Aug 182008

Arsenal 1 (Nasri 4) West Brom 0

With a side still depleted through injury, and with a midfield still awaiting bolstering before the end of the transfer window, the early matches in this season are simply about getting the right result. Shorn of much of the side’s creativity, Saturday’s opening match was always going to be a close encounter, at least if you look at the scoreline.

Coming in the game, the thing I was fearing was West Brom defending well for an hour and the fans getting on the players’ backs. Fortunately, Nasri struck in the opening minutes from a Denilson cutback, so that eventuality never came up. It could have been an even more frustrating afternoon otherwise.

But the fans still made themselves heard when Adebayor chose the wrong option on one particular attack, deciding to boo the big man. Now, I’m no fan of the way Ade behaved in the summer, but he stayed, he was booed in pre season, can’t we get back to supporting our team now? The only thing the booing will do is tell him we’re not happy, and he already knows that as displeasure was indicated at the right time – in friendly matches. Now, he is an Arsenal player and we should back him. Or are we in the business of shooting ourselves in the foot?

As far as the rest of the match goes, you’ve probably read all about it by now. Nasri was excellent, Adebayor missed a couple of chances, Van Persie and Gallas went close, and a Djourou error almost allowed West Brom an equaliser. Elsewhere, Eboue played in central midfield, and to everyone’s surprise, did pretty well. Relying on that for another 37 games would be foolish, however, and with international week now starting, it would make sense for the powers that be to complete whichever transfer Wenger was talking about last week. We need it.

It wasn’t a great performance on Saturday, but United drew with Newcastle yesterday, the Geordies not doing their usual rolling over trick whenever they visit Old Trafford. And Spurs lost to Boro with one of the most lightweight midfields I’ve ever seen. Someone needs to tell Ramos that the Premiership is a little more physical that La Liga.

Hoyte has moved to Sunderland in a transfer that should actually see him play first team football, and he now wants to push for an international spot. That sounds ambitious, but England aren’t exactly stocked with right backs.

Sorry for the late post, by the way, the weekend ran away with me. There will be more catch up this week as the pointless international friendlies are played.

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