The Good (Eduardo), The Bad (Arsenal 2-4 City) & The Ugly (Adebayor)

OK, I’m back again for my first “proper” post in almost a fortnight after a rather delightful holiday in Malaysia. I’m quite relaxed and refreshed and ready to get back into the blog and back into the Arsenal.

But where to begin? I thought I’d run through the latest Arsenal news by looking at it from a ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ perspective.

The Good – Eduardo’s suspension gets overturned

The news today is that UEFA has overturned the decision to suspend Eduardo for two matches for his dive against Celtic after reviewing Arsenal’s appeal. The decision means he will be able to play against Liege and for all intense and purposes, his bad reputation has been cleared.

Whilst I maintain that Eduardo did dive I also believe that the right decision has been made. Under the current rules there is no way that Eduardo could really have been punished and had the suspension stood, it would have meant a lot of extra work for UEFA going forward. They would essentially place them in a position whereby any team in European competition could point to the Eduardo case whenever a dive occurs and use it as grounds to have a player suspended. Knowing this, my feeling is that UEFA backed down not because they didn’t believe Eduardo dived but because by suspending him they would be setting a dangerous precedent that they are just not ready to cope with.

Hopefully the issue of diving will be dealt with on a consistent basis via the use of video technology going forward, but in the meantime this is a good decision for both Eduardo and Arsenal. Hopefully the booing might lessen as well, although that might be asking too much. 

The Bad – Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal

Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Manchester City was an exhilarating if ultimately frustrating match.

I watched the game with the official Arsenal Malaysia supporters in Kuala Lumpur (more on that later in the week) and – despite being 4-1 down at one point – just like at Old Trafford I thought we were a little unlucky to lose. After a reasonably sharp start we were unlucky to go behind when Micah Richards scored from an offside position, but did not really do enough in the first half to merit an equalising goal.

The second half was a different story as we came at them with real intensity and went close on a couple of occasions before Robin van Persie scored an excellent goal. It was great to see Tomas Rosicky back on the pitch after a long absence and his substitution for Denilson midway through the second half definitely appeared to change the game as he set up van Persie to finish beautifully.

At 1-1 and with momentum going our way I really thought we would go on to win it. It wasn’t to be, however, and I believe the turning point of the game came soon after when Emmanuel Adebayor stamped on van Persie’s head. While our boys were understandably riled up after that moment – who wouldn’t be? – I think the team as a unit effectively lost their heads and the game became more about Adebayor then it did about putting the ball into the net.

The moment that summed it up to me came after Craig Bellamy’s goal when Nicklas Bendtner, William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue (I think) all took swipes at Adebayor as he nipped down the wing and almost set up Shaun Wright-Phillips to score. Had any of those three put in a more controlled challenge then they most likely would have won the ball but that is exactly the sort of thing that can happen when players lose their cool.

As it was, Adebayor had the final say when he scored the third and with our boys pushing desperately for a way back into the match the home team notched a fourth. I was delighted to see Rosicky pull a goal back with a clever run off the ball and finish and it was good to see our boys go down fighting – Shay Given made a superb near-post stop, van Persie hit the post (again) and we also had a shot cleared off the line.

On another day we would have won this match and although it was no disaster to lose away to City, who look a genuinely strong side, the main lesson to be learnt from this game will be about maintaining cool heads under pressure. I felt we missed the pace and agility of Andrey Arshavin up front – van Persie, Bendtner and Abou Diaby collectively looked a little sluggish – but the introduction of Rosicky certainly sparked things up, while defensively this was as bad as we’ve been this season.

As it is, we’re playing good football and although we’ve lost two of the opening four matches I don’t see any real reason to panic just yet. It would have been nice to win one of the games in Manchester but I strongly believe the last two losses were more a case of bad fortune then a lack of effort or below-par performances. With Wigan, Fulham and Blackburn next up and United playing against City this weekend the opportunity is certainly there to get back up with the big boys sooner rather than later.

The Ugly – Emmanuel Adebayor’s idiocy

It’s hard for me to precisely express the way I feel about Adebayor’s conduct on Saturday but I’m going to give it a right go. Basically I feel, as far as onfield football behaviour goes, he was an idiot.

Two deliberate stamps on Fabregas’ ankle and van Persie’s head – players he has no problem with in the past – countless aggressive challenges, an alleged slap to Alex Song’s face and a celebration that was only designed to infuriate the Arsenal supporters who had backed him right up until he started looking for a move away from the club. He was playing with emotion and he’s clearly an emotional guy but this was a performance that outlined his lack of class and intelligence.

I expressed my sentiment towards Adebayor in a fun way (!) by burning his shirt earlier today but the truth is that I’m really very pissed off. While the game unfolded I was actually hoping that someone like Song or van Persie would stick the boot in and hit Adebayor with a hard, fair challenge and if he doesn’t get targeted in the return clash at the Emirates then I would be very surprised and perhaps a little disappointed. In my eyes he has become a bigger hate figure than Ashley Cole and few things would give me greater satisfaction this season than to knock Adebayor and City out of the FA Cup or beat them comprehensively in the league.

The good news to come out of Adebayor’s performance is that he is very likely to be suspended for it, most likely for five or more games. There is no way he will avoid a three-match ban for the stamp on van Persie, while his goal celebration should warrant a further two-game ban under current rules. He could also be given matches for the challenge on Fabregas and it will be interesting to see what sort of garbage he will come up with when a ban comes his way. Personally I can’t wait.

Anyway, I’d better leave it there for today. I’ll be back again tomorrow to preview our first Champions League group game of the season against Standard Liege. In the meantime I just want to say hello, it’s good to be back and let’s stay positive.

Have your say on all things Arsenal by leaving a comment.



  1. Glad to have you back andy. What a couple of weeks it’s been 2 trips to manchester and 2 losses even though we did enough to win both games. I really do think this year will be tough for a lot of teams as luckypool and manure have both lost already and there is a lot of teams that will not last the season but will cause upsets in the league. it will be tight but if chelscum keep playing boring football and grinding out 1-0 wins they do look favourites to win it but if lady luck does come to us for once we will have a great season and maybe win the cl and with sharva and ro-sicky back we will be a force to be reckoned with. Plus how good was verma’s shot and he can bloody head the ball well so arsne does know what he’s doing in the transfer market.

  2. Yea well put Andy. That’s great to hear that Eduardo was let off and let’s hope he learns a lesson as well as a few other serial offenders like Shrek at Manure. The loss at City is no cause for alarm but I felt the referee should have stepped in a bit earlier when Ade started going ape shit and the froth started foaming from his mouth! That psycho is going to cause Mark Hughes and the rest of their playing squad some major grief this year and AW’s timing in getting rid of him for a great price was superb.
    Let’s hope the boys learn from it and it’s the start of a long winning streak.

  3. With regard the results it is a shame they came one after another, losing away to either Manchester team is always possible, we need to get some good wins behind us and then we will be a much better position.
    With regard Adebayor he should be punished under the crimes against football, looking at the video evidence, if it was rugby he would be out for a long long time.

  4. Lets rise above Adebayor – its a pity to see him act as he did to a club that increased his value 100 fold. Anyway his actions will only let himself down and its time for Arsenal to get back to winning matches. The good of Rosicky returning is understated – just like Eduardo, scored on his “debut” so just shows his class

  5. nice piece andy,i too feel adebayour got off light and a fellow arsenal pal of mine last night reminded me of the van nistlerooy incident at old trafford a few sesons ago ,when we had a team of winners who had great pride in themselves and the shirt.hed gotten vieira sent off by means of lady-like simulation and then missed a late penalty whereby he was set upon by keown,parlour,lauren and co,but that was back when we had bottle,could u imagine wot those guys wud have done had they been there when he raced up the pitch,yelling and frothing at the mouth to incite our fans????keown,parlour and vieira would have been fighting each-other to see whod get to him first
    also i hav a terrible confession to make….its my wifes little sisters 21st birthday who suffers with a mild learning difficulty and after a revelation of a long forgotten promise i hav been shamed into flying across the pond this weekend to accompany her to the manchester derby as i am the closest thing to a male sibling she has and she follows the wretched manure….on a brighter note does any1 hav any recommendations as to wot i shud do to adebayour once i get within range?????ha ha ha

  6. The loss against city is definitely cause for alarm. But the sad thing is the window is slammed shut. So there is just no point in any alarm. All we can do is hope and just wait. I am angry that we did not buy a decent defensive set of people while we could. …. FOr the 2nd year running.

  7. i will say this one more time. diaby”s inclusion in the squad, works on my last nerve. the man iritates me. even the commentators said that its so predictable what will happen when he gets the ball. he simply loose it. he just cannot hold on to the ball and therefore puts our guys under a lot of pressure everytime he gets the ball. am i the only one watching him? am i the only one that see how useless he is? van persie and bentner is just not working upfront. ask yourselfs, how often does van persie score?? how often does bentner score? but when eduardo, arhavin or sossicky has the ball, something is bound to happen. i just hope and wish that wallcot comes back soon, so we can have some action for a change. i even trust abouye more then i trust van persie.

  8. Nice summuation of what had happended. Although I must say your ‘burning tricot’ caused a lot of comments, I must say. I refuse my frustration and disappointment and want to believe that things will go better in these ‘tough games’ from now on. I don’t know Liege, but tomorrow is a must, I feel. I can’t imaginge that they could fail in this group stage of cl. So looking forward for tomorrow.

  9. Ade is just stupid and idiot. I have never seen such non concious character going to the pitch. it seems FIFA has no tools to dectect the mad p’ple or either i wonder if it(Ade) did go for mental medical check up before joining foot ball academy. Nowondor his background has it right that in his kid stage had to be bewitched for his future life. So he is satanic and posessed.

  10. As most of them have said lets us leave Ade to FA and EPL Big official. Lets just concentrate on our season which has just been shaken by some unlucky events in the field. Arsenal need there Strike forces to deliver we need somebody to score 20+ goal. RVP,Edu,Bedy or Theo or Arsha23. We know the midfield is getting better. So they will score goals. I would love somebody could emulate in the present team. what pires and henry did for us in the 49 unbeaten game. Still optimistic Still Gunning for title. Come on Gunners.

  11. Not sure Adebayor can be cited for the stamp on Fabregas as the referee saw it and blew for a foul and very rarely do the FA intervene when their refs have already passed judgement.

    In fact I’m surprised they charged Adebayor for his celebration as he was booked for it and that usually is the end of the matter. The greater issue of course is fan and player safety and whilst fans have a duty of care to the players and to each other, celebrations that are so provocative as to incite anger and potential violence in sections of the crowd must be stopped. It certainly aroused disgust in me, I don’t think I’ve ever been more bitter after a game of football. Roll on April 24.

  12. Manu deserves a bigger ban than 3 matches.Anyway we played among da best games me seen.If we cub counter we r da best

  13. I think Ade is an idiot. Simply.
    He is this players that played well for a season, and think he is too good to play for Arsenal. He was lazy and useless so many times. In spite of his physical ability, his technical ability is just not there. He cant beat a defender to save his live, his first touch for this level is lacking.

    He was sold, but was dumb enough to go against more than 40 million fans. One idiot fan can hurt him … Like finish his career !

    He starts the game with this negative energy, with his Animal spirit rather than an athletic fighting spirit. He fought hard, but was driven by negative push. Once RVP scored the goal, he couldn’t accept that RVP will leave the field with the most important goal, while all he did is defending corners cause he the tallest guy there. So like an animal went and just stepped on him, not knowing that this might have taken his eye out of his face and ended his career. Emotions … sure we have emotion, but idiots are idiots.
    Celebrating was cool, but I thought it was idiotic in his part. If I am a Man City fan, I would like him to come and celebrate to me.

    So my words to all Man City fans, the guy played hard because he wanted to prove a point to Arsenal’s fans not because he loves Man City. Ade will not be always consistent and with great strikers in this team, he will fall back.

    So point blank, Ade is an idiot. He betrayed the manager and team that brought him from the Monaco’s bench and made him a player. What stops Ade from doing to Man City again. Toure was a class compared to him. I was impressed, and Man City got a BARGAIN on Toure..

  14. Guys thank God he is out remember the red cards he recieved when he stuck out his foot twice and cost us a substitution we just pray for city they don’t know what they have in store i wish him the best of luck but “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND” so they say its a matter of time

  15. The F.A. have now formally charged Adebayor with violent and improper conduct. Two separate charges which will be heard on different dates.

    The F.A. statement says” The Referee Mark Clattenburg has informed the F.A. that he did not see the incident but if he had he would have sent the player off” Adebayor faces a three match ban.

    The player will also face further sanctions following his goal celebration. Greater Manchester Police have written to the F.A. with their views on the incident.

    So Adebayor can expect at least a three match ban for stamping on the head of Van Persie and a ban and fine for his incitement of the travelling Arsenal Fans.

    All of which means absolutely nothing to Arsenal. The only people to gain from the ban on Adebayor will be Man.U. and the other teams that Man. City face during the ban. There’s justice for you!!!!

  16. i agree with Fares. ade just a selfish player who played football just for himself and money and not for club. let see the games ahead and u will know why we hate him to man city fans.
    now my mad to ade is getting less. i agree with andy we were unlucky to lose. but i wonder why we must let them scored 4 goals to realized what should we do to win?on the early half, like i said before, RVP just roaming around the pitch. he has strong legs to kick the ball. what he need to do is kick the ball but he played well on 2nd half especially when rosicky was there. what billy said about diaby is true. he dont know what he did. i hope wenger would change him with a better player for next games. clichy and sagna is horrible. eboue replaced sagna but he just the same. bendnter should prove things to ade but he just useless. hes just an average player. the first offside goal prove that almunia is an average goalkeeper. he took minutes to react. other players played below their ability but still good. the best arsenal players on the pitch are verm and rosicky. verm shooting from long range was impressed i hope another shoot from him will come. i think wenger spent 10 million for him is a right decision. and rosicky makes the game different. he started and finished our move very well.
    im looking forward for liege game. arsenal can beat them for sure.

  17. @YOUNG – Why not credit GALLAS too? Was it cos he did not take a fantastic shot too? GALLAS was detailed to hold ADE, so he was limited.

  18. @GunnerBoss-oh sorry i just gve my opinion and few names i forgot to mentioned. gallas played well too. i blamed right and left defenders. they left their position and they cant chase the opponents attackers. midfield was gone too and i hope they know how to defend.

  19. It’s all in the past now.5-10 match ban is very much welcomed.Gunners got better things to smile about,Rosicky and Eduardo are back and YESSSS with a bang!!!wait til the midfield consists of Fab,Arshavin,Rosicky and Nasri.all those city muppets will be silenced.we stl got what it takes to win.let’s not be afraid.we keep the faith gunners!!!!!!

  20. U will be pleased to know that the Verminator absolutely flattened Ade in the first half with a crunching -but fair- challenge.

    It was great to watch.

  21. What the FKUC are Arsenal fans so hung up about over Adebayor… I’ll tell you, he was the best player you had and you know it. Toure was also another top Arsenal player any u are really pss’d to have lost both of th to City. From what I saw on Saturday Arsenal’s defence is dreadful. City were very comfortable and could have scored at will if need be. I think the Adebayor issue is a little deeper than him… It’s Man City in general because you know they will push Arsenal out of the ‘monopoly’ champions league position. O have read Arsenals blog sites for several days and read very little constructive comments (mainly foulmouth abuse towards Ade & City). I want the City fans who were subjected to the disgraceful verbal abuse Van Percy hailed at our fans (Inc children) after his goal to come forward and raise a police investigation. I never had Arsenal fans related to scum but these past few days have really openedy eyes.

  22. I always find it interesting when fans from other teams come on Arsenal blogs to make negative comments. Especially comments about such a serious situation. As if RVP alledgly cursing is somehow equal to having his face stomped on and quite possibly losing his eye. But I digress.

    Andy- I feel sorry for you mate. I know you were a big Ade fan when a lot of people were giving him some what unjust slack. It just goes to show how disgraceful his actions were when a true fan is burning his shirt. Take heart friend we’ll destroy them in April.

  23. @ bluesky ade wasn’t the best player we had so stick to your own little pile of crap of oap’s. The reason people hate ade, hleb and ca$hley is the way they instigated a move away every week playing in our kit they had advisers touting them to every clup for a higher price and getting huge amounts of ice cream. It’s been proven that every player we let go never shows the potential they had playing in a arsenal shirt but only one and that is HENRY as the lad wasn’t getting younger and he showed us so much gratatude when he went and then went on to win the CL. This is one person that has always shown so much respect to the fans and arsne and not one arsenal fan can begrudge him and most of us would all love him back as a striker coach or any role in our great club.
    Also this from Arsne is classic….Wenger revealed Arsenal used a “forensic expert who proved [Eduardo] had been touched on his ankle” to ensure the Croatian striker would be available tonight

  24. As much as I hated Adebayor’s shenanigans on Saturday, I was really disappointed with our supporters’ behavior to Ade’s goading. Whatever happened to taking the high road and acting at least quasi-civilized? Or am I the one that’s crazy?

    On another note, any thoughts on what the team will look like next season with the new “homegrown quota?”

  25. @ elbizarron – It’s a fair point, for sure. I can only speak for myself when I say that I was incensed with his behaviour – he really got me going – and I was only watching in a bar in Malaysia! I can’t imagine what it would have been like in the stadium, particularly as they watched him run all the way over to their area. I think common sense went out the window for all parties involved and both need to be held accountable.

  26. I still don’t know exactly what were meant to have sung at Adebayor. Was anyone on here at the game or does anyone know?

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