So, this is the point where I have to stick to my guns.
Before the game, I stated we needed to rest players because the big fish we’re looking to fry is Chelsea on Saturday.
They rested players…
They had a home game…
They have more rest…
It was completely essential we rest our big names and we did. The manager made 6 changes, oddly bringing David Ospina into the mix.
The game didn’t go well. Arsenal’s second string isn’t as strong as we’d like to think and they made hard work of a well drilled Dinamo Zagreb.
That doesn’t mean the decision to rest heavily was incorrect, it simply meant Arsene didn’t get it right on the night and the players let him down.
Olivier Giroud continues to be spectacularly awful in front of goal. The guy has dropped into a sinkhole of misery this season. He’s having some belief problems and he can’t pull through. For me, he needs to yank his head out of his backside and stop feeling sorry for himself. He has a great contract, he has the support of the manager and really, he has the support of the fans. We all sing his name, we all cheer him… we need him to be the best he can be.
Arteta clearly isn’t cut out in the middle of the park these days, solid to begin with, no legs to end. Such an obvious mistake this summer not replace him with a younger version. Kieran Gibbs continues to merely exist in the shadows, occasionally coming out of them to remind us he’s not that great. I mean, we’ve had him bombing forward forgetting he’s a full back, we’ve had him not fight when he’s wrong sent off, we’ve had his injury issues and yesterday we had him forgetting to jump! He’s the epitome of ‘satisfied to be benched’ for me.
Still, at least Theo banged in another goal. A tactical chess piece for the Chelsea game more than in the mood to cause some disruption.
So, a loss. A pretty embarrassing one. But look, we’ve been here before. We’re extremely experienced in this competition. We’ll get through to the last 16, then it’ll go to shit from there.
… and that was one of my points on Talksport the other night (yeah, dropped that in there), we’re never going to win the Champions League, so let’s make sure at home.
3 points at Chelsea is the only remedy here.