The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Well Done, Samir Nasri

His kick on Garcia was nasty and unsporting and he deserved to be booked for it; it was also exactly correct tactically and the sort of thing the current Arsenal team never, ever does and ought to do a lot more of. It clearly disjointed Hull in the first half and had their players losing their tempers and getting sloppy after 35+ minutes of disciplined defense, and it rang up a yellow card on Stephen Hunt- arguably Hull’s best and most active defender whose game revolves around skirting the edge of being booked and fouling frequently, which is curtailed greatly when he’s on a yellow. Far too often this Arsenal team goes out there and plays as though they’re walking through dance steps painted on the floor, expecting to win if they just keep completing pretty passes; Nasri’s foul was dickish, but it showed he was paying attention to and correctly reading the specifics of this individual game and taking responsibility for creating something. A very good sign. Sometimes, you have to win ugly.

EDIT: just to flesh this out- Nasri’s foul also had the effect of altering the officiating of the game to Arsenal’s benefit. Hull are a physical team and somewhat reliant on bullying tactics, and there’s a variety of ways to deal with that. One of them is to hope for- or induce- tight officiating standards. A fracas or handbags situation will often lead to an official feeling he has to call more fouls in situations where a call can legitimately be made or let go, and while he may make those calls equally for each team the overall effect will be to benefit the team which plays better football at the expense of the team which uses physical pressure and tactical fouling and near-fouling. Would Diaby have drawn the call which led to Denilson’s free kick if the official was not afraid of the game boiling over? Maybe, maybe not, but I don’t think it hurt. Obviously this nearly came back to bite Arsenal in the ass because Mikael Silvestre and Steve Bennett are both fantastically inept, but all’s well which ends well.


December 19, 2009 - Posted by | The Arsenal

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