Jun 122010

The World Cup is finally underway, and all the evidence of the opening day suggests that we are yet to see the team that will lift the trophy. South Africa and Mexico served up a cracking 1-1 draw to kick off the tournament, before France and Uruguay played out an utterly uninspiring stalemate. There were impressive moments (none more so that the terrific strike from the brilliantly named South African Tshabalala) but nothing that will scare the rest of the competition.

It was also a day featuring many of Arsenal’s representatives. Carlos Vela nearly scored the tournament’s first goal, only to be (correctly) denied by an attentive assistant referee, but he otherwise disappointed in a Mexico side that could find themselves struggling to qualify after failing to punish South Africa’s tentative first half.

The French trio of Sagna, Gallas and Diaby will be disappointed with their opening result, especially as Uruguay went down to ten men late in the game, but on an individual level they should be happier. Gallas was solid at the back, Sagna was more of a wing back threat than Evra (and will be grateful not to have been injured by Lodeiro’s X-rated challenge), but the real star was Abou Diaby, who was a constant threat in an advanced midfield role, and was the sole player who appeared capable of terrorising Uruguay’s somewhat suspect defence.

Diaby has always been a divisive player, but his performance tonight was reminiscent of the run of form he enjoyed early in 2010, before he tailed off again towards the end of the season. Running with the ball, he is a mesmerising sight, and could enjoy a prosperous World Cup if those surrounding him showed more intent. France looked rudderless and impotent up front, and provide so little goal threat that their stay in the competition may be shortlived.

The next time we see an Arsenal player in action will be Monday, when Van Persie, Bendtner and Song kick off their campaigns, but there are plenty of matches to get your teeth into over the weekend, so enjoy. They can’t be any worse than tonight’s snoozefest.

Betting update

A great start for the betting tips, tracked to your right – having tipped 1-1 for the opening match, I predicted a card-fest in the second game, and both bets came off. I’m not getting too smug though – it may all go horribly wrong tomorrow.

As ever, you can follow the bets as they are placed on Twitter, or just keep an eye on the tracker to the right. No doubt some red lines will be appearing soon.

And that is it for today. I will be missing much of Saturday’s football due to a wedding, but they have kindly incorporated the England game into proceedings. Good thing too – we were planning on watching it either way. See you on the other side.

  15 Responses to “Disappointing opening day for the Arsenal contingent”

  1. Watching Raymond Domenech manage a football team is like watching Krusty the Clown do open heart surgery.

    I wanted to rip that toupee of of Domenech’s head with his tactics and formation. France could have eon that game with some ease if their manager had half a clue on hos to balance a team.

    • I dont Think any Arsenal player played any good. Lots of mistakes and lost the ball in dangerous areas etc etc. Poor performance

  2. it was disappointing because anybody or anything connected to l’arse is by it’s very nature….. “disappointing” :-0


    • A spuds fan talking out of his arse …… nice to see that some things will never change. And to think Raymond Domenech didnt think sami was worth putting in the team ….. Taxi for Raymond

  3. I don’t know what game you were watching, Diaby was so lackluster (or “lacklustre,” if you prefer) that he looked like a Spurs player. I’m just glad Sagna got up from that straight-red-worthy tackle and got back out there. If that had been in an Arsenal shirt, he would have been out for the next season. At least we can’t say the Uruguayan was “a good English lad” and “not that kind of player.”

    • You my friend don’t have a clue – Diaby was the best player on the pitch and its fans like you that give Arsenal fans a bad name

    • Disagree entirely on Diaby – the only criticism I could make is that he gave away too many needless fouls, but going forward he was superb.

  4. diaby is very good at times and lackluster at other if he concentrate full 90min he can be worlds great

  5. @ Uncle Mike: Which part of the TV are u watching? The back I guess. Diaby was arguably the Man of The Match in that french team last night. If Diaby was lacklustre, then what would u say about Anelka, Gourcouff, Ribery and Govou. YOU HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. france suck ass.

  7. France going home soon.

  8. […] Disappointing opening day for the Arsenal contingent | The … […]

  9. And someone iz sayin gourcuff cn succeed fabregas..dt guy z atleast half a decade behind fab..totally teribo showin..shud av statd malouda

  10. A game of one half for Diaby.Played well in the first but consistently lost the ball in the second.Sagna cant cross the World Cup ball any better than the Premier League one.Hopefully Gourcuff is considered by Wenger to be too expensive because a Cesc replacement-he aint!!
    Vela looks like he needs to find a new start elsewhere.Another member of Wenger’s Young Pretenders who will never be good enough!

    • Give Vela a break – people forget how young he is, and had the keeper not gone on a mad charge that (fortunately for him) but Vela offside, he would have been in the perfect position to score the first tournament goal.

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