Arsene Wenger has spoken about Arsenal needing to be on our toes and having our backs to the wall after losing the first Champions League group game. He has also warned his players not to assume that they will have the better of the Greek side, even though Olympiacos lost 3-0 at home to Bayern Muncih in their first game.
The Arsenal and England international star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could well be set to feature in his third game in the space of a week tomorrow evening, when Olympiacos come to town for the second round of Champions League group games.
Maybe it is the fact that Aaron Ramsey has been one of the many Arsenal players struggling to find top gear this season that has made the Welshman much less effective than he has been in previous campaigns, but I do not think that his current playing position on the right is helping him or Arsenal.
I was already leaning towards Mathieu Flamini as the best Arsenal player in the Capital One cup north London derby, and then the Frenchman came up with that stunning volley to win the game, so there was no contest. As well as his goals, Flamini brought grit, drive and determination to the heart of the Arsenal team and we needed it. Did you see him rallying the team when we were under the cosh?
For people expecting a fierce local derby it was a slow and tentative start from both sides and that probably suited Arsenal better after two defeats in a row. No one could have predicted that this game would belong to Mathieu Flamini though, but I will say that I had called for him to start and give the Gunners some steel.
It is hard to be positive about the performance of the Arsenal players after such a disappointing defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, but we did start the game well and we were also much better in the second half with 10 men. No one really covered himself in glory but Walcott scored a great goal, the Ox was always lively and the full backs attacked well but my pick goes to Alexis Sanchez who provided the assist as well as tireless work and many of our best chances.
I will be frustrated but not at all surprised on Saturday afternoon, when Arsene Wenger announces his Arsenal starting line up for the Premier League home game against Stoke City and the names of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are missing once again.
A lot of Arsenal fans have been critical of Arsene Wenger for the way the Frenchman always sticks up for his players and refuses to criticise them even when it is blatantly obvious to everyone that they have just had a shocker and cost the team badly.