An early kick off this morning meant I had to start watching the game at 745 US time… which is a ball ache if you drink all the beer the night before with a NYC Grover.
Still, I couldn’t complain. At least I wasn’t a drenched away fan. The weather typically rotten for a bank holiday weekend. Usually a bit of slick on the pitch works for Arsenal and they’re quick passing game. Today though, it was less of a slick, more of 6 inch deep swimming pool of water. Crazy to see so much rain on a pitch in August.
Arsenal didn’t let it bother them. The team changes from in the week, Wenger opting to drop Jack Wilshere to the bench. That won’t be a performance issue, that’ll be him treating him with kid gloves. A good move as it turned out. Cazorla moved into the middle of the park with Podolski heading out wide. A chance to prove to Wenger he still has worth? Of course…
Giroud opened the scoring after Aaron Ramsey fired a shot into the back of his legs from 30 yards out, the big Frenchman adjusted his feet and flicked the ball round Stockdale taking his tally for the season to a whopping 3 goals. That 10% of thirty people. Who needs Suarez, Higuain, Benzema or Rooney… when you’ve got Giroooooud!
Our keeper also had a point to prove today. He’s come under fire for a while now because he hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Well, the last two games he’s earned his money. He made a stylish double save early in the game, then he denied Kasami from a freekick that deflected through the wall and skidded up in front of him.
It was a bit alarming that we were allowing Fulham to take pot shots with free will. The lack of two defensive minded midfielders left gaps in front of the goal exposed at times. It did look like Thomas and Santi had been drilled in dropping back and ensuring gaps weren’t exposed like they were against Aston Villa.
Our second goal came from a counter attack. Per did well to block a Riise cross, the ball found its way out of defence, Theo was found in space, he rattled a shot at goal, Stockdale parried it poorly back out into the box, Lukas stepped in and ripped the ball home at 500mph. A solid finish, not quite the miracle some people were making it out to be online… he struck a moving ball into an empty net. He is paid £90k a week to do that.
Lukas scored his second goal in the second half, this finish was far more impressive, Santi Cazorla took the ball into the box, cut the ball behind him to Podolski, he moved forward and smashed a low shot into the bottom corner. Great work. A message to Arsene that he’s ready and able this season.
We didn’t manage to keep the clean sheet which was a bit upsetting. Darren Bent was able to pick up a parried Berbatov shot at the back post. Jenkinson day dreaming again.
The ref blew up. No controversey, no red cards and no injuries. A bit of a boring day at the office. That confidence will do the team the world of good, what with Fener at home and Spurs at home coming up.
Major talking points?
Podolski. I said yesterday my biggest problem with him is that he doesn’t really have any outstanding attributes. His finishing is ok, but he’s not very big, not particularly fast and he doesn’t have an amazing touch. Some might say his finishing is great. I’m not sure I can be on board with ‘great’. He’s very one footed. For me, a great finisher is someone like Robin Van Persie or David Vila. I think the problem with Lukas is Wenger doesn’t seem to rate him too highly. Fitness must be an issue and maybe positionally, Wenger struggles. I think he’s a very handy player to have around the squad. He looks like a character, he will weigh in with the goods… and he’s good for 20 goals. It would seem very odd to deplete the squad yet further without a decent replacement lined up. He played well today and goals are goals…
Bacary Sagna. He seems to have slipped quite uneventfully into the centre back role. He’s a good foil for Mertesacker and he’s a very solid third option. I’m just struggling with us only having 2 actual centre backs heading into a 60 game season. Seems crazy to me.
Ramsey. Another very solid performance from the Welshman. He’s more composed on the ball and his passing and touch really has moved up a notch since last year. Confidence is key. What I don’t understand is now every Arsenal fan backed him through the bad times? I’ve always had a soft spot for him, but simple fact is, up until recently, he hasn’t been good enough. If you want to be a progressive club, you can’t drop players into the side and let them flounder for three years in the hope they come good. Sure, it’s worked out for Rambo. But what have the club achieved? What about the players this approach bombed for. Denilson, Senderos and Nik B spring to mind.
For me, Arsene Wenger shouldn’t put anyone near the team until they’re good enough not to become a figure of fun with 10 games. It’s not fair on the players and it’s not fair on the fans. It’s great to see him playing well, I think bringing in someone really good to join that midfield would really benefit him. Hopefully, something will happen before the window closes. It’s ok basking in the glory of our first win in the league, but important work is still yet to be done. Flamini and Sanogo will not make us competitive. Question is, does that bother Arsene? Or do pet projects coming good mean more to the manager than silverware?
Some good news on the Jack Wilshere front… the cynical Arsenal led PR ploy has kind of been exposed for me. Jack came out with this tweet after his 100th game.There was a problem connecting to Twitter.
I hope we’ll never have to dig out that Tweet because we’re using it as ammo to convince him to stay…
I thought this quote from Arsene was pretty funny…
‘You’ve certainly tried to go out with a girl and find she has chosen someone else. You don’t commit suicide.’
I think the problem is that we’re trying with all the girls and they’re all saying no. If in doubt… pay for it though. Right? Is that a good counter analogy? If you can’t get sex. Just pay for it? We’re not paying enough for sex? That’s what I’m hearing and I’m disgusted.
On that note. Cheerio!