Friday, July 29, 2005

Hleb brilliant for Arsenal in win over Ajax

Apart from being meaningless, pre-season tournaments do give new players a chance to mix with the team.

Alexander Hleb did just that. After he scored in his debut, he looked magic tonight against Ajax Amsterdam in the Amsterdam Tournament.

As soon as he came on as a 60th minute substitute the team started moving. Hleb laid crafty balls in the paths of players, played people thru, chased, kept possession and set up the winning goal 1-0 in the 86th minute. Lupoli with the finish.

I can’t say much more. Hleb is even better than I thought.

Ajax played Hedwiges Maduro in central defense tonight instead of his normal defensive holding position. He did rather well for the most part. Ajax held together for most of the game but neither team was overly industrious by any means.

Henry was his curious self. At one point he made a stunning overhead pass by side-foot-chipping the ball up in the air and laying it off with his foot to (eee, I think) Reyes so accurately Reyes didn’t lose a step.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hleb had a good half an hour. Nothing outstanding, definitely not as amazing as you make out.

Henry was mediocre. Couple of nice touches, but anonymous otherwise.

All in all, a disappointing showing. The whole match was played at a slow pace, too slow for my liking, regardless of the heat.

Senderos dropped a few clangers, Lauren looked poor. Eboue looked far better when he came on. I would be willing to bet that come the end of the season, Eboue will be the first choice right back.

Pires in central midfield was a failure. Didn't work at all- he doesn't have the 'get stuck in' attitude that you need to play there.

Anyone know why Fabregas wasn't about? Is he still on hols?

7/29/2005 10:50 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

"Eboue looked far better when he came on"

Totally agree.

As far as Hleb, I think a new player, high expectations, coming on and taking over the game is a great sign. He looked fantastic to me, and I think he'll have a first team place for sure. If you were Hleb, wouldnt you be happy?

7/29/2005 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I saw he looked pretty sharp. Maybe not brilliant but a brilliant start.

7/29/2005 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K. result I suppose but cannot see this team winning the PL or ECL.Our defence will require greater protection from mid-field when we start playing for real.Wenger smiled through the post-match interview and did not seem unduly worried (as I would expect him to be)on losing out on Baptista. I feel that there are definitely other players he could bring in to make a difference to the team as well as proving cover to injuries/suspensions that will definitely occur throughout the long season.

7/29/2005 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hleb did good. did u see the pass to henry? that was class. definitely see why we got him, of course its only one game. bentley did well also. agree about pires, hes not a holding midfield type of player. he was invisible the whole game. lauren has definitely lost a step, first against ronaldo and now against babel.
not enough creative play, but its a new season and we are just warming up. will we miss viera? yes, but not as much as wed think. can we compete with chelsea? were gonna have to play our best every game to be up there with them.

7/29/2005 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Eboue was fantastic, much much better than Lauren and he had Babel in his pocket.

Hleb was good, not as fantastic as you say but most definately he will be in the future, a sound buy once again.

Reyes had a terrible game, i just dont know why he still hasnt managed to fit in..maybe its just pre season but Im startin to get worried, he hasnt been consistent at all. Pires in central midfield would end up being a disaster...I was pleased to see bentley and he made a few good runs and his touch was very good. Dont know but ive missed RVP...really grown to like the kid...wish he was out there playing.

Overall...good performance....the subs had a real impact, they seemed to prove more of a point than the regular players....next game sunday...i hope Eboue and Hleb start.

7/29/2005 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Rex said...

Hleb's performance is the kind that I was expecting from Reyes on a consistent basis last season. Taking on the defender, creating space, laying off a good pass or shooting. Henry looked like he was playing at half-pace. Bentley and Eboue did look good. Toure was terrific. Flamini was pretty good, but you're right, Pires was too anonymous in the center. He's not going to be able to play there at the pace required for 90 minutes, but I expect Cesc to slot into the starting spot there at this point. Not definite about him; I think he, Gilberto, and Clichy are still on break.

7/29/2005 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cesc is being given an extended break to make up for the tough season last year and his internatiol appearances over the summer

7/30/2005 8:29 AM  
Blogger Kim Stian Ervik said...

Lupoli and Hleb looked great, now we only need Cesc and Gilberto back.

7/30/2005 1:32 PM  

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