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Theo’s an angry man, so is Cesc plus insight into Smalling nonsigning

January 29, 2010


Taken from an interview with Guillem Balague not too long ago, this is what Cesc Fabregas said,

I don’t like to give specific instructions, but sometimes you see something clearly, like a teammate who isn’t making a pass because he wants to do it on his own. That really gets me cross. It’s one thing if a player doesn’t see the pass, but if you can see he’s seen the pass but doesn’t make it because he wants to be the big star, that makes me mad.

Ah, thanks for that Cesc. Could we relate that quote to say an Arsenal player? Yes? Oh of course we can. There are probably several instances where this has happened. So I don’t know…I’ll use one random example. The moment when Arshavin’s turn effortlessly beat two Bolton players and after which he had two options.

Either he could take the tougher option of taking a shot with a defender blocking this route. Or he could take the easy option and square to Walcott who was in “acres of space, unmarked”. You know what Arshavin did.

Now you could say, well what is the harm in that? We were winning 4-2 anyway, Arshavin’s turn on the ball was so amazing that he was instantly forgiven. Plus it was possibly the first time where Theo directed anger at another player.

Except that is not quite the case.

Two games later and you see the image above? Yeah I somehow can’t see him thinking “Come on Arsenal, down the Villa.” That is the picture of Theo angry again, probably because Bendtner and then later Nasri got the nod ahead of him. I’d also like to say that Theo’s anger there is several degrees higher as a result of the difficult game he had at Stoke on Sunday where he was subbed.

The problem is that unfortunately for Theo, he hasn’t had the luck needed to string a few games together. Like Wenger said the other day, he is only 21. When you realise he has been out for a while, it is difficult for him to make the impact we almost expect from him. If you want the James Milner brand consistency from Speedy Theo, I’ll wake you up in 3 years* time. So expect less here for now.

All of this discussion would be irrelevant, had Arshavin took the simpler option and passed it to Theo. You know why? Because like Cesc, this sort of thing drives me mad too. More so because it is Arshavin, who IS a star. And it make s me mad even more so because apart from the 7 goals he has scored, the Russian has only set up 1. Compare this to the 5 he set up in half a season last year.

I don’t say this with regards to any player on here but the Russian really needs to step up his whole game up one level. One mazy run late-ish into the game at Villa does not constitute as good work rate in the attacking third. We need you firing on Sunday, Mr Arshavin!

Smalling not a Gooner – Gutted or Get In?

Let us be honest here – Not many of us held Smalling as the great hope for Arsenal Football Club. If he didn’t sign, not many would shed a tear over it. If he did sign, he would only be thought of as another player for the future as opposed to the here and now.

Then, suddenly out of nowhere, Man Utd hear that Arsenal have registered an interest over another unknown. They realise what happened the last time the clubs competed against each other over a player. The powers that be at Utd are desperate to “get one over” us and throw some zeros on that bouncy cheque to Fulham who are suitably impressed to hand over Smalling.

Smalling then like a lover who is fed up of waiting and waiting for that moment when Wenger would serenade him like he did with Ramsey and to a lesser extent in Diaby,  takes the chance with someone else. Aww, what a sad twist to this story. It really is a shame.

One United blog had the temerity to suggest that Smalling chose “the biggest club” over Arsenal. Yeah, and how long will they be able to boast about that with their all money problems?

If they thought about this even deeper, they would have realised that had they put £5 million more they could have had Hangeland. Instead they got someone with “potential”. What they also probably aren’t aware of is that they will most likely be saying goodbye to Vidic come the summer.

I reckon Arsene has pulled a fast one here.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Staniforth permalink
    January 29, 2010 03:05

    If I had to name my three favourite Arsenal players Arshavin would not be one of them.

    Like has been said so many times he`s not a team player and until he learns when to release the ball after he has cracked the defence he never will be. His goals have come from running on to the ball that someone else has engineered not by trying to dribble his way into a shooting position. He often seems to have tunnel vision. He just has to get involved more in short bursts and back up.

    • January 29, 2010 12:36

      Like I said below Jack, I’m only picking on Arsh because he is an experienced player. Yes I’m aware he has been struck in an unfamiliar position up front but there is very little sympathy when he should really have passed it to Theo. Put it this way, if the game is 1-0 to Utd on Sunday and he does that, it isn’t worth thinking about the criticism he would get. Hard to defend something like that like Cesc says.

  2. heffy permalink
    January 29, 2010 03:49

    actually i think arshavin has been more involved with build up play than it seems. i have seen many balls he has played into space behind tight, deep defense lines which would put a player clearly through but no one runs on to it. and mind you, these aren’t errant balls, they were quality balls, just that the other players didn’t read what he had in mind.

    i dunno if this is due to a lack of playing time together as there’s always a change in the lineup upfront and we do have a lot of young players coming in to fill in. the more i see it, the more it frustrates me as an accomplished striker with a nose for goal would have latched on to it. bobby pires, ljungberg and henry would have read it, anticipated it. right now, players like diaby do not have that in them.

    i think rosicky and arshavin connect brilliantly, but rosicky isn’t quick nor strong enough to break free (he gets caught up by the defense). in the beginning of the season, i thought when arshavin, rosicky and van persie played together there were some amazing footwork and ball play from the three of them. the rest of our midfield (bar fabregas) do not have the level these 3 has. though i think nasri has potential.

    • messi permalink
      January 29, 2010 04:56

      mate believe me it will be soon be song, cesc, diaby controlling the midfield when diabys fully fit and roaming, accompanied by rosicky, arshavin and bendtner too just because rosicky and arshavin bring in so much experience and after all they are WINNERS! just imagine this team when they are fully fit and roaring !




      ………………………………………………………..van persie……………………………………………………

      • January 29, 2010 10:21

        yes this would also be my Starting 11 , people often underestimate how important diaby is to us, he gives arsenal the much needed physical element in the centre plus he is also good going forward & yes Denilson Is a diaby replacement not a Song replacement , we dont have the replacement DM, Our team has So many attacking & centre mids but only one DM , plz dont think of eastmond as Song’s REplacement , not until atleast two seasons

      • January 29, 2010 12:39

        @ Messi @jUk

        Yes, finally you can see what Diaby can do. Why? Coz he has been able to stay fit for at least 5 games in a row. Yes Eastmond isn’t ready to play 15 games a season but who knows what might happen.

    • Samuel permalink
      January 29, 2010 09:34

      The midfield is at it,s most potent with Nasri,Cesc,Rosicky and Arshavin all playing together in the same game.Any one or two players missing through injury or whatever upsets the balance of the team as the replacements like Ramsey can,t step into the position ,just yet ,not enough experience and class .

    • January 29, 2010 12:26


      Some good points there. To be fair on Arshavin, I was only picking on one moment each in the two games and showing how one might have had a detrimental effect on Theo. If Arsh passes that, Theo possibly gets a major boost to confidence.

      Our two best games in an attacking sense was probably against Olympiakos and Blackburn. Those who watched it would have really enjoyed the stuff we played against both teams. Games in which Diaby also played along with Rosicky (distributed possession along with Cesc), Arshavin and Van Persie.

      I think what will help Arsene is the ability to consistently name at least 8 players for the next few games. One or two changes here and there is okay but no more than 3 as that interrupts the synchronization and style too much.

  3. muz permalink
    January 29, 2010 05:16

    his team when they are fully fit

    • muz permalink
      January 29, 2010 05:24

      This team will never be fully fit. Rosicky highly susceptible to injury. Walcott too. And Diaby first touch aren’t the best. So I myself highly recommend a new player. Dzeko can add strenght to the team. He can hold the ball upfront to make space for others to run through. Atleast this can add confident to the team when on attack and not lose the ball. Hopefully Bendtner can do the same as Dzeko. Splash the money Arsene…

      • January 29, 2010 10:32

        dzeko wants to go to MILAN NOT ARSENAL. so you can wish as much as you want, h does not want to play here. get over him..

  4. Steve D. permalink
    January 29, 2010 06:06

    @ Muz, stop reading The Sun and the like. You need to get an original thought you muppet

    • January 29, 2010 12:28

      Steve D! Welcome again. Ah would love to hear what you think of it all.

      • Steve D. permalink
        January 29, 2010 13:04

        Thanks mate – I always read your blog, but I don’t often comment, I just get really annoyed with the ‘buy, buy, buy brigade’ and I couldn’t help myself.

        I’ve got to say I agree with your assessment on Arsh. I’ve thought he might be a bit of a distruptive influence since a string of games early on when he didn’t celebrate goals with the team and if Cesc’s comments are aimed at him, well how can you argue with the captain?!?!

        I’m of the opinion though that AW knows what he wants and I know AW knows more about the player than I ever will. I was also impressed at AA’s hustling and tackling back versus Villa, so maybe he’s just taking time to settle.

        I also wish we could get another song for AA because I hate the fact we sing a song with the name of that money grabbing psyco- barn door in it!!!!

        As for Denilson and Theo – well they both have had such disjointed seasons that it’s hard to judge, and the only way to get them back to match fitness is to play them. A bit like AW did persisting with Song and Diaby. This is especially more so for Theo who I can’t recall being fit for 10 games in row since we bought him.

        TBH – My best 11 at the moment would not include either player, but they are still young and will definitely feature in time.

        The only player I’m really not sure about is big Al and I’d like to see Fab get a run in goal. I think he has the attributes, but needs some time to cope under the pressure of playing for the 1st team and to gain some experience.

        Sorry it’s a long one mate, but that’s probably me for another month. I hope we all have a great weekend!!!!!

  5. sen permalink
    January 29, 2010 08:27

    well personally i also dont like the idea of splashing 20m or 30m just like that… but right now.. arsenal should get one DM… because they need that sort of a player…. imagine if Song gets injured… Denilson is not the right replacement… because hez simply not an arsenal material…. get a DM Wenger… and,

    Please get rid off Denilson..

    • January 29, 2010 12:32

      @ Sen
      Bravo Bravo. Comment of the day. Denilson not Arsenal material? This was the guy who was in the numbers sense one of the best midfielders of last season. And why did Song come into the team? To help him out as the other midfielders weren’t working hard enough defensively.

      Denilson unlike Song this season has barely been able to string 5 games together coz urr he has been injured? He needs more time.

  6. January 29, 2010 09:15

    this is a terrible blog. Theo’s been at the club for 4 years now, hasn’t improved at all. iving of his hat-trick for england. he isn’t an arsenal player.

  7. Samuel permalink
    January 29, 2010 09:28

    Walcott should be sold are whatever as he doesn,t have the temperament ,skill and technique that a club like Arsenal demands , as for Smalling and Trash .United it shouldn,t be permitted for any club, big or small to buy players when that club is in huge debt .Pay the debt off first and then trade in players ,meaning Luckypool and Trash United should be penalised for their huge debts ,it,s only fair .

  8. arsenal fan permalink
    January 29, 2010 16:19

    Sorry guys but our team is just not strong enough to win against top teams…..
    Just say we play against Man U 10 times we may only win 1, with our team right now… If AW doesn’t want to buy, then I’m sorry I don’t think we are going to win anything again this year……..
    AND Walcott doesn’t have the rights to get angry…. He thinks he is good already. I don’t care if he was injured or not I don’t see any progress made by him since the day he joined arsenal… I think Arshavin felt that Walcott couldn’t handle it so he went for it on his own…
    AW one more thing… play a little bit of ugly football. Don’t pass so much around the D box. Just shoot sometimes if we have 20 attempts on goal and 1 goes in i think its worth it. Instead of 20 passes. And also cross the ball and ask more players to go in the D box.


  9. January 29, 2010 18:55

    @ Steve D

    Have to say, Cesc wasn’t specifically referring to Arshavin with that quote. Think it is just a general comment I used to refer to that Arshavin-Walcott example.

    You are spot on with Arshavin’s hustling defensively at Villa. He won more of his share of tackles and pressed well. Maybe it is unfamiliarity of that role but he is over 27 and I expect him to produce more tangible results like Cesc since our skipper can’t really do it all every game.

    Agree on Denilson/Theo – Theo’s case is farcical at best. At least Denilson completes some of the games he start. Theo is substituted after delivering 2 to 3 wayward crosses. I remember a certain Ronaldo missing them for years before he got really good. Took him at least 2 years to get it right.


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