Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Not quite the game I wanted to see and certainly not the result.

Leeds United came with a plan and stuck to it. In some ways it was similar to what Newcastle did at the Emirates. The visitors went tight on each man and reduced the passing options. They pressed well and in coordination. The Arsenal players were able to move the ball at the back but weren’t able to penetrate the lines with any sort of consistency.

The first real opening of the game came in the 11th minute when Arshavin raced onto a pass in behind by Rosicky. It was the first time in the game that Leeds left some space in behind and Arsenal were able to exploit it. Unfortunately, the Russian is lacking confidence and wasn’t able to finish off the chance. I don’t know why Chamakh stopped running. He was off side but he could have run in parallel to or slightly away from the ball. That would have given Arshavin another option and something for the Keeper to worry about.

The game went into a lull for the next fifteen minutes or so. Arsenal were not moving the ball fast enough and the movement upfront was disappointing. Schmeichel in the Leeds goal was again worked in the 26th minute when Arshavin fired in a volley from outside the box. Decent attempt but the Keeper was always the favourite to save that.

In the next few minutes Arsenal sustained some pressure, won a number of corners and had a couple of efforts cleared off the line.

The Gunners were getting into their stride and Arshavin slid Bendtner through in the 33rd minute. Only a fantastic last gasp tackle by the son of Steve Bruce prevented the Dane from getting his strike on goal. Bendtner had a couple of other opportunistic strikes but Leeds did well in their defensive third for rest of the half.

At the end of the half my feeling was that Arsenal were holding back and being patient. There weren’t enough midfield runs into the box, even the strikers didn’t move around that well, and the full backs weren’t contributing as much to the attack as I’d have liked. On the other hand, Leeds barely created a chance and never looked like seriously threatening the Arsenal goal.

Arsene must have said something at half-time as the team came out with more purpose. Within a minute or so after restart, Song burst into the box after a nice one-two with Rosicky. There were three men in the box but the Cameroonian’s cut back was behind everyone. Arsenal had good pressure for five minutes after the break.

When the visitors did get a chance to go forward they won a penalty out of nothing. A long diagonal ball was played out to Snodgrass on Arsenal’s right. Eboue was tight on his man but no one was within miles of Gradel who accepted a simple pass and darted into the box. Denilson conceded a daft penalty as the Leeds winger cut back towards his right. Szczesny guessed correctly but made a poor effort of saving the shot that went under him.

Not surprisingly, the goal lifted their spirits and rattled Arsenal. The Gunners tried to be more expansive but lacked cohesion and understanding. The decision making by some players in the final third was woeful. The team also lost its defensive shape and allowed Leeds more space in attack.

Cesc came on just before the hour mark and immediately improved Arsenal’s play. Soon after, Eboue put in a great cross but Bruce got a touch that prevented Chamakh from heading home.

On the other end Arsenal conceded a corner and Szczesny made a brilliant reflex save to keep the deficit to one goal.

Cesc was looking to pull the strings but some of the players, especially Bendtner and Arshavin, were just not on the same page.

In the 67th minute Theo came on for Chamakh. Leeds brought on a defender and it looked like they were playing a 5-4-1 after that.

Leeds won a free kick in the 70th minute but Snodgrass couldn’t hit the target. Szczesny was covering the shot over the wall and might have been wrong footed it the Leeds winger had hit the target.

Immediately, at the other end, Bendtner had a shout for a penalty but the ref gave a corner. I couldn’t make my mind up after the replays but the feeling was that the defender had done enough.

In the next fifteen minutes or so Arsenal created some half chances but the final ball or the finish was still lacking. The play was more urgent and much better than before but not good enough to break down a determined opponent.

With less than three minutes of normal time remaining I thought Theo was fouled and the ref pointed to the spot. Inexplicably, the linesman gave an offside that came after the penalty incident. Astonishingly, in an unbelievably stupid move, Walcott later came out and apologized for the dive. I’ve not seen the incident again so I can’t say whether there was any form of contact or not but Walcott needs to know better.

It didn’t matter much as Theo did win a legitimate penalty within seconds of the previous incident. Bendtner did well to play him in and the defender clearly pulled the Englishman’s arm. El Capitan was calmness personified but I must confess I was not very confident about Cesc taking the penalty.

After equalizing, Arsenal created two or three other chances in stoppage time. An excellent save by Schmeichel from a Denilson thunderbolt stood out. Bendtner couldn’t hit the target with his weak foot after a brilliant ball from Cesc sent him through. Walcott hit the side netting from a tight angle.

It was a disappointing result and just adds another fixture to an already tight schedule. The return leg will now be played between the West Ham and Wigan games in the Premiership.

The overwhelming feeling I had after the match was that some players were just not able to play together. Was the passing constrained by the lack of movement up front or was the movement poor because the incisive passes never arrived (weren’t expected)?

The team that played was strong enough and should have secured an easy win. Credit to Leeds for their effort but they didn’t have any real attacking quality. Their central defenders and the Keeper did a good job but Arsenal should have posed a more potent threat.

Nonetheless, this was a much better performance by the second string when compared to the displays against Shakhtar or Wigan. Hopefully, these players will improve their understanding once they get to play more often.

Individual Performances

Szczesny: one excellent save, did well to control the bouncing ball under pressure, distribution needs improvement, should have saved the penalty but it’s difficult to fault him for that. Szczesny and Fabianski have this tendency of taking a step to cover behind the wall on set-pieces and one of these days they will be caught out by that. It needs more work on the training ground.

Eboue: Decent in the defensive areas, mostly disappointing in the attacking third.

Djourou: Very good game. Won a number of headers, marked the striker out for large parts of the game, some useful tackles and interceptions as well.

Squillaci: Wasn’t really tested much as Leeds didn’t come forward in numbers. Don’t recall any outstanding moments in attack or defence. No blunders either.

Gibbs: Fairly decent defensively. Could have done better with his crosses.

The back five weren’t really troubled. For the first 50 minutes or so Leeds hardly challenged them. Similarly, it was quite easy in the final 20 minutes. The two shots on target came from a penalty conceded by Denilson and a mistake by Chamakh on the corner. Can’t really blame the defenders for this result.

Song: Disappointing. This is the kind of game where he should be stamping his authority and dominating the pitch. Did OK in the defensive areas but his passing in the attacking areas was poor.

Rosicky: another one who had a frustrating game. Some moments in attack, like the pass that set-up Arshavin, were surrounded by poor passes, insufficient movement, and a general lack of desire and/or ability to control the game.

Denilson: Had a mixed bag. Made some important tackles, moved the ball better than the other two midfielders, came up with a couple of excellent shots on target. Messed it all up with a silly foul that led to the penalty. All he had to do was hold his position and make the attacker force the play. He’s made these kinds of mistakes far too often and it takes a lot away from his otherwise meaningful contributions.

The midfield was annoyingly pedestrian until Cesc came on.

Bendtner: Showed a lot more desire and energy than any of the other players in the front six. Had some moments and shots on goal. Should have done better with his headers. On another day he might have scored.

Chamakh: Movement wasn’t good enough, not sure if that was down to a lack of understanding with Arshavin and Bendtner. Missed his man Becchio on the set-piece and that could have led to a second goal. Didn’t get enough supply in the box but didn’t do well with what he got. Should have shown more energy and pace, especially given the rest he’s had recently.

Arshavin: Another one who was a mixed bag. Was involved with almost everything Arsenal did going forwards in the first hour or so. Struggled to gel with Bendtner, finishing lacked confidence, didn’t offer enough in attack or defence.

The front three weren’t very good. I’m not sure if the attackers made the midfielders underperform or vice versa.

Subs: Cesc probably deserved the MotM for his display and that says a lot about the others. Theo missed a couple of chances but kept trying and won the penalty. Vela hardly got into the game.

Upon reflection, the performance wasn’t all that bad and Leeds deserve their share of credit, but the fact that a replay will just drain more from the key players makes it really exasperating.


72 Responses to Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Singh says:

    Do we rely on cesc too much?
    I agree that the midfield looked poor without him, with no creativity and very ordinary.

    • Rav says:

      Definitely.. what happens when he leaves
      For baca next season as per reports on goal.com?

      • Mark says:

        he’s not gonna leave at the end of the season…have you seen videos of him? he’s said so himself that until he wins trophies, he won’t be leaving. trust him.

    • Mark says:

      we rely on his leadership, that’s for sure.

      glad someone else shares my view on Song; he needs to step up as the more senior player in these games and set the tone for the match. weak effort from a player capable of much better.

      disagree on Rosicky; the guy tries, runs into space, probes the opposition defense. it’s the support he lacks.

      • Fingun says:

        I too think that rosicky is a class player. it is just that he is surrounded by a bunch of garbage like denilson on midfield or arshavin and bendtner on the wings….. you can just speculate what he would truely be capable to do if he played in the real XI in place of .. say willshire?

  2. Graham Wandrag says:

    You must have watched a different game to me – Eboue was a disgrace and to blame for the penalty – which left Denison exposed. Squillaci is an old man with very little skill or even footballing nous, Gibbs put in 3-4 very good crosses. Bendtner is absolute rubbish – his shot in the second half when through on goal went away from the goal it was so bad – he also missed at least three clear headers. The squad with Bendtner Vela Denilson Eboue and Squillaci is just not strong enough. And as for your comment about draining key players, who, apart from Djourou Chamakh and Arshavin, would you regard as key players? With luck we will see Ramsey and Vermaelen in the replay.

    • elkieno says:

      How about draining Cesc out?
      And the players you named are key players so what are you on about, Djouro I thought needed a break but he was really good last night. Leeds came and put in 90 minutes of a game plan that they had drilled into them all week probably, for that they deserved a point. My fear is that other teams will do this same tactic..
      City and Leeds did similar plans and alot of teams are going to do that so we have to learn how to get past 11 players all in their own 3rd.

    • Mark says:

      you put one of those players you mention in our best team alongside cesc, wilshere, nasri, etc, and they don’t look so bad.
      so don’t worry too much about the squad.

      • Furovich says:

        Yea I agree with Mark. All the players currently not making the starting 11 for big games can do a decent job in their own right but when you put them together, they all really struggle.

        It’s just a little dissapointing that some players when given the oppurtunity aren’t taking it.

  3. w12mcee says:

    rosicky really let us down, his ability and experience should have shown today but he just doesnt seem to be able to influence a game the way cesc and nasri do. nobody set an example today until cesc and theo came on. rosicky and AA should have won us this game and at the same time made chamakh and nick look better. supprised and dissapointed but relieved to still be innit.

    • Karthik says:

      There is no point in giving killer through balls if noone is making a run. Yes, Rosicky should have done better, but creatively, he is great. If there is no movement around him, what does he do? Put Xavi in the Stoke or Blackburn team, and just see how great he looks there!

  4. ARSENAL LEGEND says:

    come on Boys……….are you all blind?

    did you see how rubbish DENILSON was today?

    DENILSON kept giving ball away……
    DENILSON could not chase a poor Leeds midfield.
    DENILSON cost us the panalty
    DENILSON did not chase back.
    DENILSON…..I CAN GO ON FOREVER.

    Players like DENILSON must leave our club.

    • w12mcee says:

      lets just all agree, most of them were crap. NO.7,23,29,15,27,52 all poor. but 4,14,53,20 done their job.

    • elkieno says:

      Agreed, Denilson all he did good was that strike to make the brilliant save… Why are we always making keepers look great? he must be good in training for AW to keep him.
      Anyway, he knows he is not doing well u can see it in his eyes. What he needs to do is kee striking from distance cos he can score.

    • Rav says:

      Denilson could become one the Brazilian greats ….. 😉

    • Mark says:

      yes, one bad game, get them out. that will make Arsenal a club that players will want to play for…

      • samir nasri says:

        this arsenal legend is just reposting the same thing on many arsenal blogs. i’m not denilson’s number 1 fan, i don’t highly rate him. but this is too much

  5. eirik says:

    I think you missed the insane save by szcny in the corner incident. Unbelieveble

  6. roh_Top Gun says:

    @”arsenal legend(???)”: i see that you’re spouting the same stuff in every arsenal blog in the blogosphere… not confident about your english aptitude eh??? OK, arsenal had a crap game and several played badly, but don’t show off your Football Manager skills all over the place… What grudge do you guys have on Denilson, Bendtner and the other guys, calling for their heads in the first opportunity you get… ManU played against this very team last year at (Very)Old Trafford as LOST, remember??? Cut the crap and give those guys a break, we’re not out of the FA Cup yet… Sheesh…

  7. geoff reid says:

    I agree about denilson worst player in all the leagues-but wegners favourite.-thats one reason we wont win anything-he is rated above vela-tells me everything.

  8. Tim says:

    At full speed it looked like a foul, but the replays suggested there had been little or no contact – and Theo confirmed the dive afterwards, as you noted. If there was no foul, then Bendtner’s offside counts, which seems to be what the officials finally decided after the confusion. No real complaints on that one.

    Until Cesc and Theo arrived, we lacked craft and pace on the pitch to really stretch the Leeds defence. I think we need to reassess how good our second-string players really are. Bringing them into the side two or three at a time masks their deficiencies, but when they all play together the likes of Denilson and Rosicky just look ordinary.

    Still, we live to fight another day – even if it is a game we could have done without.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/01/08/second-rate-second-string-arsenal-escape-with-draw-against-second-tier-leeds/

    • Mark says:

      that’s the point…as long as these second string players can fill in when needed for one or two players from our best team, and fill the void adequately, this is all that is needed.

  9. w12mcee says:

    wenger is still manager of the decade. hows about that fergie?

    • roh_Top Gun says:

      Yup, and guess wat!!! Mick McCarthy(no.110) is more highly rated than the inimitable ‘Arry(no.126)… wat do you think the LWCs would say about that? LOL…

  10. RedanDread says:

    Good report. thankfully many of the morons who respond to your blogs are not the ones who get to write it. Our attacking style of play is so instinctive and intricate that i feel that when we have these 2nd string sides thrown together it is always our attacking dimension that suffers. Our movement was sluggish today but saying that we fought well to get back into the game and hopefully, we shall be able to wrap things up at Elland Rd.

    Our squad is deep and talented but the 2nd string has yet to put in a really good display this season. No matter what anyone says-that was a strong team out there, Wenger must be concerned by Rosicky’s inability to really stamp his class on these type of games and Arshavin’s continuing malaziness is infuriating (yet he does get involved in our most dangerous attacking moments)

    I thought that we could have used some real pace up front to begin with so if wanted to give Theo a rest , use Vela. Gibbs is getting back to match fitness, Chamakh has gone off the boil a little and Bendter is still finding his feet. Eboue has hardly played this season.

    JD has become our rock at the back and Schezzers looks the part to me.

    Like you I don’t think we played as bad as many people think. We dominated, didn’t take our chances and then got caught by that sucker of all punches.

    Credit must be given to the lads for getting a foothold in the draw as late as they did.

    In the replay we must go out and play at the pace and preciseness that we can and blow them away early! We must keep the ball moving quickly and as you say our movement off the ball up front must be better.

    • w12mcee says:

      some dissapointing performances for a team at our level but some of you lot are goin on like we are in a crisis. chill out and enjoy the football.

    • roh_Top Gun says:

      And why is the 2nd string not playin that well??? They are NOT PLAYING OFTEN ENOUGH… Calm down buddy. The more they play, the better they will get (atleast lets hope they will)… I felt they did a better job than the Wigan fiasco, as Desi also pointed out… But i agree, Rosicky’s missing shootin boots and Arsha’s sluggishness are worrying…

    • Jazbo says:

      Great points, good post

  11. Spainman says:

    Time is up for Arshavin and Denilson if they EVER wear an Arsenal shirt again after 50 years of supporting the ARSENAL my season ticket may well be up for grabs. We need an out and out finisher, get the cheque book out Wenger and spend big. We do not need a goalkeeper we have to great youngsters and they will both be world class. Arsen(al) you have a team so close to being GREAT wake up smell the coffee and get a TOP FINISHER NOW, NOT in the summer.

    • Tulio Kinsly says:

      Common mate,what are you really saying? Please quickly sell off yor ticket or better still throw it away!! When your players are performing below par its your duty as a good fan to always be supportive.You are not a good fan,period so we wont miss u abit!!

    • Jazbo says:

      Can i have your ticket??? after all if you supported the team for fifty years and never saw worse players you must have been asleep each and every game.

  12. Arsenal_India says:

    I guess this guy didnt watched the game. Arshavin didnt had a mixed bag.. ful of loser bag.. he is the worst player in the pitch who lost mostly all the balls and follwed by squllachi who made some worst passes to the keeper and was worst in air

  13. WillyG says:

    Arsenal don’t perform well when Denilson starts. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  14. Dondagooner says:

    We rely on cesc 2 much!

  15. T2T says:

    Spainman, IF you have been an Arsenal supporter for 50 years, how can you slate 2 Arsenal players who may or may not be good but they are still playing for Arsenal?

  16. BobbyD says:

    Denilson makes too many mistakes. I can’t see a future for him at the arsenal.

    We are too reliant on el capitan to get us out of trouble.

  17. Raghugovind says:

    You forgot to mention about Sanchez Watt !! What do u make of the kid ?

  18. Metalhead says:

    I don’t understand why Theo Walcott had to come out and say that he dove?

    • Rav says:

      Must have had a knock to the ol’ loaf… That’s the only explanation I can think of.

    • Joe says:

      That was unnecessary and stupid. I appreciate the lad’s honesty, but this will just cement the media’s perception that AFC players are cheats. So thanks for nothing, Theo.

      • Subh says:

        Whats wrong with this lad ?
        You dont get any points in this world for being saying that.
        Fact of the matter is even though I get terribly riled to see players faking dives, its actually a problem with the system. As long as post match video evidence is not considered to punish the fake dives with serious consequences (like a 3 match ban for a definitive fake dive).
        That will automatically cut down the fake dives as players will be afraid. As long as that is not the case, I will be riled against Walcott.
        Lad, put your mind to playing the game and winning a game.
        I wonder if such honesty costs the team a World cup for instance ?
        He should watch this video again and again and again and stop being so naive.

        It just shows how a experienced leader in a team can guide the youngsters.

        On the other hand, I will applaud Walcott for showing the courage in a time when there is no player in football who has probably ever acknowledged to have dived.

  19. Arsenal4 says:

    A few thoughts:
    – There was no grit in the Arsenal game until Fab n Walcott in – a case of complacency or their mind were somewhere else? Particularly AA, you can see he’s trying but looks a bit half hearted.
    – Bendtner finishing was awful, but at least he took on defender and took chances, I am giving benefit of the doubt given his absence, hopefully he’ll get better. Chamakh needs to build more confidence n should take on defender and chances much more.
    – Denilson really out of depth as a DM, he kept hacking the body instead the ball, worse he even did it in penalty box. I forgot when was the last time he played good for us. I am concern now if something happens to Song.
    – Not sure why Theo commented about the dive, he’s still young I guess. Not going get anything out of that comment beside unnecessary comments, discussions & distraction. It’s both clear penalties, if anything why we only got one?
    – at least we are know who’s the firm first 11.. The team that played Chelsea, MC & Birmingham
    – personally, I would give this team a second chance to redeem themselves against Ipswich, it’s a two legs game. If we win, it will built back their confidence, if we don’t at least we know the issue of the so called strong squad depth that we got.

  20. Serengeti gooner says:

    C’mmon spainman you ain’t no season ticket holder, that I can smell from a million miles away, it’s cowboy fans like you who are a liability to our dear club.
    Those two lads you are soo keen to blame for the fiasco just had a bad day at the office! It happens to all of us even the most efficient sometimes just don’t turn up.
    The decision not to substitute Arshavin, Bendtner & Denilson were mainly psychological than tactical. You don’t haul off a player who’s downtrodden ( especially if the game isn’t a matter of life and death) and makes mistakes, coz that ain’t good for their confidence especially if your own fans keep on booing them at every miscontrolled ball.
    It’s quite a pity that the only time the emirates really gets a buzz is when they are booing the underperfoming players.

  21. KohSamuiWhites says:

    So proud to be a Leeds United fan.Out sung you out fought you for 94 minutes.15 minutes left and Arsenal fans were leaving in their droves.You typify the “prawn sandwich brigade”.Lovely stadium shame about the lack of atmosphere,just a bigger version of the library.Feel sorry for Wenger and his players having to put up with your fans LOL.

  22. IncredibleG says:

    I agree with you KohSamui but the travelling contingent are a very different bunch. And if you’ll allow me to point out: If you’re filling a 60k seater stadium, you’re gonna get a lot of hangers on. Elland Road will be fun but don’t expect your support to change the result.

    As far as the performance went… Well it was kind of as I feared. We put all of our out-of-form players in together and they all played kind of below their ability and nobody really stood up to drive them forward. I appreciate Wenger is using these cups as a reserves league(as opposed to a youth one) but I feel some players(Chamakh, AA, NB52) need the confidence of/in the players around them to perform at their peak and just need to be shown some trust.
    I feel sorry for Chamakh because he was gelling with the team and working really hard and as soon as van Persie reached fitness he was booted into the reserves. He’d only just settled in! Any player can come and stand out on any given day but to do it week in, week out is the goal and playing with a completely different set of players is going to impede that.

    Walcott has just shown a spot of inexperience. He’s thought he’ll be honest and that people will respect him for it but the press in this country won’t let him away with that. No long-term damage done but we may see a bit of extra scrutiny on penalty decisions for a while.

    Desi, one point you haven’t mentioned, Cesc’s little dig at Denilson in his post match interview was a surprise to me. I only saw it printed so it could have been brazen sensationalism but apparently he said that a professional cannot give that kind of penalty. The barb on that statement could skewer an Orca!
    The truth in that comment is that Denilson looks immature on the pitch. He has plenty of tools to use but his drive and determination have not developed yet. Looking at him play, it sometimes seems like he doesn’t understand why everyone around him is taking it all so seriously.
    Eboue suffers from the same problem actually(and I love Eboue), Denilson has a much better chance of developing beyond it though.

  23. Pastille says:

    Long time reader first time poster.

    All these ‘fan’ blogs are an opportunity for Arsenal fans to share their thoughts, positive or negative. Being let down by players who show a complete lack or desire, effort or ability, despite being paid phenomenal amounts of money drives fans crazy and not surprisingly ends in demands for better performances or replacements with players who will demonstrate those facets week in and week out. To tell those posters that they are not real fans is at best undemocratic.

    Yesterday’s performance was woeful considering the opposition (Championship. Not even a Wigan or WBA).

    The side that was put out yesterday was always going to struggle – too many players that are new to the team and still settling in; and others that have only just returned from injury. But there were enough there that have been at Arsenal for a long time and should have been able to make enough of a difference to win this game.

    My personal beefs were with Arshavin and Bendtner. Arshavin at times looked like he’d rather be anywhere else and was begging to be substituted (literally if you look at some of his looks to the bench). Being able to offer a flash of inspiration to create a goal versus someone who will run his heart out for 90 minutes and exhaust the opposition into submission is a far better option than what Arshavin currently offers. He needs to find form or IMO if there really is interest in him then sell him and use the money to buy a player like Hazard.

    Bendtner just continues to baffle me. The boy needs more chances to score a goal than anyone I’ve ever seen (even Adebayor). This season I have seen him picking the ball up in the centre circle when he’s on as a striker (he foesnt have the creativity or vision of a van Persie or Nasri to create anything from there), I’ve seen him drag out wide to create space but then fail to deliver the subsequent pass or cross that this sort of movement demands (or a shot on target), and when he does get clear chances (one on ones, free headers etc), more often than not he fluffs his chances.

    And when that is combined with his cockiness about being the best striker at Arsenal and how he should be starting every game it’s just infuriating. If he’s as good as he thinks he is he should be banging in the goals at every opportunity. He should be inspiring and uplifting the rest of the team when they’re not performing. He doesn’t.

    Unfortunately just when I think everyone else must see him for what he is he pops up and scores an important goal (see Champion’s League last season as an example), and it seems to buy him another reprieve. IMO he is simply not consistent/good enough (I have to say I was surprised when we brought him back off loan from Birmingham many moons ago -Laarson performed better at the time and he’s still there). As with Arshavin I’d happily see him through the exit door.

    All that said, I’m still confident we can make a real case for trophies this season. On all fronts.

    • JP says:

      Great post. I agree wholeheartedly with your Bendtner and Arshavin comments. Arshavin is supposed to be showing veteran leadership and is terribly off form. I accept form comes and goes it’s his attitude, lack of defensive assignment and wastefulness that irritates me. If somebody wants him for a good price let him go. The balance with the 2nd team is off. We have no genuine wide players. Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela all are required to play there and all of them are said to be central players. As a result we have Bendtner playing wide in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 and inadequate service from the flanks. Hazard seems to be a winger type that’s not concerned with evolving into the middle maybe he would be a good pick up. None of our “wingers or wide players” want to play there. Makes little sense at times. I think the second team needs to start again against Ipswich as frustrating as they are though. (Even though they have had a horrid season everytime they play this year) They need playing time. Go Gunners !!

  24. FoolishgooNer says:

    Did he? He didn’t did he? Unbeliavable I guess! There must be more to it. You win some you lose some but you never put a bulls eye on your back. I didn’t see the game but when I saw the line up on the net I thought that we could win comfortably. I know that Chamak and NB52 are not good together upfront. I also know that Rosicky and Denilson aren’t on the same page good separately with better compliment of players (Nasri, Cecs, Robin). From now on one of those players got to be on the pitch to lead the troops! Woj,JD, Gibbs and Vela are quality they need game time and protection (good management). Theo/Nasri are superstars in the making. We know About Cecs, Robin and NB52/Chamak/Kol/Arshavin for better and for worst. Veterans like Rosicky, Sanga, aboue, Diaby are needed. So I don’t see definite upgrades coming in January let’s enjoy the ride. By the way my Seahawks the worst team ever made it to the playoffs (NFL ) just knock out the defending super ball Chams. So you there back in North London quit complaining and enjoy the beautiful. Arsene and his mad Russian would make us proud lol.

  25. aravindvr says:

    Arshavin is a talented player who plays with no heart.
    Wenger knows he can produce magic and can win games within a blink of an eye.But I think if Juve or anyother club lineup a bid, he should be offloaded.

    After Gallas left, I think almost all others have played with heart n soul for the club except for this guy.
    Theres a bad feeling within me tht tells Bendtner and Diaby will follow the suit.
    These are the 3 players who want to perform individually, for these players it seems their personal ambitions are far above the teams success.
    All our other players like Cesc,vP,Cham,Song,Wilsh and even Denilson for tht matters win and lose together and play with just the ‘team’ in their heart.
    I wish out of the 3 atleast Diaby can emerge out of this attitude.
    Its time some players realised tht nobody in our club is as big as Arsenal and tht even if they leave for any other club, they are gonna lose more than what Arsenal is gonna miss.
    May be Hleb can teach em a a lesson or two.
    BTW did anyone send Hleb an Arsenal Jersey ,so tht he can play wearing it with his kids at home?

    • Miranda says:

      To be fair to Diaby, since his appalling first injury he’s rarely been fit for more than a few weeks and he is in continuous pain. He talked a couple of years about the depression he suffers as a result. We maybe should sell him but it’s unfair to blame him for his stop-start-performances: any player would be undermined by what he is going through.

      Bendtner is another matter entirely. Yes, he’s been injured but he caused it himself driving his flash car, and it was an injury he exacerbated by playing in the World Cup before he was properly recovered. He actually never gets injured on the pitch because he’s so useless no one bothers to tackle him. Will he leave? Unfortunately, despite his continuous boasting that Europe’s big clubs are all desperate for his services, and despite his continuous threating to go if he isn’t first choice, this happy event never happens. Juve wants him, Bayern wants him, everyone wants him according to his news site, but here he still is.

      Tell you one thing: if Arsenal get past Leeds to face Huddersfield, we’d better not allow Afobe to play. Who knows whether that kid will make the grade, but he’s big, he’s got pace and he’s already playing a lot better than Bendtner.

      • santori says:

        Just a word about Diaby, I still think he adds an extra dimension to our play even though yes, he is frustratingly inconsistent.

        As an example, we had Bendtner out right yesterday. It gave us an interesting option in lobbing the ball in from out left with both Chamakh and Bendtner available to challenge in the air.

        Similarly we can utilise Diaby for the opposite option if need be in playing him out left and having balls whipped in from the right to 2 tall players in and around the box (assuming Chamakh in the middle)

        It’s just another variation of play other than route one.

        In any case, I’m off the opinion that despite his height and physicality that Diaby is not consistent enough to hold centrally.

        He is far better out left where his dangly powerful runs cutting in leaves a lot of defenders confused and as mentioned where he can add to height in the box if we decide to bang on the door with crosses into the box.

      • aravindvr says:

        For me quality wise I will even take Bendtner in our tem.Arshavin Bendtner and Diaby offers varied quality options to any team.

        But all I want to c changed is their attitude.
        They should work with team in mind and be more ‘part of the group’ than ‘standalone talents’.

  26. Claver says:

    I wouldn’t be too harsh on the players. Leeds did for ManU and Tottenham last year, I think their team has improved since then. They have the same Manager.

    Wenger noted that the passing wasn’t sharp enough. I think that was the main problem. For that I’d have to say perhaps Rosicky took too many touches which contributed to our strikers hesitating on their runs.

    Perhaps it’s Rosicky’s background in European football where you kind of build up the attack.

    The players who played yesterday haven’t played together against strong opposition so it is not surprising that they played with ‘the handbrake on’ as Wenger likes to say.

    If Wenger plays the same players against Leeds, I expect Arsenal to win it.

    Leeds defenders had an outstanding game. If they played like that every week they could be Wigan. However, I expect reality to catch up with them at their home ground.

    I’m not surprised Arsene’s excited about his squad. Personally,I hope to see more of Vela in the team than on loan. Arsene should show him the same kind of patience as he has done with Eboue.

    I wonder what a 4-3-3 could do?

    Chamakh dropping deep because he has the work rate

    Vela, Chamakh, Bendtner
    Arshavin, Denilson, Song
    Gibbs, Djourou/Verminator, Squillaci,Eboue

    With such a formation Leeds can only play it down the wings, our defenders are up to scratch this season, so I think that this formation would open up the game for Arsenal.

  27. santori says:

    Must admit I didn’t see the match (watched the highlights) so I’ll defer to more informed opinion.

    BUT…from what I did see :

    1) Denilson. Defending-wise, he can still be a bit naive. However he is a neat and tidy player AND importantly he did take two very decent shots at goal from range. I have stated before that I believe that IF Denilson has something extra to add, it’s in his shooting from range (set pieces). I’m glad that he is doing this and I think if he keeps it up, he will add to our armoury rather.

    Whilst he is frustrating, do remember that the lad is still very young. If I might add, I thought he had a better game than Song (penalty not withstanding)

    2) Arsharvin : The important thing to rememberabout Andrei (before you denegrate his efforts) is he does get into very good positions. Yes his finishing is somewhat lacking at the moment but neither Fab nor Nasri (or Chamakh) are at their best at the moment either. What I did see (and I am sure he had more pedestrian moments) from Andrei though was that he did come up with a number of crucial passes, one of which created a very good chance for Walcott. Again he isn’t afraid to shoot from range and had a good shot at goal. So I find the criticsm levelled at him always a tad harsh.

    3) Fabregas : I thought El Capitan was quite inspiring against Leeds. I’m still not sure if he is a natural leader but he showed good improvement in leading the team by example. Especially great to see him in the last 3-5 minutes getting at the crowd and team to get behind the last push.

    4)Bendtner : What’s good about Bendy is he is willing to play in any position. Mid week, he was playing out left. Yesterday he was out right and then deployed centrally. What he needs to do (as with many of our players at the moment) is to find that composure before the goal and be more unforgiving.

    5)Walcott. I think what he and Fabregas adds that the ‘second selection’ are without is (quite obviously) his speed and Fab’s incisive passing from deep. I feel at times that our build up after winning the ball over tends to be to slow. Without Walcott, we tend to wait for the attacking midfielders to come up in support. That allows the opposition to fall back very quickly and park the bus. With Fabregas (and Walcott), there is that quick outlet.

    Now I don’t know about others but I do feel that we could also benefit from another player up front with blistering pace so we can hit on the counter with fewer passes.

    Anyway, it was ‘exasperating’ to see the team have to go to Elland Road to complete the mission (particularly as we had our chances…again) but I have the feeling that we will pull through with this one.

    Didn’t Snodgrass do good?

    • Metalhead says:

      @santori, good analysis! Arshavin like you mentioned created that chance for walcott and he also a sent a few telling throughballs. The story could have been all different had Arshavin scored and had Walcott scored off Arshavin’s assist. He would have probably been the man of the match! Such a thin line!

  28. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LSCityNews. LSCityNews said: Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis « Desi …: Not quite the game I wanted to see and c… http://bit.ly/hly35g […]

  29. […] Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis Not quite the game I wanted to see and certainly not the result. […]

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