Baptista not the right fit for Arsenal…

…and it’s clear as day after his dismal performance so far. I think where we erred in bringing him was in just going by his great form at Real Madrid, and not projecting his play over to Arsenal which is a totally different ballgame. Arsenal are the foremost proponents of the beautiful game, and their idea of fun is kicking the ball around the opposition’s one third, slowly heaping on the pressure, and striking at the first cave-in.

Baptista, however, looks totally out of place. His attributes are strength, strength, strength. Decent speed as well. But finesse does not rank high on his resume – he’s the charging bull looking to tear down the gates; not the hawk looking to make a sudden swift strike. He does attract defenders’s attention with his charging-up-the-middle runs leaving the others some leeway. Consequently, he’s at his best when he’s making the break; but once he reaches the wall, Arsenal’s wait-and-watch game begins,and he looks plenty uncomfy. He’s not possessed of the turn-and-gun strikes of Henry or Van Persie and ends up losing the ball, and we all cry about how Arsenal don’t score any goals.

I don’t think for a moment that he alone is to blame for the troubles Arsenal are having; but surely a striker of his caliber should have contributed when Henry and Van Persie were off the field. It was a great chance to cement his place in the side, but he hasn’t showed anything for so many starts, more like Julio ‘I’m Beat’ Baptista. With his loan period coming to a close and nothing tangible apart from the brief period of brilliance vs Liverpool, Arsene will be looking to offload him. He looks keen to stay on in the Premiership, though, and if he manages to stick he could be one of the topmost players out there. For Arsenal, though, that will be too little too late. They need results soon, and the Beast from Sevilla is too tame.


A game worth watching

Yup, a long time since I posted. I plead the Job Amendment; it’s been hectic and I was too tired to do anything but play games and surf. With a long weekend and a Monday holiday ‘coz of Gudi Padwa, I can now get down to some soccer blogging finally.

Today’s matchup is Arsenal vs Everton. I like Everton’s play and feel that it’s gonna be a good match, prediction for a Arsenal win, 3-2. We can’t afford to let up here and Wenger will be looking to make this one count. Chelsea and Man U march on towards the Premiership and if we want to secure second we’ll need to be at our best every match from here on out. We’re currently in third , but Liverpool will definitely switch with us when they beat Aston Villa tonight. Of course our subsequent win should catapult us right back.

The reason I’m so optimistic is because Rosicky and Toure are coming back. Henry’s being out for the season is no doubt a big blow, but van Persie’s progress is encouraging, and with Rosicky in the box and Toure at back, I’m sure both offense and defense will benefit. Gilberto Silva should be moved up to midfield where he’ll be more effective. Baptista will be surely watched on out to see if he can offer any last-gasp miracles, saving which he won’t be at Arsenal next season as sure as little green apples.

As for our midweek game against Villa, I wasn’t too pleased with how it came about: surely one of the easiest goals in history. Diaby had just to do a touch on the through ball by Baptista for it to wrongfoot the keeper. Baptista must’ve been wishing he should’ve been on the wing there; he badly needs the goals. Anyways, it’s the win that counts and I wouldn’t mind trading in some of the beautiful-flowery-losing-football for some ugly wins. I badly want van Persie back in the box and Adebayor doing his runs. Baptista just doesn’t cut it for me; he looks lost out there.

Well that’s all the Arsenalysis I have today…more tomorrow on the Everton and Arsenal match. It kicks off on ESPN at 9.25 PM IST. Golspeed!

random post-post gripe: Why can’t I SMS ESPN the final scores for their game contests? I’m composing everything correctly yet it refuses to be sent; ordinary messages go through but 3776 seems to be guarded like Fort Knox. I’ve been right more than 3 times now; that too predictions made before kickoff! Am not happy 😦

EPL: Arsenal held by Blackburn 0-0 in the FA Cup 5th Round

Arsenal were held yesterday to a 0-0 draw by an overly turtling Blackburn. I saw the match from the 30th minute onwards, but what was clear was an overly defensive Blackburn which put men behind the ball for the entire first half. Continue reading