Six points is a very decent start. Unfortunately I couldn't watch last night's game due to work commitments and had to make to do with the odd update via the Internet. I've now had time to watch most of the game and read the match reports/opinion.
The midfield appeared much improved on Saturday. Certainly Denilson and Wilshere added some cunning and discipline, while having fully fit players would have made a big difference too. Wilshere and Arshavin were at the heart of much of our good work in the first half, indeed Wilshere's majestic control and back heel set up the little Russian for a very neat first goal. We were unlucky not to add to it, then our nerves jangled when the score became 1-1, Denilson tried to chest it, hand balled it rather inadvertently but it's hard to argue against the penalty decision when he was so far from the ball when it was crossed.
We showed guts to stay strong and come through worthy winners. Although Arshavin missed the penalty after Partizan had been reduced to ten men, he had a good game, Chamakh was at his predatory best when nodding the rebound for 2-1, then Squillaci scored his first for the club to make it 3-1. Although Partizan missed a penalty, saved by the strangely solid Fabianski, the game was ours by then, Gibbs was unlucky to concede the spot kick, the Partizan player ran into him and was not going in the line of the ball, a cunningly won penalty in my eyes. Fabianski has a lot to prove and I will be happy to hold my hands up if he can prove to be a consistently solid performer for us, last night was a good first step on a long road to recovery.
Sunday is the big proper test. The boss also has some big decisions to make. Gibbs should get the nod at left back, the centre back pairing will probably be the two frenchmen, while Denilson and Wilshere should not be left out of the midfield. Chelsea on Sunday are a litmus test for our season.