Friday, December 3, 2010

Arspective: Preview to Arsenal- Fulham, the Ashes 2nd test

Wow!......what a turn arround week for the gunners. We beat Villa away (ok, agreed that our home record this season has been worse than our away record) , Chelsea drop two points and then we win the Carling cup quarters and also get a favorable draw for the semis. Not trying to be cocky, but we should beat Ipswich (despite the Roy Keane factor) over two legs. More good news, as Eboue made a 'miracle' recovery. He was to be out for "four weeks" according to Wenger. While he did struggle against the teenaged left-winger of Wigan, his return is vital as he is one who is willing to play in any position (left-back, right-back, left-wing, right-wing).

.......mircaulous recovery but not quite "he-man"ual against Wigan

17-yr old Brazilian starlet Wellington Da Silva will be joining in January. We had actually signed the youngster some time back, but he has been biding his time in Brazil as he could not get his work permit in Europe until he turned 18!!

Looking ahead to the Fulham game, it is a home game. The good thing is, after our horron performances at home, there is no chance of there being any complancency in our locker room. Fabiansky (I still dont trust him :( )will start. TV is, worryingly, still injured The last time we heard anything about him, Wenger said

"We have to be patient. We know a lot medically nowadays but there are some mysteries that we do not know about. At the moment we have no rational explanation for his pain. That means there is no reason to have surgery and there is no logical explanation for his pain. We have to be patient and just hope it will go. That means rest at the moment."

So, Koscielny and Squilacci along with Clichy and Sagna complete the French back four again. Wilshere and Song in front of them. Nasri should be back after picking up a "knock". The boss went on to say:

“It is a knee problem but he should be alright"

It looks like the Frenchman will play on the left, Rosicky in the "Cesc" role and RVP on the right. The Dutchman had, fingers crosses, a good (more importantly healthy and injury-free) return against the Lactics with the Moroccan up-front.

The 2nd test gets underway at Adelaide today. The Aussies are under the kind of pressure they have never been before and the English fans must be delighted. England do look more and more favorites to retain the 'urn'. Mind you, the original urn is always held in the MCC. From wiki

"The urn is erroneously believed by some to be the trophy of the Ashes series, but it has never been formally adopted as such and Bligh always considered it to be a personal gift.[1] Replicas of the urn are often held aloft by victorious teams as a symbol of their victory in an Ashes series, but the actual urn has never been presented or displayed as a trophy in this way. Whichever side holds the Ashes, the urn normally remains in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's since being presented to the MCC by Bligh's widow upon his death"

England have pretty much a settled side and there should not be any changes.
Potential Weaknesses?

Complancency in the dressing room. While they are better than the Aussies at the moment, it is because of the fact that they have lost great players and have become weaker rather than England becoming stronger over the years.

Swann?? Is he over-rated?? All the English commentators go gaga over the 31-yr old Northampton man and call him the best-spinner in the world. Well, may be he is the best, but that again is due to lack of quality spinners around and not down to him alone. He enjoyed success against a weak Paki betting.....err batting line-up. He has picked up a wicket in his first over some 21 times. But, I dont think he has been tested against quality batting yet. He dint seem to have too many answers when Michael Hussey counter-attacked him at the Gabba. Lets see.....

Collingwood and Prior's lack of time in the middle. Their middle-order (as Siddle showed) could be brittle due to lack of match-practice.

Strengths are obviously, high-on-confidence, Anderson's form with the ball, Cook's form, Pieterson's form (though he made only 43 in the 1st test, he was looking in ominous touch) and Bell's form.

As for the Aussies, well they would love to win the toss and make first use of the wicket (kind of a cliche I know). Ponting loves the ground and is the highest scorer at Adelaide. Katich and Watson looked reasonably assured in the 1st test. Clarke's form will be a worry for the Aussies. Mitch Johnson is out and looks like Dougie the Bollinger will replace him. Bollinger has been one of the top bowlers in the last 2 years and his exclusion in the 1st test was surprising. So Johnson's bad form could be blessing in disguise for them. Bollinger, Doerthy, Siddle and Hilfenhaus is not going to make the English batsmen lose sleep. Wonder what happened to Jason Krezja, who picked up 8 against India on his debut at Nagpur. Wonder why Shaun Tait does not play? Tait, Bolinger, Siddle and Krejza sounds more potent to me.......

Anyway, the news is that :

Australia won the toss and elected to there you go

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