My first game back in the action didn’t disappoint. Well, from a result perspective at least. Also worth noting the calibre of bar staff at The Che pre game lived up to the usual high standards.
Line up had an Ozil on the left again, a Cazorla in the middle and a Sanchez through the middle. That was good news. I’m convinced the Chilean can play through the middle.
The game wasn’t up to much. I felt the Turks were far more of a threat in the first half than we were. I didn’t feel like there was a real vision for how our team should play. We hadn’t worked out a way to play with Sanchez, still trying to ping balls at him like he was a large man.
That didn’t stop the little machine banging in our first. Some crafty work with Jack at the edge of the box allowed the ball to roll in the firing line of Sanchez where he was on hand to bang the ball him low and hard. It was a poacher’s goal and it was first time. What a relief.
The second half was a touch nervy. Besiktas had some very strong penalty shouts, we missed some absolute sitters (Chambo, what was that!) and everyone in the stadium was on edge… but, we saw the game out and cheered like absolute heroes!
So key takeaways from me…
I felt the performance was weak, well, not weak, just well out of sorts considering the style Wenger strives for. I don’t feel the lineup has a vision of how it’s supposed to play. I didn’t feel anyone looked drilled or had been given instruction on how to play. It’s just a bit samey. Besiktas are a very poor team. Didn’t really feel we imposed ourselves or gave a good account.
As I told you earlier in the summer, Reus or Sanchez were coming in to play centrally. Wenger confirmed that last night. He’s very short, so he’s not winning anything in the air, but he’s fast, he’s unpredictable, he has magic inside and outside the box, he’s 0.5 seconds faster than anyone in the head and powerful. There’s no reason he can’t be our Aguerro. Love him. He’s a hard worker, he’s feeling his way in and he never stops working.
Debuchy took our second red of the season for a challenge that looked really good from where we were sitting. Chambers came on and gave a great account of himself at right back. The boy has pace to burn and he loves being in the mix. I love him. Our best acquisition in a while. He’s made an impact straight away.
(ENGLAND SQUAD. Totally deserved)
He’s really not at the races yet. Not sure about him outside purely from an exposure point of view. The side just doesn’t feel that balanced at the moment. I’d prefer to see pace out that way. Maybe he’ll get better. My issue is that he’s a number ten and we’re punting him in left midfield. Feels wrong. Like putting on your girlfriends underwear… but hey, look, after a while, it can feel right. So let’s wait and see on that one.
Look, the final ball was garbage and he made some very immature passes towards the end that put us under pressure. However, he was running at pace, he looked interested and he put in a really solid performance. He needs to build on that. Have a Ramsey season. Show us why you’re paid superstar wages.
Push comes to shove, we’re through, for the 17th year running. A great achievement. One worthy of a trophy. Looking forward to not playing Spursday night football.
Right, that’s me done. Have a great day!