- We are way off pace
We thought we’d played poorly at Dortmund and deservedly got beaten, accepting it in good fate that we’d played a significantly better team. How do you explain such a terrible performance against an Anderlecht team of youths and unknowns? Cazorla’s fluffed effort from Alexis’ brilliant work in the 2nd minute was all we had mustered for 80 odd minutes and you still hear Ramsey say we could win things? In truth, the Welshman, coming back from a period on the sidelines didn’t do too badly, his long balss providing some variety to the somewhat purposeless short passes that always swung back and forth like a sinusodial curve. Danny Welbeck looked the worst we’ve seen him in an Arsenal shirt so far and despite his pitch perfect cross, Calum Chambers doesn’t look a very good right back – not as good as he was Southampton at least.
- Maybe Roy has a point
Wilshere is still up and down at the moment. Good forward runs, frustrating final ball. He keeps the opposition at bay with his gliding run but what benefit is that if he ends up losing it without creating anything. It’s no good to us that he wins free kicks since we do not (yet) have a system of converting them. Could he be better placed as the deepest lying holding player? Seeing Flamini struggle to win aerial duels immediately rules out that possibility but maybe Wenger could do well to ask Roy how he intends to accommodate that deficiency while using Wilshere in that role. He just doesn’t look the finished article in the sense of a froward player, for now.
- Podolski still for sale?
You invite all your friends for your birthday party but it’s just your ex who turns up with a cake. “Hell will freeze” before Podolki joins Tottenham, but winter’s cooling breeze has been sounded as his most likely exit from London all together. Not that Wenger has ever been a party to that idea, always insisting on the player’s value to the team’s pursuit of glory this season. Wenger says Poldi is the one man you’d want to have in the box because of the power of his shot and someone screams, “Why have you not played him there more often!”
- Protect Alexis
Since the end of the Invincibles era, we’ve had to rely on some player to bail us out of jail every season, keeping us strong and as competitive as possible. Fabregas, Van Persie, Walcott, Ramsey. It’s no more up for debate, today’s Gunners rely on Alexis Sanchez. If there was anything to cheer from last night’s escape, it was that the Chilean must now be central to our plans this season, even when Giroud, Walcott and Ozil return. Provided two excellent chances for Cazorla, and his energy and tenacity kept him up to swing in the ball for Podolski’s winner. The look on his face after the Ref’s final whistle was kind of mixed, “How much longer would I have to do this, all alone?”
- His Birthdays are becoming…
Granted this was an improvement on last year’s in terms of the final result but a trend of desperate performances is yet to be put in check. 65 is a ripe old age and perhaps it is time to change what he’d have to do on future October 22s’.
- Mbemba in January
Wenger attributed our inability to create chances against Anderlecht to their resolute defending. One man was central to that – Chancel Mbemba. The 20 year old Congolese was a match for Welbeck all evening and hardly let anthing pass him by. Wenger admitted being impressed with Belgium’s emerging talents. Any chance he was impressed with Chancel?
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