It was an interesting game to watch. Not terribly exciting watching Leeds try to do what most lower (down the table) teams do when faced with Arsenal’s passing game. I watched as the passing game played out very well. No scoring but the passing was easy on the eye. I paid close attention to Chamak to see how he would do and in this game he was really pushing hard but he did not have the service he needed. It seemed that there is no teammate who can kick the ball towards his head. I have seen this done in many other teams but not with this Arsenal side. I still say that he should be played with Van Persie. This would open up the opposition a lot more. A lonely Van Persie patrolling the enemy line gives him few chances to score. Give Van Persie credit, he has the ability to use those chances with success. What I would like to see is that Van Persie gets lots more chances by having the opposition worry about Chamak heading in the ball. I believe that Chamak should be utilized when he returns from the Nations Cup competition. How many corners must go wanting ? It has to be resolved. No team that I have recently seen has worried about any of the Arsenal players heading the ball into the net. Look at how often the opposition give away the corners and don’t look worried.
Arshavin should be credited for putting in a strong performance, when he was not shooting at the net. He seems to have developed Torres-itis. Come to think of it, so has Ramsey. I was not diasppointed with OXO, Coquelin (hope he is alright), Ignasi and Yennaris (Coquelin’s replacement). They played well in the passing game but for OXO, he seemed quiet in his movement. He tried running into the middle but was stopped by the Leeds defenders. It was not his fault because there was no space for him to run into. Which brings me to my concern with the current Arsenal team.
Opening up the opposition. The Song to Henry pass showed absolute old school Arsenal, how to open up the defense. I observed that Henry followed his usual pattern, which is to hug the offside trap as closely as possible. What this did was move the Leeds defenders from their parked bus defense to man to man cover. If Henry would have liked he had options where Walcott or Ramsey could have scored. This is the type of “opening up” that i believe Chamak would lend to Van Persie, Walcott, Gervinho. Get the opposition worrying about which players to cover. This is what i have perceived as Theo’s main problem. He does not worry the opposition enough. They just seem to ignore him just like they do the corners taken by Arsenal. This point needs to be addressed by Wenger with Theo, Ramsey and others. This is where Arsenal had strength during the Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie period. Teams worried about where each of these players were. Then what you saw when Fabregas, Nasri or Van Persie were injured is that the opposing team relaxed. Fabregas had a hard time finding someone to pass to or play to so that he could score. If you look at his current performance at Barcelona, you will see that he has tons of opportunity to score and he is scoring. Nasri however, well, probably does not regret leaving Arsenal since he had more than double his wages. Now he can pay the British and French taxes and still have lots of money left over for his video games.
Henry is now showing his new style. Same as the old style but without the burst of energy he used to have. He wants to ! He needs to ! He is Arsenal in mind, body and spirit. I saw him speaking to Theo and felt very good because Theo needs someone of his stature to bring him up to speed. If Henry can do so with many of the younger players, Theo especially, then the loan spell was more than worth it. I am not in the getting rid of Theo camp. He is only 22 yrs old and seems to be a late bloomer. I think that Wenger sees this also and this is probably why he wants to hold onto him. As for Theo asking the 85 thousand a year, whom does it affect if Arsenal pays it. I will point to Sir Alex holding onto many of his older players while paying them very handsomely. I am sure they took time to develop also. Third place is a go, go, go!! Why, we might end up playing Barcelona in the Champions League final!!! Until it does not happen, it just might.