Today we throw down a challenge to test your Arsenal knowledge. This was our match report from a game in the 2010/11 season – with the names hidden by code numbers. Your task should you choose to accept it, is to identify the game, the opposition and if you’re not already bored, the names that correspond to the numbers in red …. all will be revealed later in the day, have fun
Yesterday (18) asked if Arsène should risk (1) for the visit to the (2) and after 30 minutes it was clear that it was actually Mr. (3) himself that shouldn’t have been risked as (4) was subbed after twisting an ankle. Although (1) wasn’t himself, with passes going stray, he hasn’t had a pre-season and he is obviously going to need a few more games.
This was a big test. (5) launched ball after ball into our box from either (6) goal kicks or the ever boring towel wrapped long throw from (7). This was all hands to the deck and with (8) in goal we had to hope that he would be strong and confident in what will probably have been his last game as the no 1. I have to say that I don’t think he let us down at all, even smashing his head on the upright in the call of duty and having a spat with (9a).
There was an early chance for us to take the lead when a short corner surprised the (5) defence and (10) unleashed a shot that struck a defender and then (6)leg but refused to go into the goal. We didn’t have to wait too long though as (4) slipped a great ball to (11) on 20 minutes and without even breaking his stride, he broke the net with his shot low into the far corner.
Typically, (5) equalised within minutes, as (12) was outrun and outmuscled by one (9a) who then slid the ball to another (9b) who had acres of space to slot it home. Dreadful defending, everyone was asleep.
(10) was having a great game, making intelligent passes and not getting caught on the ball. To have him marking the massive (13) was reassuring. In this form you never know what (10) is going to do next and the upcoming 2 week international break could undo all that was good yesterday, we’ll have to hope not.
Arsenal hadn’t dominated the first half and after the game Arsène felt the team were nervous, so to score early in the 2nd half was definitely the tonic we needed. (14) went on a great run chasing a ball that looked like it was going out of play and sped towards the (5) goal, he found (1) in the middle whose shot hit (11) and rebounded into the path of the ‘onrushing’ (15) who neatly slotted it home. 2-1 up and just over half an hour to play.
(5) worked hard to find an equaliser but Arsenal for the most part were strong in defense. It was still nervy and each time the ball went out for a (5) corner, I covered my eyes but we passed the test. This was full on defending in our area, not having to defend as a team higher up the pitch, but those challenges will still come with other teams that want to pass the ball.
(16) came on for (1) after 70 minutes and immediately added a new spark. (11) didn’t have as much of the ball as last week but was still alert late on in the game where last season he may have given up, he seems to be developing a good engine. I may get to like Alan Shearer after his comments on MOTD aimed at Hansen’s rubbishing of (11)’s performance and hat-trick last week. Hansen is obviously going to stick to his guns about (11), but both Shearer and Lineker clearly disagree. Arsène said at the start of last season that it was (11)’s time to emerge as a great player – his prediction was accurate, but just 12 months early!
(17) came on with less than 10 minutes to go and was unlucky not to score after being presented with a great chance – similar to last week’s, maybe he has a chocolate leg too?
To come away from (5) with three points was a very good day’s work. Unfortunately it looks like we may have lost (4) for a couple of weeks but with Internationals looming that’s not a crisis. Our passing game is awesome and our resilience in defense will make other teams worried oh and that little no 11, he’s pretty good too.
For those of you who enjoy cryptic crosswords, the name of the team we were playing is hidden in this clue:
North Sea pirate next door to street’s local