Arsenal 2 – 1 Huddersfield Town: what a difference a Cesc makes.

January 31, 2011 18 Comments by Sian

STILL in all four competitions! We now play Leyton Orient in the next round of the FA Cup and are one step closer to a final in Wembley in May. Positivity, people, positivity.

Two bad things happened:

1.) Samir Nasri went off early on with a hamstring injury that looks likely to keep him out until beyond the first leg of the Barcelona game. Which, if you ask me, is proper, proper arse. Then again, looking at our injury situation this year as compared with when we played them last year, we’re a different team, so it’s not the end of the world. No. That’s next year in 2012, allegedly! Any plans?

2.) Sebastien Squillaci was sent off in the first half for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity after a brilliant run by Huddersfield’s Jack Hunt (cruel, CRUEL parents). Incidentally that, if you ask me, is a right daft description of the crime. Is it not a defender’s JOB to deny clear goal-scoring opportunities? A defender who chooses to not deny clear goal-scoring opportunities is just not very good. [ETA: I'm trying to be humorous here. Please don't take me seriously.] Having seen the replays I don’t think there can be many complaints about the sending off. Sure, he might not have meant it but it was still stupid and he should have known Clattenberk was not going to miss an opportunity to get shouted at by the fans.

Anyway, it was a fairly dull match overall, and Huddersfield certainly helped in making us look crap by being good. We were crap, for most of the match. Nicklas Bendtner put us ahead in the 21st minute after an exceptionally clownish miss just seconds before. The goal he eventually scored actually went down as an own goal on the stadium scoreboard as it took a deflection but I’m sure Bendtner will be claiming it as his own, knowing him.

After Nasri went off crocked (I hate that word, it makes me think of a broken plate), we went very flat. We didn’t get going again until the return of the Cesc in the second half, when we were already level at 1-1, a great header by Alan Lee having got the better of Almunia in the 66th minute. It must be noted also that Almunia did make a superb save shortly before the goal but I’m still glad Szczesny is ahead of him in the pecking order.

It says it all that Cescy managed to win himself the man of the match champers once more having only been on for the last twenty minutes, but the difference with him on was astounding. Up until that point we could easily have been going for a replay up north - at best.

Yes, it was far from being our best side out there yesterday but really, our not-best side should put in better performances than it did yesterday, ten OR eleven men.

There was a spot of controversy in the 86th minute when we won a penalty, Jamie McCombe having brought down Nicklas Bendtner. People questioned whether or not it should have been a penalty but I think the way to look at it is this: we know Nick. If Nick has an opportunity to score a goal and be a hero, he will go for that option. He won’t choose to fall over if he sees he could be bagging himself a brace by staying upright. I personally think it was the correct decision both with my red and white specs on and with my red and white specs off. They reckon Nick ‘made the most of it’ though. Any opinions?

Cesc obviously scored the penalty with an infuriatingly teasing run-up that would have been very embarrassing had he missed. But he’s Cesc, so he didn’t. I love the man so much. In his post-match interviews he’s got everything covered. He doesn’t come out with any bollocks cliched flash-card answers. He tells it like it is, and far more eloquently than many English players do.

He has been criticised for waving an imaginary card at the referee after we won a penalty, which is something I hate. Players do it all the time and it just makes me wish their arm would spontaneously fall off. He had a point in this instance though… give a red to one side and then not the other - fair? Still an annoying thing to see players doing but all the cack he’s had thrown at him for it is stupid. He basically came on and turned a game around single-handedly which is something every one of his ten team-mates had failed to do. How about we focus on that instead? He’s simply brilliant.

Oh, and well done to the Huddersfield Town fans who were pretty impressive at the Ems today. When they announced that attendance was 59,000 and something during the match, I think every one of us turned around and went “Er, no” as there were plenty of empty seats in the home areas, I guess caused by those bed-ridden with a hangover thanks to the 12pm kick-off. But the HTFC’s section was full to the brim so nice one guys.

Our next match is tomorrow, ridiculously enough. Everton. Home. Be there. Or be home in time for the highlights. OR just read my blog the next day.

The choice is yours.

18 Comments

  1. Benjamin Pokharel
    2394 days ago

    Sami Nassri injured ;’( that means i can’t enjoy the win.

    Reply

  2. Girl Gunner
    2394 days ago

    Ow,we sure will miss Sammy,and at the risk of stating the obvious hez been excellent! The word crocked remindz me of a frog!:) i’ll have to settle on reading your blog on wednesday cause i got examz!!!:(! Great stuff,BTW,Sian!

    Reply

  3. Theo van Nasrigas
    2394 days ago

    Thanks for another excellent summary, Sian. I’m probably not a very good Gooner for saying, but after reading your blog I’m happy to have missed this one (It was on at 7 in the morning over here- LOL).

    I’m sure the Arsenal blogosphere will be 2nd guessing Le Boss over Nasri with 20/20 hindsight. Comments would have been very different if he’d finished without a scratch after scoring a brace or something. Just blasted luck. Question though: if Rosicy was dressed and well enough to warm the bench, surely he was well enough to play?

    As for Cesc saving our bacon once again, I just keep thinking of Mariah Carey’s cheesy song “Hero”. He really has been this season hasn’t he? I’m just glad we have him to call on to sort it all out for us when needed.

    Looking forward to your post-Everton thoughts, as always.

    Cheers,

    Theodora

    Reply

    • Sian
      2394 days ago

      Thanks as ever Theodora! Cesc undoubtedly the hero. The Hudds pillock who tried to “do a Brown” by shitting all over his name post-match can get lost.

      Reply

  4. Girl Gunner
    2394 days ago

    Btw,do you think dear ol’ cesc will stick around for next season or run off to the sunset with Barca?

    Reply

    • Sian
      2394 days ago

      I’m starting to think he will stay. Barcelon don’t need him, we do. Barcelona wouldn’t give him the armband, we would. La Liga is usually a two-horse race, Prem isn’t (La Liga now a one-horse race if you believe the fallout from last night). I know he’d love to play for them at some point, but I’d sooner it was later rather than sooner!

      Reply

      • Girl Gunner
        2394 days ago

        Ow,yippie! Yeah,true about the one horse thingy(wouldn’t want to be a Real madrid fan at this point)!! Alright,cheerz!

        Reply

  5. Tricia
    2394 days ago

    I actually agree with you about the whole “clear goal scoring opportunity” it’s kinda redundant. That’s a job of a defender, stop the other team from scoring.

    I didn’t watch the match because it was a 7am start for me but I’m kinda glad I missed it. It didn’t sound like a great match. But I’m just glad we’re still in four competitions.

    Nasri being out is super crap.

    Nevertheless, another great blog.

    Reply

  6. Treez
    2394 days ago

    I think you’re right about NB52. If he thought he could have scored, he would have. Winning a penalty doesn’t help his goal tally and that’s what he’s most interested in.

    I thought Klatterberk did everything but give HTFC a goal. His decisions, particularly the red/yellow card ones were so inconsistent. I’d really like to hear his views.

    Another very enjoyable blog about a very UNenjoyable game.

    Reply

  7. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2394 days ago

    @Girl Gunner,

    Like millions of Gooners around the world I’d love for Cesc to stay on for many years, but he has the heart of a champion and he wants to WIN. He had a huge taste of it this summer and naturally wants more. That’s what will keep in here.
    He’s a born and bred Catalan and it would be a shame for him NOT to play for his original club at some point in his career. He’s done anything and everything for Arsenal and I certainly won’t begrudge him if he wishes to leave if we have nothing to show for our efforts this year.
    But that’s not going to happen is it? He loves us as much as we love him and we are still very much in the hunt in all competitions despite yesterday’s flat-footed effort. Let’s slag it off and look positively towards Everton tomorrow. Nasri will be back soon. He’ shown he can recovery quickly and a muscle injury like a hamstring is the lesser of potential evils involving joint injuries and such.
    Come on Arsenal and good going again Sian.
    1NTTA

    Reply

  8. Girl Gunner
    2394 days ago

    @1NTTA,i surely hope we win something and keep cesc a bit longer aswell,but i’m afraid if we force him to stay he’l turn sour and not play to his normal level! Bt all that will be known in the future,our immediate worry is everton,hope the gunners crash them to the point of no return!

    Reply

  9. uncle K
    2394 days ago

    Only caught the highlights,but the penalty jncident looked like a VERY clever pass from Sr Fibreglass that left the hapless defender with no chance of changing his body shape.Agree Bendtner would rather have scored as nobody wants to see him take a last minute pen.Very good blog and HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

    Reply

  10. SteveHTFC
    2394 days ago

    Interesting observations, but I enjoyed the report. I’d just like to add afew observations from the view through my blue and white tinted spectacles (If I may).
    Firstly, you didn’t mention the blatant controlling the ball with his arm of your centre forward before paassing to Bentnor for the first goal.
    Also I was a little disappointed with the off the ball dropping of town players throughout the game. The ref saw the last one (free kick right at the end).
    As for you Arsenal fans that couldn’t be bothered to get up at 07:00 in the morning, then shame on you. Feedback I have had from those that were neutral have said this was an enjoyable game. Town certainly did not lie down to be counted and made a game of it.
    My last gripe would be about tickets. Town were offered either 5180 or 9000. the problem is that Arsenal expected Town to pay for all these tickets up front and not on a sale or return. Town from a commercial point of view decided to only take hte 5180 and all these went to season ticket holders. I live in London and cannot justify a season ticket, so missed out. Seeing all the empty seats just made me even more angry at Arsenal for not letting us have the 9000 on a sale or return. then we could have had more town fans there making an even louder noise…… after all we are only a League one club and I don’t blame town for not taking the risk……. Overall I was pleased with our perforamnce, it could have been a lot worse and I think we deserved something out of the game. On the penalty………. Never was……. I’ve not seen or heard any tv or radio pundit that thought it was…. but hey. that’s football……….Up the Terriers

    Reply

    • Sian
      2394 days ago

      Hi Steve, nice to have some other fans commenting on here, haven’t had any since the blog changed hosts. With regard to the arm-ball-control, yes I should have mentioned that but to be fair to myself I only saw that on the highlights and had already written this by then before scheduling the post for this PM (how very Wenger of me) Sorry.

      As for “you” Arsenal fans, I was up and there so maybe “those” Arsenal fans would be a better choice of words. Most of my readers are up as early as 4am to catch matches as they live internationally. Can’t say I’d be arsed to do it for any American team (for example) so I can only praise those who do.

      Good luck to your team the rest of the season.

      Reply

  11. Alan
    2394 days ago

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Siany! Blog to remember, but a game to forget for Gooners – other than the result. Can’t believe the doubts over the penalty, but, hey all you doubters, it was given so get over it.
    Well played, Huddersfield – no bus-parking for you. Glad to see that Benik Afobe is in good hands.

    Reply

  12. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2394 days ago

    Sian – is it your birthday? A very happy birthday to you on behalf of all the North American fans of your blog. A win is still a win however dodgy, so I hope making it to the next round of the cup this weekend enlivened your birthday celebrations.
    Cheers,
    1NTTA

    Reply

  13. Irishgray
    2394 days ago

    Happy Birthday Sian!! Nice post as ever. I for one was up at 6:45 am so I could catch the lads and am glad I did. No, it was’nt our greatest performance but it was much better than some are saying. Hats off to Hudd for how they played, gave it everything, from start to finish. we had 10 men for the last 5 minutes of the first half and the entire second half, and did not have our first team on the pitch, so no need to be as panicec as some would have us be. Now to kick some Evertonian ass, keep a clean sheet and put some pressure on the Mancs.

    Reply

  14. Girl Gunner
    2394 days ago

    Happy birthday!!! Hope u had/are having fun! Enjoy…:)

    Reply

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