It's been an interesting week, from a personal point of view I have been busy welcoming a new mini-Gooner into this world and from an Arsenal point of view we have seen a couple of rather meaningless defeats and a very important away win in the league. Strangely the only result that really mattered was the Wigan game and that means most of us have been largely content.
The Wigan game showed how much the team has come on in the past few months. We did ride our luck early on with a Santos block saving our blushes, but from then there was only one winner. Gervinho caused havoc all game long, but the opener came courtesy of an Arteta scorcher, Vermaelen then added the second with a header. RVP and Gervinho completed the rout. The confidence that resonated through the team was in mark contrast to the side that could not keep a clean sheet earlier this season for love nor money.
The Olympiakos game was another kettle of fish. Only a small handful of first team players made the trip and unfortunately one of them, Santos, picked up an ankle injury which leaves us dreadfully short of full backs for a few weeks. It was not a surprise to see us lose this game, it is no easy place to travel, but the manner of the defeat and some of the defending was pretty poor to say the least.
Fabianski was terrible before his substitution due to injury, his replacement Vito Mannone was just as bad. Squillaci was by far the poorest of our back four on the night, terribly hesitant, poor decision making and unconvincing with much that he did, Johan Djourou was also poor. Benayoun put in a good shift, and our young central midfielders tried hard, Emmanuel Frimpong was caught on the ball on more than one occasion, showing his need of more experience before being given a run of games for us. Arshavin again disappointed, as did the profligate Chamakh.
It was a reminder that we do need to do some work when the transfer window opens in January. A striker must be high up our shopping list, while replacing some of our ineffective players such as Arshavin, Fabianski, Squillaci and Chamakh must also be a priority in the coming months. We just need a bit more quality in the squad and as things stand it is pretty tough on the youngsters to have to come into a side full of such players.
Now onto last night and the failure of Manchester in Europe. I will not mock Manchester United, they deserved to go out, they had an easy group which they buggered up comprehensively, however they have taken this on the chin and don't deserve fun to be poked at them. Onto Manchester City, unlike their Manchester counterparts, they do deserve to be mocked, they have unsustainable thrown around ridiculous amounts of money in the last few years, they have behaved like spoilt rich kids and have so little respect for anyone but themselves, they have sold their soul and deserve the humiliation.
Although some in the media like to pretend that Manchester City's European campaign was a rip roaring success for their first year, it most definitely was not, they have numerous big money signings who have plenty of European and International experience, they have no excuse for their own dismal failure. The joy experienced by so many neutrals yesterday as Napoli scored their first and second goals will not be lost on City fans, they are fast becoming the most hated club in the country for very good reason. What a fantastic moment for football, it is great to see City's arrogant money bags come crashing down around their corpulent rears; perversely it is the kind of footballing moment that City's fans would have enjoyed themselves in years gone by, but now they have sold their soul it is their turn to be laughed at!