Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Utter, Abject Capitulation

My dear friends, I'm sorry to bombard you with posts about Arsenal, posts that you most likely care nothing about. But it's my blog and studying abroad has given me a perfect excuse to start it. Admittedly, I am probably approaching the dreaded status of "blog-whore."

Nevertheless, here is another Arsenal post. Take comfort in the fact that their season is now over so I will not be writing about them anymore.

I really have nothing to say about the match tonight. It speaks for itself. But here is what I wrote down, before it, in a message I was planning to send. I wanted to keep the vibrations positive so I decided not to send it. Here you go:

I just watched footage of Arsenal 2-1 Man Utd in 2006, and Arsenal 2-1 Man Utd in 2008 to pump myself up for this game. I won't be watching live due to a prior soccer-playing commitment, but I will be up into the wee hours of the morning watching the replay on

Starting XI's from 11.08.08
Arsenal 2: Almunia, Clichy, Silvestre, Gallas, Sagna, Nasri, Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner
Man Utd 1: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Anderson, Ronaldo, Ji-Sung, Anderson, Rooney, Berbatov

From watching the highlights of that match, plus watching the first leg from this time around, I've gathered the following:
1. Adebayor is a donkey and shouldn't start. His work rate has dipped significantly since that contract extension in the summer and since captain Henry left. If I were Wenger, I would sell him to Milan for £20. Bendtner at least works hard. If you watch the highlights from November, he at least holds up the ball well.
2. Fabregas needs to play deep in the midfield, not at the second striker role. He was able to dictate the game against Man Utd in November, whereas he was lost in the first leg. For whatever reason, Diaby started in "the hole" behind Bendtner in November, but it was Fabregas in the first leg.
3. Van Persie should not start if he isn't fully fit. He'll just be wandering aimlessly and his set pieces haven't been all that great recently either.
4. Song over Denilson.

What would I do then?

If Eboue is having a good day, leave him on. He can take Evra, as he did in 2006. If not, take him out in the 30th minute, put van Persie on and switch to a 4-4-2.

But of course, we already know what Wenger is going to do.
----------Adebayor-----van Persie--------

Or the same lineup that started the first leg, in which case, see you in August 2009. One goal, and it's over tonight.

But of course, that's just me being pessimistic.

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