Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Hairy Affair - Gervinho VS Barton. Premier League Opener

Before we get to the match, an important update - the Cesc Fabregas saga is now over. I have already articulated on his merits as a player (see post #1 - first time I felt the need to write about Arsenal, even with the multitude of Arsenal blogs out there) he will be missed, and I wish him well at Barca; win your trophies and come back to The Arsenal, you have some unfinished business. There is some interesting parallels between the Cesc saga and the Brett Favre Saga…let me explain:

Brett wanted to retire, but waffled every summer and the Green Bay Packers were left scrambling every offseason. The Packers finally decided to break ties and move on with Aaron Rodgers.

2 BIG differences though - Brett was mulling retirement NOT moving to another team (although eventually after being thwarted by the Packers he went to the Jets, and then Vikings) and the Packers cut ties with Brett, whereas Wenger pretty adamantly said today "We have been clear that we didn't want Cesc to leave and that remains the case."

Some might say the other big difference is that Brett was not at his peak and Cesc is - I disagree, Brett actually put up career numbers in Minnesota (after his stint in NY) - yes he won the trophy with GB but we are talking about personal peaks…and Cesc is not yet at his peak - he is still 24.

But Green Bay couldn't continue to endure Brett's waffling and jeopardize losing Aaron Rodgers…they needed to move on. And the fact is, we needed to move on - he was never going to not want to go back to Barcelona and we were only delaying the inevitable.

It still sucks though.

I wanted to see how these group of players would respond post-Cesc…although with Wenger's comments pre-match and post-match, I wonder how much players actually knew 100% (especially with similar media reports last summer). We might not get a proper gauge on their mentality until Liverpool and even then, we can't properly assess THIS team until the transfer window closes; we were due reinforcements BEFORE the departures of Cesc and Nasri - now we are still due some reinforcements AND replacements. I know we have made some signings - Gervinho, Alex Oxtail Curry Chicken, etc. and you can even count Ryo as a "new signing" with his new visa and if you listen to Wenger Vermaelen is a new signing as well. But let's face it…the situation with the fans is not cozy, and IF Wenger doesn't splash his new cash before Sep. 1st the Emirates isn't going to feel any cozier.


St. James Park

It didn't look like we missed a beat - even without the "creatives" we still bossed possession, Rosicky looked good, and even with Ramsey looking somewhat off, we still looked very comfortable with the ball. We just couldn't find that final ball (which was a problem at the tail end of last season as well, especially in the 2nd half when Nasri went MIA) even RvP couldn't continue his away streak - and Arshavin supplied him with an excellent opportunity. Gervinho seemed to personify Arsenal's match - excellent movement and fluidity but just missing that finish. Kos, Verminator, Sagna, Woijech, and Gibbs looked solid at the back - clean sheet #1 for this group.

Song stamped on Barton, should have seen red - will most likely see a retroactive red - hopefully we get lucky like how ManU and Rooney got lucky with his flying elbow last year…but maybe Song misses the next 3 games and Wenger finally realizes we have no cover at DM and that probably should be a position he keeps in mind with this new influx of cash.

There was another talking point in this scoreless affair, the Barton incident:

According to Barton, he saw Gervinho dive* and got upset and grabbed him - he was yellow carded for this offense. One problem - the ball was in play and Gervinho was in the box for Barton's yellow card foul - A penalty right? I would normally mark this up as Arsenal Robbery #1, but since Song stamped Barton and was NOT given a red - MAYBE we don't create that scoring chance with 10 men. I dismissed Sir Alex's complaint at the Emirates last year because of a similar circumstance…you cannot complain about Clichy's penalty foul when it was CLEAR that Vidic handled the ball in the box and not only should have been a penalty but ManU should have been reduced to 10 men - and possibly would have never created that chance. So, while it is not robbery #1 for the season, it is definitely another example of a bad call against us - and why can't more fouls be retroactive? It is clear that the ref never saw the onset of the melee that induced Gervinho's red.

*Gervinho didn't dive (MOTD comments by former Newcastle boy Alan Shearer explains and shows video evidence to the contrary) but EVEN if he did, was this the first time somebody dived against Newcastle? I don't ever remember Barton going berserk for somebody who dived…will he act this way if one of his teammates dives? The Newcastle manager seems to validate his actions by saying Gervinho dived, like this is acceptable behavior for a deplorable act - when has this EVER been done - that is what the referee is for, it is not up to your player to "punish?" even an obvious dive…much less a legitimate contact foul.

Arshavin missed an easy pass and so did Johan at the death that would have been a magnificent scoring chance for Theo - and that is what worries me. It is easy to emulate greatness when you are surrounded by it and constantly amongst it - Cesc was surrounded by Messi at La Masia and was nurtured by Viera, Henry, Bergkamp, etc. at Arsenal…maybe some of the reasoning for Aaron and Jack blossoming was because of Cesc's influence. Hopefully the missed passes was an aberration and the bossing of possession was more reflective of the only asset left at AFC that has any link to silverware the club has earned, a person who is the most influential person left, Arsene Wenger.


  1. The History of the Casino - One of the Most Popular Casinos
    A relative newcomer to the world of online gambling, Wynn Las Vegas opened its doors to a new audience of over 600,000 in 2017. This was the first casino

  2. If you don’t see considered one of your favorites, depart a comment so ready to} increase our collections. A characteristic of tables play in some Arab nations is that Persian numbers, quite than Arabic ones, are known as out by a player asserting 로스트아크 his dice rolls. Each player begins with 15 counters on his opponent's 24-point.