I think the chatter pregame mostly centred around the concern that the starting 11 meritocracy wasn’t exactly fair nor was there much use of the squad. This is one of those ‘can’t believe you’re moaning’ posts but if you don’t highlight the problems when you’re winning you have no right to complain when you lose.
Per Mertesacker was rightly pulled from the starting line up, Wenger said it was due to the amount of games he’s played which has to be true. It’s also down to a severe lack of form that most likely correlates with the latter point. The manager also pulled #WELBZ and put Chambo in his place (who was pretty poor to be fair).
For me, that left a team pretty bereft of energy. You have a fit and on form Rosicky sitting on the bench probably wondering what he has to do to play. Then you have a £100k a week Theo who has worked incredibly hard to make it back only to ostracised from the starting line up. Those two in the side would have brought a different level of spice. Coquelin holding flanked by Rosicky and Chambo. Up top, Sanchez, Giroud and Theo. That’s pace that could have killed off a drab everton early.
Instead we opted for Santi, who looked like he was running in wallpaper paste for large parts… Ozil who is so uninterested in the team it’s frightening. People complain that’s just how he looks… for me, it’s how he plays. Use your eyes, not your hipster night vision goggles that convince you you’re one of the elite who can see the defensive shift he puts in my moving into spaces where the ball is.
He’s the worlds most productive passenger. Imagine that? Complaining all Ozil does is assist and score goals. What a brat I am. Well, there’s more to football than those items… and look, when Arshavin was doing the same everyone hated him. Against teams like Everton, you can afford those types. Against big names, you can’t, he’s so lazy. Watch how slowly he potters about to bring his distance stats up. The only energy he expends is when he attacks… which results in some incredible moments only he is capable of. But the rest? Real questionable.
The first half was a very uninspiring affair. Arsenal sat deep because they didn’t have the legs to press and Everton there for the taking. Our passing was very off key and we looked clumsy in the final third. Everton were equally poor but gave us a run for our money in the first twenty. We again suffered the same problems we had against Monaco. The ball is flown into Sanchez almost at any cost, he tries to take on the world like a Sunday league player… loses it and we’re on the back foot.
Giroud had a shocker of an opening attempt, firing a 6 yard diving header 6 yards wide. He made up for it with a shinned effort across goal from a corner. Take em’ where you can get them I say! Great to see him on the score sheet. You can knock him for many things, not being a fighter ain’t one of them.
Gabriel introduced himself to The Emirates crowd with a couple of beastly tackles. He stayed on his feet, shepherded Lukaku and made a perfect interception. After an early error, he really did ease into the game. He has all the ingredients Kos has and sadly, many Per no longer possesses. A brilliant Premier League debut. Also worth noting Ospina made a very brave double save in Neuer-esque fashion to deny Lukaku early on.
Arsenal didn’t have enough in the tank to bury Everton which was a shame.
The second half saw Coquelin take a whole Giroud in the face… busting his nose to pieces. Things got worse later on when he took a ball to the face, finishing him off.
Giroud had time to make another hash of a free header. Again, another demonstration as to why he just doesn’t cut it. You need your main man to bury chances that easy. Arsene eventually started making subs on 81minutes, absolutely crazy when you consider how dead some of our players were. He introduced his first sub on 82minutes, bringing on Rosicky. I mean, words. I have no words for firstly always taking off Chambo and secondly always making subs so late adding to the fatigue issue.
Anyway, Rosicky took a superb pass from Ozil and buried a deflected Frank Lampard in the 89th. Game over. The remaining 7minutes were fine because we battered an Everton that seem to have lost every last drop of fight they learned from Moyes. Martinez, finally getting found out. 17 odd points worse off than last season.
A win is a win. You can’t knock that. It’s just not great. I love the points, I love the fact that somehow we’re now competing for second place. I just think we do things badly. Wenger doesn’t trust his squad, he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes of overplaying and he doesn’t know how to kill a game off early when it’s there for the taking. It’s no surprise that it’s been so easy for Chelsea this season. Mourninho has a plan, every time. He kills games, not players. He’s winning it at a canter. Literally no challenger. Meanwhile, we’re in for second, but taking a tanking from a Monaco side so boring I actually dozed off in their PSG game last night.
Wenger has to move his players around for this Wednesday’s game. He needs to bring Tomas into the fold, he needs give Theo some game time and he probably needs to leave Mertesacker on the bench. We need to bring some fresh legs into the equation. Mostly because QPR have had some down time, so they’ll be able to run us all over the park if they fancy it. We, on the other hand, have buried a lot of players. My bigger concern is that some will just get hacked off and leave. I have no idea what Theo has done to deserve being ignored… same with Tomas. Both very good players who are overlooked.
Irony here is that when we all wanted Wenger to drop Theo back in the day he’d play him over and over and over again. Now he’s a talent, no chance!
He dropped a big can of whoops early on but as the game grew, so did he. He plays with far more composure than I originally thought he would. He’s a smart defender and he gives us competition and cover in an area we’ve been very exposed. I think we’ll grow to love him. He looks like he could be a cult hero for the right reason.
Gibbs & Kos:
I have no idea why Gibbs keeps getting in the side. He continues to play like a winger, continues to doze off and he just strikes the fear of god into me. Is no one coaching him? What happened to Monreal? I thought we were in a good place? As for Laurent, I’ve not been convinced by him this season. He looks like a man who has one eye on the exit door. Shame, his performances aren’t going to capture the attention of too many of the elite clubs… he’s really let himself go since he signed his new deal. Disappointing, he could have been one of the best.
I thought he had a very solid game. He contributed with some very good saves, he came for the right balls and he didn’t scare me once. I still don’t think he’s the right keeper. I think even on a basic level, Lukaku ran into him and nearly gave him whiplash. You need to be big and strong enough to deal with players like that. Does seem like it’s over for Crossbar Challenge Chezzer. His arrogance cost him. I’d recommend following Tony Roberts on Twitter as well. He’s the best keeper coach we have at the club, seems to absolutely love his job as well. Reckon Fabianski might still be here if he was heading up things.
He’s obviously still one of the greatest assets the club has, but someone needs to pull him to one side and have a word about the mazy runs he goes on. Someone made the point on Twitter yesterday that it’s easy to see why a possession based team like Barca would let him go. If he just reined in the OTT lust he has to create someone from nothing every time, he’d be so much more productive. He’s a great talent, just seems a bit out of control on the pitch.
Sorry, really struggling to buy into what he gives the team. This is the Premier League. You need 10 outfield players contributing at all times. Ozil, on the passing front, is sublime. He scores goals as well, which is incredible. However, you need to bring more to the table than that if you want to be part of a side that delivers trophies. Ozil gives next to nothing when we’re defending. He saunters around in half jog mode when we’re not in posession, there’s no real purpose to what he does. Moving forward, he’s great, he opens up space, he doesn’t waste a touch… but we need more. In the small games, he’s fine to do what he likes, but in a high intensity game (even against smaller clubs like Spurs) he just exposes us.
First one in 82minutes. Have a word. Please. Someone have a word. Nothing says stuck in your ways like Wenger’s predictability with subs.
Right… MANY WORDS FOR YOU. Have a great day and just remember, Spurs fans spent 90 minutes walking down a cold, wet and windy Wembley way yesterday. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.
HAVE A GOOD ONE x
P.S. I’m in Sydney from Wednesday. Fear not though, as you wake, I’ll be dropping morning posts at 6 in the evening. Just might be a little out of whack. If there are any Sydney Gooners out there, get in touch so I can come and watch the games with you. I’m in Surry Hills or something like that.