Fabregas and Nasri rehearse new roles for Old Trafford

Was the Middlesbrough game a dress rehearsal for the Champions League semi?

Yes. Of course. That’s why Sir Alex was at the Emirates as a spy on.

Does a 2-0 win against a relegated team mean anything?

Not really, since Arsenal were going to be fourth anyway and Boro were going down anyway.

Middlesbrough were pathetic in a sleepy game at the Emirates.

Utterly clueless in the way they deployed themselves and gutless as well. But they were unlucky. Bendtner did handle the ball in his own box. He leaned forward and blocked the ball with his left arm and ref Chris Foy decided to be a homer and not give it.

When Bendtner ran across keeper Brad Davis, distracting him as Fabregas shot, the keeper froze, perhaps thinking the ball would hit Bendtner.The shot flew behind the Dane and into the far corner. That goal came from a superb move and the magical Arshavin set up Fabregas, who struck a difficult ball magnificently. It was a centre forward’s goal, the kind  of goal that Captain Fantastic Bryan Robson used to score for England and Manchester United, although Robbo was not a centre forward either.

Fabregas sees a run for himself just as quickly as he sees a run by a teammate.

He took off on a perfect run beyond centreback Robert Huth and gathered Eboue’s through pass, cruised round the keeper, slotted inside the near post for 2-0 

Nasri is now a No.6 .

He reads the game well, so he’s good at that job. Nasri can cover a large area, get the ball anywhere, play it from everywhere,  and get forward. He has a good engine and he’s growing into a more challenging role.

Fabregas’s new role off the striker means the end of the road for Adebayor. If Cesc is playing there, he won’t be partnering Adebayor long-term, although he will on Wednesday.

Wenger will play 4-5-1 at Old Trafford. You can bet your house on that.

Looks to me as if next season has already started and I’m glad about that. This one has sucked and that’s why I gave up on it on November 29.

Samir Nasri is  now playing in a Stefan Schwarz position as a left half. Fabregas is playing in a Cantona half-striker position and will turn his collar up for 2009-2010

Wenger loved how Spain  played in Euro 2008 and these switches take Arsenal closer to Spain’s fluid, mobile style, a game of touch and triangular teamwork.

Problem is, Arsenal don’t have a striker. Spain had two phenomenal strikers. Wenger will never buy a great striker like Torres or David Villa. That means that between them Arshavin, Walcott and Bendtner will have to score as many goals for Arsenal as Torres and Gerrard do for Liverpool.

Adebayor came on as a sub against Middlesbrough. How bad was he? As bad as always. Maybe worse. Ade is a huge problem. Who will buy a donkey as expensive as him?