9th April 2007
A third homeless shutout and a drab draw against the Champions League chasing Gooners does little to stir the passions but technically isn`t the worse result we could have got. Following the upbeat performance against the Blades on Saturday I suppose a four point return over Easter was quite good. However the Arsenal game highlighted in every way where we need to sort out this summer. I just hope Glenn watches the video of it again and again (and again and again). Here was as weak an Arsenal team as I`ve seen come to SJP, shorn of their talisman Henry, yet we never really got into them and at them. Some players made a valiant attempt, Taylor in particular, but I think it definitely was a case that we`ll never get a better chance to do a number on the Gunners. The clean sheet was a bonus though.
Whilst some of our play was short and snappy, notably involving Duff for a change, the long ball was still in evidence from our centre halves up to Oba. In contrast Arsenal`s play was tippy-tappy-triangles that ultimately went nowhere. Sterling work from the Peruvian wizard saved the game though with a fantastic double clearance on the line from the makeshift full back. Somehow I couldn`t see Steven Carr repeating the trick if asked. It looked like he`d handled it at first but it was an amazing block and the agility to get up and head over the follow up was something special.
On our side Milner hit the cross bar and we had a couple of snap shots saved by the odious Lehmann. We also had a seemingly stonewall shout for a penalty turned down later on when Diaby decided to attach himself limpet-like to Gooch. Overall though it was a case of us being the Sheffield United of the piece, blunt up front, as Martins was starved again of any meaningful service. The latest news on EMO is that he is set to play against Hartlepool or Darlo`s academy side sometime this week in a bid to start getting his fitness and match sharpness back. It can`t come too soon and the same applies to Shola. With Shay and Dyer going off injured we might also see Krul and N'Zogbia get a run in the side. Unlikely though with Harper and Parker coming back fit.
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