Scrappy Do

WBA 0-2 Arsenal

Odd sort of game, that. We were below our best, and yet I still got the feeling that we could have misplaced passes all night and still not conceded a goal.

I do feel some sympathy for the approach Robson took to the game, even if it made the spectacle a slogging match. For long periods, we were trying to ping passes through the eye of a needle. Not easy.

The trouble is, playing one man up front was never going to trouble us, and holding on for a 0-0 is a risky strategy – as it proved. A glorious strike from Percy broke the deadlock, and the game was effectively over then. For some reason – I think it goes back to me having a completed WBA side in the Football ’80 Panini sticker book – I’ve always had a soft spot for the Baggies, but I think it’s all over for them now. Against all the odds, and everyone’s better judgement, Robson has turned them round. Sadly for them, I think it’s too late now.

They’re welcome to prove me wrong of course, starting on Saturday at OT. If they could somehow grab three points there (you at the back, stop sniggering), we’d only need two points from nine to claim second.

For us, man of the match Phil Senderos’s remarkable record carries on – ten straight games, no goals conceded – and it speaks volumes for his progress that nobody’s anxious about whether Sol Campbell will play again soon. If Wenger intends to pick Campbell for the cup final, the man’s going to need a game soon – but can you upset the applecart by dropping Toure or Senderos? Tricky one.

Mathematically speaking, we could now probably afford two draws from our last three games (assuming the third is a win), or two wins and a defeat. As we have a superior goal difference to Man U (ten), ending up on equal points might well be sufficient.

None of the three remaining games are easy ones, it must be said, especially our two home games. With both Everton and Liverpool scrapping for their lives to make fourth, there’s every motivation for them to get maximum points from the game.

Keeps it interesting though!


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

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Lee.

    Were will last night performance from Phil Senderos’s leave sol.
    For my part he was excellent & has been since he has been brought back.
    Is the unthinkable thinkable, will Sol be off loaded in the summer to help out on the now spiralling wages bill @ Highbury!!!
    I have been a lifelong supporter for coming up to 40 years this year & I have to say it would not be the first time big earners have been off-loaded in the blink of an eye.
    This brings me to the point of Edu surly SAW cannot let him go so easily.
    Every time he has played in the passed & comes on recently we just go up a gear.
    I cannot make sense of it from a commercial perspective were & how much money is it going to cost to replace him. Surly he’s not asking for that much of a rise.
    & if SAW sign him for another three years & when Fabregas & Flamini are the finished article sell him & recoup the wages bill???

    “The man is pure Class!!!”

  2. halfNice

    With vanP and Senderos coming into their own, next season will be very interesting indeed. They might end up being the most important youngsters of the season, more important than Fabregas (I’m now so used to him in the Red’n’White that I was a bit surprised to hear he’d just turned 18).

    Scrappy Do, ehn? Another nice one.

  3. Farnborough Gunner

    It is odd to see Sol Campbell not starting considering how desparate we were for him to be available not so long ago.

    However, I don’t believe that either Phil or Kolo should be dropped as a matter of course to make way for Sol. Now we seem to have the defense sorted out I wouldn’t muck about with it. Also, Kolo & Phil deserve to retain their places.

    Sol is a big enough pro to realise that his time will come, through injury, suspension or dip in form of others. I just hope he doesn’t have a moody in the summer if he misses the cup final.

    It will be interesting to see if Arsene picks Sol for the cup final instead of Phil, as Sol is one of the “senior” members of the squad. But as you say, if that is going to happen he needs a couple of “proper” matches first. And it would be harsh on Phil.

    If we want more top quality cover within the squad we will have to get used to seeing top quality players on the bench. And the players will have to accept this too (we and they keep calling for top players to be brought in).

  4. Farnborough Gunner

    I didn’t think the issue with Edu was wages. He wants to leave to try to secure a regular starting place elsewhere – something he has not enjoyed in his time at Highbury, and something that looks less likely with the amount of competition for midfield places at Arsenal. At his age he cannot afford another 2-3 seasons in & out of the team. Good luck to him.

    I can’t see Sol leaving in the summer, unless he throws a moody over being kept out of the side (as I mentioned in my earlier posting), but I wouldn’t expect this to happen really. We need Sol, and Kolo & Phil and maybe one other to go a whole season with enough quality cover.

    Sol does not get paid as much as he used to anyway. His new contract actually pays him less than his original one, which had the free transfer saving factored in (i.e. Arsenal paid the equivalent of a transfer fee to Sol via his wages).

  5. Gerry Gooner

    Agree with FB- if we want to improve overall some of our good players will have to be on the bench. The problem for me at the club is that there is a comfort zone for alot of the players- Campbell, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg and Henry. generally they play no matter what. Wenger needs to pick on pefromance rather than reputation and he’s started doing that. Jens got dropped and so has Sol. If we had a better keeper than Almunia maybe Lehamn would still be on the bech. Competition is healthy provided the players have the hunger and desire which I feel some of them have ofeten lacked in big games.
    I agree 100% about Edu- should be kept- he’s class.
    Senderos has been great- the only concerns I have is to hear that we don’t need to spend alot over the summer- bloody right we do. These young players are good but they are not that good yet.
    Last night impressed me becuase of our defensive strength. i feel we have regained the ability ot win one nil again and we were very patient despite not creating much. Still no plan B though….

  6. vivb

    Remember that over a season we need at least 4 good centre halves. Agree on competition it’s vital for the future. Sol will only become worried if his England place is at risk. My concern is none of the players are great distributers of the ball important as with teams only picking one striker the centre back is often the free player.

    It allows AW to off load Cyglan anyway.

    Edu at 28 has to be playing regularly so better that he finds another team pity his time with us has been a constant run of passport problems and injuries. With Brazil playing in the Confederations Cup he won’t be fresh next season anyway.

    I expect AW to pick up another central midfield player, depending on Vieira’s intention it might be one with potential or one for now. A goalkeeper. A new striker probably one stronger in the air to give more tactical options (especially if Reyes goes).

    Players to make a big impact or head for the door are Taylor, Alumina, Bentley, Aliadare, Hoyte, Eboue especially if new players knock them down the pecking order. And probably goodbye DB, unless he can be persuaded to take more of a coaching role, I think the young players all learn from his touch and vision. I hope they organise him a testimonial anyway.

    Opps sorry long post p.s. Come on u Scousers

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