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Man United 2-1 Arsenal: Same Old Story from Gunners


The last few weeks have been a frustrating but predictable time for Arsenal players and fans. Despite controlling significant moments in key matches and creating plenty of chances in front of goal, they continue to fail to take advantage of their good fortune and it all seems to end in despair.

Such was the case again today as Arsenal led at Old Trafford with a goal from Adebayor’s forearm. With a one-nil advantage, Arsenal yet again were in pole position to win the match but lost their concentration as Man United came back with an equalizer (from a Ronaldo penalty after Gallas handled) and the winner from a free kick (from Hargreaves) after Gilberto committed a foul outside the area.

The way that Ronaldo was so composed and struck his penalty kick (not once but twice after having to retake it) was impressive. It should be required viewing for England international players on how to take a penalty when under immense pressure.

The free kick from Hargreaves to win the game was cheeky but tricked both Lehmann and the viewer. It was going to take a goal of pure class to win this game, and we got it from the Canadian midfielder.

So, Arsenal’s season is officially over in terms of their last chance of winning a trophy. Today’s performance showed plenty of weaknesses. Song’s defending was comical, at times. Bendtner had several chances to win the match in front of goal. A more clinical striker would have won the game for the Gunners. Wenger has plenty of work to do this summer, but the side still continues to show much promise. A little bit of luck today and more accuracy in front of goal could have won this match for the Londoners in an entertaining match played at a frenetic pace.

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  1. The Scout

    April 16, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Found the info on top earners and have posted it here:

  2. Pingback: Top Money Earners | EPL Talk

  3. tampasoccer

    April 14, 2008 at 10:43 am

    How Arse managed to lose yesterday, is beyond me.
    They dominated the game for at least an hour. Gallas: what a leader, huh? He should go. We all remember how he reacted to Clichy’s mistake in stoppage time v. Birmingham. His handball yesterday was idiotic, to say the least.
    Eboue can not and should not play as a midfielder. Flamini is sorely missed: yes. Gilberto is too old: he committed the faul for the winning goal.
    Walcott: I can see Wenger wants to use him sparingly and provide pace for the later stages of the game, but I believe he will be more than a part player next season.
    Adebayor’s goal was a blatant handball, but he should have had a hat-trick.
    United is on course of winning big this season, but can Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Anderson, Carick mask the team’s deficiancies? they miss Vidic bad. Brown is attrocious. Pique’s debut was ok, at best, but you can’t expect much. Rio was all over the place, and almost scored an own goal.
    All in all, it was a very strange game yesterday. United got lucky: very lucky. But, Wenger must take responsiblity for his team’s collapse since February. Maybe the teams needs a shrink…

  4. Adam

    April 13, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    I think Arsenal have a self-imposed salary cap of 50,000 per week. Only special players (such as Henry in recent seasons and now Fabregas get more). The difficulty is that once Flamini is put up to 80,000 or so, then what is Hleb worth, then Adebayor etc. It shifts the bar for every player in the squad. This is why Wenger plays hard ball on it. And to be honest, Flamini, though outstanding this year & integral to Arsenal’s best moments during the season has only produced one outstanding year. On the other hand, he would leave on a free and to replace him with similar quality would cost up to 10 million so the economics speaks for itself.

    I think both sides are playing hard on the negotiation (as most commercial contracts are) but I think it will sort itself out. Perhaps a long term performance based contract?

  5. Ivan

    April 13, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Wenger has already said he will look to buy one experience footballer in the next transfer window. I agree with the notions that Arsenal have enough quality but depth is an obvious issue. I wonder what Wenger will do if indeed he does lose Flamini. I rate Lassana Diarra very highly… i don’t know whether a loan deal to Pompey would have been a better result rather than selling him…

  6. Mike

    April 13, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Yeah you’re probably right. I’m a follower of the World Soccer Daily podcast and on a recent episode Kenny had a list from some internet site of the top paid players in the world and according to the list no Arsenal player is in the top 50. Hopefully that changes if Flamini signs.

  7. Michael

    April 13, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I had heard Flamini was on somewhere between 25-35,000 pounds a week..not sure if that’s true or not..

    Also not sure where actual figures can be found; I assume the info is out there somewhere but I wouldn’t be surprised if some clubs don’t release that information.

  8. Mike

    April 13, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you Michael. I know Arsenal doesn’t pay it’s players very high, but does anybody know any actual figures they’re dishing out? I’ve heard Flamini wants 80 grand a week, which I think is reasonable because he’s integral to the squad. We’ve obviously got the cash that’s accumulated from the stadium and the profits of last summers transfers (and from the prior two seasons in fact) so a couple dozen grand a week shouldn’t be that bad.

  9. Michael

    April 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Well said, Mike.

  10. Mike

    April 13, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I agree with some of Alex Hleb’s points, but we definately need to improve in each department. When we had one or two players out of the starting back four, it hurt us alot. Senderos filled in well eventually but he started off badly, he needs a string of games before he pulls of something like Titus Bramble. Hoyte does not look confident and doesn’t seem up to the Arsenal standard. I have faith in Traore but even he can be susceptible at times (Man Utd in the FA Cup). I think a solid and proven center back would help.

    As you said, we need wingers. Arsenal have NO out and out wingers. Hleb and Rosicky are center attacking mids, Walcott and Van Persie are strikers, Diaby is a center mid, and Eboue can’t decide if he’s a full back or a midfielder (i hope he goes in the summer, I can’t stand his acting and crying). Hatem Ben Arfa would be a good buy and maybe even another winger would help. We need wingers that run at people and go to the endline who can cross in for Adebayor.

    You also have to remember that Eduardo is going to be out for a good portion of the season too. I don’t know if Van Persie will be able to handle a whole season uninjured so that leaves Ade, Walcott, Bendtner and Vela (if Wenger decides on playing him up front) as strikers. Adebayor is the only one who has scored more than 10 prem goals. We need someone who can score when counted on so Ade can relax more and not be relied on so much.

    In short, we don’t need a revamp of the squad, just a few patch ups to keep the squad from being thin so they can handle the season. We’ve got the backbone set up, the cash to sign players, we just need to keep Flamini and buy a few players.

  11. Cnorr

    April 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    People ! Wake up ! We conceded too many goals. This is ridiculous. No matter how many goals Robin and Ade score, we concede more.

  12. Michael

    April 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Alex, do you think Flamini will stay? To be honest, I’m pretty sure he’ll be off to either AC Milan or Juventus in the summer if Arsenal don’t step up and give him a better contract. The rumors are already flying around that Flamini could go and Arsenal don’t exactly have much of a track record of paying their players very well in comparison to the other big clubs in Europe.

    I think you need Flamini badly in the middle. We saw today and in the Champions League second leg against Liverpool that Gilberto has lost more than a step and can be exploited.

    Maybe one more out-and-out striker because Eduardo, Walcott, and van Persie are more suited for the wing and Bendtner could leave. I know you may not want to admit it, but you missed Henry this year.

    I think Arsenal also needs one more center back for cover. Senderos just isn’t an Arsenal-caliber player; he’s not good enough for you guys.

    As you said though, you really aren’t that far away and I think Wenger deserves a lot of credit for making the title race as close as it was this season.

    Other than that, I agree with your assessment of the team wholeheartedly.

  13. Alex Hleb

    April 13, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    there’s a bright future for us next year and the year after. we cant lose any of the players we have now in the summer (except eboue). i think if it wasnt for injuries, we have the team to win the title. so we need to sign a winger or two over the summer just in case those injuries occur again.

    i do think eboue and lehman , and maybe gilberto will leave. theres also a chance of bendtner leaving after his rift with adebayor.

    as far as players comming into the club, again we only need a winger. some say we also need another striker. with bendtner i say we dont need one. we have van perie, adebayor, walcott, eduardo (when he comes back next winter), and bendtner. we will also have carlos vela coming in, the young yet proven mexican international who can be compared to the brazilian pato of milan. 6 strikers, i would say, is enough.

    as far as midfielders, our centeral positions are filled amply. fabregas, flamini, as well as denilson, alex song, abou diaby, are all able. also, hleb and rosicky are naturally central mids. as for the wingers, like i said, we need another player or two, who naturally prefer the wings. of course, i think hleb and rosicky have done well this season but their performances havent been even comparable to our prolific robert pires. i do think, if walcott was placed in the starting 11 for next season, he could be our pires, as well as eduardo if he wasnt injured. but we do need another winger.

    as for defence, we are confident enough there if we didnt make some of the mistakes we made this season. gallas, toure, clichy, and sagna are all world class. i think it would be fairly difficult for anyone to break into that starting 4 of our defence, when they are all healthy. senderos is a formidable back up and johan djourou, traore, and hoyte can all come in as subs as well.

    i think we’ve found what most of these players can do. fabregas, hleb, van persie, adebayor, clichy, sagna, falmini, toure, and gallas have all shown to be world class.

    we’ve made some mistakes that have hurt our cause and have lost out on some questionable decisions by the referees. but we were in the all the games we played this season- a season that most pundits wrote us off for from the start, some even saying it was a rebuilding season and we were thinking for the future after letting theirry henry go. well it was a rebuilding season, a season where we established our presence in the title race once again after 2 very dodgy seasons before.

    i honestly see 2 -4 seasons where we get the title every year.

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