When I try to write about Arsenal, I endeavour not to read other people’s opinion before putting the proverbial pen to paper to avoid inadvertently borrowing J their views .
However, I have read at least one review today on Positively Arsenal. Please read it here I have also seen a few headlines from around the ‘Arsenalsphere’. I dare say some blogs I won’t name out of courtesy, are probably reacting to the popularity of Arsenal Fan TV in their race to retain viewership.
If I was to offer an advice, it would be for that blog to start a ‘microblog’ and upgrade some of the comments on their news thread to a mini blogpost; publish the photos of the commentators and hopefully turn some of them into celebrity fans. Perhaps they might become the new Heavy D heading with a gig in the “I am a celebrity” jungle in due course.
On yesterday’s match, I was definite it was a ‘must not lose’ match and I am glad we didn’t lose it. It is evident that our boys are not in peak condition yet and before this is latched onto as something to bash club and manager with, Mr. almighty Jurgen Klopp said something similar about Liverpool here He also mentioned that dreaded “the season is still young” phrase. Yes I get we don’t want to play catch up but guess what? We are playing it. We are where we are. Is there a chance we might want to get behind the team with some optimistic & positive support.
What do I think of yesterday’s match. Koscielny is a monster of a central defender and the Arsenal defence miss him when he is not there. Mind you, he is not perfect. I think he gets easily frustrated when things are not going right for the team and makes risky tackles and passes. Monaco at home 2 seasons ago is one example. I have written a lot about him – both complementary and otherwise. But he was worth all the accolades in the thesaurus yesterday.
Our new Holding defender J, Rob. He looked assured. He looked the part and is very much one for the future. He ROBbed J Leicester of a few chances. I think both Rob & Laurent and a few others in the squad are a testament to Arsenal and Arsene’s approach to football transfers. There are gems out there that don’t cost a slice of Planet Pluto.
The midfield was ok and was at no time overran until maybe the last 10 minutes or so when we desperately tried to win and over committed men forward. Through a combination of diligent goalkeeping on Cech’s part, astute defending by our back 4 and some good fortune, we kept a clean sheet and earned a draw.
It is obvious that the Alexis as a Centre Forward hasn’t caught fire yet. There are a few issues here. From what we know of Alexis, he is a high energy player and wants to be involved. As a result of this, I don’t think he has maintained positional discipline in both of our matches this term. Many have commented on the fact that we seem to be seeking Alexis out with long balls whereas he prefers ball to feet and to run at defence. Personally, I think either the whole team minus Alexis are not translating training routine into the field of play, or one individual is not getting it right. I leave you to make your deductions.
On Alexis, I reckon he got kicked close to 10 times by Morgan and Huth yesterday. And they both got nothing from the Ref. I have just watched the match highlights again and saw Simpson’s horrible foul on Oxlade - Chamberlain on the 39th minute. Again, NOTHING from the ref. Earlier in the 31st minute, Koscielny was bear hugged by Wes Morgan in the box off the Santi Cazorla free kick. Ref = Nothing. Zero. Nada.
On rotational fouling by opponents, same happened during our match against Liverpool. Referee offered no protection and Aaron & Iwobi were routinely kicked. Its these small matter of other teams fouling our players that get lost in the media circus on Arsenal injuries. The way our fans lap up the obvious narratives is bewildering. You have to wonder if they actually watch the match or rely on 2nd hand / 3rd hand information or an overactive imagination.
On our goal chances, I counted 4 near chances for Arsenal that could have defined our game. On the 16th minute, I think Bellerin could have placed his ball into the box with a bit more conviction. This would have resulted in a tap in for a goal.
On 74th minute, Theo had 3 other players available and played a tame shot at Schmeichel instead. All of those 3 players were centrally placed and would have almost certainly scored. Again on the 80th minute, he could have played Giroud in but went in on goal himself. Finally on the 87th minute, he could have played Alexis in but tried to feebly chip the Leicester keeper.
I am not blaming Theo for our results yesterday just pointing out our half decent chances. I get the fact that as a striker, the manager wants you to score goals and you also have to be selfish to score. But when your team needs a goal, as a team member you really shouldn’t care if the goalkeeper scores for you. When you are 2 or 3 nil to the good, showboat all you like and use that opportunity to shine but think team first.
I am hoping we iron out all the issues quickly and bounce back to 3 points next weekend.