Ade’s brace makes it 18

Two more goals for Ade Cool; that’s 18 for the season, putting him seven goals clear of Fabregas and Eduardo, both on 11. It’s a good job he knows where his scoring boots are, too – Fabregas has not scored for approaching three months, Eduardo for three weeks.

Makes you think, doesn’t it, too: how many goals might van Persie score if he could keep fit for an entire season? He’s got 7 this season from 13 starts. He would most probably have had around 15 goals by now.

It was a good game, in the end. The first half was pretty even, but in the second half we stepped up a gear and made the barcodes look very ordinary. Adebayor, naturally, was at the centre of it, scoring two lovely goals and not fighting any of his team-mates either. Eduardo deserves credit for his application, and indeed it was his shot that cannoned off the post back to Ade for the first goal.

We were solid at the back too. Senderos had a terrific game, a coming-into-form bang at the right time, and it was a glimpse of the Senderos we all hoped he would become but never quite has. Gallas was good, Clichy was good, Hoyte was good (and much more comfortable – he really isn’t one of those players flexible enough to play in any position. He’s a right back and a right back he shall remain).

It’s true that we looked more threatening when Walcott went off to be replaced by Hleb, but I think Theo acquitted himself well given the week he has had and the criticism that has come his way. One run in particular, when Cacapa (?) tried to muscle him out the way but couldn’t quite do it without bringing him down, brought the crowd to its feet.

Let’s put the criticism of Walcott to bed, eh? Unless you are a freak of early maturity like Rooney then you are almost never going to be the real deal at 18. The Independent’s Sam Wallace puts it well here. Walcott has played 55 times for Arsenal. By the same stage and age in their Arsenal developments, A. Cole had played just once and Anelka 31 times. Cole had no goals, Walcott three and Anelka four.

So no, he’s not ready yet, I don’t pretend that he is, but he has improved, and he will improve more. He offers us width when we need it and he can play through the middle too. It would be sheer madness to farm him off somewhere else with no guarantees that he’d a) play more or b) get the equivalent footballing education that he is getting currently.

Cup draw tomorrow – I will make some comment on my Twitter feed, but let’s hope we don’t get one of the perennial cup finalists just yet. They’re all through so the chances of avoiding them are dwindling.

Ta-ra then.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.