Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Brilliant Ineptitude

Arsenal 0-0 CSKA Moscow.

More of the same. I honestly don't know that I have ever seen such a lopsided 0-0 soccer match in my life. You would have to have seen it to believe it, because the 23-5 shot advantage and 64-36 possession don't tell the story. There are shots and then there are scoring chances, and then there are really great scoring chances, the kind that result in a goal 50% of the time. Well Arsenal had about 10 of those, and at least 6 or 7 where they missed the goal by a foot or less. As beautifully as Arsenal played, when it came to finishing they looked like the Kanu that plays for FC Red Stripes of the San Francisco Sport & Social Club Co-ed Rec League (although that joker did score 2 on Sunday in addition to his usual bad miss). Cesc and Rosicky both managed to miss with the wide open goal at their mercy. They really could have been up 5-0 at halftime - I'm not being hyperbolic. Hell, Arsene said that the 1st half was the best that Arsenal have ever played in Europe.

Yet despite all of that they didn't score and split the points. So whereas they really should already be through and the final 2 group matches should be glorified practice sessions, now they must do the business home to Hamburg and must get a result away to Porto on the final day. That disallowed goal that turned a draw in Moscow into a loss now looms large.

In honor of today's brilliant display but miraculous lack of a goal, Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday's features this vid of lots of tricks, flicks, and pretty play, but you will notice that, like today, not once does a ball actually go into the net.

Is dude really rapping about myspace? Weak.

ManUtd lost but are still in the driver's seat to go through, and AC Milan cruised. I still think that they are going to win the whole thing which will be the cherry on top of the Italian football joke sundae this year, since they should not be in the competition at all to begin with.

Here are the standings after 4 of the 6 group stage matches. Holders Barcelona, finalists Arsenal, and Italian power Inter Milan still have lots of work to do to qualify for the knockout stage. Can anybody beat (or even score on) Lyon?


DC Trojan said...

My next door neighbour is from Sicily and it's hard for him to even mention AC Milan without either a blood vessel showing in his forehead, or spitting. They should be playing in a semi-pro league this year. How I loathe them.

moin said...

Here's something to consider: are there too many creative playmakers for Arsenal? I mean, as great as they are, isn't having Van Persie, Hleb, Rosicky, and Henry all on the pitch at the same time kind of... redundant? Wouldn't it make sense to have a.. I don't know... Inzaghi type in there be alot more beneficial? For example, that chance where Henry beat his man and crossed a ball that Van Persie almost got to, wouldn't you bet your life that someone like Bierhoff, Inzaghi, or Crespo would have been there? As Gary Linker once described, it's not about being in the right place at the right time, it's about being at the right place everytime, you know that those poachers would have known enough to break for the goal mouth when Henry made his run. (If you look at the replay, you can see that Rosicky was in even better position than Van Persie but slowed up once he passed to Henry, I'm just saying.)

Kanu said...

Moin - yup. In years past Ljungberg was a great poacher/finisher, and Pires was actually a great poacher as well. Pires is gone and Ljungberg is injured and has also lost a step, but you are right. Wenger has never been able to get his "fox in the box" (and hasn't really tried to sign one since the failed Francis Jeffers experiment). Perhaps Adebayor could fill that role, but he has been injured too.

My fantasy would be Eto'o (I acknowledge that this will never happen) - that dude is a straight up assassin.

Of course, if you did get one of those type players, could he play with TH14?

moin said...

Get someone with enough pace, and he will play along side Henry no problems.

Being a Palace man, and at the risk of sounding very hind-sightish, but Andy Johnson would have been a fairly cheap and valuable acquisition for Arsenal at the end of last season.