Tell me about Arsenal-Birmingham

As the writer of this blog I’m the one who usually does the talking when it comes to all things Arsenal. But my inability to watch the clash with Birmingham means that I really have nothing to talk about today. All I know is that the game finished 1-1 with Emmanuel Adebayor tucking away a harshly-awarded penalty and Garry O’Connor forcing home a very scrappy equaliser.

As a result of my lack of insight on the match I thought I’d leave it up to the regular readers of the blog (and anyone else, of course) to let me and the other readers know what you thought of the game. You can do this in the usual way by leaving a comment. If, like me, you missed the match you can see some extended highlights here

Have fun and hopefully I’ll have something a little better for you all tomorrow. Cheers!

Tell me about the Arsenal-Birmingham by leaving a comment.

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39 Responses to “Tell me about Arsenal-Birmingham”

  1. 433
    January 13, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    Arsene Wenger and Arsenal supporters are disappointed with the performance. My read watching the game was that Arsenal were unlucky not to win. Birmingham held on for a point, but Arsenal controlled the game and had chances.

  2. Jay
    January 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    Arsenal should have won the game but Birmingham were very prepared and i personally think they played very well. We have not played well for 2 game now – Burnley (we won but was not a great game in terms of Arsenals expectations), Tottenham (Whatever way u look at it, we played poorly, Wenger picks a team that he thinks can win a match, he played players that could have done that but failed to do so) and now Birmingham ( 1-1, Emirates Stadium, Arsenal, Enough Said) I think this proves that we need Micah Richards and Karim Benzema – one to block shots ans one to bang them in. It defo proves we need to take advantage of the january transfer window.

  3. Gooner for 60 years
    January 13, 2008 at 11:24 pm #

    Anybody else have the feeling of deja-vu? That was like watching an old movie re-run culled from 2006/7… the only difference being that we took the lead.

    The bus parked in front of the Brum goal; the lack of width(amazingly I found myself missing Eboue); all the possession in the world and a keeper facing us who had brought his share of four leaf clovers.

    Wish I knew what was going in in young Theo’s brain/feet. Everyone I’m sure wants him to succeed but since he joined us he’s 2 years older and if anything has gone backwards. For sure making the right decision seems beyond him at present. Little boy, very lost in the jungle. One wonders where a Mangani or Baloo are that could turn him into a Tarzan or Mowgli. For sure they ain’t around at the moment.

    And I have to say, much the same applies to Cesc or whoever the fuck is masquerading as Cesc at the moment. The horrible feeling that the God of retribution would deal with him after that deliberate card v. Reading seems to have come true. Hopefully, his effective o.g. yesterday will lift the curse. Since Reading we haven’t really put in one mouth watering performance for the full 90 minutes…and even if there was a first half performance of beauty, eg Villa and Blackburn, this has been easily countered by the resultant tighter marking for which we seem to have no counter. Use of space and width appears to be off the menu at the moment.

    So, 2 points pissed down the drain and definitely time to take Fulham to the cleaners.

  4. Spanish Fry
    January 13, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    Interesting. Nice write-up as always 4-3-3.

    Jay, I really don’t think bringing in new players is the answer. Benzema and Richards are both great players but we have the squad to win the league without looking at new faces. I don’t think a draw with Birmingham proves we need to get new players. From what has been said Arsenal were unlucky not to win and if they had done I don’t think there would be much to worry about.

    From what I saw of the highlights it could’ve been a belting. When you look at Manchester United-Newcastle and see the amount of things that went their way for the goals we just needed a bit of luck to get us through. Fulham should be the perfect chance to put things right.

    Gooner, I think your comments about Walcott are right but he needs more time. He can’t be relied on yet and he shouldn’t be, he’s not ready and he won’t be for another year or so. Interesting point about a lack of width, maybe if Rosicky played things might’ve been different.

    Who knows!? Thanks for the comments guys, really appreciate it.

  5. joshyboy
    January 13, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    we got lucky for our goal, and we shouldnt have let in their goal. I guess as is always the case with smaller team, their major chances will come from set pieces, but sometimes i wonder actually how much time arsene spends practicing how to defend on them. from walls that disintegrate to corners where 3 markers cannot seem to get a header before one striker.
    gooners right about our performances, weve been pretty poor for weeks now. i guess the sign of a premiership winning side is one that wins even they dont perform well. the birmingham game was another example of how to get points from us through dogged defending, closing down every player rather than letting the attacking team get 2/3 of the way down the pitch before thinking about tackling them (as we weve doing at times), and diving/wasting time. granted, birmingham did it well, we seemed to have very little space or time, and the fact that we refused to spread te lay only served to hinder ourselves further.
    i wish i could offer some sort of antidote to our problems, but im fully aware arsene wont spend big, and therefore our opportunities are limited. i thought eboue going was a good thing, but having looked at sagna trying to link up well with other wingers, it seems the two of them seem to have the only decent understanding down that wing (even if eboue cant cross to save his life).
    i personally think its time for arsene to buy one big signing in the summer. maybe they dont have to be one of the big names being touted around, such as benzima, but i think a real made talent to put into midfield. rosicky is a decent player, but i personally thought hed bring our game someone who will score from outside the box. hes not really a big scorer, plus hes not really fast, cant take players on particularly well and is an alright passer. now it may seem a rediculous comment to say we need a christiano ronaldo, coz everyone does. but someone whos adept at taking players on and crossing, scoring, winning crucial freekicks. from what i see of vela, he seems decent at taking players on and is quick, so maybe he will be the successor. the problem with our way of building a team is that unlike other teams who will simply buy to fill any gap, arsene wants to build a team made from youngsters who have been here a while. that means were gonna be stuck for the time being. my prediction; 2nd in the prem, but even better next season. our team is simly going to be better and better year on year, as all our youngsters become fully fledged footballers and can come in with the experience and confidence to replace any key players in our team.
    sorry for the rant, needed to get it outta my system!
    Josh

  6. tom arsenal for life
    January 13, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    we should get rid of senderos to birmingham and we played good football but we gust didnt score

  7. smiley
    January 13, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    If we are unable to unlock the defence of teams like Birmingham, when they sit back, then how will we cope with teams like AC milan, who are pass masters at sitting back and using player like Kaka’s speed to break forward. The variation in our game which we showed at the early part of the season is once more missing. Also I am concerned about the lack of depth in squad,In the coming months we have the Manure away game sandwiched in between our CL fixtures all of which could be season defining games. Our game really does depend on our players being physically and mentally fit, which is possibly why we started the season so well, hence a couple of additions to the squad could be what is required? Having said all that it’s not the end of the world, joint top half through the season is fantastic, we must now ensure that the second half season’s results are even better

  8. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    I appreciate the rant, Josh. Plus I’m sure it’s very therapeutic 🙂

    I think your key point is right here:

    “the problem with our way of building a team is that unlike other teams who will simply buy to fill any gap, arsene wants to build a team made from youngsters who have been here a while. that means were gonna be stuck for the time being.”

    It is a problem in the short-term but in the long-term it means we have an experienced side who know each other’s games inside out. I like that and I’m happy for the younger players to make mistakes in the short-term to have success in the long-term. Your comment about Arsenal finishing second this season is interesting because it’s similar to the prediction I made at the start of the season.

    Just on Senderos, he worries me and will continue to do so but by all reports he did pretty well against Birmingham. Personally I want Djourou back quick smart because I feel he is the better option.

  9. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    Smiley – We’ll lift against AC Milan, I have no doubt about that. A lack of focus won’t be an issue there like it may be against a side like Birmingham.

    Just on the congested fixture list, we will have the three Africans who are away in Ghana back by then so it shouldn’t be an issue. Joint top is a wonderful effort and even if Arsenal do fail to win I think they’ve put in a marvellous effort thus far. A long way to go yet though!

  10. tom arsenal for life
    January 14, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    man tell me who birmingham ae gonna sign i wonna know how many players they ae gonna get come on u gooners

  11. zulu hooligan ere
    January 14, 2008 at 12:12 am #

    man zulus gonna get ya good game but zulus banged ya

  12. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 12:18 am #

    ?

  13. joshyboy
    January 14, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    wow zulu, whos an articulate little boy. heres a sweety.

    spanish fry. i know what you mean about feeling good about the way were building a team, and to be fair im getting as excited about some of our youngsters as our older players (well, i say older…). only today a quote by liam brady came out saying that in the decade hes been at the academy, hes never known us in more of a healthy situation. im also looking forward to some of the english youngsters coming in, such as gibbs and randal. i guess it just feels frustrating when you desperately need some cover, but arsenes reluctant to buy. in all fairness, youve gotta respect him for as he regularly says the “mental strength and resiliance” he shows in sticking to his guns. were joint top of the premiership, in the carling cup semi, in the FA cup and soon to knock the holders out of the champions league and our teams still a project in its relatively early stages.
    i got a framed picture of the double winning side for christmas and its crazy seeing all those quality players who are all gone. apart from gilberto and lehmann, which speaks for itself considering their current state at the club. in the words of many a gooner before me.
    Arsene knows best!

  14. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Definitely. Wenger will never panic-buy because it undermines his philosophy as a manager. He puts full faith in his players through thick and thin and is consistently rewarded for it. Any silverware this season is a bonus as far as I’m concerned, given the situation when it kicked off. In all honesty I can’t believe we’re still top of the league. It’s been wonderful so far.

  15. Ole Gunner
    January 14, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    It wasn’t a horrible performance. I think what made the difference was the bench. We didn’t have that much quality on the bench to change the game.

    Games like these come every now and then. The worrying thing is that the midfield have stopped scoring again.

  16. Alan Watton
    January 14, 2008 at 1:59 am #

    As a Birmingham who watches football all over the country I would just like to say that Aresnal played rather better than Mr Wenger and the fans would have us believe. I was at the Blackburn V Arsenal FL cup tie and Birmingham did what Blackburn couldn’t and that was deal with Eduardo. True other players missed chances but they did at Blackburn. Blackburn got stuck in in the second half Blues did it for 90. N body in Europe can play football like Arsenal. I would sugest that had the fixtures been reversed Arsenal would have got 15 against Newcastle.

    Arsenal need to improve in the centre of their defence because on the days when they don’t score 3 goals they need to keep a clean sheet.

  17. Arselicked
    January 14, 2008 at 2:16 am #

    I agree with Wenger, i don’t think we need to add anybody to the squad right now.

    I think that the problems of this team arfe psychological rather than physical in contrast to the invisibles. Last season we had an opportunity to open up a big lead against Liverpool when they had stuttered and we failed. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to open up a 5 point lead over Manure and we failed. Could something psychiological be affecting this team?

    Having watched most of the recent games, it seems that the team plays well for the first 25minutes, switches off for the next 20 min and starts playing again after the 50min. 1 nil up is not safe but our players, relax after scoring the first goal. They literally stop going for further goals which is why i think, the problems maybe have something to do with the mentality or psychology (whatever you want to call it). I think its time to Bench ADEBAYOR and bring in Van Persie.

    We should score 3 then start the flicks and back passes, not immediately after scoring 1 goal.

    SENDEROUS WAS GREAT YESTERDAY. Well timed tackles, purposeful headers, ventured forward a bit and always a threat at set pieces. I wish he keeps it up whilst Toure is away.

    Maybe its easier with you buys but, me am surrounding by Manure and right now i don’t know where to hid.

  18. Wang Sheng Foong
    January 14, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    THIS type of game is going to be the norm when Arsenal play the so called sides battling to get out the basement.
    Aw in trust shd be able to devise tactits to counter sides with a steam roller in front.
    Time and again you could the gunners pass and pass countless times.
    i’m afarid the gunners could miss out yet again with the emphasis on pretty soccer and where do we go from here. Oh our team needs time to get experience.By then MU Chelsea could beout of sight and it will take another few seasons to pull level.
    But take heart.Football is unpredictable and anything can happen.Everton could win the title.

  19. knightman
    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 am #

    first benching adebayor n bringing in rvp as said above isn’t th best solution..i’d rather rvp comes in n plays behind adebayor when he shakes off th flu.though i didn’t watch th game, i have noticed in some past matches tht for some reason adebayor isn’t played in as good as when rvp is present..
    nevertheless i got total confidence in this squad n unlike u SF am seeing a double coming our way:) keep it real gunners!

  20. Michael
    January 14, 2008 at 5:57 am #

    The reason arsenal lost was TERRIBLE Theo Walcott and wenger refusing to change him before the first half…after bendtner came on the game changed…we were MUCH MORE better

  21. Demetrio
    January 14, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    We lost 2 points but the postive about the game is, last year when the team had so many chances to win a game but didnt, teams would come back and beat us. This year things didnt happen but at least we got a point from it. Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool will all drop more points, probably by losing. But people who say Arsenal need to bring in Richards is right.. teams score alot on set pieces alot against us and we need one defender like Richards who can come in a maybe help stop some of that. Senderos isnt gonna be good enough against some of the better teams.

  22. Danish Gooner
    January 14, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    I just watched the birth of another superstar.Alexandre Pato of Milan,god forbid we will face him.Ronaldo,Kaka,Pato and Pirlo will destroy us.

  23. Le Gunner
    January 14, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Sf-I’m sorry Finishing second is no way “a marvellous effort” it a failure you can’t settle for less. We are not Spurs. We haven’t won anything for few years. if we don’t win this season its going to be a lot harder next season with all the money that is coming in to other clubs. If M.utd or Chelsea win the title this season they will Get £60 million on top of their wealth so most definitely they will go out and spend big next summer. So I say it has to be our turn this season and build on it for next season. We have to respond against Fulham with a thumping win otherwise doubts will start to creep up in the players minds. We all know Wenger doesn’t like spending big just for once he should break his rule and get Micah Richards. Almost all Arsenal fans want Micah Richards.

  24. Jay
    January 14, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Le Gunner is so right. With Sagna – Richards – Gallas – Clcihy, it will be like Toure was not away. However something else I have noticed is that we need width which is why I was so dissappointed that Modric will be staying at Zagreb this Winter. I believe Benzema is a gem upfront and a real must have aslong with Richards but 1 player who is great. No-body wants him, no-body has offereg for. Newcastle’s Emre. He is speedy, great delievery, great passer and has a rocket shot. he has quality and best of all is unhappy at Newcastle, he will be about £5million i think, he is quality.

  25. Le Gunner
    January 14, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    Danish-gooner Don’t worry mate Pato means a Duck Kaka means Poo and Ronaldo means Fat lump and Pirlo you make that one up.So don’t worry.On a serious note They are good players but we’ll deal with them.Ac Milan are 12th in SerieA and struggling. We have a very good chance against them.

  26. Le Gunner
    January 14, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Jay- we do need a Natural winger I do feel sorry for Walcott he never was a winger until he arrived at Arsenal. I understand Wenger want to do what he did with Thierry and give him experience on the wings first. I’ve watched him when he was at Southampton and beleive me he played better then in his natural position as a striker.I like Benzema he is ruthless. Emre is a good player but I can’t see him playing ahead of Fabregas/Flamini or Hleb.

  27. C-Bass
    January 14, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Sigh. What a game. We dominated the first half and should not have needed the penalty to go up. The second half our quality of play appeared to drop off. Not to quite call it awful but it definately did lessen. After the equalizer which was due to poor marking by the Gooners the game changed. Birmingham appeared determined to make their one bit of quality enough to tide them through for a point. Wenger eventually put on Bendtner but moving Eduardo out wide did not work out. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of him in the midfield and it held through. He kept on constantly cutting inside and then to make matters worse Helb seemed to inherit this thinking. The only Arsenal player who seemed to realize that the penalty box was not the out line was Clichy. All in all I think a draw was fair. We only played our game a half and Birmingham executed their gameplan a full ninety.

    Theo seemed like a lad who believed he couldn’t loose possession no matter how many defenders came his way and clearly showed his immaturity by committing a few silly fouls after loosing possession.

    After a few weak clearing headers by Senderos early in the match I was worried but he came back to make several brilliant sliding tackles to help preserve possession and the draw. Now if we can just see that brilliance consistently.

    Outside of the equalizer I thought Arsenals back four played quite well. Gallas was his usual rock. Sagna had some nice moments coming forward and joining up with the midfield. I thought Ade played quite well and tracked back to the midfield on several occasions to either maintain possession or win it back.

    The midfield appears a bit bungled at the moment and hence our struggles. Cesc and Flamini didn’t have chemistry and we definately missed Rosicky.

    I don’t think this game proves that we NEED to make a move in the transfer window however. M. Richards is quite the player but his presence would only really be essential during the African Cup. I’d much rather give Senderos and Hoyte a shot to show they have what it takes. Both have had encouraging performances as of late.

    As for Benzema are you serious? We have Ade, RVP, Eduardo and Bendtner up front and you want Benzema? There’s no way those five would be happy together. Someone would have quite the gripe about playing time.

    Make no mistake Benzema and Richards are brilliant players whom I would love to have but paying all that money with situation of our current squad seems a bit foolish to me. If anything I’d just like another man who can play out on the side but I doubt that is even necessary.

    Wait till after the Cup of Nations and we’re back to full strength. I don’t think we’re done yet. And this is a long post. I apologize. Cheers!

  28. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Buying players is not the answer. Our squad has got us this far, there’s nothing to suggest they won’t take us all the way. We’re going through a testing period at the moment but at the end of the day we’re tied at the top and have only lost one game all season – it’s hardly a disaster.

  29. Demetrio
    January 14, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    I agree with that. We are going through a bit of a bad period right now, but as shown all season its the set pieces that we get scored on the most. there would be nothing wrong with bringing in Richards to help fill in some gaps, he is a defensive minded player and thats what we need back there as Gallas likes to push up in attack. Im not askin Wenger to send like crazy right now.. just get Richards and i think we will have all the pieces to win the title.

  30. Goons_with_Guns
    January 14, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Spanish Fry:

    Can you make sure to not invite us to give a summary of the next game that you miss?

    One bad game (a game that we don’t even lose) and out comes the Hells Grannies with their handbags.

    I can’t believe what a bunch of f**king whiners so many of your readers are.

  31. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    I think that’s a bit harsh, Goons_with_Guns. After any sort of poor result the negative comments usually come out. But a lot of people are suggesting transfers and I definitely don’t agree with this. It will not help us.

  32. Ronaldo7
    January 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    what do you guys expect, ur missing a few players….draws happen…best way is to come out next week and smash the next team you play…the way united go about there business…
    One thing im noticing is where is the old Cesc…he started this season so hot and in form and potential player of the year…his a bit lost atm…u need ur big gun firing the way united have there big gun (ronaldo) firing….arsenal dont need to make anymore signings…Toure will be back in no time.
    the year chelsea won (lampard was firing) last season (ronaldo) this season (ronaldo)…(henry) back in the day….arsenal need the x-factor and thats Cesc…get him into form and arsenal are hard team to stop.

  33. Bluenosesol
    January 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    Folks, I think that on reflection you are being hard on Arsenal and Birmingham. Arsenal are the most entertaining side in the league and played well enough on Saturday to beat us by a mile. However, Birmingham were on the back of a dire defeat to Huddersfield and were probably playing for their next contracts as McLeish was in the mood for a clear out!. Consequently Birmingham led by the brilliant Ridgewell put in the defensive display of the season as demonstrated by the BBC’s MOTD. Do not assume that the other relegation contenders will perform likewise, rather go out and annihilate them for us!!.

  34. Spanish Fry
    January 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    We’ll try! Birmingham won’t be going down – they’re too good for that. Hopefully we’ll smash Fulham this weekend 🙂

  35. pat apollo
    January 14, 2008 at 9:50 pm #

    thier bad showining started with totheham,gilberto,diaby,denilson are not playing well,if adebayor has 10 chances he will only be able convert 1 thats very bad for striker,man utd,uses their best for every match,they don’t underate anybody,for their profiles,i am not happy with their performances in the last 2 games.

  36. millefiori
    January 14, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    I am never one prone to giving harsh criticisms. However, watching that game, my takeaways were :
    1. we still lack physical strength.
    2. van persie is never going to be available over 3 months at a stretch
    3. Theo is not likely to emerge as per dreams.
    4. eboue was sorely missed, much more than toure.
    5. any other team wld have left us badly damaged.
    6. we do not have a team to win this year’s title.

    These are not the words of a hurt fan, but from someone who wants to lay things in perspective. For the first time this season, I began to think we are lacking a certain characteristic that title winners have .
    Secondly birmingham didnt play well. Yet we couldnt score.

  37. Jay
    January 15, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    Right firstly if we did not hav a team to win this years title then we wud not hav only been knocked off the top spot for 2 weeks since mid september. We hav a gr8 sqaud but now we must w8 4 man utd to make a slip up and the only to do that is to smash a no confidence fulham up however when a team has a point to prove they normally prove it vs. Arsenal, or is that just me?

  38. Taygoon
    January 15, 2008 at 4:56 am #

    If I read about “bring in Micah” or “bring in Benzema” I am going to need psychiatric help. People WE DO NOT NEED ANYBODY ELSE. And we are going to win the title. We played with 3 strikers in the end. If we had a fit RVP in place of Bendtner, and pepper a team continuously from the start, NO team can survive 90 mins. Our problem is we start late. Looking at Man U. They play with 3 strikers every outing. I know Ronaldo is a Midfielder but since last season he plays more like a striker imo, with a licence to roam. For a wide midfielder to be at the end of so much, you have to be a target rather than a provider. If we have 3 strikers @ fulham, it only takes the first 2 goals to turn a normal win into a spanking with 3 hungry strikers in the side, that is why we need Eduardo to score early, and for Wenger not take him out. Strikers are always hungry for goals and that will give Cesc and Flamini more options up-front. The way Eduardo played out wide is how I would like him to play if deployed out wide, and since we consistently have our wide defenders maraud forward, they will provide the crosses, which we rarely convert from anyways. We couldn’t deal well with high balls into their p. box and it would have been a waste having 2 dedicated wingers. I for one do not believe we need them anyways.

    Sorry for a long post. It is somehow “Therapeutic”.

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