Match Reaction: Arsenal 3-1 Celtic
By Karl M. Tinsley
Glad to be back for another season of Gunners football. Nice to see the lads off to a flying start for 2009/10.
MY 3 STARS
1. EMMANUEL EBOUE: In the first half he had his cheeky passing skills on full display with an assortment of backheels and flicks to spring our forwards and pick out the overlapping runs of Sagna. Made a nice first touch, turn and shoot on the feed from Diaby that was inches from finding the back of the net in the first half. Served up a lovely 1-2 to Eduardo in traffic in the 18 yard box that won the PK which Eddy cooly dispatched to put us up 1-Nil.
His goal in the second half which effectively killed off the tie was a clinical finish…like how he showed a cool demeanour to sell the fake to the defender and then wrong foot Boruc with that against the grain low rasping drive. MONEY. So very thankful that Wenger resisted the mob’s calls for Eboue to be moved out during the summer. Eboue has real skills and his versatility is absolutely golden for a team that has been exposed the last 2-3 seasons for its lack of depth and coverage.
2. EDUARDO: While he was caught flat footed on that juicy rebound left to him by Boruc on the reaction save against Bendtner…he made up for it with his coolly taken PK to move us ahead 1-Nil. Of course the dive was very sleazy and I don’t condone it under any circumstances.
But Eddy’s game tonight was a lot more than winning a questionable PK. His hustle was impressive and he made several terrific runs that were wasted due to poor service. He was our best player in the first half…faded a bit in the second half…but nonetheless he deserves a star.
3. WILLIAM GALLAS: He turned in another rock steady performance. Gallas had an awesome match on both sides of the ball…marshalling the back line, heading away any aerial balls played into our box and getting stuck in at every opportunity.
I liked his foraging run late in the first half that showed some slick dribbles and won a free kick. Love him or hate him but one thing for sure…”THE KILLER” is back!!!!
1. ALEXANDRE SONG: He had a fairly quiet first half keeping the middle of the pitch neat and tidy. However, he is still showing a penchant for giving up cheap fouls around the edges of our 18 yard box. That is a reflection on his need to improve his positional play so that he is not getting caught flat footed or wrong footed in his marking.
He did serve up some lovely outlet balls to the flanks that sprang some dangerous counter-attacks. Second half was similar to the first half. Good match from a player that is still evolving and developing his game.
2. ABOU DIABY: Liked what I saw out of him in the first half…was playing with his head up and making good distribution of the ball to our flanks and the strikers eg: his nice quick pass to Eboue at the top of the 18 yard box in the first half that Eboue was able to conjure up a legit scoring chance.
It is amazing that it has taken Diaby 3 years to finally understand how The Arsenal play football (quick pass and move). Glad to see Diaby turn in 2 solid performances in a row…something he has never been capable of in the previous 2 seasons.
3. ANDREY ARSHAVIN: The “Russian Schemer” just keeps getting better and better and better. I was a little worried that some of the magic might have been used up last season but evidently his magic bag is as deep as the ocean. Amazing how the players look to get him the ball every time down the pitch now. Not since Thierry Henry have we had such a dominant offensive player.
You could just feel the energy level of the team and the stadium rise a couple notches when he hit the pitch. With Arshavin and Cesc pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch…I feel very confident in our ability to outscore our opponents. His goal was exactly what we have come to expect from A.A., the silky first touch, the fluid body control and the clinical shooting boots.
4. BACARY SAGNA: Wasn’t tested too much but on the occasions he was Sagna showed off his acrobatic skills and lockdown defence. Is it me or has Sagna seemingly re-discovered that missing gear from 2007-2008??. His pace looks alot sharper this season. Good news.
NICKLAS BENDTNER: His dallying on the ball is slowing down our attacks…he needs to pass the ball and move a whole helluva lot quicker if he is going to be effective against the big clubs this season. He runs well off the ball but with the ball…slow.
His inability to finish has officially reached Adebayor proportions eg: the free header in the 6 yard box at the close of the first half. Sorry…but barring injury…this dude should not be starting for The Arsenal.
We took care of our business in emphatic fashion and fairly cruised through what had the makings of being a very very difficult tie for us. For that the lads need to be congratulated. That makes 4 wins on the trot to open the season and 15 goals for and 3 against…I like that kind of ratio. Confidence is sky high as we head into the lions den at Old Trafford this weekend.
I think it is a good time to be getting Man Utd…they seem a little in disarray, what with the departures over the summer, the unsettling of Vidic and SAF’s failure to bring in big name replacements…Valencia??…for get about it. I like our chances…especially if Cesc is ready to go on Saturday. Now is the time to stick the knife in Man Utd and break off the blade. No prisoners on Saturday night.
GUNS IN GUNS OUT
Bravo !! Match Reaction is back. Have been looking forward to it. Great article. Truly enjoy reading it. Keep up the good work, Karl.
Bring on Manchester United !!
there you go again.. Bendtner was immense for us whenever he played. You r blind not to notice that.
AA still need to fine tune with CF4. Song is not as effective in a midfield of 4 than a midfield of 3. But all are playing that potential champions.
William Gallas and Vermaelen are slowly becoming the best and respectable centre-backs in the Premier League. Besides their good defensive qualities, they look threatening when going forward. Thus far, both had contributed goals.
1 usefull touch dont justify ur dozen useless touches any1 can produce that. hes clearly an average player not an arsenal type. he gives away the ball too easily in or outside the box, misses clear cut chances and slows down the counter attack not an arsenal type. i’ve been trying to take out any positives out of his performances for more than a year but i culdnt. Can any one justify his performances so far not the usual rubbish that what he can do etc etc with valid points plz ANY ONE, ANY ONE
I am not so sure about the dive – having seen it now several times.True he jumps rather high but remember what he suffered last year. So he sees this massive goalkeeper(legitimatly) flying towards and gets out of the way as quick as possible.Before consideing a ban of anykind also remember that the guy who put him out for a year only got a slap on the wrist. lets stand by our man
I certainly don’t think Bendtner was a lemon in this game. His backheel to Diaby was creative and quick, and had Ramsey looked up instead of trying to chip Buroc – Bendtner would of had a goal easy
Good review and good to have you back, but as I agree with some of them (and I understand everyone has an opinion) I feel that your giving Bendtner the wrong end of the stick. Bendter does so much more when he doesn’t get the ball. Look at the big Dane as the point man on Almunia’s kicks and punts. Look at how many people he draws in the air, and the biggest thing I see new from him this year is his hustle. Give the kid a break and appreciate what he does for the team, sometimes the best players of the game don’t even touch the ball that much or score. I give it up to him and appreciate his toughness and hustle.
Lemon for me was Ramsey, he got the ball in the middle and slowed it up. But lemon or not we all played well.
Did anyone else notice how much pressure and hustle the lads were applying at the 80th minute mark? Arsen has these guys believing and wanting to win. I think we will be surprised at what happens at Old Tampon this weekend.
Good review Karlos.
anyone hear of any transfer rumors around Arsenal?
One more thing about Nicky..I do like when he starts, I don’t know if anyone saw the Everton game but he was all over the pitch and once again the target man for Almunia. PLUS HE GET’S BACK AND PLAY’S DEFENSE!!!!! When was the last time you saw that tall of a winger?
Rotation is going to be huge for our team this year. Okay I’m done sucking Nick’s dick.
Nice match report, Karlos! Eboue, deserves credit! I thought he was MOM!
USA G, I saw the pressure applied at the 80th min and at that point the game was already over. haha. This team is playing with heart! Watch out Man U. this game at OT is where we will want to prove everyone wrong! 2-0 Arsenal!
hey karlos nice to hear from u where have u been all his time?
In short, Celtic FC isn’t the same league as Arsenal.
Arsenekidz/Loft/USA “G”…Peace, thanks for the positive feedback. .
Usama…been on “walkabout” (vacation) the previous 6 weeks with no access to satellite TV the last 2-3 weeks 🙁
USA Gunner/Ritesh/Jeffr…true Nicky does alot of dirty work off the ball and has the physical size to hold off defenders and control Almunia’s punts down the pitch. I guess the root of my beef with Nicky is his penchant for squandering gilt edged chances. If he could just learn to relax in front of the net…he would be getting alot more love from me and other Gooners.
Goona…are you talking about Diaby??…you didn’t mention the player by name so I can’t be certain. If it is Diaby your riffing on…I can totally understand your sentiments. I gave him some love because in all fairness he had a fairly solid match and looked to be doing the things that CAN make him effective. But yeah…most def…it’ll take more than a small string of games in succession with him playing well before people will be ready to accept him as a starter. IF he can do it game in game out until January…then I think many Gooners (myself included) will have to re-evaluate their perceptions of the player.