So time to ditch the other football related content for now, and turn our attention to the forthcoming Pre-Season Friendly’s. First up on the Hit List was an Arsenal XI. Now talk of this game had been circulated around my Office, and after much persuasion and damn right nagging and pleading, I managed to grab two of my work colleagues down to the Lane for tonight game. The First being George, our Sales Manager, and a massive Arsenal Fan, and the other being a chap called Ned, straight out of Bosnia. (There seems to be a current theme, with me befriending Eastern Europeans at the mo-don’t ask as to why) Now I’ll tell you a little more about Ned, and his Football cousin a little later.... back to tonight.
|Just the one Arsenal down tonight then??|
A warm July Friday evening down at the Lane sees us entertain none other than the possible future stars of Arsenal. With the on line ticket sales reaching an all time high for a P.S.F, we couldn’t have asked for a better night. Friday night, weather looking good, people a plenty, beer flowing, and turnstiles spinning!
So, time to get down to some more serious stuff now! As a number of fans are putting their hard earned pennies down on a monthly basis, for the Strikers Are Key Scheme. This would be the first opportunity for us to see what the two Jamie’s have got!
So following on from watching the game, I’ll bring more of a match summary, than a full report. Mainly cause me typing skills are somewhat rusty, after the summer break, and I need to relocate my Gandermonium report writing mojo thingy!....
|Is Juan a secret ticket tout...|
Starting under way in the first half, at a high tempo, the Arsenal XI setting the pace for this one early, within the first 5 minutes, passing the ball with the sweetest of touches, really pleasing to watch. Its been a while since I’ve seen this kind of pace, and movement- buy hey given most of the Arsenal Squad are 18 and under, can’t be too surprised! So Marv collecting up a loose ball, and running it down the right channel, but doesn’t look up, when sending in his cross, and easily cleared away by the Arsenal , well marshalled back four! Arsenal taking possession in the middle of the park, laying the ball past Dundo, leaving him on somewhat bemused as the centre midfielder going past him with ease, and pushing the ball across to the right channel, followed by a cross into the U’s box. U’s clearing away, and the loose ball picked up, and a shot is fired over the bar by Arsenal, not troubling Lovelock. Then the inevitable happens, one of U’s newly signed strikers goes off injured.
|Bloody hell, people! Not used to that!|
Further possession and build up play from Arsenal, sees Jamie Stuart pulled out of position on the left flank covering for Rents, sees a lovely through ball down the right channel. Leaving Stuart standing in no-man’s land with ground to make up. The Arsenal winger puts hits the turbo button and steams down the right wing, swinging in a low cross across the box, and puts them one up. Faux, comes on to replace the injured Jamie Taylor.
With Sutton losing a little bit of shape, and composure, and struggling to get to grips with the Arsenal composure and hard pressing and paced game. We concede a free kick about 10 yards or so from the edge of the area. Sutton armed with a 5 man defensive wall, for added protection for Lovelock. The young Arsenal lad, steps up, and strikes the cleanest of dead balls, and swerves it over the top of the wall, and into the top left corner, and even Lovelock at full stretch can’t seem to get a finger to it.
Sutton 0-Arsenal -2
Another Summer signing, gives us a chance to have a closer look at Dale Binns in action. I must say, I’ve seen him play against us on a few occasions, and well it’s good to see him in a Sutton Shirt. I must say I’m really pleased and impressed with this one. I can see Binns and Rents linking up well on the left. Tonight I can confess, Binns has defiantly got some great touches, awareness and ability, holding up the ball on the edge of the box. Laying the ball of to Rents, allowing Rents to stick in one of his trademark crosses into the box, but sadly cleared away to safety.
With Arsenal XI not holding back, again we concede by allowing them to walk the ball from the outside of the box, tippy tappy style of play, and a free shot going unchallenged into the bottom right hand corner of Lovelocks net.
|Obligatory match shot|
Heads still high, Sutton come back with further build up play, again coming from Faux down the right channel. Faux clearly under orders from the Gaffer to run that line, and box the ball. Faux turns in, to his left and fires a shot from just outside the box, the Arsenal keeper reaches at full stretch and palms the ball away at full stretch, and out for a Sutton Corner. Rents steps up to deliver in a looping ball in the direction of U’s captain Jamie Stuart, making his run from the edge of the box, and allowing himself time and space, places his head onto the cross, and bosh Sutton have pulled one back.
Dale Binns again doing what he clearly has been signed up for; making trouble down the left , and with his step over’s and shoulder dropping, and turning the Arsenal left back, he squeezes past his man, only for his leg to be chopped, just outside the area, but the fella in BLACK, clearly exhausted from the heat, fails to see it. Oh well never mind eh !
|Line up ...|
Further build up play for the Gooners down the right channel, some neat one-two pass and movement, within a triangular formation, from the edge of the area, pushing into the area, not allowing U’s to make the challenge, and playing some sweet football from the young lads in red, sees them again place the ball into the back of the onion bag.
With the second half well under way, a number of subs are made. Allowing the gaffa to change things up a little, and look at the entire squad, including players from the ressies, and a couple that he has bought in to cover this game and the Fulham P.S.F. on Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal, also making a few changes themselves, somewhat slows the attacking pace that they had in the first half down a few notches. Sutton looking a little stronger and brighter that the 1st 45. We now seem to be getting hold of the ball, and keeping possession better, and whilst Arsenal are still looking strong, we are now begging to put together some better pass and movement play, down the middle and to the right of the park.
Lovelock, is taken off, and is replaced by Wayne Shaw, and well the Arsenal fans love our hero! I mean he is after all ‘fat and round’ but he is worth a million pounds. Well we all know BIG Wayne loves a little banter from the oppo!
|Proggy, two for the price of one...|
Further breach of the Arsenal not so solid looking back four, comes via a cross coming in from the left allowing Slabber to place the ball in the net-Quids in, already look , touch ! Apparently , according to the other members of the shoebox, this goal will go down as assisted by Wayne Shaw!
Sinclair is rested up, and his work for the day is done, and is replaced by Honeymoon from the Ressies! I can see that Honeymoon, has got some potential in him. A good work rate for a young lad, and commits him-self to almost everything.
With the some of the younger lads having a run out, so Dos can have a butchers at the potential that James Bracken is bringing through via the Ressies, and youth development ( if I get time, once the Youth season kicks off, I’ll head up Merland Rise, and I’ll bring you a write up on some of their games, after their success last season ) Sutton continue to press hard, and push the tempo, not allowing the Arsenal XI as much time and space on the ball, as seen in the first 45. A cross comes in from the right , Faux I believe spins it into the box, and Sutton pounce and place it top right hand corner of the onion bag....and well that’s where it finishes tonight. Sutton-3 Arsenal XI 4. Lots to take away from tonight’s game., and great to be back watching the beautiful game again.
As mentioned at the beginning of my update. I was talking about one of my work collegues Ned ‘The Bosnian Bullet’ well post match we were having a chat about non-league football, as you do, and well Ned mentioned that his cousin a chap called Zajko Zeba plays the beautiful game over in Slovenia for NK Olimpija Ljubljana. I came across his Wikipedia page, worth a look, and even a little read, you can find it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zajko_Zeba
Here's a little video clip, Ned sent me !
So the reigns of Gandermonium are now handed back to the Duke for his forthcoming update on the Fulham PSF down at the lane this Saturday.
|Dukey down to a t basically....|
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Now heading off to meet the misses up in London for her Birthday weekend. Walking round London in this heat, it's going to be a killer! That's all from the one they call Casanova Juan!! (For those that were there..will know where this one comes from)