Monday, May 23, 2005

Arsenal steals the show

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/4558271.stm
For those of you that watched the FA cup this weekend, we can all agree that Arsenal stole the silverware. While the numbers are predominantly in favor of Manchester United -
  • 9 shots to 1
  • Double digit corners
  • Roy Carroll's complete lack of exhersion
But in the end it was Arsenal that hoisted the trophy while Manchester United goes home with no silverware. Some observations:

  • Arsenal need another top notch striker. While Van Persie showed the talent he already has as well as the pontential Wenger saw in him...he will become a major force but not yet. With the distant rumors of Trezegeut coming to Highbury, Arsenal need a viable secondary option next to Henry. Without Henry Arsenal cannot seem to crack teams such as Manchester United. Maybe Arsenal should look to aging striker Pauleta from PSG. He is cheap and has proven goal scoring abilities. Would be a good veteran to leverage as the youth get their legs under them. How about Anelka....naaaaaaa.
  • Lehmann can play very well, but like always is incredibly inconsistent. While on the whole he saved Arsenal this game (the clearance on Giggs in extra time, the save on Scholes' turn around shot, etc) but he also had some incredible gaffs - the lack of presence on the cross that Van Nisterlroy should have put away, the poor positioning on the Rooney shot against the woodwork. Had either of these gone in, he would have been seen as the goat.
  • Manchester United looked like champions, not a third place team. Their midfield played well, but their combo of Rooney and Ronaldo created complete chaos in the Arsenal back 4. They have something to build on with these two players...but Rooney and Ronaldo will need to control their emotions for them to sustain that level of play for a season, Rooney especially since the Spanish national team showed how to get into his head.

In the end the 2005 FA cup champion will read Arsenal. Too bad for Sir Alex and his band of merry men. While I will admit they deserved to win, they did not, and in a way that makes this win that much sweeter.

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