbs
    February 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Sky Sports has vedeo footage that confirms Arshavin is in London folks. It looks promising

  15. AR
    February 2, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Come on Dre Shavin!!!!!!!

  16. SCOPE KNIGHT
    February 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi SF,
    I enjoy your blog so much at the same time even if we know that guy with the weird comment is a fool it did not have to come from you.I think we fans need to face the fact which is we MIGHT not qualify for champions league.It is not wengers fault but it is just football.we are on the decline.we have reached our peak and we need to rebuild or we will be left behind. I was watching an old arsenal vs man u match were the likes of rooney and ronaldo looked like kids before dennis, titi, pires, lauren, sol should i go on. i have not lost hope but i have no faith in this current crop of players.Arshavin wont save our season we need players.Some need to go while fresh bllod need to come in coupled with our injured trio.
    Life goes on its sooo sad.

  17. Roy
    February 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    It wasn’t that we were “incredibly negative” – we couldn’t get out of our own half!

  18. Gibbs
    February 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Arshavin is on his way back to Russia, Arsenal cant afford 15mil according to Sky Sports. How pathetic!

  19. MoMONEY
    February 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Sky sports has reported back and forth this entire window… Ill wait for Wenger to say saomthing before i get my hopes up or down… Ill be quite disapointted if we dont get him though I still think we will finish 4th…

  20. Gibbs
    February 2, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Forget it MoMONEY. This is the same as the Alonso saga. Arsenal wont pay a couple of million yids so the deal is off. How arrogant can this club get? Its really annoying.

  21. SCOPE KNIGHT
    February 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    This is the most irritating season.this club is on the decline. we can not pay to clinch 4th.sooo sad. I am beginning to hate arsene and his fucked up approach to respecting budgets etc.tired of this fuckling falacy.the guy is going back to russia and we just can not sign him.whyyyyyy.fuck i am soo pisssed.

  22. SCOPE KNIGHT
    February 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    This is the most irritating season.this club is on the decline. we can not pay to clinch 4th.so sad. I am beginning to hate arsene and his fucked up approach to respecting budgets etc.tired of this fuckling falacy.the guy is going back to russia and we just can not sign him.whyyyyyy.fuck i am soo pisssed.

  23. kameron
    February 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    One would expect Arsenal fans to be positive about the team or offer constructive criticism. The unusually high level of “time for Wenger to go” and absolute panning of players is more attune to the fans of other teams attempting to disgruntle Arsenal fans and create dissension. You are right in blocking those that do not constructively add to the debate.

    Stats don’t show everything but over an extended run of games and by looking at the key stats appropriate by position you do get a good understanding of who is and isn’t good. Defensive midfielder is one of those positions where the stats don’t lie. Over 24 games of the EPL Denilson as of today, is the leading midfielder in terms of passes, accurate passes, tackles (best amongst top 4) and pass interceptions. Making tackles, interceptions, and being always available to get the ball and move it on quickly and accurately is the job description for his position, as it was for Flamini and Gilberto. He is not the creative midfielder (Cesc, Rosicky, Nasri, etc) but the water carrier (although his assists and assist attempts are actually very respectable).

    The counter arguments fall into 2 areas – he has made Cesc be more defensive (and less effective) because he gets forward too much, and his passes are too short and often sideways or backwards. The answer to these points is easy – Cesc, before his injury was making just as many assist attempts and attempts (himself) on goal as last year (and tackles) – only he was himself not as efficient in scoring goals. In terms of passing, yes, many of Denilsons passes are short and sideways or backwards, but that is the case for all in his position, and bearing in mind that he is not the key creative midfielder. His assists, assist attempts and shots on goal (better than Flamini) show that he is still doing his bit in the attacking third of the pitch, and the fact that his pass pattern shows activity in all parts of the pitch show that he is fast becoming a strong box to box player (again part of Wengers job description for him).

    The criticisms of Denilson are often a veiled attempt at criticising Wenger for not signing Flamini (140k a week when you consider his signing on bonus at AC Milan) or signing a high profile, high cost, midfield bruiser. But as Denilson puts in more tackles, intercepts and passes than any other player in the UK or indeed in the Champions league this year (top 3 in these categories) – then who is there to buy?

    It is easy to ascribe the problems of the team to the “skiny young guy” that is “overawed” by the Premier league, or “what was Wenger thinking when he failed to sign….. (Viera clone – if such a thing exists)”. But the reality is that the problems of the team cannot be put at Denilson’s door – his performances as a 20 year old in this position, and in his first season in the PL and CL is quite remarkable. As I wrote the other day the real reason for being 5th (not say 2nd or 1st) is the poor conversion rate of the chances the strikers are getting, and weaknesses amongst the defenders (compared to say Man Utd). But thats for another days debate.

  24. Shard
    February 2, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    Come on arsenal fans.. keep the faith..yes its frustrating but i believe a lot of the frustration comes from believing too much of what the press says about arsenal being in crisis.. besides. since when was watching and supporting this club a matter of choice..we need to stay for the rough as well as the smooth..it ain’t over yet.

  25. Johno
    February 3, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    The transfer window closes in three hours and four minutes, is there time to complete the Arshavin saga? Cardiff game postponed due to heavy snow in London (almost one inch I’m informed LOL). So everybody can sleep safe until Sunday. Kick off 1pm and a chance to push Spurs closer to relegation.

  26. jay-jay
    February 3, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Northampton Town have increased their loan spell of Paul Rodgers to the 2nd May, thats the only Arsenal Transfer News atm and I am happy about it because I am going to the Northampton – MK Dons game so I will see him play.

  27. Filipino Dan
    February 3, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    BBC and Skysports are reporting the good news.

    It looks done, to the point where the number 13 shirt has even been chosen.

    That should stop us moaning for a while.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/7858331.stm

  28. Gibbs
    February 3, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Yay, rumours suggest we got Arshavin! Im waiting for a firm confirmation from a reliable source.

  29. cmoney_guns
    February 3, 2009 at 3:45 am #

    i found this searching around bbc
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7831046.stm

  30. Spanish Fry
    February 3, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    It really looks like we’ve signed Arshavin. Likely to be confirmed today. Terrific news.

  31. MoMONEY
    February 3, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    This window has proven to me to never trust Sky again… They were back and forth so many times, simply trying to be the first…

    Its now being reported on BBC, ESPN, Sportsillustrated (CNN)… I think its a done deal fellas…Congrats. Hopefully he starts vs Spurs…

  32. Ronaldo7
    February 3, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    interesting to see where arshavin plays as i see him as being very similar to nasri…maybe it will allow wenger to push Nasri into the middle and play arshavin on the left.

    If arsenal can hold onto 4th position this season i see them working there way back into being top 3 finishers next season with the likes of Fab, Rosiky, RVP, Arshavin, Theo, Ade.

    All wenger would need to do is sure up the DM and CD.

    However if they fail to finish 4th and finish 5th i can see them losing a few players and not gaining much quality.

    Crucial to finish 4th in my opinion.

  33. Gooner13
    February 3, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    Ronaldo7, Good comments. Everything you said is right. But you need to add a GK in your list. Almunia is not good enough for Arsenal. What you think?

    Oh Nice job by your team. How many clean shit they made? 13. I love Vidic. That boy is the best CB in the planet at the moment. In my view, he is the best transfer Ferguson ever made along with Ronaldo transfer. Vidic for 8 million. That’s a steal. We need Vidic-type player at Arsenal so badly.

    Manu for title this season, my prediction. Even though I don’t like it happening!

  34. Gooner13
    February 3, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7863576.stm

    Good suggestions from former Arsenal Vice Chairman and Petit:

    I wish David Dein wants to comeback at Arsenal. We need him.

  35. Mexican Gunner
    February 3, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    So the transfer window its over ??

    Its true Quaresma at Chelsea and Richards at Villa ??

  36. Spanish Fry
    February 3, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    @ Mexican Gunner – The window is over, sort of. There’s been an extension due to the dodgy whether in England which means that even though the Arshavin deal seems like it was done after 5pm it should be allowed. Just waiting on confirmation from the FA.

    Richards has not moved but Quaresma has signed on loan.

  37. Gooner13
    February 3, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Help me out guys.

    If we sign Arshavin, is he eligible to play Champions League. In my knowledge he is not but some people say every club is allowed to play one UEFA Cup tied player. That means he can play CL this season.

    I am confused.

  38. Mexican Gunner
    February 3, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Yes he can !!

    Its what happen to Madrid, the idiots signed two players of UEFA, Diarra and Huntelaar and they just can pick one, so they choose our old friend Lassana.

  39. MoMONEY
    February 3, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    No he cant. Diarra and Huntelaar played in the UEFA cup not the Champions League… Arshavin played in the UCL.

  40. Killypants
    February 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    Looks like we’ll have to wait til tomorrow to see if the Arshavin deal is good or not:
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=615401&sec=transfers&cc=5901

    But I’m on the west coast US so my tomorrow is your today!

  41. Gooner13
    February 3, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Reports say Arshavin will be wearing No 23 Arsenal shirt if signed instead of 13.

  42. Spanish Fry
    February 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    @ Gooner13 – What report is that?

  43. cmoney_guns
    February 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    The more i read about this deal the more i become confused. One source says the deal is all but agreed while another source states that the deal is off. The good news is that from the article that killypants posted if you read the bottom, Zenit have bought what seems to be a replacement player for AA. I think it all comes down to the FA at this point and whether we can use the ol’ inclement weather routine. Its like being back in grade school and getting a snow day when you didnt do your homework 🙂

  44. Gooner13
    February 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Spanish, I read the news on Goal.com and Gunnerblog. It might be just rumour. No 10 would be nice. Gallas wearing No 10 is interesting.

    Sky Sports have speculated that the player will be handed the no 13 shirt left vacant by departed Belarusian Aliaksandr Hleb. However, Goal.com understands that Arshavin will instead be given the no 23 jersey.

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1712/arsenal/2009/02/02/1090729/andrei-arshavin-should-join-arsenal-tomorrow-premier-league

  45. Ronaldo7
    February 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Gooner13.

    Im not a great judger on quality goal keepers to be honest. I think Almuni is alright. I think his distribution on the other hand is quite poor.

    But is alright good enough to challenge for the title. He def. is not as good as Unlce Jens Lehman.

    Yes Vidic is epic. I think he will be player of the year for the english premiership. United are going to miss him alot against Inter in the CL. I think that could be the difference between us losing and getting through that match. He would have taught Zlatan a real lesson in football.

  46. Gibbs
    February 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Is Arshavin the only player we signed? No suprise signings?

  47. Spanish Fry
    February 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    @ Gibbs – It doesn’t appear so. New post up though!!

  48. facyHaity
    February 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    fascinating and informative, but would be suffering with something more on this topic?

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