Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sol Campbell v Philippe Senderos

Why did Arsene Wenger dump Philippe Senderos while preferring the 35 year old Sol Campbell whose signing surprised many, if not Sol himself.
One reason may be the style of play the 2 have. They are similar in height, with Senderos being 6'3 and Campbell 6'2. However, Sol seems to be the more smooth player; this may be due to when he was at Tottenham's youth set up and when he first came up he was a striker. I do not believe that Senderos was ever a striker in his youth career. Arsene may also look at their passing during games, which would show that Campbell plays more short balls, and Senderos plays longer balls.
Looking at one comparision which shows both against Manchester United. Senderos chalkboard (Guardian chalkboards are very very nice) was from the 06-07 season with the home fixture, Arsenal winning 2-1. Campbell's comes from Portsmouth's away 2-0 loss to United last year.

by Guardian Chalkboards

As shown, Senderos plays more long balls than Campbell.

In 2 more games from Senderos, from the 07-08 season against Bolton away and City away, he shows a tendacy to play a few more long balls than Campbell.

by Guardian Chalkboards

And finally, here are 2 games from last year for Sol Campbell, both against Arsenal.

by Guardian Chalkboards

To conclude, I believe Arsene Wenger replaced Philippe Senderos with Sol Campbell based on their passing styles. Will this turn out to be a good move? We can start with tomorrow's game against Manchester United.

Methodolgy: Games against good teams were preferrable in this analysis. There's a huge difference in defending against Manchester United then against Derby County.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Arsene, playing in the snow is not the best move

Arsenal 2, Everton 2

I didn't see the first half, but I heard that Arsenal weren't that good. More on that in a minute. What didn't surprise me was that Arsenal aren't really a snow team. Arsene seemed upset that we couldn't get the game in on Wednesday against Bolton. I understood his reaction. At home against a mangerless Bolton we should have won, so against Everton there was no chance of a cancellation. But in retrospect it should have been cancelled. Arsesnal are never going to be that good in the snow. And it was true, and the result, a draw plus it looked like Denilson out for a couple of months after being stretchered off. He had been fouled by Neville earlier. A high kick not called, but he went down now under no pressure late in the second half. Either his back or hamstring. So all in all a game that should have been cancelled. I just wonder what Arsene was thinking.

The conditions were terrible. Blizzard conditions. The field was like an away game, or at least it neutralized our game. A team like Everton, all guts and grits, big hackers at the back like Phil Neville and the big hair bloke broke up our attack. Full marks to Everton they played the way they play.

I did see the second half. We were industrious and had a few chances but couldn't break through. We had a penalty shout and Everton were scrappy in defence. No one on Arsenal shone through. Rosicky came on for Ramsey. Eduardo had a chnace but didn't want to shoot with his right. Traore looked weak at the back beaten for pace by Donovan. Gallas was beaten by Pinaar. But Arsenal was the better side in the 2nd half, I felt, but neither was that good. The Everton countered and beat Arsenal at their own game going up 2-1. It started with a give away by Rosicky in the attacking third, 1-2-3. A goal. Arsenal then went off the boil and Everton had 3 or 4 corners in a row resulting from bonehead defending by Traore. We pressed and pressed for a goal, finally got one from a Diaby run and a decent finish from Rosicky which took a defelection.

In the end a decent result, seeing as we were looking like losers. But the result puts into perspective that without Fabregas, with RVP and without Walcott we lack pace and trickery and play making. There have been some lucky wins and not convincing performances, but the team has been on a decent run. Hopefully the run will continue against Bolton. But if it it snowing ...

Obvious the defenders don't trust him anymore
Provided a good outlet on the wing for crosses, some of which were decent
Gallas-6; Vermaelen-6
Why was Traore and Nasri the last 2 back on the second goal?
Had a bad game. Donovan went passed him easily, unnecessarily conceded 2 corners at the end.
Is in a real good run of form at the moment.
Is not Song. Somewhat lucky goal, which we needed. And what happened when he fell down?
Disappointing from him, as his last 2 games had been very good.
Was alright.
Had maybe one good run. He can't play in that centre forward role, he gets to isolated.
Played alright.
Gave ball away for the second goal, but his goal made up for it.
Vela and Merida-N/A

Monday, January 4, 2010

West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: Gunners come back

First of all, I would like to wish all the readers a happy new year. We haven't been able to post because we were out of town.
Arsenal played West Ham on Sunday, and Arsene Wenger sent out a somewhat weaker side to the one that played against Portsmouth. Almunia, Arshavin, Nasri, Traore and Diaby all rested, and Fabianski, Vela, Wilshere, Merida and Silvestre came in to replace them. Andrey Arshavin, who is carrying a bruise on his foot, was left out completely.
The first half was scrappy, and West Ham seemed to be the team more into the game. Arsenal had a couple of chances, one where Eduardo was gifted the ball, but his shot was saved by Green. Vela made a good run, and then back heeled to Wilshere, but the youngster, instead of shooting, tried to dribble pass the West Ham defence. Their goal came in injury time; Arsenal's back line stepped up, but Silvestre played Diamanti onside, and he finished despite Fabianski getting a hand to it. In the second half, West Ham started the better, and were exploiting their right wing, with Stanislas easily beating Silvestre a couple of times. It took the introduction of Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby to turn it around for Arsenal, and soon after they came on, Robert Green made a double save from Diaby and Alex Song. But the goal would soon come, and Song played Vela in, who then played in Ramsey who finished with his left foot, and thats now 2 in the last week for the young Welshman. The second goal came 5 minutes later when Song again passed to Vela who's good cross was met by Eduardo's looping header, and Green, despite getting a hand to it could not keep it out. 2-1 Arsenal, and West Ham were finished.
Player Ratings
Not his fault on the goal, made on good save, had nothing to do really.
Nothing too spectacular, solid defensively
Easily beaten, played Diamanti onside. When he went forward, he was exposed, and thats why he's not good at left back.
Very nice goal, and general play was good. Last year I would've bet on Wilshere being the more involved player this year, but Ramsey has developed very well this year.
Started off poorly, but when Diaby came on played much better. Heavily involved in the build up for both goals. We'll miss him at the ACN, hope Cameroon is eliminated quickly.
Started off ok, but then really really faded.
Could not get involved, made 2 mess ups at the back that almost cost us.
Good header, and we played much better with him through the middle.
2 assists for the young Mexican, and he played much better on the wings then in the middle.
Game changed for the better when Nasri and Diaby came on.
Ditto; he always makes good driving runs from the midfield, today was no different, and could've scored except for a good save from Green.

Arsenal drew Stoke away in the fourth round; that will be played on the 23/24 of January.