2-1 vs. Atletico Madrid, Senderos to Everton & more news 1 August, 2009Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
Full time has just gone at Ashburton Grove and we beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 with all the goals coming in the last five minutes. Yesterday Wenger gave us a bit of team news – Diaby has a slight knee problem, Gibbs & Walcott aren’t fit yet and Rosicky & Clichy would play a part in the Emirates Cup. Well Rosicky started in his long-awaited return home and Clichy made his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt for a while in the second half.
Jose Antonio Reyes also started in a strong Atletico Madrid side but was strangely booed by the home support. Things didn’t work out for him at Arsenal but I didn’t think he deserved the jeers at all. A bit of a shame, but he didn’t seem that bothered. When he was subbed off in the second half a few had turned those boos into applause but it was still a very mixed reception.
The first half was slightly dull, in a competition where shots on target count there was little goal action. We were playing decent stuff but nothing to shout about. TR7 was taken off at half time after a decent performance – he was not afraid of a challenge and was just a yard or two offside for what would’ve otherwise been a great comeback goal around 5 minutes in. He, Eboue and Traore came off at the break being replaced by Merida, Clichy and 17-year-old Wilshere.
Young Jack was the highlight of the game, easily picking up the man of the match award. He had an outstanding 45 minutes and showed Arsene Wenger that he is ready to fight for a place in the first team squad. After the game, Sky pundit (it’s only) Ray Parlour said he would risk Wilshere in the Premiership and after today’s performance it’s hard to argue with him.
We started the second half well; we controlled possession and had a load of chances. In the end it took the introduction of Eduardo, Fabregas and Arshavin before any goals came. They came on in the 66th minute, took a while to settle into the rhythm but the exciting combination of Cesc & Andrey made it 1-0 in the 85th minute. Fabregas was put through down the right but instead of crossing, cut back on himself towards the edge of the box. He clipped a ball over the far post and Arshavin volleyed low inside the near post. A good goal.
We lost our concentration though and Atletico looked to have spoiled the win seconds later when Pacheco was put clean through the defence to make it 1-1. It looked like Arshavin’s opener wasn’t going to get us the win but the little Russian came up with another right at the end. He took a chance on intercepting a looped back pass and with his first touch got to it before the ‘keeper taking it round him. The ball looked to be heading out for a goal kick but he slid to the ball making contact with it on the byline but somehow directing it into the open goal using the pace of the ball. Maybe a bit lucky but he is such a genius I’ll give it to him.
So 2-1 it finished. I watched over the internet today but I will be there tomorrow. Looking forward to it even though it looked half empty today.
There is a bit of breaking news this afternoon and that is that Philippe Senderos has apparently signed for Everton. He was sitting behind the bench with Almunia today, not in the squad but still present. However a lot of trustworthy sources are reporting that a deal has been done. Its all word of mouth at the moment so no links for you but I’m taking this as pretty much true. There has been talk of Everton bringing in Big Phil so they can sell Lescott for big City bucks and it looks like it might be going ahead. Expect news on this in the next couple of days.
If it is true then its even more money in the bank and surely we might be buying sooner or later, especially if Eboue leaves too. No doubt the rumours will come flooding in for defenders but at the moment the top story is Patrick Vieira.
Arsene was asked about him in yesterday’s press conference and had a lot of interesting things to say. He admitted he has spoken to the former captain but only on a personal level. However conversation of a move back to Arsenal did come up and the manager has refused to rule it out:
“I speak to Patrick. I speak to many players who have been here because I keep good connections with them. He has gone through a difficult period in the last season and I am aware that he wants to come here
I think Patrick is a legend here and he would always like to come back to this Club. That would be his first choice. He is a professional footballer with emotion and you always like the club where you’ve spent time. But as a professional as well, you always give 100 per cent for whichever club you sign for.
At the moment we need to look at the level of experience in our squad to make this kind of decision. There is a football decision and then there’s the psychological impact of a player of that stature coming in. We are nowhere near to making a decision like that. But it is a possibility. We don’t rule it out and we don’t say we will do it. That’s my decision at the moment.”
I’ve underlined all the juicy bits there and out of the blue this does look like a vague but interesting opportunity. Arsene once before said he could see Vieira becoming a central defender in his later years. He said yesterday that he would think about bringing Paddy back and now with Senderos apparently gone no doubt this idea of using him in defence will crop up in his thoughts.
It would be a risk though – there’s no doubt that Vieira wouldn’t be the player he used to be. However he would have the same knowledge and reading of the game plus the experience to guide and carry the squad; whether he has the legs to carry himself though is a different matter. We’d have to take a look and see how he’s holding up physically nowadays but I said on my twitter earlier that I could imagine him coming on with 20 minutes to go 1-0 or 2-1 up, calming the game down and making sure we hold on to the lead sitting behind the midfield.
At the moment I’d say the chances of a return are low but we can’t rule it out. More on this exciting story as I hear it.
Wenger also spoke about the other ins and outs this summer. He has reacted to Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud saying Wenger had contacted him about Chamakh. Around the Adebayor transfer he looked certain of coming but it’s all gone quiet. Wenger didn’t comment on Jean-Louis Triaud’s claim so we’re no clearer on the possibility of that. He also spoke about selling Toure and Adebayor to City saying you can’t chose who to sell your players to and if they hadn’t bought them, they would’ve only bought someone else.
And finally, Daniele De Rossi has denied making any contact with Arsenal about a move and is fully committed to Roma. That’s fair enough, I never really thought there was anything in the stories anyway.
Bit of a long post today, well done if you got through all off it. I’m off to London early tomorrow morning for day two of the Emirates Cup. I’m looking forward to being back at the Grove and hopefully we can win the trophy; we’re top of the table on 5 points after today so we’ve got a good chance. Maybe speak to you tomorrow evening, if not Monday.
Thanks for reading.