Arsenal 3- 1 Shrewsbury
We had a night of positive football for once but all was not so simple. Despite a bright start with a couple of decent efforts by Chamakh we were fairly poor for the rest of the first half.
We did still have some chances but were looking at our vulnerable worst at the back. Our problems were compounded when we conceded a goal as Shrewsbury managed to rip our defence to shreds with the whole defence looking particularly culpable for the goal.
Fortunately the showing in the second half was much improved both defensively as well as offensively. If the second half was a Chinese year it would have been known as the year of the Ox. Wow that was a shit analogy and really not funny. Either way he did really well and managed to take a hold of the game and was phenomenal. I was very impressed, not just with his goal to take us into the lead but his overall play. Wenger clearly was too!
“Oxlade-Chamberlain grew through the game and became stronger and stronger. In the first half he was a bit timid and suddenly he grew in stature in the second half. It was unbelievable.”
So there were many positives with three goals, no further goals conceded and interestingly two English goal scorers. Gibbs scored his first for the club and was impressive in the second half and Chamberlain’s first goal for the club and a Man of the Match performance gives Wenger a potential selection dilemma. In addition a first goal from Benayoun was the icing on the cake in a match which the result flattered us.
A victory to celebrate but does it really matter? No not really, this competition has given us a well needed distraction, a chance to some of the fringe players and more importantly it has given the team a much needed victory. The result in the competition is not important but the actual notion that arsenal can win a football game is important, even if it is against a league 2 team. Hopefully this inspires some confidence.
It has certainly has had this effect on the young lad, Chamberlain who insists that the Arsenal youngsters have what it takes to really push on and get to the final.
“I think it is a really good squad. I think we just need to keep plugging away and it will come right for us. There are a lot of quality, quality signings here and a lot of quality in the boys that are already here. We just need to gel together now and kick on. I think we have what it takes to get to the final in this competition and put in a good claim in the Premier League and the FA Cup too.”
Wenger has been unimpressed with the press in general over the past few weeks and this was highlighted in the post match interview last night. He highlighted that he couldn’t care less what is written as it has no relevance to his job and people will talk either way.
“I must tell you something, I’m not bothered at all by all this speculation, not at all. I am completely focused on doing well. I can understand that people are unhappy and criticise but you know as well as I know people are very quick to go overboard.”
He is clearly even more unimpressed by suggestions that a defensive coach is required as he cannot do the job, his response: “I just completed 32 years of coaching. I do not want to answer these types of questions.” That is a clear and unequivocal no to that then and to be honest I am not surprised. I have said since the defeat to Blackburn that this would make little difference as it would require WENGER to change the shape and tactics of the entire team. By a defensive coach working with the team will not improve the defence unless he has direct input into overall tactics.
In other news it seems that the rumours about us signing Barton in the summer were actually true. Barton has stated that he was in talks with Arsene Wenger on at least two occasions and any potential move ended due to his uncontrollable twattish behaviour.
“If I hadn't played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them… There were a couple of conversations [with Wenger] but that's different to actually signing… The Gervinho incident happened and there's nothing I can do about it now. If it happened again, I'd like to think I'd deal with it differently.”
Maybe we should count our blessings that he is a twat after all.
Aside from that there is not much else to talk about at the moment but I am already looking forward to the weekend for the football ahead.
Until next time me old pals.