Besiktas were not meant to be an easy side and they proved just that, caught the game when it was almost 30 minutes in so I just watched the Demba Ba strike on from the centre circle just after kick off. I think it’s just been honest to say we were slightly lucky to come out of Turkey with a draw. It was a pretty even game but they had more clear cut chances to seal the game. A draw away is not so bad, sad part is we don’t have enough time to recover from such an un-pretty performance.
The performance largely was not helped by the state of the pitch, and while some quarters might say both teams played on the same pitch, the home team play on it every weekend and have a better grasp of their pot-holed pitch. For someone like Arsene who knows the name of every blade of grass at the Emirates, preparing a team to play on a pitch like this should involve maybe going to train at Stamford Bridge. Have you seen the Chavs pitch at winter? It’s like a puddle of mud.
Very few things are worse than the Besiktas pitch to be honest, you can have your fill trying to name yours but this are my top six.
- Boiling Irish Potatoes (This has to be a sin)
- Maroune Chamakh’s hairdo
- The sight of John Terry
- Jose Mourinho’s bus
- Roberto Soldado’s goal scoring ability
- Any Spurs player smiling
To more serious things, defensively even though we were caught out a few times we were solid. The only established Arsenal player in defence was Koscienly. The defence line of Debuchy, Chambers, Kos and Monreal have never started a game together and it was pretty evident to see especially when they tried to defend high up. Chambers was outstanding yet again bar a slip in the second half that almost let Demba Ba through. While some are quick to see the Tony Adams in him, I would rather go with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, young, solid and a massive future ahead of him.
This was not a game we even played with the proverbial handbrake on, we went for it but everything that happened in front of goal fell to a very poor Giroud. He wasn’t only not doing anything to help his team mates, he was in the way of everything good we tried to do. I lost count of how many attacks ended once Giroud got involved. For a player that divides so much opinion, he is not doing much to help his cause.
No football fan really expects that players who represented their countries at the World Cup would come back firing on all cylinders but to come back so out of shape has to be extremely unprofessional. Yes you deserve a rest, but to come back to a sports team running around like you have a truck load of cement on your neck just shows that you are very comfortable. If as a footballer you feel your position is threatened you will not return to a football club in the shape that he is in. He makes it really hard for the few of us who think he still deserves to wear an Arsenal shirt.
The whole team struggled for any form of cohesion and the manager has his work cut for him against an Everton side that would have had one week preparation time for the game on Saturday. With the jet lag from travelling, the game itself and the required rest needed, the manager would have just 2 days to prepare the team for Everton.
As highlighted in several posts on this blog, squad management is key to success this season. If Giroud needs extra gym work to get ready, let him go and have it. I would rather have Oxlade on the right, Sanchez on the left and Campbell in the middle against Everton rather than another tired performance from Giroud against a well-built Everton side.
There seems to be an indication that Arteta’s injury is bad and he might be out for a while. That leaves us with just Yellow Card friendly Flamini as an option in Defensive Midfield, should he get a red, which is never a distant possibility with him then we might have to draft Jack Wilshere to that position. Remember the 6 things I listed that are worse than the Beskitas pitch? Those 6 things are actually better than Jack Wilshere in defensive midfield. Did we fail to win the game yesterday because we didn’t have a top class defensive midfielder? I don’t think so, but we would start losing games if do not do something to fix it sooner than later.
Work starts now, we are not out of the competition yet and I feel we would still qualify so no need crying over milk that hasn’t been spilt. Have a nice day Gooners!!!
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