Thursday, 29 October 09
We played Liverpool last night in the last 16 of the Carling Cup at The Emirates and it was a very enjoyable match to watch. The boss went with the expected team more or less with the inclusion of Eastmond the only real surprise. We played some very good football at times and the new system seemed to suit Nasri very well. He seemed to be at the heart of everything that we did throughout the game and he lasted very well considering that he had only played an hour of football before last night.
To be fair to Liverpool they played with 10 different players from their team on Sunday and we went 1 better by playing a completely different team. In the first half our 2 full backs looked a little lost at times and Gibbs in particular seemed to be caught out of position a lot but in the 2nd half they managed to up their game and Gilbert got in some very good tackles and interceptions with Gibbs also improving. Senderos had a fairly solid game with 1 or 2 lapses and to be fair to Silvestre he had a good game. Fabianski got his first game of the season and despite some good takes on some crosses he was still reluctant to come off his line too often and his kicking of back passes was not great either. In midfield I already mentioned that Nasri had a very good game in my opinion and Ramsey did quite well although he was careless in possession a few times. Eastmond played the holding role and he had a good game before coming off near the end looking absolutely knackered. Merida played well enough too although I would have liked to have seen him do a little more on the ball. He took his goal really well and he has a lot more to offer in the future I'm sure. Eduardo looked lively throughout and it would have been nice for him to mark his comeback with a goal but unfortunately he never really got any of the clearcut chances that fell to others. Bendtner had a very odd game as his passing at times was awful and he completely switched off as Liverpool equalised but he made up for it by taking his goal very well.
Early on there were chances at both ends ad Degen missed from 10 yards out for Liverpool and Bendtner from even nearer for us after some very intricate play. Our opening goal came when Eastmond won a tackle just outside the Liverpool box and the ball ran to Merida who buried it from the angle of the box on the right side into the top corner of the net on the keeper's near post. It was a great goal and I hoped that it would spur us on to more but Liverpool came into the game a lot more after that. A high ball was played to Babel who headed it back to Insua as Bendtner daydreamed and he ran forward and buried a fine shot over Fabianski to even things up. It stayed that way until half time and as the teams came off I was looking forward to more of the same.
In the second half Arsenal continued their good attacking play along with their sometimes nervous defending and eventually we retook the lead when Bendtner took a ball off Ramsey's foot in the box and turned and fired it into the roof of the net. As the game wore on Liverpool brought on Benayoun and Aqualaini to try to salvage something and they put us under a lot of pressure. At times we tried to over complicate things in defence when we should have cleared the ball but tried to be too clever. There was a good shout for handball against Senderos late on as he blocked a shot with his hands but it did seem like ball to hand to me. We brought on Randall, Watt and Coquelin for Eastmond, Bendtner and Merida in the second half and we managed to take the ball into the corners to run the clock out which was thouroughly professional if a little unArsenal like.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable game in which Liverpool played their part and our youngsters now face a quarter final tie against one of Chelsea, Manure, The Spuds, Aston Villa, Man City, Blackburn or Portsmouth. It's unusual to see all Premier league clubs only in the Carling Cup at this stage but it appears that the competition is being taken a little more seriously this season. I would imagine the quarter final draw will be on Saturday on Sky as usual and it means our rearranged league game against Bolton on December 2nd will have to be rearranged again.
Ahead of our Saturday lunchtime game against The Spuds Robbie Keane has been claiming that they have a better squad than us. I wondered to myself if they have any world class players in their squad and I realised that they don't but we have Cesc, Arshavin & RVP who are all far too good for them. We also have Gallas, The Verminator, Rosicky, Theo, Nasri & Eduardo who would all walk into thir team. He can talk all he wants about how good he thinks they are but our players will do the talking at 12.45 on Saturday as we put them in their place as also rans in the race for the league title and the bragging rights in North London. That's it for today.
Here's the goals from last night.
And to finish today's title track from The Smiths which is for Robbie Keane and his big mouth.
See You Tomorrow.