Holy crap, I’m excited, and it’s just a pre-season match. I have the stream up, the commentators are already blah blahing about what they will talk about at half time and kickoff will be underway in 10 minutes, just time to fry an egg!
Back in a sec…
6:55am Latest on Adebayor is that he flew to Manchester for a medical. I reckon if he could fly to Manchester he’s fit enough, isn’t he? Also, why was he holding out on us, I mean we could have used someone who could fly to knock out some of those corners on defense.
6:57am Well in, MATT! Yes, “he’s (Rosicky) like a new signing innit?”
7am Well, already bad news… they’re wearing the Yankees away kit.
Here’s your starting XI: Almunia; Djourou, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre; Wilshere, Randall, Frimpong, Rosicky; Arshavin, Watt.
7:06 — I can’t tell where Vermaelen is playing but Djourou is at RB and the announcers said that Silvestre is at LB, so CB partner with Gallas?
Must be, Frimpong is playing holding midfield.
7:09 — got it now, Rosicky is playing in Cesc’s role, Arshavin is up front, and Randall is mopping up in midfield. Doing a good job of it too, put in a good tackle a few moments ago.
7:12 — Sanchez Watt gets a great low cross on a counter from Arshavin knocks it down one time and clips in a left footer, nearly went in made the keeper work there!
One other thing to mention, Vermaelen is good in the air, he’s clearing most things — except that last corner there!
7:19 — Not much happening, a bit of back and forth, I will say that when they get the ball settled and Rosicky starts the counter, Arsenal look amazing. Rosicky made a great pass into space for the runner, who returned the ball to him and he was wide open, but the keeper smothered him. Too bad the end product wasn’t there, it would have been nice to see Thomas get a goal.
7:24 — I swear to the gods that I’m going to count the number of headers that Vermaelen wins, it’s pretty incredible. Not much going on at the moment, Arsenal’s attack keeps petering out because, well, because Arshavin’s being a bit lazy.
7:27 — Randall puts in a rash challenge, from behind, after getting dispossesd for being slow to move the ball on. Should have been booked there, doubly so for tackling a 40 year old!
7:31 — Still 0-0, Barnet’s holding a high line and we really should be picking them apart, but they are battling hard in the midfield and denying our midfield players time to create. Randall is having a bit of a rough stretch. As good as he looked at the start he looks terrible now.
Matt, there’s a button at the bottom, right of the screen that plays the video full size.
7:38 — Not much going on, 10 minutes left in the half and everyone’s looking a bit jaded. I think I saw Vermaelen miss a header…
And as for the players looking fat, I think it’s the new kit, Gallas looked preggers when he walked out. Now, maybe he’s been doing nothing but smoke cigs and drink lager for the last month but I doubt it.
7:44 — Wilshere makes a great run down the left flank, dribbles in and lays off to Arshavin, who switches to Rosicky wide right, one-two and his left footed shot is wide. Rosicky looks pretty strong, he’s had some good challenges (given and taken) but just rusty. That’s what pre-season is for, right?
43′ — Goal! Arshavin pokes home a good cross from Sanchez Watt after another run down the left flank. Clinical finish. The announcers are right to mention the movement of the other players to draw the defense apart. Good play from Arsenal.
46′ — Goal Barnet. Randall gives up a stupid free kick and no one deals with the set play. Yakubu outjumps Gallas for the header and puts in a nice goal. This is a familiar refrain from the Arsenal…
Vermaelen — The communication between he and Gallas isn’t quite there, but then they’ve only had a week to practice. He wins pretty much every header, except the one that Barnet put in to Gallas. His pace hasn’t been tested yet so we’ll have to see if he’s got the wheels. I think many people will be surprised by his size when they see him; he’s smaller than I expected.
Rosicky — The only effect I’ve seen from his injury is that his shots are off. He’s tackling well, he’s been tackled hard and gotten right back up, and he’s running just fine. I like him in the Cesc role.
Randall — He’s a crap.
Watt — good player, lots of movement, fun to watch and bagged the assist with a delightful cross.
There’s a whole ton of changes at the half, the announcers said that only Vermaelen will continue! I’ll have that lineup in a sec.
Sub: Emmanuel-Thomas on for Watt
Sub: Simpson on for Arshavin
Sub: Barazite on for Rosicky
Sub: Henderson on for Frimpong
Sub: Coquelin on for Randall
Sub: Sunu on for Wilshere
Sub: Cruise on for Silvestre
Sub: Ayling on for Gallas
Sub: Eastmond on for Djourou
Sub: Mannone on for Almunia
Vermaelen is captain.
8:05 — Second half is underway, I’m excited to see JET in midfield. Barazite has a shot deflected and calls for handball. He likes scoring in this competition having done so in each of the last two.
8:10 — HOLY CRAP… Barazite scores a magnificent goal, right footed curling into the side netting, unstoppable. The whole buildup was mouth watering. These kids were moving the ball around, basically at will, playing keep-away from the Barnet players. Classic Arsenal.
8:15 — 40 year old Paul Furlong is giving Arsenal’s defense nightmares in the air, this can’t be happening, can it?
8:17 — Gianni, if you do run around the office with the shirt over your head, have someone take pictures. Barnet has stepped up the pressure and closed down space, Arsenal struggling to string together passes now.
8:20 — 60′ Barnet subs 5, who cares?
8:25 — Vermaelen plays a dangerous cross over the bar, bit of desperation there from the captain…
8:30 — Yawn… Nothing going on, lots of passing from both clubs, no real teeth.
8:35 — Come on boys, 15 minutes, put in some work here and get a third goal. Everyone is playing lazy right now, which plays into Barnet’s hands, they just need a free kick to score…
8:40 — Coquelin wins the ball in midfield, passes to Jay E-T, who slots to Simpson. His early shot is blocked and the resulting corner dealth with by Barnet.
8:42 — Arsenal defense is a shambles and Barnet get an ugly, ugly, ugly, goal. 7 minutes left and Arsenal come right back with a shot on goal… I guess the plan is to outscore our opponents.
8:47 — Come on boys… 3 minutes, play hard for three fucking minutes.
8:50 — That’s it, match ends 2-2, Arsenal have never allowed Barnet to score 2 on them. I know it’s only a pre-season friendly but the defense clearly needs some work, especially from set pieces. Hopefully, Wenger sees that.
Right, see you lads tomorrow, we might have some news on the Adebayor situation, or maybe Arsene will buy 15 new players.
1 would be nice…