eduardo_1

I was really hoping to evidence of the teams progress in this match from last season but to be honest it looks to me as if nothing has really changed.
Taking missing players and the fact that it is a friendly into account it still feels pretty much like last year. Nice football pleasing on the eye but not a great deal happening in the final third of the pitch.

I read that we were going to play a weak team on Saturday and then field a strong side on Sunday. I think it was Myles Palmer of ANR to give us his 'inside information' but it appears that information was wrong. We fielded quite a strong side with a few first teamers waiting for a second half entrance.

Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Flamini, Denilson, Cesc, Diaby, Van Persie, Bendtner

started the match and it was quite clear that we lacked width from the off. The fullbacks pushed forward to give us that extra width, while Flamini playing on the right and Diaby from the left tucked in.

My early impression of Sagna is that he is another Justin Hoyte. Nothing flashy, not going to give us that much going forward but pretty solid. I think his versatility will be a big help. At least Arsene doesn't have to ask Gallas to play left back from now on.

Clichy ate up the ground really well and got into good attacking areas but his final ball wasn't fantastic. I hope he has been working hard on this because this was the case last season.

On 18 minutes PSG should have opened the scoring with a lovely move which could have been seen the other end of the pitch. It resulted in the PSG player dragging a shot wide when he should have scored.

Something stuck me during this match. Can 3 out of the four strikers play together? Without Eduardo will any of the others strike up a relationship on the pitch?

I can't imagine Van Persie and Bendtner being a good partnership, the same as Bendtner and Adebayor. Even the practiced partnership of Adebayor and Van Persie doesn't seen perfect in my eyes. I always think you need a traditional number 9 along with a number 10.
Bergkamp and Kanu were two number 10's and they did not play well together. I wonder if Arsene feels the same.

45 minutes gone on the clock and Gael Clichy whipped in a cross to the big Dane who knocked down the ball intelligently into the run of Matty Flamini who controlled a half volley (with the ball slightly behind him) into the far post.
A very good finish from a player who doesn't really own a position to me.

Flamini in my eyes is a defensive player who doesn't play in the holding position, he tends to get forward and lose the ball because he is not technically gifted enough. But he has a habit of being in the right place at the right time.

Half Time.

Arsene rang in the changes.

Almunia, Hoyte, Gallas, Senderos, Traore, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Clichy, Hleb, Bendtner

Began the second half and it was interesting to see the performance of Alex Hleb in his preferred central position.
I thought he changed the game when he came on a gave the team a much needed spark. He ran a players and linked the play very well. I have always thought very highly of Hleb but he needs to iron out his mistakes and continue doing what he did for this 45 minutes.

Eboue also made an instant impact playing on the right wing. He and Walcott seem to be our only natural width at the moment. He tends to go outside player which makes a pleasant change to the rest of the squad who tend to come inside and look for a pass.

on 68 minutes Denilson sent in a corner to Bendtner who headed against a PSG defender and stabbed in the rebound. An ugly goal! Its so nice to see them scored by Arsenal and not against.

on 72 minutes PSG got a goal back after Traore was doubled up against on our left, and a cross was turned into the net by Luyindula.

Hleb won a penalty on 82 minutes after a wonderful driving run but Bendtner's tame spot kick was saved.

Tomorrow we face Inter. I expect Clichy, Bendtner, Almunia, Diaby and Denilson to sit out for most of the game as they played 90 minutes.