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Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Beautiful Game Back in Arsenal?

(This entry was originally published on Sunday, March 15th, 2009)

There was a time when Arsenal was booed off by the fans for their boring style of football. Since the arrival of current manager Arsene Wenger in 1996, Arsenal started to display their beautiful game which was based on short-pass football. Though Wenger was instrumental behind Arsenal’s short-passing style of football which earned the tag of beautiful football, players like Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires played great role in implementing Wenger’s strategy on the field.

However, Arsenal’s beautiful game was missing for the last few seasons, since the departure of some of those key players. Having watched Arsenal’s 4-0 last night victory over Blackburn Rovers, I felt the beautiful game is about to return in Arsenal camp. It was not the winning margin that made me fell like that. Rather, it was the way Arsenal played and dominated the opposition in the match.

Arsenal’s summer signing Andrei Arshavin was in the heart of Arsenal attack and I felt Arsenal had got another player who could implement Wenger’s beautiful football on the field. A number of times, I watched three or four short passes created a danger in Blackburn penalty box and the Gunners could have won by a bigger margin, had they not squandered off some real chances. To be honest, I was amused by the Arshavin’s creative touches in the game. Very often, he led threatening attack and out of nowhere, he appeared as a danger-man. If Arsenal can play a full-strength squad in the presence of Walcott, Eduardo, Emmanuel Adebayor, Van Persie and most importantly Arshavin, then I think, you can expect beautiful game from Arsenal again.

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