Arsenal escaped with a lucky point again. by Konstantin Mitov
Hello everyone and good day to you all. So the Champions league started and this time we picked a point away at PSG. I would’ve taken a draw all day long and considering how we played and how last season we had 0 points from 2 games, it’s a platform to build on.
I’ll start with the good stuff which were exactly two – the point we got and Ospina’s performance. I was surprised by the line up, like frankly most of us were, but the one change that actually made the difference was the goalkeeper. Petr Cech hasn’t had the brightest of starts to the season so this gamble actually paid off.
Moving on though, our performance was shambolic again and didn’t deserve a point. We started with a goal down, before I could open livescore to see the results. The defence is yet to build that understanding, but Koscielny was in PSG’s half in minute 1 and the ball in his area couldn’t be dealt with by Monreal, and Mustafi wondered whether to run with the ball or Cavani and the latter put it in the net after a fine cross.
Cavani missed a number of great chances, highlighting why even at 34 Ibrahimovic was picked in front of him and he spared us, with Ospina doing the best he can to make life difficult for the Uruguay striker. But our whole performance in the first half was shocking. We still don’t have a solid pairing between the two CB and the GK and rotating Cech brought even more chaos.
But the full backs, especially Monreal didn’t have the best of games either. I think that lack of competition in those areas hasn’t been addressed. The two DM didn’t really help either. I just don’t understand the reason to put Coquelin on. He lacks discipline and ability and he got booked in the first half again, leaving himself vulnerable.
Cazorla needs time on the ball and when we don’t have players pushing up front, he struggles and why we didn’t start Xhaka is another mystery here. The guy has vision, passing abilities and is a bigger guy in a short squad. I’m baffled we paid so much money for quality to have him on the bench. His and Giroud’s introduction changed our presence in the game which brings the last point.
Alexis alone up front doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked out so far and it will not in the future. Alexis scored when he got coming in from a deeper position. Just look how Thiago Silva was dealing with Giroud and nobody picked up Sanchez who smashed it in. We had 5 players in or around the box at that time and it paid off. We started pressing them higher and they made mistakes.
Lucas Perez could’ve been more suited to this game, because of our counter-attacking approach, which when starting the game 1:0 down from the off didn’t really play out, but still we started with no real striker which is an issue, because we don’t score enough goals with a striker let alone without one.
Finally, Koscielny said in the interview after the game that we “slept” for the start of the game. That’s not me saying it because I’m so negative, it’s our captain doing it, and we’ve slept through the start of many games if you ask me – the last two in particular and I can name quite a few other games, where we find our feet in the game too late to make an impact.
Overall the point is a good one, but we let PSG create far too many chances and if that was Barcelona we would’ve been at least 3 down at half time. Arsene is playing dangerous experiments that haven’t worked out – and will not work out- and he’s escaped dry from the water but he will be exposed when a team doesn’t waste chances like Cavani and Long did.
The purpose of the Ox, Coquelin and Giroud was unknown to me in this game and despite the fact Giroud at least put some pressure on their defence he still managed to get two silly bookings and a red card, just like at Zagreb last year. The fact Arsene didn’t trust him again isn’t fitness issues if you ask me.
The point is a valuable one though and we have to go with a positive mood to Hull away next, which will be another though fixture where we can’t afford to let any points slip. Enjoy.