Arsenal progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to a victory over Montpellier combined with Schalke’s victory over Olympiakos last night. Arsenal are now placed second in the pool and will look to beat Olympiakos in the last group match and hope that Schalke draw so that they can finish on top of the group. Looking at the teams that are topping the group, it would be ideal to play a second placed team except maybe Real Madrid 🙂
The first half of the match was rather lacklustre with innumerable number of wrong passes from either side especially Arsenal. Wilshere was one frustrated soul who could not connect with Podolski especially in two incidents one with Podolski and the other with Giroud. Podolski made a good run on the left side to the final third of the Montpellier pitch, but Wilshere’s pass was slighlty behind and Podolski made gestures saying that the ball should have been passed forward and not backward. The second incident was in the second half where Giroud made a good tackle and won the ball, but instead of giving the ball to Wilshere who was right behind him, turned around and crossed to the right flank to Wilshere or Ox, I don’t remember who it was. Wilshere almost lost it and was left a frustrated soul.
I can see that Wilshere is just settling into the first XI and it will take some more time before he seamlessly connects to the various moving parts of the team like Podolski and Giroud. And I can’t wait for that day. But he was rewarded for his predating instincts as a Giroud header found him right in the box for tapping in a well taken goal to score after two years.
Wilshere on the score-sheet after two years
That settled some of the nerves in the stadium and of the players. But we were looking vulnerable defending. Steve Bould has some work to do, that’s for sure. We did create more chances than the first half. And then in the end Giroud, our hard working centre forward chipped the ball towards an advancing Podolski and Podolski did a Van-Persieque shot.
Podolski did a Van Persie
Glorious! Podolski was looking a lonely soul for sometime but when he scores like this who can complain. Now we need him to maintain his form for the rest of the season. Among the other players, I thought Mertesacker was looking solid at the back. Arteta had one of those games where he had a 70-30 game. One more thing to note was that Ox cannot give us what we expect from Walcott this year. AOC had reservation running at the full-backs and there were not that many chances from that side. Lets just hope now that we qualify on top fo the group and then take it from there.
One last word on Chelsea and their mad owner Abrahmovic. Not that I liked Roberto Di Matteo in the first place, I would not have given him the role in the first place. But once he was made in charge it is really stupid to throw him out six months after winning the Champions League. It was only a month back when Chelsea was on top of the league. Abrahmovic is setting the wrong standard in football.
The french striker finally looks the real deal!
In the end it was the same score as last year, 5-2!
It started all wrong for Arsenal, with the spuds having a Gallas goal disallowed and then the visitors going ahead through an Adebayor goal. The initial period was dominated by Spurs no doubt but it would be wrong to construe that the scoreline would have remained the same way after 90 mins too.
Walcott had a great match where he once again showed why he was a better right sided player than a central striker. He was all over the right side of the opposition court. Santi Cazorla had one of his best matches where he was in control of all the moves that the gunners produced. Giroud and Podolski were also among the goals and Walcott and Cazorla also topped their performance with a goal each as Arsenal ended up with the same score as the last season’s fixture.
Hope this match will be a stepping stone for us and we maintain some kind of an unbeaten streak as matches are going to come thick and thin till the end of the year.
And just to touch upon the Walcott issue, Wenger has made it very clear that we won’t be selling Walcott in the January transfer window. I hope Theo realises that he is better suited in the right side role than a central role. And I wonder which club will hire him for a central striker role than asa winger. Looks like now it is not a matter of money any more.
Ibra scores all four against England in a friendly. But the last goal will be remembered forever!!!
This is my first blog of the season and I have been a silent spectator to the ups and downs this season has provided for our team. A new look team, thankfully the same coach and a few big departures later we remain in the midtable with almost one third of the season over, a good 11 points behind United. This is definitely bad no doubt but I do have some hope for this team.
A spineless performance against United at Old Trafford this season was the lowest of lows in terms of footballing ability and last season was probably the low in terms of a scoreline but we played better last season there. The missing thing in this season’s match at OT was confidence that the team had in its ability. The team should be really ashamed of the performance that we put in at OT. Shameful would be the right word. Van Persie seems to be like a good signing for United and a bad transfer out for us. Vermaelen looked guilty for giving him the assist for the first goal. I would reckon if we had not conceded at that stage the match we would have lost for sure but maybe the match would have been more tight.
Anyways the reason why I am writing this blog is because I believe in this team and I believe the confidenceo will come back from couple of things which we need to do rightaway – one give more support to our main striker Giroud, pump in more balls from the flanks and let him attack. I think the best weapon he has in his armour is his heading ability and we need supply. The second most important thing that Wenger needs to do is sign Walcott on a long term contract. He deservs that extra credit over his peers in the team due to his extra marketability. There is only one name that you hear in th stadium when we need some extra pace or anything extra – and thats Theo!!! C’mon Arsene, he deserves that extra 10k.
And against Fuham, the team showed the fighting spirit but this was not what was expected atleast at home. This Fulham team is good but I don’t think they are as good as us. The saddening part of the match was what happened to Mikel Arteta. I have started liking that player for his consistency over the last couple of seasons. He is one player whom you can trust to carry the team forward on. But he lost his confidence in giving away the penalty and then not scoring one. But I am sure a player like him will bounce back.
And with the likes of Cazorla and Podolski in the XI, and Rosicky and Wilshere to come back to 100% fitness I think the quality will only show at some stage this season. I don’t think all’s lost come what may in the London derby next week. So here is to a smooth thrashing of the Spuds this week.