So, that was, well, pretty good.
I mean, yeah. Next round. No real drama. Some new 2016 faces. Some good performances. Some ok performances.
The biggest disappointment from the day had to be the fans. Half the stadium empty by 90th minute. Very flat as well. I get it though, I’ve been in that zone. Too many games in too short a time. You’re spoilt and it’s hard to motivate yourself to be THE GREATEST FAN OF ALL TIME every week.
The starting line-up was quite interesting and certainly merited more fan enthusiasm. Coquelin, Iwobi and Elneny in the middle. Sanchez, Giroud and Chambo in the front line. Chambers, Gibbs and Gabriel new in the backline. Ospina in goal.
They played pretty well considering the change as well. Iwobi continued where he left off. Tight control, working space well, composed. I thought Coquelin looked relatively solid bar the strange collapse in the build up to their goal. Elneny did a good job as well. Unspectacular, but very steady. Not a destroyer, that’s for sure. Loves a long shot, Wenger will have that beaten out of him in no time.
We opened the scoring in odd fashion, Iwobi passed to Sanchez on the edge of the area, the Chilean poked it to Chambers… our new right back side footed a shot into the top corner. Straight from the book of Bergkamp!
We let Burnley back in though. We didn’t clear on the edge of the box, Vokes was fed a peach of a cross which he finished with a bullet header.
We picked up in the second half, a lovely counter attack, Iwobi fed Chamberlain out wide, he crossed dangerously and Sanchez rifled into the top corner. He doesn’t miss from there.
I can’t not praise Ospina for making some tidy saves. Our backline was pretty shaky all day and he was called upon to be decisive a few times and he delivered.
I also thought it was a positive day for Chamberlain. He landed an assist and he was far more productive than he usually is.
Still not sure about Chambers as our right back. He’s so green. He’d cost us in big games and he’d be top of your ‘here’s how we get at them’ list if you were an opposing manager.
Two final things. Am I the only one who shouts ‘DISGRACE’ when I hear Theo is our longest serving player? I am? Ok.
I know that am I not the only one who shout ‘HE’S GONNA MISS THIS’ when Theo is through on goal under no pressure. Because that’s what happens every time. Last minute, he has the chance to bury it, he has time to think, he uses that time to think about his favourite sandwich, he blows it.
In big games, against big teams. That is your one chance. Against Barca, he might only get one chance over two legs. That’s why we’re not 2004 elite. Too many players like him in the side who can’t deliver under pressure.
Anyway, we won the game. We’re on for 3 in 3. We picked up no injuries and successfully rotated our squad again.