Ahead of Sunday’s game the news about Arsenal was mostly a rehash of The Manager’s Press Conference. The important point was that both Matheiu Flamini and Jack Wilshere trained normally, Wenger was confident that the former would be available while the latter would be assessed before the game. Jack Wilshere later declared himself fit.
Risking Wilshere in a game at Old Toilet seems a bit unwise to me as he would undoubtedly be a target for some brutal treatment of the type previously handed out by the notorious Neville brothers to Jose Antonio Reyes. Thinking about it, it is sometime since we came up a against a team intent upon kicking our players off the park, perhaps they’re just too nippy to be caught.
Prior to the late afternoon kick-off all the news was about the bug that struck down the BFG and Tomas Rosicky. It was rumoured that a mysterious character, speaking with a distinct Glaswegian accent, and sporting a big red nose had been seen lurking about the kitchens of the hotel the Arsenal squad were staying in. Now I’m not making any accusations but…..
OK, we lost at Old Toilet. It was probably the closest game between us and them for quite some time, one moment of slackness at a corner was enough.
Reactions were many and varied:- Patrick Barclay in the London Evening Standard “Moyes’s men strained every sinew to beat Arsene Wenger’s, who had more of the ball and worked every bit as hard only to lose because key men — Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and even Mesut Ozil — could not go the extra yard”. I did not see too much of the “I told you so” type of comment, in fact most people seemed to acknowledge that we had closed the gap somewhat on Manure.
Thomas Vermaelen rubbished reports that he was looking for the Emirates exit, “I’m still confident I can play for this club and every chance I get I will do a job”. That’s what I like to hear, a player willing to stay and fight unlike one of his soon (I hope) to be erstwhile team mates, a striker who seems only intent on getting out as soon as possible.
Many commentators were saying that Wenger needs to sign a striker in the January transfer window, and LB wrote a thoughtful article on the subject for AAers to comment on.
I’ll leave the last word on Sunday’s result to Paul Hayward of The Telegraph. “Wenger will look at the transition difficulties at United, Chelsea and Manchester City and feel he can absorb the odd unsurprising setback”.
“A favourable wind is still blowing the old dark clouds away”.
It was announced that an agreement was in place for Jack Wilshere to take part in only one of England’s two friendlies as he was undergoing treatment for “a knock”. If he is unfit Hodgson shouldn’t even contemplate using the lad at all.
A question was asked, in the London Evening Standard, is Mesut Ozil being overworked? After a brilliant start to his Arsenal career, four assists and two goals from eight Premier League games, he has been arguably less influential in the last three games against Liverpool, Dortmund and Man U. He is not used to playing so many high intensity games in such a short space of time. In the 12 matches he has started for Arsenal, the 25-year-old has played 90 minutes in nine of them. Contrast this with how he was used at Madrid, where he was no less a pivotal figure before his departure; of the 40 games he began for Real last season, Ozil completed only 19 of them. The season before the midfielder finished just 14 of 44 starts.
Is he being overplayed? Does he need a rest?
Abou Diaby gave an interview to L’Equipe stating he was looking forward to working on getting back to fitness.
“I have come off the crutches. Now I have to start walking again!
“I will start running again in a few weeks.
“I want to take my time with everything to ensure that it all goes smoothly.”
Written by Norfolk Gooner