Monday, December 21, 2009

Arsenal 3-0 Hull City: Take that Phil Brown

Well, since Arsenal scored three times I should eat my hat. Yet, in the first half the game was not as the score line suggested. Arsenal’s passing was not sharp, the movement was not that great Hull played only one up front, and since they are among the leagues lowest scorers away they didn’t really threaten but neither did we, everything we did seemed to break down around the 18 yard area and many of the final passes were into traffic. There was not the quick movement that we had in the first games of the season. Perhaps it is tiredness. Again not having a tall target man was an issue, Arshavin looked stranded up front. All this changed with Denilson’s free kick which dipped over the wall with, I think, a great amount of back and side spin as it moved into the corner. Lovely goal. Apparently, Denilson wasn’t on the list to take the free kick but perhaps he will be now. Earlier, I thought Nasri and Eduardo hooked up well on the short corner. I was happy to see that since, again the high ball into the box has had relatively little pay off.

So into the second half, it was all Arsenal with renewed confidence. Hull had to come out and we had more space. Inexplicably, however, a penalty was given against Silvestre (who had a decent game against a fairly weak side) for pulling a shirt in the box. Completely mad, since it looked like it was mutual shirt pulling and also since how many times have we seen rugby type tackles in the box with no consequence. Perhaps it was payback for the free kick goal that was the result of a foul on Diaby—commentators said it was sort—but I thought it was a foul. So it was Diaby’s run that led to the goal and another run, with a one twos with Song that led to the second, a tap in by Eduardo. Eduardo had earlier produced a wonderful pirouette turning a through pass from Arshavin to be one on one with the goalkeeper. But he shot wide and when Eduardo’s goal came, he didn’t seem much bothered; perhaps he celebrates only when something special happens. He had a decent game, a good shot early on, some nice back heels that didn’t work out but showed he was linking up. Again against tougher opponents, who knows, but he looks to be getting back on track. The same can be said of Walcott, who came on for Nasri and made a couple of very nice runs. He too missed what should have been the fourth. The third, of course, came from Diaby, who had one of his best games—I don’t want to jinx it since he is a streaky player who then gets injured—but it was a great run, taking a pass from Arshavin, again through the middle and beating off a challenge while hammering the ball past the goal keeper.

So in the end it all came together, everything clicked and we looked good, but it took awhile and I thought we looked poor for the first 40 minutes. However there is an eight day rest now and a chance to get some players back …

Player Ratings, by Aidan G


Had a good recovery from some awful games. Good pen save


Good going forward


Comfortably dealt with the Hull attacks




Not his fault on the penalty, which was one of the weirdest penalties ever. Silvestre frightens me, and him against Ashley Young does not fill me with excitement.


Big goal which we really needed. Played well, but I'll be happy to see Cesc back.


Not one of his best, but good interplay for the second goal


Am I right in saying his best ever game for Arsenal? It's games like these when I see why Arsene likes him. It games like the one against Burnley where I see why I don't like him all the time.


Not his best game, deserved to be sent off, luckily Hull decided to show off their aggro which took him off the hook.


Got into good decisions, missed one chance, but tapped in the other. Nice to see him get a goal.


Did assist for Diaby, but seemed to be isolated a lot in the first half.


Showed off his pace, but also missed a fairly easy chance from a long ball.


Didn't do much in his cameo


Got involved in his sub role. Nice to get him a game.

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