Dinamo Zagreb 0 – 3 Arsenal
By M. B. Zaidi
What a great start to our European campaign…two SUPER SUPER goals from my man Cescy…another neat finish from Van the Man…and don’t forget his fantastic control and lay off…which was very Bergkamp (c)esc…Fabregas…stood up to show he is as important as any other player in our team and im backing him (hopefully not cursing *Fingers Crossed*) to score a lot more goals this season.
With Bobby Pires moved on and Bergkamp retiring…Ljungberg not as prolific as previous seasons…the question does come to mind…”Will Arsenal be missing goals/goalscorers this season?”
My first reply to that is quite simple, we have the best striker in the world still at our club and he has been the leading goalscorer in the premiership several times and as ever it is quite probable that he will score majority of our goals this season…Now you are probably thinking, how does that differ to anything in the past few seasons?
Well Pires has been for a long time the second most probable player to score in an Arsenal jersey after Henry…and he always seemed to score goals even when not starting regularly like last season. I would say the same about Ljungberg, but last season was definitely a disappointing one for him and now with Bergkamp gone many do think his goals may dry up.
So is there a single player able to really fill the boots of Pires?…who always seemed to get goals from midfield…always popped up at the back or near post for a tap in…well Reyes (if he stays) should perhaps be expected to score a few more than he did last season to be quite fair…don’t get me wrong because he was quite superb last season in setting up goals for others but so was Pires for such a long time. So Reyes if he stays will have to up his game on getting a few goals here and there if he is to be a big part of our season but with the signing of Rosicky it looks as if Reyes wont be an automatic starter so he will have to fight for his place. Rosicky isn’t known for scoring lots of goals…more that he scores good goals…but I think he will get a few more than he was used to getting at his previous club if he remains on the left side of midfield because he seems to have a lot more freedom to attack without having to worry about leaving a massive hole in the centre of midfield. Tonight’s game showed he can definitely operate on the left and he made an impressive debut…well done Tomas.
Then we come to the obvious players that have a responsibility of scoring goals…the strikers of course. Van Persie got one today and looked lively as ever up front with an impressive Adebayor. It still remains to be proven if either can become at least a 15-20 goals a season sort of striker and I have high hopes for Van Persie who probably would have got that last season if he hadn’t got injured. Adebayor scored at a decent rate since his arrival in the January transfer window but the main test for him will be sustaining those goals scored throughout an entire season in the premiership…WHILE also taking into account that he will not be the automatic choice up front to partner Mr. Henry.
I have no problems over Hleb and I hope he will continue his progress next season as he did last term because his quality and class ooze from his play everytime I see him play…fanstastic acquisition by Wenger and this season should see a lot more from Hleb.
Now we come to Cesc Fabregas who tonight showed what I have been thinking for a long time…of course people will say this opposition are of a low standard etc etc…but they really aren’t that bad a team and they defended just like most teams in the premiership will defend against us in our new stadium. They will drop deep and pack the midfield, not let us get any room to slot in anyone for a clear shot. Last season at times we were stuck for goals because teams did this successfully…HOWEVER I believe that Fabregas has the potential ability to add this goal scoring ability to his game to an even greater standard than we have seen from him previosly. He is only 19 years old and is improving EVERY GAME…he was fantastic tonight and deserved his two goals. His first was a sublime finish in the far corner and the second as good as the first after taking on a couple of defenders.
We saw in the champions league he can score crucial goals when he popped up against Juventus to grab that crucial goal but I’m quite sure that this season he will be making MORE attacking runs into the box…having MORE shots on goal because he will be given the freedom to and have more confidence than ever before…and this should hopefully result in MORE goals for a young jubilant midfielder who just loves playing football.
Tonight was perfect for us…three cracking goals…full domination of the match with a young team….and a clean sheet for a new look Arsenal defence. As you may have realised after what I have wrote on our attacking players…I’m not TOO CONCERNED with our attacking options being limited…I AM HOWEVER slightly concerned about our defensive cover and ability to compete against top players and teams. BUT I don’t want to take anything away from the lads today because they did very well, Djourou had a solid game and made a spectacular recovery tackle, Hoyte was quite correct most of the match but got beaten a few times by a flairy Brazilian winger but overall did a lot right…BUT I will write more about my defensive issues later. Tonight/This morning you should relax and feel happy that this exuberant young looking team looks as good as we can expect at this stage…a lot to be done but a very positive day for Arsenal Football Club. Well done boys…see you in the Emirates.