Nil Nil To The Arsenal

Russia 0-0 Arsenal

I think we made a point last night, literally and metaphorically.

Another fine, resilient, performance means that Chelski will now have to wait a wee bit longer for their party. The title is deservedly theirs, but I think we showed that there is very little to choose between the two sides, especially when our defence is back on form, as it was last night.

Ashley Cole won the man of the match award with a classic Cole display, a mixed blessing if ever there was one. As The Standard points out, he’s far and away the best left-back in the country. Unfortunately for us, he’s well aware of that.

Close behind him was Philippe Senderos, the key ingredient to our defensive renaissance over the last month or so. He was superb last night; tackling, mopping up, looking every bit the central defender we would have otherwise had to buy this summer. He kept Sol on the bench, which says something. No complaints in the middle either, where Pires was even tracking back. Amazing stuff.

Up front we didn’t offer much, but the opposition has only conceded 12 goals this season.

They’re not far away now, Chelski. In fact, assuming they beat Fulham at home on Saturday, we face the unedifying prospect on Monday night of having a say in their title party. Should London’s third team come and get a point or more at Highbury, the shindig can begin in SW6.

And finally, more bitterness at the hands of the FA.

The bulk of the tickets for the cup final have been priced at – get a stiff whisky and wait for it – £65 and £90, with a ‘limited availability’ of tickets at the paltry prices of £50 and £25.

Given that the most expensive ticket for the semi was something like £55, this seems a bit rich. Accuse me of being cynical if you like, but I get the sense that, because it’s an Arsenal v Man U final, they’ve bumped prices up.

Do we honestly think that, had Blackburn made it, tickets would have cost £90? They’d have only brought about 500 fans, so I doubt it.

And finally, worrying developments at Emirates Grove. According to their new batch of pictures, “A 300-ton crawler crane [is] seen behind the smaller ‘slave’ crane, which is used to dismantle another the 400-ton crane.” Technology has got to the point where cranes are dismantling cranes, it seems. As far as I’m concerned, it’s another small step towards robots taking over the world.


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

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Dom

    Well, if they do take over the world, they’ll only have to worry about the slave cranes rising up to overthrow their evil crawler crane overlords. (Which will, of course, leave the way clear for the damn filthy apes to take power).

    On the subject of Big Phil, my only slight worry is that at this time last season we were all proclaiming that Kolo had turned into the centre half we’ve needed for ages. Let’s hope he doesn’t suffer from a similar difficult second season syndrome. Or a recurrance of his glass skeleton injury problems.

  2. Farnborough Gunner

    It’s a pleasant change to have a match between two of the top teams and the main talking points afterwards are football related – who played well etc. A bit different from when either Chelsea or Arsenal play ManU.

    So, some credit to Chelsea. At least they try to concentrate on football – on the pitch at least.

    Take a look at the match reports from Everton V ManU to see what I mean.

  3. vivb

    The difference next season is that we have Toure and Campbell as well so that’s three good centre backs. Saving us the £25 million Spurs wanted for King. Toure also offers cover at right back.

    Last night and the semi-final show how much the team needs TH to lead the forward line. AW probably realises an experienced striker is needed in the summer although that might see a younger player and/or DB leave. Trouble is although we will get better Chelsea will buy a striker themselves in the summer as well as new full backs.

    Thought it also showed how competitive games between top sides should be played, competitive but no nasty fouls and players showing respect to each other at the final whistle. AW also being very gracious about Chelsea being worthy champions. Funny that games with Man Utd aren’t played in that spirit.

  4. Withnail and Ian Ure

    Apart from big Phil looking better by the game he appears to have helpe Toure’s confidence also. Still prone to rush in where others fear to tread, but not so often, less panicky. Gilberto’s height helps also. Even so it’s Phil and Sol for me next season and if we keep clear from injuries we will be there or there abouts again.
    As for the cranes revolting against craones well what a load of tosh. You two have been….. hang on got a fella at the door looks like Arnie asking for someone called Sarah

  5. halfNice

    I’m worried about the slave crane. I’m sure we outlawed slavery in this country a long time ago. What have Amnesty got to say about this?

  6. Liam's shinpad

    Yep, I was also impressed with the good spirit in which the match was played. Two top teams with a bit of respect for each other, makes a nice change.

    We were missing Henry without a doubt, our attack looked weak, especially young Dennis. I thought that Jose tried bloody hard to impress, perhaps with van Persie on from the start things might have been different…

  7. Gerry Gooner

    I was really pleased with us last night- in fact if we had played similarly in some of our european games rather than in the usual cavalier manner I think we’d still be in the champions league. Defensively we were solid but to say we now don’t need to buy a centre half is short sighted- we need four for the two positions- four of good quality at that. My only negatives (i always have to find them) are how slow the substitutions were made- as usual. Also I thought Reyes was abysmal and dennis wasn’t much better. Which is a pity cos while they were up against a top defence I feel if we had a bit more up front we may well have won last night. Withou Henry we appear very weak in that department- and some of our 30 million funds need to be spent on another quality goalscorer (not Treze-no-goal though- he’s poison). Senderos was outstanding again and it was great to see two sides interested only in football despite the rivalry. Good luck to chelsea- deserved champions.

  8. East Upper

    London’s third team? I thought we were playing Spuds on Monday not Charlton ………….. or Fulham ……………..or Palace …………………..or Orient

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