Weekend Overview…

The opening game of the season is always a very important game. Three points is a must and it doesn’t matter how you get them, but you need to get them. The draw is definitely a blow so early on, considering today’s game was the “easy” one out of the coming series of games, but it is what it is and emotions aside, what can be said about today’s game?

The line up was:

Szcznesy

Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs

Arteta – Diaby

Walcott – Cazorla – Gervinho

Podolski

Two of our three new signings straight into the action – Podolski and Cazorla and a genuine buzz about the line up and new players in the team despite the exits happening in the background. Walking away from this game, you can only feel disappointed at the result… but the light at the end of the tunnel is the performance of Santi Cazorla: 4 shots, 77 Passes with 94% accuracy, 7 chances created, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions (via @Artekkers), and those are amazing stats!

Le Boss waxed lyrical about the player:

“He played very well and looks like he could be one of the buys of the season. He has everything you want in the game. He can play short, he can play long, on the right or left, he can play the final ball and works hard as well. He is a fighter so it is very positive for us. [He settled quickly and] that shows people who say you need to play a long time together. Great players do not need a long time [to settle].”

Despite the good performance from Cazorla, the reality of it is that we dropped points – a home game against a non top four team is a must win game. We’re already behind Chelsea and Man City – yes the fluency will come, but in all honesty, it should have already been here had we prepared properly…!

Le Boss summarised the game:

We played with a good spirit. We were serious, we put the effort in. Our basic fitness is alright but we lack sharpness and fluency at the moment to be dangerous in the final third. The few chances we had, we couldn’t convert them. Sunderland always play the same way against us, in the final third and defensively, and if you’re not sharp enough to make the difference early in the game it becomes difficult. They defended well, they defended the whole game very well, and we lacked something – sharpness and also quality and accuracy in the final pass.

We have quite a hard set of games, with Stoke away next… let’s see if we can gel in time for that game and get three points on the board…

  • Speedster

    Cazorla looks like a decent player, but we have to start winning very soon!!!

  • sons of pitches

    Everyone is frustrated at the draw on Saturday. I think had we scored one goal then the floodgates would have opened. But let’s put things into perspective here. If you can win the CL with parking the bus, then you can get yourself a point if you are lucky. Let us start with answering this question: would we have won this game with RVP on the field? The answer lies in this question: did we win each game he played last season? The answer to that is : no. As he was chasing what appears to be a young child dream we will never know. we played against a big bus, we did got enough chances to win the game but we didn’t take them. I feel a bit down because of the score line. But I have seen enough good things from several players to see that once this team gets going they can be very strong. Cazorla will create chances, Giroud will start scoring and Podolski will become better. Gervinho will open up defences, Walcott will be more effective when we play a team that doesn’t have such a big bus. And about the final score I remember sitting in the stadium two seasons ago when we played them. It was as frustrating as today. They parked the buss and we couldn’t break it down. And that season we had players like RVP, Nasri, Cesc, Song,… even Arshavin was playing on that day. So it can happen you know. This is football. Parking the bus can help you to win or draw a game. It’s frustrating but as long as team can earn points by doing it, there will be teams who do it. It’s up to us to take our chances when they come.

  • German

    The problem last season of not being able to score against teams should have been rectified this off season.

    No excuses – we can’t say we’re not physically sharp yet – as all the other teams have had the same break as us.

    None of our core players were in the olympics and we’ve also had no CL qualifier.

    Excuses, excuses – we need to be better.

  • http://princcehood.blogspot.com yemi

    any update on sahin pls?

  • Bonathan

    Some encouraging signs from our first game, but obviously a home draw against sunderland is always a disappointment.

    I really don’t get the alex song situation. i mean, i just don’t get it maaan. The guy was one of the best defensive midfielders in europe, he had improved year upon year more than anyone could have expected, he had three years left on his contract, and we decide to seel with no fight at all fro a price that can only be described as pretty average.

    you would think it would have taken a exceptional offer to prise him away. 15 mill for a 24 year old, one of the best in europe in that position, ain’t an exceptional price. something is amiss there.

    if the stories are true that he was one of the lowest earners at the club, then you can understand him wanting a pay rise.

    i’m not convinced by our methods of negotiating new deals for players, i’m really not. we should have had van persie attached to a new contract last season and we never. why was that? i think it was pretty likely that we were pissing about with crappy offers.

    i have gone full turn on this one two seperate occasions now, but i really don’t blame RVP for leaving us anymore. i think our negotiating team is to blame. the model ain’t good fro winning trophies, only for flying high for as cheap as possible. dangerous game, but son far we have at least managed to stay in the top four. i wouldn’t expect a title challenge any time soon though.

    the worry is now that a number of players are getting discruntled. even carzola has already chipped in with his worries about what’s happening.

    still, this sahin sounds useful. looking forward to seeing him if we get him.

    such a shame with song though. we groomed him to such a good player. i really enjoyed seeing his development

  • Berth

    The club board ar full of wankers

  • kiki

    Sad to see RVP on the bench today against Everton and then coming on to eventually lose the match. If he stayed, he would’ve started against Sunderland, and maybe gone on to win the match. But the past is the past.

    On another note, I loved watching Cazorla. Brilliant on his feet and will keep on doing well in the future.

    Alex Song was underrated in my opinion and this transfer will cost us in our defense which needed strengthening not weakening. Hopefully Wenger will be able to sign a defender in the coming future.

  • eckleman

    i wonder whether the media will whip us all into a frenzy over the impending ‘crisis’ at united after they lost their first game of the season! we drew with a very tough,established PL team and we were all led to belive that the season is over already! Giroud was called all sorts for his miss in his first 20 minute stint in english football – Rooney and Robin did nothing….will they be labelled a waste of money? or kagawa even? no didnt think so! well done everton,thoroughly deserved.

  • CON-MAN

    Y’all need to cheer up. To start with I have to say 1st game of the season really doesn’t matter. Should we have won? For sure but we drew. Its not the end of the world, theres 37 more games to go.

    Clearly Sunderland didn’t come to play at all. 29% possession? 3 shots (2 on target)? I mean that’s pathetic. These games are always difficult because really you need 1 goal which should either as someone mentioned open the flood gates or at the very least give you a 1-0 win. However I would say that its in these type of game were we need an aerial option, if we cant pass through them then we need to cross more and as always actually make set pieces count.

    As for Song well I don’t know what to say. Im as surprised as anyone especially considering hes actually very good and very young. But I trust AW with this. Was Song late for training as the Telegraph says? Did he have a bad attitude? I don’t know and we probably never will know. I would say that AW wouldn’t have sold him without reason. The Telegraph also said according to Songs agent that Song wanted to re negotiate but with 3 years left (rightly) it wasn’t going to happen.

    As for the future, Stoke away will be interesting. Carzola looks effin awesome, a beautiful mix of ljunberg and pires (who btw I feel we have not been able to replace at all) and once Wilshere is back, the trio with him and Arteta will be something I look forward too.

    And I think AW makes 1 more signing

  • Berth

    Con-man love ur analysis and the calming down bit I also think Wenger will make 1 more buy a DMF. If at all he will make a second buy he will try and get a left back to free Santos as a LMF.

  • eckleman

    I would urge everyone not to be put off by the fact that Real Madrid are
    willing to let him go. In 2010/11 Kicker magazine and the German players’ union
    both made him player of the year. Real Madrid constantly do what Man City have
    done – overload their playing staff to cover every eventuality – something that
    FFP is due to try and stop. But it can mean that some highly talented players
    simply don’t get a game.
    If this deal goes through as we expect, Arsenal will now have only about 3
    players left who were regulars in the team two years ago. What we are
    witnessing is a total revolution both in the playing staff and the style of
    game. A revolution similar to the one Wenger introduced when he first came to
    the club.