Here we are again, another blog by yours truly and another match to review… This time around its The Arsenal are at home to League two Shrewsbury in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup. Arsenal are not on a good run from any angle we lookat it. We’re shipping goals, showing no backbone and lacking the cutting edge up front to finish teams off. The sad fact is I could have written that line at anytime during the past 2 seasons and it would have rung true. So when are we going to see a change?
Gazidis was interviewed by the press yesterday and comforted many on the financial state of the club but warned that we could not compete against the Manchester clubs when it comes to their transfer dealings. But didn’t we move into a new stadium to compete financially against Man Utd at least? I agree we can’t compete against the billions City have at their disposal but we’re not asking the club to do this. The transfer aims for the majority of the fans I’ve spoken to over the summer was to buy suitable replacements for players about to depart and enhance the squad in area’s we’ve struggled in. The fact is we left it until the last minute and this has had a direct impact on our start to the season. I’m not here to argue if the 7 players signed this summer were right or wrong, time will answer that, but I am very confident having those players on the plane to China would have allowed them to settle in quicker and set the team up for the season start.
Gazidis also talking about Wenger.
“He is not broken. He did not suddenly become a bad manager or out of touch with the game. It is complete nonsense. “[Sacking him] is a route we are not going to go down.”
It seems the board are fully aware of the unrest out there and are directly responding to this by backing the manager. In my opinion, rightly so. Wenger has been more than just a first team coach for Arsenal Football Club over the last 14years; he has taken this into a new era and set the bar extremely high. This is a debate for other time, but for me, Wenger has earned the right to implement corrective action and turn things around. The pressure is truly on and it’s now down to him not to spoil his own legacy.
Back to the game… I’m actually at the game so instead of writing a retrospective blog at 1130pm at night half asleep, I’m going to give you a blow by blow feed as the action unfolds from the game. It’s something new but who knows it could work… Here we go;
Team for the night is;
Fabianski – Jennikson – Djourou – Miquel – Gibbs – Frimpong – Coquelin – Benayoun – AOC – Park – Chamakh
6min – double oooh! Chamakh goes close twice but great saves by the keeper!
13min – My word, they’re through on goal, player shoots, fabianski let’s it run through like he knows its going wide and it hits the post. Poor (or very good!) judgement.
14min Arsenal aren’t doing well, Shrews fans are oleing their passes. Embarassing.
17min – Goal 1-0 Shrewsbury. A cross from our right and a simple unmarked header. Oh dear. Looks like Djourou left his man unmarked
29mins – They almost score again, this time directly from a corner. Arsenal are all over the place at the back. I fancy them to score again. When we get into their box no one wants to shoot. Sound familiar?
34min – Goal Arsenal 1-1. Cross comes into the box from Jenkinson and Gibbs, yes Gibbs header sneaks into the bottom corner. Keeper should have saved but it’s his first goal for the club. Phew!
Half time – Arsenal at it again. Defensively sloppy, hanging on but somehow level. When you play Arsenal you know you’ll have chances to score and Shrewsbury should have had 3. Not impressed.
49min – AOC goes close twice. One run beats 3 players in close proximity and the next is a shot which doesn’t quite make it. He’s not shy to attack, good stuff and encouraging.
60mins -GOAL! 2-1 Arsenal. Shooooot! He does and scores! AOC picks it up and pops one in from 25yards under the keeper. He’s deserved that, top player.
68mins – AOC running the show, another run and a shot well saved by the keeper. I like him already.
79th min – GOAL! 3-1 Arsenal. Ozyakup wins the tussle with the defender on the byline and pulls it back for Yossi who eventually tucks it away. Game over now surely?
90th min – AOC is replaced by Aneke and get a deserved standing ovation for a fantastic 2nd half and a great goal.
Final whistle , 3-1 to the Arsenal.
Ok that wasn’t a vintage Carling Cup performance but it’s a win that will give a lot of these players much needed confidence.
Stand out players for me were Oxlade Chamberlain and Coquelain, who also look quite alike from row 27. Le Coq works tirelessly, breaking up play, winning tackles and takes the ball forward with confidence.
A new star is born? Maybe. AOC is a real prospect and tonight was evidence to why Wenger agreed to shell out 12m upfront for him. He takes players on, beats them with ease and can pick out the final ball and when the crowd wanted him to ‘shooooot’ he was more than happy to. His goal was an opportunist effort which completely shocked the keeper. Theo better watch out. Seriously.
At the back the problems still remain. Fabianski did not command his box and Djourou seems to have forgotten how to play football let alone defend. He is a man very low on confidence and relied on Miquel to bail him out of some tight spots.
At the end of the day it’s a win. We next invite Bolton to the Arsenal then Olympiacos. 2 more similar results will allow us to build.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog, different format but hopefully as informative!
Enjoy your day.
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