Ozil, Ospina, Ramsey, Coquelin And A Terrible 3 Points.

“A yellow card for that? Really?!”

Morning, folks.

Yesterday when reviewing the game I said I’d be happy with 3 points no matter how we obtained them. Perhaps that was a touch exaggerated. Winning the match against Leicester was, obviously, of paramount importance. Dropping points at home to the side bottom of the table would have been abject. Yet we didn’t look anything remotely like a solid, cohesive unit last night and allowed our opponents to not only make a game of it, but probably warrant having taken something home with them.

In short, we were sh*t.

Whether the reasons for that stem directly from losing to Spurs is debatable. Some jitters and nerves are expected during a fixture in which winning is vital and that’s often compounded on the back of a defeat. However, more worryingly so, we looked complacent and sloppy far more than jittery. 

We started reasonably enough, but even in the early exchanges there were plenty of signs Leicester could be dangerous if we didn’t perform our defensive duties. Mesut Ozil, arguably the stand-out performer on the night, was integral in both the goals that saw us go in at half time 2-0 up. He showed his usual bursts of vision and guile on the ball and bagged himself another 2 assists – the first a corner delivered to the feet of Koscielny and the second a rasping shot deflected in the path of Walcott.

Perhaps operating under the assumption the game was already won, we looked appallingly off colour in the second period. Leicester seemed to sense this and gradually got themselves into the game and began to create chances – good chances. Had their players been of a higher quality (no disrespect intended) I’m fairly sure we would have been on level terms pretty soon.

Our rear guard seem to look disinterested and huge gaps were appearing – notably down the right side covered by Hector Bellerin. The youngster has impressed in recent weeks but I don’t think it is coincidence that our opponents are beginning to single him out as an avenue they can exploit. The young Spaniard is still a little raw and often finds himself caught out of position. I don’ think he warrants blame entirely as there needs to be someone marshalling him and that rarely seems to happen.

Francis Coquelin ahead of the back 4 did his best to cut off the supply and win back possession. Even The Coq, who has been brilliant, didn’t have the best of evenings. In fact, across the back 4 and David Ospina, it was jarringly off colour.

Speaking of Ospina, I’m not sure I think he’s a better choice than Szczesny. Granted, his attitude and approach appears far superior, but I don’t think I’d say he’s the better goalkeeper. Whilst he hasn’t been bad, he doesn’t immediately fill me with confidence, notably when coming for high balls.

Finally, it has to be mentioned that we witnessed another utterly terrible display of officiating. The frequency with which I find myself lambasting referees might sound worryingly churlish, as if I’m hunting for a means to excuse other deficiencies. However, if you watched the game, you’ll know just how bad he was – at one stage he even contrived to yellow card Olivier Giroud for being struck on the back with the ball in what was one of the most ludicrous bookings you’ll ever see.

Having grumbled about the display, it’s worth remembering we got the 3 points and with Liverpool beating Spurs we go back into the top 4. The means of accomplishing that might not have been the greatest, but we got where we’d want to be and can build on it. The real downside was worrying injuries to Alexis and Ramsey, both of whom hobble off with what appeared knee troubles. There’s no news on either as yet, but I’ll crossing every crossable part of my anatomy that it’s nothing serious.

That’s all for today, folks. Feel free to leave me a comment below and discuss the match. I shall return tomorrow with more. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Follow me on Twitter; @JamesRaulStokes

14 Comments

  1. Budd Hall

    Great analysis. Gunners remain mysteriously uneven. Who was that who defeated MCGC?

    Reply
  2. MozyBeatz

    Yesternight we were trash and we did not play our game. One of the reason i personally think is because of the starting IX. Having started Alexis as the 9 was a bad idea. We should have started him on the right and Giroud upfront. The reason I’m saying this is because Alexis tracks back to cover the young Hector whilst Walcott doesnt, he is a better “defender” than Walcott and most of you can believe me. If you had noticed on the Spurs game Hector had a torrid time because Welback wasnt not covering him up of whom both Welback and Walcott has similar playing style. It would have also been better to start with our usual 4-2-3-1 than the 4-3-3 of which Carzola did not have much freedom to operate.

    Reply
    1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      @Mozy: You have a point – Alexis certainly does more covering work than Theo.

      Reply
      1. Oozygooner

        I like Danny up top and would play him ahead of giroud because of his pace, hold-up play and work rate to press the defence. That would compliment our midfield better and disrupt opposition more. It would also give a second outlet ball over the top.

        Reply
        1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

          @OozyGooner: I think Giroud and Welbeck are suited to different opponents. Giroud’s really handy to have in the team against the so-called “rougher” sides because he’s a big help defensively as well as up top.

          Reply
  3. geekaybee

    Business as usual…..Our master tactician Has struck again.

    Reply
  4. Rab

    Bellerin left exposed again…no protection from Wellbz last week and theo this! bellerin has also been gettin drawn inside too much…all of the first half against the spuds and again yesterday…he cant abandon his post like that and leave us exposed and is he does someone needs to correct him immediately. Last night we were majorly unbalanced…we gave up a lot of physicality with Ramsey and giroud omitted..we can’t do that…we lack physicality as it is. Great fantasy football team selection but we were up against a team fighting relegation.

    Reply
    1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      @Rab: Can’t disagree with any of that.

      Reply
  5. happinesssamSam

    Recently we seem to continually be getting terrible referees who tilt all their bad decisions against us. I’ve always thought they are cranks, but I’m beginning to wonder if the tinfoil hats at Untold Arsenal have a point and there might be an agenda.
    Do you think the idea is completely ridiculous?

    Reply
    1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      @HappinesssamSam: I wouldn’t say there’s an agenda, but it’s certainly becoming increasingly difficult to give reasons for the shit-awful refereeing displays we see.

      Reply
  6. OJO

    Sorry mate.. but I think Ospina has shown to be a much better goalkeeper than Schez.. His reactios are better, distribution is better and if im not wrong, every corner or cross he came out for against City he caught it! .. The guy is a legend, he does his job with no fuzz!

    Reply
    1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      @OJO: Being honest, I’m 60/40 on which I prefer. Szczesny just edges it for me.

      Reply
  7. Rab

    Cheers James! I’m convinced there’s an agenda…both directly and indirectly!! All I know is that when ever we’re up against physical sides we always seem to get lenient refs…it’s absolutely ridiculous! Think how many filthy and malicious challenges against Sanchez have gone unpunished…week in week out…if this continues he will get his leg broken as it seems to be common knowledge that you can get away with it! The ref last night was the most crooked I’ve seen in a while. Remember barca v arsenal 2nd leg…when van.p got sent off…from the first whistle that ref was dishing cards for nothing!! Last night reminded me of that…he was clearly against us! Manure on the other hand are what I like to call a favored team….especially this season…they cannot fail to qualify for champions league again…so you can clearly see some brand protection going on!! #favorablefixtures#favourablerefs

    Reply
  8. Rab

    As for schezny v Ospina debate…I posted this the other day…

    Ospina is World Cup class goal keeper as you may have seen last summer!! Without dissecting your whole analysis…lets just go with one word you used….routine….ospina does the routine comfortably…he’s pulled off more quality saves in the run of games he’s had than Szcezny has all season! Ospinas shot stopping is of top quality, his positioning and his distribution. He’s assured! Mature! Serious about his work! Ospina coming in has saved me a lot of frustration and disbelief cast on me all of last season by the clown they call schezny….he fails with the basics! Week in week out….poor decision making, poor focus, unforced errors, cockey, arrogant, immature…cud go on!
    Undoubtedly we’ll see szchezny against Middlesbrough on the weekend….and chances are you’ll get to witness some of the stuff mentioned above! Unless he’s decided to fix up…until then you should get used to and start appreciating what mr ospina is bringing to the table! Schezny got to put some serious work in now to come even close to ospina! He’s been comfortable for too long with no challenge and now it’s come he must realize how far he is behind in his development…he’s at the arsenal…been first choice for how long now…and he still does wot he does! Didn’t apply himself enough…too busy pissing about both in training and matches!! Thinks he’s made it already!! Just not serious!!!

    Reply

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