Sunday, 5 April 2009

Arsenal reax

Brian Glanville, Sunday Times

City’s tactics were as baffling as those of Wales a week ago in Cardiff against Finland. Both teams deployed little Craig Bellamy up front and the odds were stacked against him in terms of physical size and numbers. Not until 76 minutes did Mark Hughes, the City manager, deem it appropriate to send on the young and active Daniel Sturridge, to give him more support.

Mark Fleming, Independent on Sunday

Adebayor would have had a hat-trick but for a fine save by Given, from another set-up by Fabregas. Given also saved a spectacular attempt from winger Theo Walcott, another international returning to the Gunners' side. Arsenal were dominant, but for all their possession the visitors, who won the corresponding fixture 3-0 at Eastlands in November, squandered two first-half chances when the score was 1-0, both created by the excellent Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Jamie Jackson, The Observer

Here, Wenger told his players to align in a shape that convention suggested should be recorded as 4-2-3-1 but was, at times, actually an old-fashioned 4-2-4. It came against a Manchester City team almost chronically averse to hustling man and ball, and meant they departed with the gasps of an attack-sated crowd reverberating in their ears.

Patrick Collins, Mail on Sunday

Craig Bellamy loitered alone and tetchily at the front, like a man who finds himself excluded from a lively party and cannot be bothered to argue the toss.

One feels that the close season cannot come too soon for City, when the weight of their wealth will warp the transfer market and the comings and goings will fill the back pages for week upon summer week.

John Ley, Sunday Telegraph

And when Robinho was substituted to choruses of “what a waste of money”, Mark Hughes was left to consider a performance that was dire and totally overshadowed by Arsenal’s three wise men.

1 comment:

Wigan Blue said...

City's tactics "baffling" ? Gasp!

In report after report (not just these), specific mention is made of the balance of the Arsenal team. That isn't something that would normally be mentioned, particularly as Arsenal haven't looked even remotely 'unbalanced' in previous matches.

What these writers are all highlighting is the contrast between the two teams - Arsenal playing the conventional system of left-sided players playing on the left, right-sided on the right, and City...

I don't think we've learned one single lesson since the start of the season, when Sven's 'left-overs' were playing entertaining, attacking, and above all balanced football.

And Bellamy...