Detroit Sports and stuff

My ranting of sports, life, and whatever I feel like...but mostly sports. Now in the un-daily variety.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Young Gun(ner)s, my thoughts on C-Webb

Sorry for the delay in posts, lots of work + no 'real' sports topics = no news. Anyhow, on with the show.

Mostly when I talk of the Arsenal football team, I usually speak of their senior team (as they get the most matches, it only makes sense), but today I will be speaking of their 'B' team if you will. Many of these players only see spot action during Premiership and Champions' League matches (if their lucky), but for the two domestic cups (Carling Cup and FA Cup), Manager Arsene Wenger likes to play the kids, to get them experience, and see how far they can take Arsenal in the cup. In years past, the semi-finals of said competitions would see the senior team re-take the pitch, to see if they could bring home the hardware. But for this year's Carling Cup Semi-Final 1st leg, against hated rival T*ttenham H*tspurs, Wenger let the kids continue on this amazing run, to see if they could keep the match close (at least), and give the 1st teamers a chance to win at Ashburton Grove. Well, the game didn't start off pretty, as Arsenal were quickly down 2-0 at White Hart Lane, in front of a very hostile crowd, but they didn't let up. As a result, Arsenal will head home even at 2 goals apiece, with a very good chance to come away with the victory in the tie, and face Chelsea in the finals. And the man doing most of the damage is Julio Baptista (center of picture). Although he has taken a bit to get acclimated to the game in England (he just was transferred in from Spain this season), he has started to heat up, scoring 6 goals in the last two cup games. The 25-year old has started to show why he is so valuable, doing most of his damage from close range, but also showing that he is not afraid to fire from 20+ yards away, which is something that Arsenal really could use. His contribution highlights the entire 2nd team, who have really stepped up to play some beautiful football, and give the senior members some time to rest in between their busy schedule of Prem and CL football. And in the last 3 matches (one FA cup tie and 2 Carling Cup ties, 2 wins and a draw) the talent level of our reserves are really showing, as all 3 results came against Premiership teams, pretty much fielding their 1st teams. It really does appear that the future is looking bright, especially with Arsene Wenger's eye for talent.

Now onto part 2 of my post, the Chris Webber to Detroit experiment. My initial thought of this signing was 'Great, another jump shooting PF who doesn't play defense, in place of a pretty physical center (Nazi Mohammed) who can't stay out of foul trouble'. In retrospect, this may be the kind of deal that sparks this team. But it won't help us give up less Offensive rebounds, so it may be all for naught (plus I think the west is a better conference this year anyways. Won't stop me from rooting for my 'Stones, but I'm just saying...). Also, I think that this move maybe just the beginning of trades from GM Joe Dumars, as this team has been pretty complacent the last couple of years, and I think a major trade or two may go a long ways in helping this team succeed in the playoffs. Now if Dumars can actually get Webber to play 'D', then this column is null and void, and the Pistons' chance of winning the championship increase dramatically. But after watching his performances the last couple years in Philadelphia, I highly doubt it.


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