Good afternoon, everyone. Here are the links for today:
Arseblog offers his assessment of the 3-1 win over Partizan Belgrade yesterday. He thinks that Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh will take a few games to work out an understanding:
Beyond that it’s hard to remember us creating an opening in the first half. Chamakh and van Persie together look like a combination that will a fair few games to find an understanding, van Persie dropped deep constantly while service to Chamakh was patchy at best.
If van Persie were playing in the "Cesc role", though, would it not make sense for him to drop deep in the midfield, as Cesc Fabregas often does? 7AM Kickoff's match recap has a heatmap of van Persie's play which suggests he was operating not as a striker, as Arseblog seems to imply, but as a midfielder. 7AM also says:
The only blemish on [RvP's] night is that he misplaced nearly 30% of his 56 passes. Still, for a guy being played out of position, who scored a goal and worked harder than anyone on either team it’s nitpicking to criticize there. Plus the look of relief on his face and the hugs from his teammates after he scored was worth any exasperation. I just hope he didn’t hurt anything with his extemporaneous flying knee-dive celebration.
He also thinks that this year's Premier League is much more difficult to win than it was in 2004, when Arsenal last lifted the trophy.
News of the strange: Arsenal have sent a lot of players with hamstring problems in for wisdom teeth extraction. Not sure that's scientifically sound. Does anyone know if there is a holistic medicine tenet about that or anything?
OleGunner argues in defense of Alex Song and makes some solid points about the functioning of Arsenal's defense overall. Given yesterday's goal, he looks even more correct.
Looking ahead to the Manchester United match:
Sir Alex Ferguson has called for his supporters to leave out the horrible chants about Wenger at the match. It's been one of the more interesting developments of the last few years, watching Wenger and Ferguson's attitudes towards each other change.
And finally, to get in the spirit.
Have a good Friday, everyone.