Why Arsenal will beat cute, defensive Man City

Manchester City are half as belligerent as Blackburn but twice as cute.

They are defensive and cute that’s why they have three wins and three clean sheets and 9 points.

City were lucky to beat Manchester United 1-0 last week and they only beat them because United turned into Arsenal for a day. United need Anelka or Berbatov.

Sven admitted City were lucky last Sunday.

City’s best players are Elano and Micah Richards but midfielder Michael Johnson is decent and Richard Dunne does well against Arsenal.

Elano is a classy, efficient cross between Trevor Steven and Marc Overmars. As two-footed and tidy as Steven but not as fast as Overmars. He played for Brazil against Argentina at the Emirates and when he scored I thought : What a  clinical finish ! When he scored again I said : Bloody hell !Who is this guy?

Elano is one of those brainy footballers who chooses the right option every time, as Vieira was able to do. He will sometimes run 30 or 40 yards with the ball and then make a three-yard pass. He does that because the three-yard pass is the right option.

Micah Richards is a powerhouse defender with more craft than Sol Campbell ever had. Arsenal will need to put Adebayor or Senderos on him at every set-piece

Having said all that, I expect Arsenal to win. They will be bigger, stronger and more confident with Gilberto and Adebayor back in the team.

And they will scrap as well as play. Last week’s goal was very encouraging in the way it came about. They put the ball in the box from the left and when it came out they put it back in the box from the right and three of them were around the six yard box fighting for the  ball. Eduardo was impeded, Fabregas’s shot was blocked, and the loose ball popped out to van Persie, who smashed it in.

With Pires and Henry in the attack, Arsenal never scrapped for balls around the six yard box. They just played nice passes and scored perfect goals. They didn’t score scrappy goals or little goals or rebounds because Ljungberg could not take on three defenders and the keeper in there.

Van Persie’s goal at Blackburn was a triumph of perseverance and spirit. They refused to allow Blackburn to clear that ball in the 18th minute. Arsenal wanted that ball as much as  Blackburn did and they eventually got it and smashed it into the net. You need that.

And that collective hunger is what will beat Man City.

Spurs TV has an interview with chairman Daniel Levy saying he’s 100% behind Martin Jol and the fans have to be patient !

It would make more sense for Spurs TV to interview a fan saying that the supporters are 100% behind Martin Jol and that Daniel Levy has to be patient.

Why Arsenal will beat Man Utd in Cardiff



By Myles Palmer

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ARSENAL will beat Man United in the FA Cup Final.

United have the bulldog genius but Rooney is not scoring because van Nistelrooy is the wrong partner for him.

United have not scored so many goals this season.

Their defence has put them third and got them to this final.

ARSENAL have looked much better than United for the past two months.

Senderos has stabilised the team.

Gilberto came back and that released Vieira, who is more of a playmaker-goalscorer now, rather than a ballwinner.

JENS LEHMANN looked sharp in the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham.

Sol Campbell looked sharp.

Dennis looked powerful and motivated.

Arsene said, ” You could see in the 50-50s that we were not really in there.”

Exactly what I thought on the first goal.

A scramble after a Pennant corner and Cole did not go in hard for the loose ball which broke back to Pandiani and he poked it in for 1-0 in 80 minutes.

Bergkamp made it 1-1 in 88 from a Vieira lob and then Pandiani won the flick-on in front of Sol and Senderos hesitated and Heskey banged in the winner in 90.

THE ONLY THING that worries me about the final is the switch of the left-footed Senderos to right centreback.

Senderos is the most two-footed centreback for years.

But he is much more comfortable in his natural position on the left. Which is where Sol, a right-footed player, prefers to play.

Yes, Senderos can handle it. But it creates small uncertainties and small uncertainties can cost big goals.

ONE THING I have noticed about the last six months is that I can usually tell when Arsenal will lose.

I backed them to lose in Munich and they lost 3-1. I backed them to lose to Man United at Highbury and they lost 4-2.

This time I will back them to beat United whether Thierry plays or not.

It is not about one player. When Henry plays they gain something. When he does not play, they gain something else.

Arsenal are stronger in goal, stronger in midfield, and have more options in attack.

Pires scores more goals than Giggs or Scholes.

Also, Arsene Wenger is at his best when he has five days to prepare for a match.

That is why Arsenal play well in cup finals.

SATURDAY NIGHT I found myself watching ITV.

Apart from the Champions League, I have not watched ITV for about 15 years.

Since Chancer.

I tuned in for the Amir Khan-Mario Kindelan fight.

An amateur fight of four two-minute rounds from the Reebok Stadium.

Commercials between every round.

Two minutes of action, a minute of advertising.

And again.

And again.

You are just getting into the fight and bang, its a commercial.

How squalid ! How modern ! How inevitable !

Amir, a lovely sportsman we should treasure, won well. I warm to him more than I ever did to Naseem Hamed.

I hope he realises that professional boxing is NOTHING like amateur boxing.

The lad should fight Mexican roadsweepers for the next two years. He should NOT be fighting tough guys from Chicago and Puerto Rico.

SURVIVAL SUNDAY was ecstatic for West Brom, who stay up after being bottom at Xmas.

Last night we went to a barbecue and met a jolly young Charlton fan.

She had just come from the Crystal Palace game, a 2-2 draw which meant that Palace went down.

Delighted, she said, “Thats all we have had to look forward to this season.”

____________________

FINAL TABLE

P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts

Chelsea 38 14 5 0 35 6 15 3 1 37 9 57 95

Arsenal 38 13 5 1 54 19 12 3 4 33 17 51 83

____________________________________________

Man Utd 38 12 6 1 31 12 10 5 4 27 14 32 77

Everton 38 12 2 5 24 15 6 5 8 21 31 -1 61

Liverpool 38 12 4 3 31 15 5 3 11 21 26 11 58

Monday May 16th 2005.

Why Arsenal will beat Man Utd in Cardiff



By Myles Palmer

______________

ARSENAL will beat Man United in the FA Cup Final.

United have the bulldog genius but Rooney is not scoring because van Nistelrooy is the wrong partner for him.

United have not scored so many goals this season.

Their defence has put them third and got them to this final.

ARSENAL have looked much better than United for the past two months.

Senderos has stabilised the team.

Gilberto came back and that released Vieira, who is more of a playmaker-goalscorer now, rather than a ballwinner.

JENS LEHMANN looked sharp in the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham.

Sol Campbell looked sharp.

Dennis looked powerful and motivated.

Arsene said, ” You could see in the 50-50s that we were not really in there.”

Exactly what I thought on the first goal.

A scramble after a Pennant corner and Cole did not go in hard for the loose ball which broke back to Pandiani and he poked it in for 1-0 in 80 minutes.

Bergkamp made it 1-1 in 88 from a Vieira lob and then Pandiani won the flick-on in front of Sol and Senderos hesitated and Heskey banged in the winner in 90.

THE ONLY THING that worries me about the final is the switch of the left-footed Senderos to right centreback.

Senderos is the most two-footed centreback for years.

But he is much more comfortable in his natural position on the left. Which is where Sol, a right-footed player, prefers to play.

Yes, Senderos can handle it. But it creates small uncertainties and small uncertainties can cost big goals.

ONE THING I have noticed about the last six months is that I can usually tell when Arsenal will lose.

I backed them to lose in Munich and they lost 3-1. I backed them to lose to Man United at Highbiry and they lost 4-2.

This time I will back them to beat United whether Thierry plays or not.

It is not about one player. When Henry plays they gain something. When he does not play, they gain something else.

Arsenal are stronger in goal, stronger in midfield, and have more options in attack.

Pires scores more goals than Giggs or Scholes.

Also, Arsene Wenger is at his best when he has five days to prepare for a match.

That is why Arsenal play well in cup finals.

SATURDAY NIGHT I found myself watching ITV.

Apart from the Champions League, I have not watched ITV for about 15 years.

Since Chancer.

I tuned in for the Amir Khan-Mario Kindelan fight.

An amateur fight of four two-minute rounds from the Reebok Stadium.

Commercials between every round.

Two minutes of action, a minute of advertising.

And again.

And again.

You are just getting into the fight and bang, its a commercial.

How squalid ! How modern ! How inevitable !

Amir, a lovely sportsman we should treasure, won well. I warm to him more than I ever did to Naseem Hamed.

I hope he realises that professional boxing is NOTHING like amateur boxing.

The lad should fight Mexican roadsweepers for the next two years. He should NOT be fighting tough guys from Chicago and Puerto Rico.

SURVIVAL SUNDAY was ecstatic for West Brom, who stay up after being bottom at Xmas.

Last night we went to a barbecue and met a jolly young Charlton fan.

She had just come from the Crystal Palace game, a 2-2 draw which meant that Palace went down.

Delighted, she said, “Thats all we have had to look forward to this season.”

____________________

FINAL TABLE

P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts

Chelsea 38 14 5 0 35 6 15 3 1 37 9 57 95

Arsenal 38 13 5 1 54 19 12 3 4 33 17 51 83

____________________________________________

Man Utd 38 12 6 1 31 12 10 5 4 27 14 32 77

Everton 38 12 2 5 24 15 6 5 8 21 31 -1 61

Liverpool 38 12 4 3 31 15 5 3 11 21 26 11 58

Monday May 16th 2005.

Why Arsenal will beat Chelsea twice



By Myles Palmer

____________________________________________________

ARSENAL play Chelsea in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The following Saturday they go to Stamford Bridge for the Premiership game.That clash is more important.

But if Chelsea win the FA Cup game, they might fancy the league game.

And if Chelsea were to win that Premiership game, the title race would wide open because Chelsea would only be three points behind.

I FANCY ARSENAL TO WIN BOTH GAMES.

The Arsenal players have become very hard to beat because they have more desire and know-how than the Chelsea players.

The Arsenal dressing room is the best dressing room in the world.

Lehmann is very impressed by the team spirit of the club he has joined. He made a world class save from Ormerod on Tuesday night.

Bergkamp will be back after a calf strain.

Reyes will be a sub, but could be the matchwinner.

Reyes hasn’t been an instant success, like Saha, Parker and Defoe. But he is a classier player. That’s why he has been capped by Spain this season at the age of 20.

On Tuesday night Reyes stayed in the middle and took a lot of kicks.

He didn’t complain, although Vieira complained on his behalf.

Ref Neale Barry blanked Pat twice on that.

Reyes was receiving the ball in tight situations, rather than being played in.

Having pulled out all the stops to beat Wolves on Saturday, Arsenal looked tired in the first half against Southampton on Tuesday.

Vieira, Cole and Parlour were not as good as usual.

Toure does not look as assured as he did before his switch to right back.

But they will beat Chelsea twice because they are a team of team players. They work for each other and pass fluently.

OK, THEIR STYLE IS UNUSUAL. So Reyes will have to adapt to Henry and Pires, rather than they to him.

That will not be easy for a young left-winger playing in a foreign position in a foreign country

CLAUDIO says you can’t really compare Chelsea to Man United and Arsenal – and he’s right.

Chelsea might evolve into a great team in 2005 or 2006.

ARSENAL are a great team now, domestically at least.

Chelsea have a manager whose approach is tactical and rotational. He tinkers. He picks his team to nullify the strengths of his opponents. They try to score goals from crosses.

Arsenal have a manager whose approach is holistic and psychological and scientific. Arsene tends to pick the same team and tries to play the same in every game. They rarely score from crosses.They usually pass the ball into the box rather than cross it.

So Chelsea’s style is more conventional. They have a No.9 and wingers.

Arsenal’s style is more radical, more modern, more innovative,more surgical. They don’t have a No.9 and their wide men sprint inside to score.

Bottom line, Chelsea need Duff.

When Duff was playing, Mutu was scoring. When Duff got injured , Mutu’s goals dried up.

Duff opened up defences with his dribbles and passes. Gaps appeared all over the place and Mutu zoomed in to the gaps.

Now Mutu has to work back, dribble , pass, move, pass again,get in the box. Which he did beautifully to set up Scott Parker’s goal on Wednesday.

Jimmy plays for Jimmy.

He is like Ian Wright.Wrighty played for Wrighty, not for the team.

Thierry plays for the team and his team is built round him.

Where Chelsea make five passes, Arsenal make three or two.

SIR ALEX is missing Rio, badly.

When he knew Rio would be out, he should have slotted John O’Shea into the middle.

Rooney destroyed Wes Brown last weekend.

On Wednesday against Middlebrough, Wes had to be taken off at half time. United lost 3-2 at Old Trafford.

IT LOOKS as if John Magnier’s investigators, Kroll, have access to bank accounts.

So the Manchester United soap opera is getting more exciting every week.

Have the Irishmen’s 99 questions been answered?

What is Jason Ferguson’s true involvement in those transfers?

Will Cubic Expression flog their 30% to Malcolm Glazer and allow him to turn Man United into a US corporation?

FA chief exec Mark Palios must be watching Kroll’s investigations with interest.

So far, the FA have lacked the bottle to clean up the bung culture in football. Maybe Palios should hire Kroll to clean up English football.

If Kroll have access to bank accounts they could clean up football in less time than it takes to say Christopher Bart-Williams.

When they’ve done that they could investigate FIFA’s finances.

Have an entertaining weekend !

Man United play Man City and it should be 3-2.

13th Febriary 2004,

Why Arsenal will beat Leeds



By Myles Palmer

Mr Wenger’s team has more flair.His concept of football is more modern than Mr O’Leary’s.

Wednesday was a rather silly night for your reporter.

Watched the first half of Leeds-Valencia till 8.30. Went out to see an American group in Camden Town. The guitarist was pregnant and I’m not sure the band will survive the baby. Met a nice young Algerian chef on the Silverlink train back to West Hampstead. He told me he likes old country – Don Williams, Johnny Cash. And Mark Knopfler.

Back home at 11.30 I watched the second half from Elland Road. But I knew the score. Because I had listened to the radio on the way to the gig.While listening to Five Live I thought : pressure is not flair.

Arsenal scored twice against Valencia but Leeds huffed and puffed and played at the limit(and just beyond the limit) of their technique, always stretching for shots, headers, touches. Which was the limitation of George Graham’s brand of power football. Dominate, create many chances and half-chances, and hope a couple go in.

Watching the second half just confirmed that view. Teams with experience and superior technique can absorb that kind of pressure and beat that kind of team.

I was right about Aimar not playing and right about Harte and Batty being very good.Just a shame that Viduka and Kewell are such tarts.

I was wrong to think that getting in amongst Valencia guaranteed a goal or two. That was naive. That was old-fashioned thinking.

For example : The left wing cross and the crucial ball that bounced too high for Lee Bowyer and too near him. If he had been standing two yards further away he could have headed in comfortably. But it was sudden and too high for him and he was stretching.So he could not quite score. Like England in the Seventies.That’s why England didn’t qualify for 1974 and 1978.

The night before I had been too knackered to watch Real Madrid 0 Bayern Munich 1 at 11.30 pm. So I watched it at 8.30 am and thought : It’s over. Bayern have won the European Cup.

Bayern went to Manchester and won 1-0 and then they went to Madrid and won 1-0 and now nobody can beat them, not Leeds, not Valencia, not anybody.

Hitzfeld is a master tactician who beat Lippi’s greatest Juventus team 3-1 with Dortmund.I detest Bayern’s diving but I respect their tactical control.

So it’s over. Figo is my favourite player and I annoy a lot of people by saying he is better than Zidane, but Kahn is the man, as I feared when Arsenal played Bayern.If you have a Shilton, a Rossi, a Schmeichel,a Kahn, you can win the European Champions Cup.

It’s over.Real might as well have handed the trophy to Effenberg at Madrid airport on the way home.

That’s decided. Roll on Saturday and roll on Cardiff.