One-nil to the Arsenal

Finally watched Real Madrid - Arsenal. Here are my thoughts, with an eye towards the weekend's game @ Blackburn:
  • Neal is right, the Eboue bandwagon is rolling out of the garage. And he's cheap too. Under $5 1/2, I think. Expect a lot of fantasy managers to pick him up. I know I'll be looking to swing the deal.

  • Real's best fullback, on both flanks, was Gravesen. How many times did he fill in those spots in the first half? And to the contrary, how many times did Cichino appear in central midfield? You would have thought that their plan would be to attack Flamini on their right but Cicinho spent so much time infield that there was no danger.

  • How many times are we going to see Senderos lose a physical battle to a smaller player? It's one thing to lose the ball to Ronaldo who, um, has some weight behind him. But Beckham? That's sad. And scary for an Arsenal fan, or someone hoping that they can shut down Blackburn.

  • Hleb has great close control with the ball, but he never seems to have a plan B. Get the ball. Turn. Run. Pass. And it's that last part that seems to give him troubles. He's gotta get his head up, make sure he retains possession first and foremost, and then be willing to run without the ball.

  • And he can learn all that from watching Freddie play. Great game for him moved infield to support Henry. I was surprised that he was moved left when Reyes was taken out of the game as you would figure Pires would go to the flank instead of swapping with Freddie. All that was missing was the goal.

  • Iker Casillas has got to be one of the best keepers in the world. He's never out of position, makes great decisions, and is athletic enough to make any save. And he's probably going to be around for another 10 years. Now if they can just get some protection in front of him.
Blackburn will pose a different sort of threat this weekend. The likely front two of Bellamy and Sinama-Pongolle are quick and will likey try to turn Senderos and get by him. But if Arsenal can put in the sort of committed performance we say yesterday, shut down Rovers' wide-men and get on their center backs on the break then it might not be their sixth road loss of the season. We'll just have to wait and see if yesterday can be a turning point for them. And with Eboue and Adebayor so cheap, we might just have to bet on it too. ;-)


  1. I have to agree with the comment about Freddie - my lasting memory of the match (other than Arsenal missing the chance for two or three more away goals) will be Ljungberg running unfettered through the center of midfield for 20 or 30 yards at a time before anyone from Real even thought to challenge him. How did Barca NOT score 10 on Real with Messi and Deco in place of Freddie? and Ronaldinho on the wing instead of Reyes? Not good time for Real

  2. Anonymous4:05 PM

    ye. real madrid played poorly.

    in the spanish league though there record has recently been excelent. the commentator said they've won something like 8 out of their 11 and at home they are destroying teams.

    don't see how they manage that after seeing them play last night.

    hope chelsea win 2nyt. 0-0 at time of posting, 60 mins played.

    PS - Eboue was playing against ROBIHNO! I barely noticed him in the game, so he must have done a good job. Also good attacking runs by Eboue. The only prob is that Arsenal aren't going to keep a CS and attacking runs don't = YFF points

  3. Arsenal played sublime football against Real Madrid from the first blow of the referee's whistle to the last 95 minute second that was played. I have be honest I didn't believe they could beat Real Madrid on their own turf. That's what I like about Arsenal they continue to surprise at a blink of the eye. So all you doubting Thomas think positive when they play Real Madrid again in a fortnight. Arsenal to win go through to the next stage and win the Champion League - if they can believe why can't we?

  4. Charles10:36 PM

    hi anonymous.

    thiago motta's own goal came round bout the 58th minute. how could it possibly be 0-0 at ur time of posting? ;)