Jun 142010

Van Persie crossing for a Dane to power home is a vision we’d like to see a lot more of, but we got a sneak preview in the World Cup today as Poulson headed his cross against Agger’s back and in, to give Holland a lead they never looked like giving away. The 2-0 scoreline gave the Arsenal contingent their first victory of the competition, and Van Persie looked sharp throughout before getting a rest for the final fifteen minutes.

At the other end, Bendtner was decent for Denmark, one glorious turn in midfield bamboozling two opponents, but he shanked his only real chance wide. Despite impressing, Adrian Chiles mocked him relentlessly at half time, presumably based on some preconceived bias – his showing certainly didn’t warrant that level of criticism.

Bendtner (and Denmark) were made to feel better by the game that followed between the two other teams in the group, Japan and Cameroon. The Africans looked lethargic throughout, stuck Eto’o on the right and left Alex Song on the bench, a pair of bizarre decisions that Le Guen stuck by all game. Japan were well organised, played for a draw and got a bonus when they pinched a goal. On that display, Denmark have every chance to come back and qualify.

It hasn’t been the best World Cup for Arsenal players yet, but then it hasn’t been a great World Cup for anyone up to now. Too many teams are living by the mantra that an early loss is a disaster, and the resultant negativity is producing a dearth of goals. Only Germany have sparkled, but even they were up against a hapless Australian side and aided by a referee who showed a red card to Cahill for absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow holds more promise – ignoring the early New Zealand-Slovakia game (placed at lunchtime for a reason), there is further Arsenal interest as the Ivory Coast kick off their campaign with a tasty looking game against Portugal in the afternoon. And then we get our first glimpse of Brazil in the evening, before Cesc’s long wait for a runout ends against Switzerland on Wednesday.

The World Cup can only get better, and it will.

Betting Update

After the double success of the opening day, Argentina’s narrow win and England’s draw with the USA provided a pair of winners, making day two another success despite Greece’s failure to live up to my expectations.

Day three was the first hiccup – Algeria, Serbia and Australia all comprehensively failing to achieve the results I tipped, but after correctly predicting Holland’s two goal victory, combined with Japan’s defeat of Cameroon, form was today restored. Had Italy snuck a late winner, it would have been a ridiculously successful day.

All in all, it is going well so far, with eleven £1 bets returning a healthy £24 – £13 profit. I will continue to make a tip for every match shortly before kickoff on Twitter, so you can either keep a track there or watch the panel to the right. If you fancy joining in, feel free to add your own tips to the comments, or on Twitter using the hashtag #groanswcbets – I’ll take on any good ones.

And that is that. See you tomorrow to watch Eboue make Ronaldo cry. Again.

  16 Responses to “Arsenal at the World Cup: Van Persie shines, Bendtner fizzles and Song misses out”

  1. you won me 27 quid for the japan game, I agreed with you analysis..

    great predictions..thanks mate

  2. Bendtner really didn’t have any opportunities except the one header he put wide. Denmark need more creative players to get the ball into him. And yes that turn he did was epic

  3. Chiles is a real c o c k

  4. As a fellow Arsenal fan, I would appreciate it if you didn’t slag off the New Zealand game. We have 4 million ‘usual rugby’ supporters goings crazy and so proud of having our national team qualify for the big event for the 1st time in 28 years. Also, it is on at 11.30pm in the evening here for us, much more convenient than the other games at 2-3am and 6am. Thanks

    • Absolutely correct

    • Fair enough – no offence intended, I was just being overly flippant. Apologies for that.

      In total fairness, you are right – sometimes the more exciting matches are between nations that are less experienced in the big tournaments, and therefore play less dour and negative football (as too many have so far).

      And you can never tell which matches will be spectacular. My abiding memory of Euro 2000 was that I was at university at the time, and had to pick and choose matches. I ignored Yugoslavia-Slovenia, writing it off as one I didn’t care about. Turned out to be the match of the tournament – Yugoslavia went 3-0 down, had a man sent off, yet somehow came back to draw 3-3.

      Genuinely, good luck against Slovakia.

      • You may have caught up on the fact that New Zealand equalised in the 3rs minute of stoppage time with almost the last touch (a header) of the game! We now have an entire country so excited about our boys picking up their first ever point in the World Cup Finals. It is indeed a great day. Cheers

    • Come to think of it, given the excitement – a win over Slovakia might be a good tip for the game. I was struggling to think of one to be honest (not being too knowledgeable about either side).

  5. I will be betting on Ivory Coast to win Portugal and both Brazil and N Korea to score goals

  6. I thought Bendtner had a great game, as a lone striker, he did everythign asked, won the ball, held it up and layed off some great passes.

    For someone that was only passed fit hours before the game – I would put his performance above Van Persies.

    Adrian Chiles is a complete Cock – how did he ever get involved in football? he obviously has never played the game, the only connection I can see is that his ex is now being nailed by Lampard.

  7. A – most of the bets I place are gut feelings, but based on a certain level of research first. In the early stages of World Cups, draws always give good value, but search for whatever you think could conceivably happen. Don’t bet on extravagant things, just predict what will happen in the match and then find the best odds that back you up.

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