Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reserves 0 Arsenal 1 - Tuesday 10th April

Its the Easter holiday so this was a nice opportunity to go and see the reserves in action and forget about the troubles of the Premiership. My eldest son Ben is "currently" an Arsenal supporter, he's only six so I let him off in the faint hope that he might eventually see the light. Actually the idea that he might eventually abandon Arsenal in favour of the Whites took a bit of a knock when I asked him about why he supported Arsenal and he told me it wasn't because they play in red (his original reason) but because they play good football ... "ah, right son. This is going to be it for life isn't it?". Anyway, I'd never been to a reserves match at Motspur Park and it was a lovely warm evening, with a decent crowd, quite a few of whom were also Arsenal fans.

Fulham featured Claus Jensen, Clint Dempsey and Bjorn Runstrom alongside some established younger players, Arsenal had Mart Poom in goal, Justin Hoyte and Johann Djourou alongside the "new Cesc Fabregras" Francisco Merida Perez. Arsenal played much like their first team, plenty of attractive and tidy football, but fairly toothless in attack. They missed three golden chances to score before Djourou eventually bundled in a scrappy winner on 75 minutes. Fulham had much the better of the game, but failed to score partly down to a lack of sharpness up front, but also some heroic goalkeeping from Mart Poom.

Claus pretty much ran the show, and was ably assisted by Chris James and Wayne Brown, both of who really worked their socks off. James in particular impressed me, getting forward to support the strikers and really driving the team on. Compared to Claus, Dempsey was a disappointment. He clearly needs a lot more match practice, but even so I would have expected him to make more of an impact at this level. He needs some time to adapt, and I'm sure he has a lot more to offer, but right now I would be picking Jensen ahead of him for the first team. Runstrom also did well, he looked pacey and had good feet, if his finishing had been a bit sharper I think we'd have seen a different result. Omozusi looked very solid at centre back, and marshaled the defence well, who as a unit coped comfortably with most things Arsenal threw at them. All in all a good night for £3, and I might even come back for the last game of the season against the Chavs. There's some pictures below that prove pretty conclusively that I am no Ken Cotton.

Chris James attempts to find touch. Hang on ... is that the right game?

There's a ball around here somewhere.


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