We keep hearing that Arsenalâ€™s big problem is trying to pass the ball into the net. Why waste everyoneâ€™s time with pretty little triangles when you should just kick it long towards Didier Drogba like Chelsea do. Thatâ€™s the argument anyway, weâ€™re not saying thatâ€™s what Chelsea do.
But during Arsenalâ€™s 0-0 draw at home to CSKA Moscow both Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky had open goals to actually pass the ball into. And both failed.
Fabregasâ€™ chance came after a smart one-two that cut CSKA wide open. A classic Arsene Wenger era Arsenal manouevre. He even did the hard bit and went round the keeper. Then hit the side netting from about four yards out. IncreÃble, as they say in Spain.
And as for Rosicky… Henry exploded down the left, drew the CSKA keeper towards his near post and squared it perfectly (and we mean perfectly) for the little Mozart. But presented with an empty net Rosicky side footed the ball straight at the CSKA keeper (and yes we do know his name, weâ€™re just not telling) when the goal was gaping so wide even Peter Crouch would have netted during his infamous Liverpool dry spell. And to say it was right at the keeper (OK, his nameâ€™s Igor Akinfeev) is being kind to Rosicky. Had Akinfeev not caught the ball, it could have gone wide.
Weâ€™re still behind Wengerâ€™s determination for Arsenal to play good football and pass the ball into the net. It looks pretty. But it only works if the players produce the end product by literally passing the ball into the net.
Otherwise they should ask Bolton how much for Kevin Davies.