It was only a pre-season friendly but having taken the lead after 2 minutes following some wonderful build-up play I felt sure that Celtic were going to get a hiding. Watching the footage of the first goal again I was amazed to see Theo running back to stay on-side before LJ passed to him and he in turn flashed the ball across the front of the goal for the onrushing Vela to tap home. There, you see, Theo does have a footballing brain but sadly that was about the only time he used it.
Theo’s name receives the loudest cheer when the teams are announced, the collective wills of 60,000 people want our No. 14 to be the hero and its still not happening. His crosses were whipped into the box time and time again to no-one. Someone, somewhere has to be learning a lesson from this, if its not Theo then who??? On a positive note he did take a pretty amazing free-kick that he’s obviously been practising and was unlucky not to score.
Another player unlucky not to score was Wilshire who received the ball on the edge of the box from a Rosicky corner. His perfectly executed volley hit the bar and he was quick to head the ball as it returned to him but the keeper was as quick and denied the young mid-fielder his goal. Wilshire is also a hero in the making and there is talk of him being called up to the England squad. If he had scored with this volley he would have cemented his place in Arsenal folklore but I believe he’ll have many more chances to do that.
Thomas Vermaelen is already a hero in my book, he is aggressive in everything he does and the shot he blasted at the keeper must have stung his hands. He scored some great goals for us at the start of last season and I’m hoping that being the caretaker at the back doesn’t stop him getting the chances again.
But there was to be an unlikely hero in this game and it came in the form of Bacary Sagna who scored a fantastic goal in the last minute of the first half. All his team-mates rushed to celebrate with him and a few had wry smiles as they left the pitch for half-time thinking of the chances that had been missed.
It was hard for Arshavin and Chamakh to get any sort of hold on the game when they were introduced late on in the second half but Nasri was busy again playing in the Cesc role. Although Wilshire was awarded MOTM, Frimpong put in another solid performance and I hope he gets his chance. He’s lively and aggressive, had a few misplaced passes but always chased back after the ball.
It was all going to plan – 3-0 up and the party atmosphere was infectious cue panic and a nail-biting finish.
Celtic were awarded a penalty as Wilshire dragged a player down in the box which was skied by Samaras and then the visitors set about ruffling some feathers scoring two goals late on. We were again left with the familiar feeling of having played some beautiful football, created what could have been some amazing goals but we could have been undone by some chronic defending.
Here we go again ………………………….