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Man Utd v. Arsenal halftime thoughts. August 28, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer.
Tags: , , ,
  • Danny Welbeck: It was really poignant to see him pull up with that injury. He’s done so well for Manchester United; you love to see homegrown youngsters doing well, and his freshness and excitement more than compensated, for me the viewer, for losing the positivity of Chicharito Hernandez.
  • Anderson and Tom Cleverley: They are an exhilarating central midfield combination. They both know so many tricks for making and finding space in the midfield, and both also have the discipline to appreciate their role in the side, which is to keep in position and get the ball to the front four. They both hit excellent long passes to the forwards from their own half as well.
  • Carl Jenkinson: has been widely praised, but a couple of his qualities are hurting Arsenal. He keeps getting dragged inside by Ashley Young, who’s doing a very good Santi Cazorla impersonation, hence Theo Walcott’s remonstrations. He created a lot of space for Patrice Evra by letting Young take him inside. He also gets in Walcott’s way offensively and his crossing is not quite useful enough.
  • Daniel De Gea: Is still learning. It’s foolish to write him off as early as some people have. A 20-year-old goalkeeper makes mistakes. He is not going to replace Edwin van der Sar instantly. But his distribution is excellent and he has shown he is capable of making great saves as well as mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with him except that he is young. If things don’t work out for him, it’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s fault for thinking a 20-year-old who speaks little English could replace a 40-year-old who was the leader of his defense.
  • Maybe I’m late to the party, but when Robin van Persie missed, I found myself thinking this might not be Arsenal’s season.
  • And maybe I’m late to this party, but the defensive header leading to Young’s goal seemed to me to suggest there might be something to the theory that you don’t just stick young and inexperienced playersinto the starting lineup.
  • David Pleat is not a good pundit. He seems categorically opposed to the idea of a high defensive line, and at one point seemed to question the concept of wide forwards.
  • Robin van Persie: was a poor choice for captain. He is the first to disappear when the going gets tough and often lets his head drop.
  • Tomas Rosicky: is a mixed bag. He often moves aimlessly in midfield, in many ways the arch-perpetrator of the sins of which Arsenal are accused (over-elaboration, being lightweight, passing for passing’s sake, which is inexcusable as the furthest forward man in midfield). However, when his brain is fully operational, he can control a game. Nevertheless, a club like Arsenal ought to be able to find a playmaker not as prone to becoming a passenger.


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