Arsenal show bouncebackability in Belgrade

Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Arsenal

I’ve got very little time this morning to chuck something out through the internets, but if I were to lob a couple of observations out there, it would be these:

IF Lukasz Fabanski had been able to choose in advance what kind of night he would have, I have no doubt he’d have picked one of those games that enabled him to pull off a trophy save, but otherwise be little called upon. That’s exactly what he got. He really didn’t have much to do; there was a chance early in the game that he thwarted with his legs, then the first penalty. Not a whole lot else until their second penalty, when he pushed the ball athletically to his right and away to safety. It was a good penalty kick and a very good save. The ‘paper wrists’ Ian Wright spoke of after the Spuds game had been reinforced with glue paste. To cap it all off, he made another good reflex save at the end, diverting a decent shot away past his left-hand post.

That’s not to say he’s a shoo-in for Sunday. Wenger was coy on who he would play against Chelsea, for good reason. I somehow doubt Chelsea will give a fig which of our keepers Wenger plays – history tells us there’s an error hiding somewhere in both of them – but shoots of recovery have to start somewhere, and last night Fabianski did all that was asked of him.

POCKET RUSSIAN Andrey Arshavin was excellent last night – as good as he has been in a while. I mentioned in my previous post that despite looking flat at times this season, he has still been scoring goals. Twitter statman @orbinho (follow him if you don’t already) threw another snippet out there yesterday – “Andrey Arshavin has created more goalscoring chances (20) than any other player in the Premier League so far this season.” He scored another good goal last night and could have had three. That’s five goals in nine appearances. How can you drop him, even when not sparkling? I’m not sure you can.

YOUNG Jack Wilshere continues to astound. Playing in a more advanced role, he was again staggeringly good yesterday. He got more roughhouse treatment but simply got up, again and again, to direct the traffic. The backheel he conjured up for Arshavin’s opening goal was simply sublime. My main worry with Jack Wilshere is not that we’re playing him too much – he’s becoming undroppable – but that the pounding he is getting from the opposition is guaranteed to lead to an injury or two. He gets targeted because of his skill and he also likes to get stuck in. Doubles the chance…

DEFENSIVELY we had our wobbles, but consider this: last night’s central defensive pairing of Squillaci and Djourou was our fifth combination in nine games. It’s a good job we have four central defenders, but we could probably do with a more settled back line too. We’ve also chopped and change at full-back, with Gibbs replacing Clichy last night. He was absolutely excellent and must stand a good chance of retaining his place on Sunday.

OVEWALL, as Wenger would say, it was a good night’s work. The collective footballing amnesia of Saturday had disappeared. We got stuck in, weathered the storm, created some great chances and thoroughly deserved our win.

IT was the perfect result ahead of a titanic showdown.

14 thoughts on “Arsenal show bouncebackability in Belgrade

  1. A reasonable performance, but when will Song realise that he is not Zidane? He’s meant to be our DCM but spends most of his time in the opposition’s half!

  2. SONG needs to get back into line, he’s screwing up all the good work he did last year.. He should stick to what he does best, to let the attacking midfielders do their job.

    It’s very distracting!!

    and i hope gets rid of the Grandma hair soon, he looks like a bum..

  3. Good article, and exactly what i was going to say too Welling.

    If he starts roaming like he did last night against Chelsea then we are up sh1t creek.

    Wilshere HAS to start.

    And where the hell is Vermaelen???? Wenger said “definitely out” of Chelsea, but didn’t expand… what is going on?

  4. Song has been doing this in every game so I’m assuming he following the managers instructions to get forward.

  5. Agree JD but by doing so, Jack is being stifled by not being able to play his natural game. Either that or Song is just thick and doesn’t understand and Wenger ‘didn’t see it’!!!

  6. Denilson needs to come out and explain what the f*** he was doing by giving away a penalty. Evertything seems fine now because we won.. what if we have lost the game? Brainless act.

  7. Song is becoming a slight concern. Last season he was very good at breaking up play and picking his moments to get forward.

    He is also starting to play too many killer balls forward.

    Song, Wilshere and Cesc is a good midfield 3 on Sunday. Lets’ hope they’ve got the beating of Mikel, Ramires and Essien

  8. I’m not sure the word “titanic” fills me with hope and optimism for Sunday! If you offered me a draw today I’d bite your hand off.

  9. Staggeringly good is a good description of Jack. What a player. If Cesc is fit agree that it’s Song,Cesc,Jack for Sunday. There is simply no way based on performances this season that Diaby should still be ahead of him in the pecking order.
    I think we have to go with Fabianski on Sunday.It’s the first time in so long that he’s had confidence & time to take advantage. And let’s be honest..we all think he’s not up to it but hope to be proved wrong. Whereas we know for a fact that Almunia isn’t up to it…

    I think Arshavin’s been brilliant this season. I don’t care how much he does/doesn’t run around or how disinterested he looks at times as long as he makes the difference around the opposition’s box. And he does. Constantly. But…….Sunday is the kind of day we’re paying him the big money for. He needs to produce. And

  10. Staggeringly good is a good description of Jack. What a player. If Cesc is fit agree that it’s Song,Cesc,Jack for Sunday. There is simply no way based on performances this season that Diaby should still be ahead of him in the pecking order.
    I think we have to go with Fabianski on Sunday.It’s the first time in so long that he’s had confidence & time to take advantage. And let’s be honest..we all think he’s not up to it but hope to be proved wrong. Whereas we know for a fact that Almunia isn’t up to it…

    I think Arshavin’s been brilliant this season. I don’t care how much he does/doesn’t run around or how disinterested he looks at times as long as he makes the difference around the opposition’s box. And he does. Constantly. But…….Sunday is the kind of day we’re paying him the big money for. He needs to produce. And I think he will.

  11. i think that song is doing alright at the moment even doe he is trying to do a trick or two, get forward more and play that killer pass but that is alright because he will only get better at it my only concern is that he needs to stay displined in the cdm position while the score is 0-0 then if were winning then do all of that but still denilson is starting to impress me alot while diaby is reall making me sick but realisticly are best line up for sunday is
    ?
    sagna kosielmy squilaci gibbs
    song
    diaby wilshere
    nasri chamakh arshavin

    the reason why i chose the dissapointing diaby is because we need a midfiled that can compete with the strengh of chelseas midfiled so song nd diaby vs essien nd mikel while wishere is in for fabregas who isnt 100%

    but this would be my model arsenal team with no injurys

    ?
    sagna kosielmy squilaci gibbs
    song
    fabregas nasri
    walcott van persie arshavin

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