Arsenal wins through its flanks

Two good things happened today as Arsenal eased past Fulham.
Eduardo showed he was more than a fox in the box with some great foot skills, turning into a provider on two occasions. Rosicky was the beneficiary of a Eduardo pass after the Croatian had dummied his way past three Fulham defenders from the left, his shot unfortunately hit the woodwork. But there was no denying Rosicky the second time as he volleyed Eduardo’s second offering after the striker served up another cross from the edge of the box.
Good things happen when Arsenal widens its game. The Gael Clichy cross swung in from the left was just perfect and Adebayor timed his header to perfection and caressed it into the corner. Just before halftime Aleksandr Hleb’s cross from the opposite flank found Adebayor powering the ball in. Two crosses, two headers, two goals.
The difference from the terribly disappointing match against Birmingham last weekend was clear. Instead of the incessant playing through the center approach which the Blues effectively bottled up, this time Clichy, Eduardo, Hleb, and Sagna went wide and gave the Fulham defence plenty to think about. Its also clear the Fabregas is getting his touch back but his shooting skills which accounted for a number of goals early in the season continue to desert him.
In fact, Arsenal’s goals in recent matches have come through a variety of long balls and crosses. Clichy to Eduardo and Adebayor in the Everton and West Ham matches come to mind. This is what Arsenal have to do because the center approach becomes too predictable even when Arsenal is on top of its passing game. When the operational real estate narrows, all the opposing team has to do is to stack up the numbers and force Arsenal to isolate a player through a perfect pass. As seen in the Birmingham and Portsmouth game, its a self defeating cause.
So what does this augur for the rest of the season. Right now, it sticks in the craw but Man Utd have the upper hand. They came through with a win against Reading and the way they are playing, hoping for another upset inflicted on them by the Hammers or another team would be expecting too much. It might come down the Old Trafford showdown between these two teams and Arsenal’s continued winning form against other teams. Another slip up would be the veritable nail in the coffin.

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4 comments on “Arsenal wins through its flanks
  1. this approach should always be part of our arsenal especially when we have ade, bendtner and eduardo who all could head from a decent cross, and funny enough we do have several players who could cross and the more they do it the better they would get (and may pick up a tip or two from beckham)
    keep it up, and if intricacy doesn’t work, cross it – let’s experiment with the spuds and make it another example

  2. This time around i believe that arsenal will do anything to win the premiership, thank God for the likes of adebayor,flamini and fabregas, this guys are too much and i also believe that almunia will also prove to the world that he is more beta than lehman

  3. “Another slip up would be the veritable nail in the coffin.”
    Are you kidding? You think Utd will win every other game this season or something? Obviously we don’t want any repeats of the Birmingham game, but come on Utd took 70 odd minutes before they could score past one of the worst defenses in the league in Reading, and had similar difficulty against Birmingham 3 or so weeks ago. Yes they destroyed Newcastle with a great second half performance, but don’t assume that just because they had that one great performance recently that they are playing great every week and beating every team for fun. The reality is they’re usually getting the 3 points but their form has been quite sporadic, a bit like our own. That comment you make of it being the nail in the coffin reminds me of some guy who claimed earlier that if Fulham beat us today then we’d not only be out of the title race, but would have to then try and aim for 3rd place… despite being a point ahead of Chelsea presuming they won (which they also struggled to do). Seriously lol, all of the top teams will piss a few more points yet up the drain to seemingly poor opposition. If you think Utd will not drop points until they play us I think you’re in for a hugely pleasant surprise.

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