Well good morning everyone!
I didn’t attend (I watched online) the game yesterday, so I won’t pretend that I can dish out any sort of world-class match report here, but it was certainly a game of two halves and one where fitness and the quality gulf ultimately saved us from another humiliation.
Shrewsbury took a deserved lead early on after a cross from wide right looked so scary, Johan Djorrou couldn’t find it in himself to jump and defend it, Morgan found himself in acres of space and nodded the header past the rooted Fabianski. Boo’s reverberated around the stadium, the fans were not happy.
The next 15-20 minutes Arsenal continued to invite pressure on their goal. We struggled to get our foot on the game and we offered our keeper very little protection, not the most impressive of first halves. It appeared the confidence problem had leaked into every part of the squad. It’s not often a top 4 team could complain they were being outplayed by a League 2 side.
Jenkinson whipped a low cross into the Shrewsbury box on around the 30 minutes mark, the Englishman did well to fashion a downward header into the bottom corner, the keeper scrambled but not quickly enough to keep it out. A good goal and relief for the 46,000 fans who attended.
The second half was the Oxo show. He started to find his feet in the game and almost immediately made an impact, picking the ball out in the middle of the park, looking up and smashing in a low pile driver from 25 yards out. More than deserved and an exceptional goal for his first full debut regardless of who we were playing.
Yossi Benayoun added a third late on after Oyakzup did well to keep the ball in play, cutting it back to the Israeli who fired his shot past the keeper for his 2nd in his career!
All in all, not a game too many will come away from feeling convinced. We’re still struggling woefully at the back and we’re only a tweaked hamstring or a back spasm away from having to field Johann Djourrou against some pretty nasty teams.
Make no mistake, last night was a bad performance. That lack of urgency and concentration that had hindered us or years still show no sign of relenting even with a squad of unknowns slipping in. Should so-called Premiership defenders be getting run ragged by a player sacked by a Aldershot and a winger on his 5th club? This is a team so depleted, they could only name 6 subs!
Arsene Wenger wouldn’t be drawn on the need for a defensive coach,
“I’ve just completed 32 years of coaching – I don’t want to answer this kind of question.”
You’d think in 32 years of coaching someone would have pointed out to him that this was an important part of the game, especially if the last 5 years have seen your defence become progressively worse. Especially if your team is conceding 2.8 goals a game in the league.
Trouble is, we know that it’s a dictatorship down at the Grove and anyone who comes in would have to have an opinion on how we play and Arsene Wenger is not a fan of being told he might have something wrong. Did anyone hear Pat Rice say he didn’t enjoy the responsibility of managing the side last week? Embarrassing. We begged to keep that attitude on for a year.
I’ll take the win. I’ll take the knowledge that AOC could emerge as a talent that will numb the not too sharp a pain of losing Theo, but I’m still gravely concerned about the direction of this club over the next few months. Our manager shouldn’t be in a position where he is told he is un-sackable. It’s a nonsense. Where is the accountability? Where is the motivation for him to change what he’s doing? It’s madness.
I kind of feel for Gazidis though. What can he say 2 months into the season? The cost of removing Wenger now would be £20million+, you’d have no time to bed a new manager in and it could all end in a disaster that would fully be on the head of CEO for years to come.
We’ll have to ride out this season and pray to god a miracle happens and we finish 4th. At the moment, that looks like a pipe dream, we simply don’t have the quality, we don’t have the preparation and the players don’t look like they have the guidance.
The next 5 games could get very messy…
I made a brief appearance on Radio 5 live last night, which had one caller praising the site and reeling off stats he’d picked up from Sunday’s post, followed by a rampant AKB more interested in debating Le Grove than the facts of Wenger’s demise as a manager. Very embarrassing. He even thought it relevant verbally spell out a very naughty word on a family radio station. The embodiment of class and intelligence.
Fancy that, a debate about Le Grove on the biggest news station in the world. Who’d have thunk it? I’ll post a link when I get one!
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