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Arsenal Pies

Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Manchester City?

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous prior to Arsenal's visit to Eastlands on Saturday. Nobody had beaten Manchester City on their home turf this season and with the other half of the footballing Mancs taking on lowly Tottenham, the potential banana skin was there tempting the Gunners to slip up.

So imagine my Guinness-fueled delight at tea time on Saturday, having watched Arsenal break City's home record, before patiently waiting to see if Tottenham could prevent Man United from answering their Dimitar Berbatov opener. In the end they could not, of course, but a draw for Alex Ferguson's men - plus the bonus of Chelsea also drawing at Portsmouth - had Arsenal sitting proudly back on top of the Premier League once again.

And Arsene Wenger's men reiterated their resilient qualities against a hard battling Manchester City. A ninth minute goal by Emmanuel Adebayor set the ball rolling and when the same player provided a cross for Eduardo to spectacularly dispatch the ball into the net with an overhead kick in the 26th minute, Arsenal looked to be on easy street.

However, an uncharacteristic mistake by Gael Clichy gifted City a goal, courtesy of Gelson Fernandes two minutes later and gave the home side renewed belief that they could protect their impressive home record.

City played well against the Gunners for most of the rest of the match, but it was Arsene Wenger's side who always looked the more likely to score and having squandered some gilt-edged chances, it was finally Ade-cool who made sure of the win, with a simple side-foot into Joe Hart's net with barely a couple of minutes left on the clock...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on February 4, 2008 11:17 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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Your vote: Mathieu Flamini was Man Of The Match against Newcastle

Arsenal's most improved player of the season, Mathieu Flamini, proved that there are plenty more tricks up his sleeve on Tuesday when he stepped up yet another gear to show visiting manager Kevin Keegan just the kind of heart that's needed to win in the Premier League.

The Flamster was head and shoulders above even his giant team mate Emmanuel Adebayor during the game against the Magpies, winning every tackle, making each pass count and scoring a strong contender for goal of the season just to seal his night in the spotlight.

Matty provided the pinpoint cross for Ade-cool to nod home the Gunners' opener and then from seemingly nothing hit a 30-yard thunderbolt, struck so sweetly that it swerved tantalisingly out of the long reach of Shay Given to find the postage stamp top corner of the visitors' net.

If he can put in a string of similar performances in the run-in to May, not only will the Flamster rightly earn himself a shout for the Arsenal player of the season, but he could also provide the engine to drive his team mates to Arsene Wenger's stated goal of the Premier League and Champions League crowns...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on February 1, 2008 12:00 PM in News| Players| Poll
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Your vote: Emmanuel Adebayor was Man Of The Match against Newcastle

A brace that takes his goals tally to 18 for the season was enough to earn Emmanuel Adebayor your votes for Arsenal Pies Man Of The Match against Newcastle last Saturday.

A whopping 66% of the votes in our Polldaddy poll nominated Ade-cool for the accolade, suggesting that his alleged head-butt on team mate Nicklas Bendtner four days earlier is a misdemeanor we're all happy to forgive and forget. Whether Bendtner is so amiable is a different question entirely.

Manu's double on Saturday was well deserved and it's terrific to see the way his game is developing under the tutilage of Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal coaching staff. When Adebayor first arrived at the club, we all compared his style of play to Kanu. Even the player himself drew comparisons. But a couple of seasons later he has begun to live up to his potential and with six goals in his last four outings, lets hope his current spell of form continues.

What has also impressed me greatly about Adebayor this season is his willingness to run. Granted, at times he does seem to travel at walking pace. But that's usually when Arsenal are comfortably beating teams. When we're chasing the game, Adebayor seems more willing than most to back track, collect the ball deep in his own half and start off another attack...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 29, 2008 12:00 PM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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Your vote: Arsenal should punish Emmanuel Adebayor for his fracas with team mate

Last Friday I set up a poll asking you lot if you thought Arsenal should punish Emmanuel Adebayor for his on-field spat with Nicklas Bendtner during the game against Tottenham.

Well, despite his heroics in sending Newcastle out of the FA Cup on Saturday, the overwhelming majority of you believe that the Gunners should take some internal measures against Manu for his loss of discipline - and for what it's worth, I agree with you.

More than half of you who participated in our poll believe that the club should sanction the players involved in some form or other. The most popular choice (41%) was for Adebayor to be fined for his actions, which allegedly involved him head-butting Bendtner.

As usual, with you deep thinking Gooners, there are obviously those among us who think that the Danish striker isn't completely free of blame in the incident and that was relected by the 14% of votes that opted for the club punishing both players...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 28, 2008 12:30 PM in News| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Newcastle?

Arsenal bounced back in style yesterday with a superb display to end Newcastle's trophy hunt this season by comprehensively playing them off the park in the FA Cup fourth round.

If Kevin Keegan had been in any doubt about the size of the task that faces him with the Magpies, he'll be under no illusion now, as the Gunners were head and shoulders above their visitors, with the most impressive aspect of United being, as usual, their army of loyal fans.

However, the Toon Army could only watch as Emmanuel Adebayor proved his spat with team mate Nicklas Bendtner was just but a minor flaw in what is quickly turning out to be his season.

Ade-cool was on hand to expertly curl the opener beyond the full strength Shay Given shortly after the interval, as he made the most of great work by Eduardo whose shot had unluckily pinged back off the post seconds beforehand...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 27, 2008 10:48 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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Poll: Emmanuel Adebayor is cleared by FA, but should Arsenal punish him for Nicklas Bendtner assault?

A lack of video footage seems to be the sole reason why the FA has not banned or fined Emmanuel Adebayor for his alleged headbutt on team mate Nicklas Bendtner during the defeat to Tottenham the other night.

I say alleged simply because I didn't see it, but there were plenty at Light Weight Lane who did and even the commentators on the night mentioned it. Thankfully, for Adebayor at least, the cameras didn't catch it and he is in the clear.

If you've had the chance to watch the footage of the match, when Arsenal win a free kick just prior to the incident you can see Adebayor in the background striding toward Bendtner and pointing at him. The action cuts there and next you're aware of something going on is when Gallas is talking to Bendtner trying to calm him down. Then the referee gets involved and has a word with our feuding strikers.

The fact that the cameras didn't capture the moment, nor did the referee or his assistants apparently see it, is a stroke of luck for Manu. It's also lucky that the police didn't get involved, as there would have been several thousand witnesses to what could have amounted to a charge of common assault. And for anyone who thinks I'm going a bit over the top on this point, I can recall a similar incident which resulted in Duncan Ferguson - then a Rangers player - ending up in jail...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 25, 2008 10:10 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Poll
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Your vote: Emmanuel Adebayor was Man Of The Match against Fulham

There were some interesting comments from Arsene Wenger about Emmanuel Adebayor in his Fulham post match analysis: "Sometimes he loves to play so much that he is not where he needs to be on the crosses. He likes to touch the ball and that drags him out from where he can be lethal. On Saturday he was focused on staying central and that is where he is more dangerous."

It's likely that having grabbed a brace on Saturday to take his Premier League goals tally to 15, Ade-cool might start paying more attention to Le Gaffer's instructions. After all, Arsene Knows.

And Manu's double persuaded an overwhelming majority of you Arsenal Pies readers to award him our Man Of The Match accolade. The big Togolese hitman pulled in more than 54% of your votes in our Polldaddy survey and if he can keep knocking them in, the memories of Thierry Henry will start to become very nostalgic indeed.

It's fantastic for Adebayor that the fans have taken him to heart so much this season, but it's equally good for Titi. If Arsenal had struggled this year - as so many pundits predicted - then Henry may well have been seen as the villain, rather than as the hero he still is to many of us Gooners...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 22, 2008 12:14 PM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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