Intriguing first task for Cescy new Arsenal captain

Intriguing first task for Cescy new Arsenal captain

It’s great news first up today with the word from the manager that Cesc Fabregas has been named as captain of the Arsenal Football Club.

Arsene Wenger has taken a risk in giving the armband to someone so young but I really feel he’s made the right decision. Fabregas is a natural leader, has a never-say-die attitude and is highly respected by his teammates. He’s the perfect man to take this young squad into what is certain to be a new era for the club.

Fabregas had this to say about receiving the armband:

“It is a great honour for me to captain one of the biggest clubs in the world. It is a proud moment. I know it’s a big responsibility but together with my team-mates, I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential.”

Nothing you wouldn’t expect in those comments. But the unique thing about Fabregas is that when he says something like this he gives the overwhelming feeling that he absolutely means it. That’s why he’ll be a popular choice amongst the players and fans alike, especially the ones who have been supporting the club before the manager bought such a strong international flavour to the club. He might be Spanish but he’s shown that he’s Arsenal through and through and it’s great to see such a loyal and passionate young man rewarded with a great opportunity.

The manager has chosen to remain tight-lipped about just why Fabregas has been appointed, choosing instead to focus his attention on William Gallas. Wenger has given the outgoing captain his backing by reinstating him for the Kiev match and challenging him to make a fresh start. I think recalling him is the right decision given our injury crisis, but it will be interesting to see how he performs given the tumultuous week just passed.

Although the manager was far from talkative about Fabregas the same cannot be said of his press conference buddy Gael Clichy. He was full of compliments for the new captain, praising him for his responsibility and character as well as recognising the new era that Fabregas’ appointment will bring. In his own words:

“It is a new start and I hope Cesc will do well. I’m not scared of saying that he is the key player in the squad so he deserves the respect of the boss. His performances over the last couple of years have been fantastic and so I feel it is a good choice. I’m really happy for him and I’m sure he will do well.”

He’s such a positive guy, Clichy, and I think the decision made by the manager to have the Frenchman accompany him to the pre-Kiev press conference was quite clever. He was only ever going to be full of praise and of all the players in the squad you’d be hard-pressed to find a more agreeable and loyal one amongst them. I just have a little feeling that Clichy will be promoted to vice-captain next season over Manuel Almunia and Kolo Toure and I think it will be the right decision. Indeed, I don’t think many people would argue with a leadership team of Fabregas and Clichy going into next season.

Although the appointment of Fabregas is sure to improve spirits going into tonight’s game against Kiev there are still big issues with the squad. Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby have joined Emmanuel Adebayor, Emmanuel Eboue, Theo Walcott, Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna, Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky on the injury table and we’re looking very light-on, particularly out wide. Indeed, as far as I can tell there’s not one out-an-out winger available aside from Jack Wilshere and that’s not an ideal situation to be in.

The back four looks like it will consist of Johan Djourou, Mikael Silvestre as well as Clichy and Gallas but it’s anyone’s guess as to how they’ll line up. If I was the manager I’d be putting Gallas at right-back not to prove a point but simply because I think he’s more comfortable out wide than Djourou. The other option is to stick with Gavin Hoyte but his confidence might be a bit down after a tough time against City.

New captain Fabregas will surely be joined by Denilson in the middle with two of Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere. I have a feeling that Carlos Vela will start alongside Robin van Persie tonight and I feel the Mexican’s movement and pace will give our attack the mobility it has lacked in the past two games. Regular readers will know I’m a fan of Nicklas Bendtner but it’s clear to me that the van Persie-Bendtner combination is not working at the moment and with Vela in great form he deserves to be given a chance.

Anyway, that’s all for today in a very positive blog. The Kiev game is live on SBS in Australia at 5.30am tomorrow and I’m intrigued to see how things pan out. I’m looking forward to seeing how the fans react to Fabregas as captain as well as Gallas if he starts. I’m looking forward to seeing how they both perform in their new roles and whether the players who played so poorly against City can step things up and get the three points required to qualified for the next round.

It should be a great game. Enjoy it. Up the Arsenal!

Have your say on Cesc as captain or the Arsenal-Kiev game by leaving a comment.

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52 Responses to “Intriguing first task for Cescy new Arsenal captain”

  1. Judith Le'Strange
    November 25, 2008 at 7:50 pm #

    I think it’s a good choice, it’s a pity that Arsene Wenger wasn’t stronger and told Gallas that his time was up at Arsenal. I don’t care that Arsene Wenger told him he still has a place at Arsenal but will the team still want him in their midst, I know I wouldn’t. So get rid and replace him with players that actually would like to play for Arsenal.

  2. Ice Baba
    November 25, 2008 at 8:41 pm #

    Really nice to see A.W gradually listening to our cry gradually, but we will be more grateful to him if and if only he gets in 3 world class to blend with what we have on ground. God rejects we re hit by more injuries,what do u guys think we will be left with?
    Zero bench for sure.
    For these unpredicted circumstancrs,we need to boost the team and team spirit. If u ask me , those we have injured can make a full squard.

  3. SettaKeys
    November 25, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    Too true, the hospital boys vs. the squad for tomorrow, I wouldnt know who would win. Cesc as captain = mad. Gallas definitely should be given a chance, and after a while, who knows, he may prefer the lack of responsibility. I’d say give him a month to nut it out and he might like it.

  4. ramugunner
    November 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Bringing Gallas in the first-team is a good decision made by Wenger. With Sagna and Toure out injured, who else we have to chose from. None. Given Gallas being best CB in this squad, I do not want him to be overlooked untill we sign a replacement. If I were Wenger I would sell him for reasonable price in Jan and replace him with a tall/strong defender really good in air who can partner Toure.

    There is a lot of excitement on the Grove about tonight’s match against Kiev being the start of young Spaianard Era. Me too. I have been a huge fan of this man from the time he joined us including most of the Arsenal fans. He had great 3 seasons before this season. To be fair, he has been reasonably poor, uninterested and lazy this season. Like Spiderman saying ” More Power brings more responsibility”, now he has more responsbility than ever. I am convinced he can be a great player plus leader like Adams and Gerrard. He needs to be tough, professional and voice of AFC in and off pitch. I have absolute faith in Cesc abilities to be a true leader and a top player who can inspire his teammates. P.S. He is the only player in our squad with a tag of being “worldclass” because of his consistent performances past 3 seasons and Euro cup winner medal with fine performances this summer. He is a winner so he deserves more than what we are achieving at the moment. I love these words from him “I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential.”

    Dynamo are aware of our piss-poor form and a kind of small crisis inside the club. Tonight’s match will be do or die for them. Given our poor form they can be very hopeful of getting points. On our side, we will be guaranteed the CL next round qualification with three points. A convincing win is very important before going to Bridge to play Chelski-Moscow.

    My team for tonights game;

    Almunia(Although he is shit)
    Gallas Djourou Silly Clichy
    Denilson Ramsey Cesc Wilshere
    …….RVP Vela……

    Reasons: Gallas will be better than Djourou at Right-back. We can be more effective playing Ramsey in the middle and Denilson right side. For Wilshere and Vela they deserve their chances. I rate Bentdner but he has been really poor recently. Also this team can switch positions and can play 4-5-1 if needed. Wenger’s team selection has been very poor recently, he has to be spot on tonight.

    Come on Cesc! Arsenal!!

  5. nigelp
    November 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Liverpool, it pains me to say, are jumping around in first or second place in the EPL/

    Yes I know this is an Arsenal blog, and if you have ever read it before you will know that nothing will ever shake my belief in Arsenal, but I mention this thing about Liverpool Insolvents because of something rather curious.

    There is an article in the Guardian today in which the Carragher fellow (the one who was banned for throwing a coin at fans at Highbury) asked fans of the I’s to be patient, after the Scousers booed their own team during the weekend’s home game against Fulham.

    Fulham, of course, play negative football. They are more interested in negating than creating. Survival is the idea, and who cares what it does to the crowd. We all know that. It is true of many EPL clubs.
    The Guardian says, “Jeers greeted both the full- and half-time whistles at Anfield, which has not witnessed a league defeat for Liverpool in 2008, while the midfielder Lucas was targeted by supporters as the Brazilian made his sixth start of the season in place of the in-form Xabi Alonso.”

    That is interesting, because since most of us spend our time thinking about Arsenal we can lose track of the fact that the lack of faith we see among some visitors to the Ems is found even more volubly in the backwaters of the north west.

    Such a report does show the need (if it ever needed to be shown) for Arsenal supporters to be positive about the team no matter what. Especially as at the moment we are giving our even younger youngsters games because 20% of the team have been injured, not while playing or training for Arsenal, but while playing around for pathetically stupid international requirements. (At least when I say that this time I can’t get a load of abuse from people calling me a racist for criticising Togo, when I am simultaneously criticising England).

    The demand for success-success-success is a constant among the larger clubs in England, and it is never going to be possible to meet all the time. What we must not do is be seen to be the same as the people from the wild badlands where the hub cap is currency and “Calm Down” is the standard greeting.

    Gallas needs support, our new captain needs support, whoever is at right back needs support, and whoever is playing alongside Van Persie needs support.

    Tell you what though – can you imagine the reaction on the day that Eduardo is announced as a substitute for the first time – even if he doesn’t come on the pitch.

  6. Filipino Dan
    November 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm #

    Yep, Gallas at right back.

    I wouldnt have any qualms about playing Cesc out on the right of midfield. Controversial! Simply because he has played there a lot in the past (in his first season) and we don’t have anyone else who can play there (maybe Ramsey but he would be better given his normal role to allow him to feel comfortable in such a big game).

    Vela? Let’s hope so. Unlike the other younsters, he is ready.

  7. C-Bass
    November 25, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    Vela has to play up front. I don’t particularly care if he’s paired with RVP or big Nik but both of the former require a forward with pace to be effective.

    I also doubt Wenger will dump Gallas back in the side at right back. I just don’t see it.

    Other than that I’m pretty much with ramugunner on the starting eleven.

  8. realist
    November 25, 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    I think he is a bit young(Fabregas) but then all the players are young in the arsenal squad. I think that Toure should have been made the captain but i have to say that i am not surprised he has been overlooked, aw did that before when he made Gallas captain after he had only been there for a short while and most of it was spent injured.

  9. Spanish Fry
    November 25, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Nice thoughts all. I just wondered – is there ANYONE out there who is not excited about the prospect of Cesc as captain? Anyone not agree?

    I’m not trying to start an argument just interested to see if there are any other opinions.

  10. Spanish Fry
    November 25, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    @ realist – There we go, you snuck in just as I was posting. How ironic!

  11. jay-jay
    November 25, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    Im really happy tht Cesc is captain and as soon as Gallas was stripped of the captaincy, I was praying that Cesc would get it.

    @ nigelp – I for one will go mental when Eduardo back on, hopefully I can be at the Emirates to see it.

  12. ramugunner
    November 25, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    To make our team complete we are not far away, 3 more additons to the squad can make this team a genuine winner.
    1.A Class Keeper(must)
    2.CB with Aerial proficiency(must)
    3.CDM who can tackle(must)

    Also Ade should be sold and Pure striker(like Villa) should be signed in Janaury. Wright then Anelka then Henry and now Ade-bayoooor..Hmmm..

    I believe our chances to challenge(yes challenge not to win) EPL is over by November(Really sad thing to believe). With those three additions we have a very good chance of winning at least something including Champions League. If Wenger wants to be successful again at Arsenal, he has to realise with Almunia, Silvestre and Denilson in the first team we will not achieve anything. We need to challenge for big things like Premier league and Champions league. We are Arsenal so we cannot challenge for 4th place and just CL group qualification. Only teams like Astonvilla, Everton, ManchesterCity dream for 4th spot, not ARSENAL. Only Kiev, Sporting, Steau, CSKA dream for CL group qualification, we as ARSENAL dream for CL title. We need to have bigger ambition and desire. Wenger can prove his ambition this Jan and coming Summer with some quality addition in his squad.

    Don’t be surprised if Wenger signs nobody in Janaury. He will say “Eduardo and Rosiscky are like our new signings”. Here is the problem. Fuck.

  13. Spanish Fry
    November 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    @ ramugunner – Hahah, I’ll never agree with you that Ade should be sold, but that’s OK.

    Let’s keep things positive and see how things go tomorrow. Arsenal have always tended to be highly reliant on confidence with Wenger at the helm and if the appointment of Cesc as captain can lift the boys then we might see a completely different team for the rest of the season. It’s possible.

    Stay positive and enjoy the game ramu!

  14. Spanish Fry
    November 25, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    @ nigelp – Nice to see a different perspective. Shows that even the sides at the top have fans that can be unhappy.

  15. ramugunner
    November 25, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    SpanishFry, I am trying to make myself positive but can’t. Last Sat when I saw the team lineup I didn’t watch the game and haven’t watched the highlights. I disagreed with Wenger’s selection, called my GF(who supports Arsenal too) and other Gooner friends. I told them the lineup is way too negative and I don’t want to more embarassed with our performance. Same thing hapened. Why? Wrong tactics, wrong approach to the game. With Cesc as Captain I am being little optimistic.

  16. GunnerCesc4
    November 25, 2008 at 11:25 pm #

    All the Best Cesc !!!

  17. Fatboy
    November 25, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    @nigelp:-
    Great points well made mate. Liverpool haven’t won the league since 1990 remember. The strength of feeling shown in this and other blogs over the last few weeks just goes to show the level of expectation at Arsenal. Regarding Cesc as captain: my only worry is that the level of responsibility may weigh heavily on one so young, and that it impairs his own performances. Having said that I can’t think of any other serious options- it shows how few players with leadership qualities we have at Arsenal. I agree with nigelp that we all need to get behind the side as much as possible, but I can also see ramugunner’s point about feeling a bit desperate when you look at the lack of depth in the squad. I’ve been a constant critic of Bendtner on this blog, and I thought he had another totally ineffective game on Saturday, so it’s difficult to see Vela languish on the bench while that nerk runs around like a headless chicken for 90 mins with his pink boots on, for feck’s sake.
    I also wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t make any signings in January, partly because AW will not admit to any mistakes, but also because frankly, only shit players become available in the middle of the season. I think we’re stuck with what we’ve got until the summer my friends. If we end up just scraping into 4th, or even lower, and we don’t make a realistic challenge for any of the cups, then finally, the manager may put his hand in his pocket. However, if we improve in the second half of the season and reach the CL semis, the FA Cup final or stroll home 6 or more points ahead of Villa, it’ll be more of the same next year.

  18. jay-jay
    November 25, 2008 at 11:59 pm #

    Those saying Fabregas may be too young to be captian, Torres was captain of Atletico at 19 and look at the player he is today! I for one think Cesc will do great and he is a younger, spanish version of Gerrard.

    @ SF – Regarding Adebayor, It is clear that you are a massive fan of him, I wwould rather have David Villa or Podolski than Ade to be honest however I do think Ade is incredibly talented, he just isn’t showing it like he was last year.

  19. vinashin
    November 26, 2008 at 12:10 am #

    Arsene Wenger had to be realistic in this situation.

    He had to bring Gallas back.

    And he had to make Cesc Fabregas his captain. He was the only candidate for the job.

    William Gallas, a world class defender, is an intense introvert who cares too much, as I’ve always said. And when Gallas became skipper, the pressure became too much for his particular temperament. That was why he sometimes behaved as he did.

    As Wenger explained on Monday, “He took all the team’s problems to heart.”

    Gallas has issues few people know about but he’s still the best defender at the club. And by far the most experienced. I feel sorry for him. He has been restored because the team needs him against Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea .

    Intelligent, loyal and honest, Cesc Fabregas is Arsenal’s best player.

    As a character, Fabregas is the finest footballer in the Premier League. He has achieved a helluva lot at 21 and won Euro 2008 with Spain on June 29. Having played in Spain’s balanced team, which has electric strikers who are far superior to Ade and RVP, and having played with Senna, a model anchorman, and Casillas, a superb goalkeeper, he knows what is missing at Arsenal.

    Will Fabregas wait around while a team is built round him? Yes. Should he wait around while Wenger grows a team around him? No. Because he only has one career. Fabregas should not have to babysit Denilson when he is only 21 himself. If the manager keeps buying kids, Cesc should go elsewhere and play in a team of men, a team that knows how to defend, how to win trophies.

    But I hope he stays for another two or three years. While I could never imagine Arsenal winning a trophy with Thierry Henry as captain, I CAN imagine Fabregas lifting one up.

    Recently, Arsenal has let Fabregas down by making him play in a weak team.

    They now need him far more than he needs them. But he is sincerely grateful for the opportunities Wenger has given him. And he would like to repay the club by helping them to win trophies. Nobody doubts that. Fabregas has never let Arsenal down. He’s contributed more to AFC than anybody of his age has ever done, so we all wish him well.

    It’s up to Arsene Wenger to create a team worthy of his new captain.

    Don’t say : he’s only one player. He’s far more than that. Just as you’ll never see anybody as gifted as Bergkamp again, and you’ll never again see any halfback as majestic as Patrick Vieira in his pomp, neither will you see another teenage midfielder who can read the game and pass the ball as astutely as Cesc Fabregas.

    Good luck, Cesc. We believe in your ability and character. We hope you stay at Arsenal. But most of us think you should be playing in a team of men.

  20. Esther Allen
    November 26, 2008 at 12:42 am #

    I am honestly thrilled to my bones when i heard cesc has been made d new captain. I knew gallas from masseile and i neva liked him them and so seeing him every matches in my squad gives me endless trauma, but thank God.
    Wenger should put his trust in some of the young guns today by pairing ramsey and cesc in midfield, and using denilson and wilshere from the flanks. vela must definitely start and he must not use djourou at 2, if not central defense, then bench him, remember spurs in 2006 ( lee exposed him ).
    Overall i so much want the the new era of cesc as captain to start yield great things. good luck in 2 9ts game and c ya at the other side

  21. jay-jay
    November 26, 2008 at 2:15 am #

    I am thrilled to be watching Cescs first game as captain, a win would see us qualify, and he may have played poor recently but I bet having that armband round his arm will see him play like we know he can, I keep saying this but he gives the same effect to us that Gerrard gives to Liverpool, and since Gerrard has been captain, when has he performed poorly?

  22. TayGoon
    November 26, 2008 at 3:58 am #

    I will make a strange analogy here: Our players being immensely skilled are more like a pen, while some are like screwdrivers, A pen will produce diferent handwritings and paintings of varying standards depending on the user and how he want to use it. Whereas a screwdriver will either tighten or loosen a screw regardless of who or how they are used.

    I bring this up because there is one aspect of the team the fans here and everywhere else fail to realize. This is a team that can and has Embarassed the best of the best, and yet concede to the bottom feeders. The reason behind this has nothing to do with experience or anything else than the application/usage on the day. If you I mentioned after the Villa defeat that this was the same team that beat United in personell but very different in the crucial enginge room by positioning/roles that day. It is easy to say Buy this player or that player because he works well where he is, but you have to be realistic about how they will fit in the side and the way we play. I agree CM is crucial, but it is not the reason we concede goals. I have been mentioning that if Gallas concentrate more on defending than he is on trying to score, the team will have more ballance to it. We have a wealth of Strikers and goal scores in the front 2/3 for Gallas to feel the need to upset the balance and pretend he is the center forward. If he does that there would be no more need for the back 4 to be “protected”. All the calls for buying even now are still too “bandwagonistic” to me. The only team in the EPL with depth is Chelsea. Take Ronaldo, Evra, Ferdinand,Brown, Vidic and Nani(mirroring our right side mallaise with Ferdinand to Gallas and Vidic to Toure),Rooney, Berbatov and Tevez (mirroring RVP/Ade/Eduardo) and tell me how many points Man U will take from anyone. We won’t even get started with Liverpool, Just Gerrard and Torres out and they are as pathetic as toothless 105 yr old lady.

    We have had key absences from key positions and still we are very competitive.

    Anyone saying A Villa are going to replace us in the top four, I will go ahead and insult you right now;

    YOU ARE NUTS! GO SLAUGHTER A BLACK CAT AND PRAY GOD GIVE YOU SOME SENSES BACK.

    Having insulted someone, I am preparing for a wonderfull birthday gift from Cesc & Co. tonight

    THE CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SEASON WILL BE SOOOOO SWEET!

  23. jay-jay
    November 26, 2008 at 5:35 am #

    The team tonight is:
    Almunia
    Djourou-Gallas-Silvestre-Clichy
    Denilson-Fabregas-Song-Ramsey
    Vela-Van Persie

    I will blog at HT, about to kick off, I cant wait. So far Gallas seems cool, calm and collected and Fabregas is already acting like a leader in the warm-up.

  24. jay-jay
    November 26, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    0-0 HT. Gallas just put the ball in the net with about 20 seconds to go but he was JUST offside. Great assistant refs tonight. However the ref likes to see Vela getting fouled. Van Persies free kicks are causing problems. Fabregas; passing has been 10/10 and Denilson has been fantastic. Ramsey and Van Persie have had 2 great chances however Kyiv did hit the post thanks to a mistake from Gallas. Overall we are playing with desire, the players look like they want to be there and we are playing well which is a massive positive, but Kyiv are looking solid and I think it could stay 0-0 unless we step up a couple of gears.

  25. Demetrio
    November 26, 2008 at 6:37 am #

    It was a decent half. As i said last night, i just dont see where the goals will come from.

  26. jay-jay
    November 26, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    1-0 win, and Bendtner of all people to score it. However people were right, he is more effective coming off the bench. Fabregas free kick in own half, a long ball, great control from Niklas and a decent finish. Fabregas era starts with a win and a clean sheet. Oh just to mention Almunia denied Milevsky with a super save and Aliyev got sent off in the 88th min. Wilshere came on for 15 mins, a decent display from our boys, we are through to the knock put stage, Niklas got the goal and Cesc got the assist, Bring on Chelski.

  27. Gibbs
    November 26, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    Hah, take that, Bendtner haters! The pink booted Dane did the job this time, im happy for him. Not the best performance, but we won and that’s what matters.

  28. Spanish Fry
    November 26, 2008 at 8:06 am #

    Nice one Ol’ Pink Boots. A classy finish and a deserved win. Great pass by Cesc.

    More later…

  29. Gibbs
    November 26, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    Wow, the armband really motivated Cesc. He was 10 times better today than in the last few games. I really hope the hard times are over, and i hope El Capitan and the boys will bring success to the club again. We are 4 games away from being European champs, we hope Arsene will bring the trophy to the Emirates this time. Up the Gunners!!! The Chavs are next!

  30. Demetrio
    November 26, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    One save and one scored goal doesnt take away the fact that Bendtner and Almunia are not good enough. They still both need to be replaced. Yes we won but im still not happy with a very poor preformance. He got bit lucky as they were called offsides when Gallas played the man on sides, and he probably would have scored if the flag stayed down. So its a start, but we still have A LOT of work to do.

  31. Spanish Fry
    November 26, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    @ Demetrio – Without trying to be a smart-arse (which I absolutely am not trying to be), what would Bendtner and Almunia have to do to change your opinion of them? I realise that one save and one goal won’t change your mind but I’m interested to hear what they would need to do to change your mind. Or have you been written them off without question?

  32. TayGoon
    November 26, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    At least it wasn’t Denilson’s fault (whatever it is)..

  33. Demetrio
    November 26, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    Almunia.. Just not good enough period. Every football expert you listen to will back me up on that. He does not control his area like a world class goalkeeper should. Fabianski may look a little… erratic at times, but at least he comes for the balls in the air he should. Also Almunia has the reaction time of a 40 year old. WTF was he doing when Kiev hit the post.. there’s no way he should be beaten from that angle as tall as he is, yet if the shot was on target he would have been. He is just not good enough if we are serious about the title. He is way too timid in the air for my liking. Half the time he cant even get around his own players to claim the ball.

    Bendtner in my opinion, as i said a week or two ago, will be nothing more then what Aliadiere is. No disrespect to Aliadiere because he is good enough to play in the PL which is a big deal, but it is not good enough for a world class team. Bendtner however is A LOT better coming off the bench for some reason but i cannot see him being anything more then what Aliadiere was for Arsenal. When Eduardo gets back i see Bendtner having a hard time finding his place among Ade, RVP, Eduardo, not to mention Vela when he gets more time. So i think just like Aliadiere, Bendtner will find it hard to get regular starts, move on to a Wigan type club and have a decent career which there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but to assume he’ll be anything better then that is jumping to conclusions because he hasn’t proven anything other then he is just an average player that does ok against Carling Cup sides, but in big games he is overshadowed by the talent around him.

    Maybe Bendtner could somehow raise his game, but as for Almunia… i just dont think its capable for him to play any better then what he has this season, and that isnt great news for us.

  34. Ice Baba
    November 26, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    Demetrio, If and if only they can be consistent with this kind of performance week-in-week-out.I wouldnt see why anyone will want their heads. yes we have secured a place in the knockout stage but what NEXT? If we dont create an inpression that will scare teams when they play us. All I am urging is for 3 world class inclusion to the team. I rest my case for now

  35. Ice Baba
    November 26, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Demetrio , sorry I was reacting to SF

  36. Spanish Fry
    November 26, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    @ Demetrio – OK. What you have given me is reasons why you don’t think they are good players now, particularly Almunia.

    But what I asked is what can they do to change your mind? From what you’ve said it seems Almunia needs to command his area (personally I think he does this just fine – better even than Fabianski who is, as you put it ‘erratic’ at this early stage) but Bendtner? All you’ve said is that you don’t think he’ll make it not what he can do to make it.

    Thoughts? Very interested to hear your opinion because I respect it.

  37. Spanish Fry
    November 26, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    @ TayGoon – I thought Denilson was horrible this morning actually. But I’ll say more about that later. Poor Deni is going to get a bit of a hammering..

  38. Mexican Gunner
    November 26, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Honestly Bendtner was just lucky VERY LUCKY

    It was a very good goal (that was illegal because the ball was not fully stopped) and a great pass…

    But I think Vela create more danger in the first time than Bendtner in 3 games.

    Damn you spanishF…

    Spanish Fry 1 – Mexican Gunner 0

  39. Anonymous
    November 26, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    @ Mexican Gunner – 😉

    It was a drop ball so Fabregas was OK dribbling and then passing it. No problems.

  40. Ronaldo7
    November 26, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    I think that Bednter has a bad first touch. Runs around aimlessly.

    Not the best finisher. Not difficult to mark for defenders.

    He is good in the air. Can make some good runs into the box. His nothing but a Subsititue player.
    Just like i said. His the type of guy you bring on in the last 10.

  41. Demetrio
    November 26, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Spanish, what Bendtner can do.. he can improve a great deal. I’m not even going to say he can do what he did tonight, because really, besides the goal he wasn’t anything special. Still looks very clumsy on the ball, like the game is too fast for him. You cannot sit there and say that you think Bendtner has a “good enough for Arsenal” strike rate. It was his first goal in i think they said 2 months?! That’s terrible. The only thing he can do to prove to his critics, like me, is score goals on a week to week basis, not score one goal in the CL or CC and go missing for another 2 months. Maybe work on playing with in himself. I think his touch is horrible at times because he is trying to do everything faster then he is actually capable of doing them. He reminds me a bit of Theo when Theo was trying too hard to impress. He needs to calm down, realize he cannot do certain things (which is why maybe his game at times looks a little to sped up) and play to the best of his ability.

    I will say, i know you like his performances Fry for his national team. You cannot always look at a players form with their National team and think they will be good in the domestic teams. My example would be Fabio Grosso. Absolutely LOVE Fabio Grosso, works his ass off for us and i personal think he was better then Cannavaro for us all through the World Cup. But when you look at his domestic league performances.. they are just average at best. He’s had at best 2 good seasons in his domestic career. Sometimes players just fit into the system of their national team better then their league teams. So I’d say be a little bit cautious of judging Bendtner on his National team performances and don’t think it means it will carry over to Arsenal. When i see Bendtner, i see a player whom is playing really hard, but just not up to par with his team mates.

  42. Mexican Gunner
    November 26, 2008 at 12:49 pm #

    Totally agree with you Demetrio!!!

    Except for the comparission with Theo because when I saw Theo the first times even that he was not very good you can see something special on him I mean that spark thay you only see on great players BUT I dont see anything in the big danish.

    And that thing that you say about the national performances is what is happening right now with Vela, here the media is being so harsh with him because he is not scoring with our national team and he´s not doing very well (in the last game he just play the last 15 minutes and he get a straight red card for doing something stupid) Here people dont understand that is not the same to play with the talented Arsenal than to play with our average National Team.

  43. ssroslan
    November 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    I don’t know. Sometimes you can see Fabregas in his moody attitude, especially when Arsenal is loosing. And a bit arrogance, especially when Arsenal is winning.

  44. TayGoon
    November 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    @SF; Oh! poor Deni…..

    @Demetrio; Bendtner is better and more productive at 20 than Adebayor was @ 22. We need to keep him arround for as long as we possibly can. He has a very good ball control but it is not evident because he gets the nerves and hurry stuff like you said.

    Almunia did something today that won’t see me defend him. Not that I think he is a bad keeper, but whatever happens, a keeper should strive to stay on his feet. He knelt down when the D kyiev player hit the post for absolutely no reason and did not even attempt to get up. Contrast that with Fabianski’s double save, Fabianski got up just as he was making the first save, and that is how he managed to save Zaki’s shot.

  45. ramugunner
    November 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    Not a convincing win but win is a win, I will take it. Under Cesc’s captaincy we started with a win a clean sheet which is good. Cesc played a good game with determination and discipline, so did Clichy and Vela. I will also include Almunia and Wilshere as well. Wilshere kid has something special in him that makes him so cool and composed. I still don’t know why Ramsey was on the right. Wenger please do not destroy this wonderful player playing wide. Oh yeah, we had 4 CM playing in the middle park, what a shame. Can you guys even imagine Chelseki or Manu will ever play with four playmakers in the middle, I don’t.

    On this debate about Almunia and Bentdner, let me speak my thoughts.

    Almunia: He was a reject from Real Sociedad, a second tier team in the Spanish league. In four seasons, he had zero, yes zero appearance with the club when he was supposed to be at his peak. Now, he is our undisputed No 1. He is the worst Arsenal keeper under Wenger even Alex Manninger(97-02) who was shite is way superior to Almunia. He has been succesfull in replacing injured Buffon at Juventus including two clean sheets against Realmadrid FC. Simple, Almunia is slow to react, cannot command 6-yard box and poor in air far from making worldclass saves. Today he made a vital save but that was an easy save for an average keeper. I declared in the begining of this season Arsenal will not win anything with Almunia in goal and I hold my point. No clubs have ever won a premier league title in England without an international keeper and this trend will continue. As a 32 year old keeper he has never played an international game and a major tournament. Only chance he got to play in CL final 2006, he lost the game for us with 2 near-post goals. Some people argue that he is improving and getting better. The goals he conceded this season against Fulham, Sunderland, Tottenham(2), Astonvilla and Manchestercity has proved all Almunia’s admirer wrong. I didn’t believe when Spanishfry in yesterday’s blog stated that he should have been appointed our captain ahead of Cesc. Were you serious SF? He lacks class to be a successful Arsenal keeper. Let’s face it, Hull, Bolton, Blackburn has better goalie than ours. This shows our ambition.

    I totally rate Bentdner and he will come good in few years time.He has raw talents to be a good striker minus pace. But, understand many class striker’s like Bergkamp lacked enough pace. With his good vision & footballing brain, he will be a good No. 10. Last couple of weeks he has been very poor and it was due to wrong team selection. He can never play as a lone striker. With his national team he has been very good cause he plays as No. 10 just behind his strike partner. He is only 20, is not our regular starter, so give this kid a break. He is not 32 like Almunia who is past his best. He has rooms to improve like his first touch and finishings. Unlike Almunia he is a regular starter and one of the star of his national team. Denmark’s fans take him as one of the stars of Euro qualifying games and now World cup qualifying games. There is more to come from him but none from Almunia. Almunia starts every game for Arsenal while Bentdner is 4/5 th in the pecking order of striker at Arsenal. Then, why you keep bashing him, no reasons. Agree with you guys that he might not make at Arsenal but this kid will be star, believe me. He can be ruthless playing for other teams than Arsenal.

    Wilshere Gun!

  46. TayGoon
    November 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    Our Central Defenders were keen to make sure clean sheats are kept, even on the wrong side, no wonder Van-Persie is sometimes pissed off, and I don’t think he will bake them a cake anytime soon! (sarcasm)

  47. ramugunner
    November 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    @ Spanishfry;

    The older Spaniard is a decidedly easier option than the younger one.

    This statement is the worst I have seen from you mate in two years. You thought Almunia is more capable of leading this side then Cesc. Totally misleading. Did you see any players giving a shite about this losing moron and a class-less player being club captain. No way. It would have been a disrespect to the word “captainincy” and “leadership”. Thanks lord, Wenger disagreed with you.

  48. Demetrio
    November 26, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    @ Taygoon

    Yeah that was my point about Almunia. There was no need at all for him to be that low, and then just watch it go over his head and not even make an effort to at least put a hand on it, Pathetic!

  49. Spanish Fry
    November 26, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    @ ramugunner – I appreciate your opinion but I think you misunderstood what I was saying about Almunia as captain. I didn’t think he was the RIGHT choice – I wanted Cesc for sure – but for Wenger I think he would have been the EASY choice. I think it would have been easier for Wenger to just put Almunia in until the end of the season and then make a tough decision rather than biting the bullet and making it now. That’s all I meant.

    Let’s agree to disagree to move on from here and stop scrutinising so much. It would be easy for me to point out every time Almunia does something right and equally as easy for you to point out each time he makes a mistake. But personally, I’m happy with him in goals. That’s the end of that for me.

    I do love that Demetrio and you will always disagree about many things – I guess Almunia will be one of them. Keep smiling boys 🙂

  50. Gibbs
    November 26, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Cheer up people, we made it to the next round of the CL. Stop whining and celebrate for a change.

    @ Demetrio
    Bendter is only 20 years old for goodness sake, give the boy a chance. Almunia on the other hand is not my first choice, but i dont mind having him in goals b/c he can pull off some great saves, he’s not that bad.

  51. MoMONEY
    November 26, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    Honestly folks I am really glad Gallas is still around and I hope he stays… Tbh he showed poise and class to play today and if he can deal with it mentally and be accepted back in the squad, I think he will have a chip on hi shoulder and play great for us.

    Latest rumors (I know ,i know but i love this stuff…):
    Seedorf interested in the EPL
    Mutu rumored to Milan which could open the door for Flamini/ Seedorf to leave especially with Bekham going as well…

    Good win- Great strike by Bendtner… When he is aggresive and not thinking too much he looks like a totally different player… I like how the young guns played and Fabregas will be an excellent captain. Excited for Chelsea but a bit nervous- dont know what to expect…

  52. jay-jay
    November 26, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    Bendtner is only 20 and I believe he can improve however I think he has much more of an impact coming on as a substitute atm. It was great control and a decent finish, the goal should have stood because it was a drop ball so Fab could didnt have to wait for the ball to stop moving.

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