Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Some good and some bad - a slightly fortuitous 3 points

It was not the eleven that many of us had expected, the young Ox getting the nod was a definite bonus though for me, the fact that Arshavin and Rosicky started was not quite the same positive. It was a very very strange first half. We had a fair bit of the ball but Olympiakos repeatedly hit us on the break, looking pretty damn dangerous at times, with some of our defensive play a bit lacking to say the least.

We probably just about deserved the half time lead through the Ox's expertly taken opener and Santos' equally well taken second. The goal for Olympiakos was particularly frustrating but it had been coming, the Ox was left outnumbered when they took a corner short, a nice left footed cross found Fuster unmarked on the penalty spot, he headed home well and left Szczesny with no chance at all. Both sides could have scored a couple more a piece, it was a very very open game. The big positive had to be the danger and threat that the Ox provided down our right side, Per Mertsacker had another solid shift at the heart of the defence.

The second half was a little bit more cagey as one would have expected. There were not as many clear cut chances but we really should have made the game safe at at earlier stage. The thing that frustrated me was summed up by our small Russian, he was so mediocre going forward and so lazy in defence, sometimes just standing around after he had lost the ball with another casual pass. I hardly noticed Rosicky on the field in the second half either.

There was a true heart-in-mouth moment as Torosidis belted a shot off the bar from a tight angle at just around the corner of the penalty box, it was a cracking effort but overall Olympiakos didn't really open us up in the second half as they did in the first. We had the chances to kill the game on the counter, we just didn't have the killer instinct, largely down to some typically average play from Arshavin and Chamakh in the final third.

The Ox was taken off for Ramsey. Gibbs came on for the woeful Arshavin. RVP for the lacking in confidence Chamakh. There were some poor refereeing decisions second half too, Mellberg lucky to escape having lead with an elbow on RVP, the Olmpiakos left back should have received a second yellow for chopping down the Ox for the second time, the ref seemed to be too easily conned by some rather obvious Greek diving.

There were certainly some positives from tonight's game, Arteta was solid, Mertesacker was defensively excellent, the Ox was brilliant, Arsenal's no1 was top notch again. However there were some big negatives, Rosicky and Arshavin were very poor indeed, defensively there was not enough help from those who should have been helping the defenders out. In my opinion Rosicky and Arshavin have proved time and time again that they are not good enough for Arsenal FC, they don't scare defences and they don't do anything defensively, they simply do not contribute enough. The defensive unit was not the problem, it was our defending as an eleven that was our Achilles heel.

Personally I would be sorely tempted to play both Gibbs and Santos against Spurs at the weekend, Rosicky didn't do enough to justify his selection, neither did Arshavin. If Gervinho is fit then I would like to see him roaming with RVP up front in the following eleven, obviously if Koscielny is not fit then I would keep Song there and play Coquelin or Frimpong in midfield:

Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos
Ox Arteta Song Gibbs


Anonymous said...

I thought Song was immense as Rb, looked solid and played the ball out in a very calm fashion.

Anonymous said...

sorry *CB*

Anonymous said...

the poster of this blog certainly did not watch dis match with an open mind, i agree arshavin was lazy throughout the game but ROSICKY!!! was the repeatedly with his sharp turns making sure we are on the offensive, just quit blaming the same players, Rosicky played well today.

Savage said...

How about a different headline?

"Improving Arsenal continue building confidence with hard-working win"

Lots of players to thank tonight, in case you forgot :)

library2.0 said...

I thought Frimpong played well. And. i'm critical of the team, but we have more points than either the manchester teams in ecl. Doesn't that look like good news?
And btw, i though alan smith and sky were shite. Having a go at chamakh (who i though played well AND ALLOWED RVP a rest).
Its 3 wins on the trot ffs. Lets get behind the team

Anonymous said...

Agreed i thought rosicky looked far more direct and creative and if arshavin was playing in a more central role he would be able to pass and move a lot more efficiently

Uncle Mike said...

Once again, I had to work and thus follow the game on a certain message board which shall remain anonymous. The consensus was that Arsenal was rubbish, especially in defence, and that we were lucky.

Yeah, right. Olympiakos are a good side, certainly better than the Basel team that nearly beat ManUre last night, and allowing a Champions League side only one goal over 93 minutes is pretty good.

We got the job done. On to The Scum, and may a slightly-boosted team (Koscielny and Gervinho) do the business. I can't wait to see Mertesacker knock Adebayor on his arse.