Monday, October 29, 2007
While another form of football was boring the pants of spectators at a muddy Wembley, the real game of the day in England was taking place at Anfield.
The match proved without doubt that Arsenal are the real McCoy. Liverpool, who badly missed Agger and foolishly risked Torres, were lucky to get away with a point. But for the posts and a fear of open goals Arsenal would have taken all three. Worryingly for rest there are areas where Arsenal can improve. Uncertainty at set pieces is still there, they could learn how to hold a wall, and Adebayor still blows hot and cold. Yesterday he was woeful: his first touch was comical, his passing pitiful [most notably ruining a fantastic length-of-the-pitch run from Toure], and he was offside more often that Pipo Inzaghi. This was perhaps a game where Wenger deep down missed Henry. There's no doubting Adebayor's talent, next week he could score three against United, but he does look more confident with a partner. Wenger would never do it, for a whole host of reasons, but I'd love to see that formation with a player like Eto'o or Ibrahimovic leading the line.
The biggest plus for Arsenal the season, other than Fabregas scoring goals, has been the change in Alexandr Hleb. He seems to have finally bought into the Wenger system. After two seasons of still thinking he was in the much slower Bundesliga he's now adapted his game. Before he would hold up the ball as Arsenal were counter-attacking, destroying momentum. Now he lets the ball flow in the middle of the park, holding it up instead in the final third of the field, thus bringing midfield runners, most notably Fabregas, into goal scoring positions.
Next week: Manchester United at Emirates Stadium
Gerrard shares the glory with Fabregas
Arsene Wenger’s men stick to their principles
David Pleat's chalkboard
Henry the second - Adebayor interview
Posted by Alec at 6:54 AM