Tomas Rosicky made his Premiership bow in the City of Manchester Stadium but saw his wasteful side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat no thanks to Joey Barton's thunderous penalty that rattled the bar before touching the back of the net. Justin Hoyte, 21 who replaced want away England star Ashley Cole conceded the penalty by lunging on the back of the impressive Trevor Sinclair. A natural right back, Hoyte found himself a torrid time playing particularly coping with the pace and intelligence of the experienced cultured midfileder Sinclair.
Meanwhile, Arsenal were deemed to be punished as the final whistle was blown having their skipper Thierry Henry missing four great chances. Lively forward Robin van Persie saw his effort hit inside of the post before Henry squandering another chance. Arsenal should have been 4-0 up at half time but Joey Barton's spot kick settled the score for the home side.
Although I'm a loyal fan of the Gunners, I still believe there is a need to not to be impartial when evaluating performances of the gaffer and the team. The ongoing saga of Ashley Cole has been prolonged and has since unsettled many players including Thierry Henry who suggested that we keep Cole. And then came the Reyes issue. The Spaniard has been of an inconsistent player since arriving from Seville and I don't think he has the correct mix to become a star in the London side. As for Cole, I am suggesting we do a swap deal with Chelsea with versatile defender William Gallas joining the team and Cole going to the opposite direction. However it is preferable if we could negotiate a swap plus cash deal since Cole is only 25 and Gallas only has a few years in his professional career.
Both however, are arguably top defenders. If not the best in the world.
Arsenal: Lehmann 7, Eboue 7 (Flamini 6), Hoyte 4, Toure 8, Djourou 6, Rosicky 7 (Walcott 7), Hleb 9 (Adebayor 6), Henry 6, Fabregas 8, Gilberto 7, van Persie 7