I don't mean to be negative, I am just trying to be realistic and objective, but up until the last few minutes we were really very average in the final third and hadn't created much at all of note despite a hell of a lot of possession. Still the introduction of Gervinho had given us that little bit more spark up front, Djourou's excellent cross was flicked on by Gervinho, Ramsey was in the right place at the right time and finished expertly, a great late goal and an invaluable three points gained. Great result but definitely not a great performance.
There were some real positives which I shall start with. Koscielny was absolutely superb, he timed every header and tackle to perfection, while Mertesacker was decent alongside him. Jenkinson had done well before his injury midway through the second half. Santos was terrible in the first half, he gave the ball away cheaply on several occasions and was defensively poor.
Arteta had a cracking game, he did a lot of excellent defensive work, he used the ball intelligently as well, while Song played with great discipline alongside him. Rosicky did ok, he worked hard and did his best, but if one is going to be critical he didn't do enough going forward. RVP was not supported well enough, Theo did reasonably and was a definite threat, perhaps his final ball could have been a bit better. Arshavin was absolutely awful, sloppy in possession and utterly ineffective in attack, he really should have been substituted off sooner.
I was deeply unimpressed with Marseille, they were very very mediocre, they gave the ball away as cheaply as us, provided very little attacking threat, Remy had one decent dribble that led to his shot being deflected just wide but that was about it. It did look like a draw until Ramsey's winner and really we were a tad fortunate to come away with a win in the end.
The thing that concerns me is not our defense, other than Santos' dodgy defending we looked very solid at the back. Mertesacker and Koscileny are a solid emerging partnership, while Arteta and Song played very well in the heart of our midfield. The thing that concerns me is our average play in the final third and the terrible form of Arshavin. Marseille were there for the taking tonight and we only just scraped home.
Gervinho's spark and dynamism contrasted with Arshavin's complete lack of an attacking threat, he looks like a man lost at sea, bereft of confidence and belief, he appears to be floating away into a abyss of mediocrity. We lacked great options on the bench, the Ox was strangely left at home, while a hell of a lot of weight is being put on RVP's shoulders, he really needs another striker to take some of the load. I do not mean to whinge after a win but we have to see tonight's win in context, there were certainly some big positives, but we cannot ignore the fact that there are some rather big problems staring us in the face.