Apologies for the late post but been bogged down by life today in ways that have prohibited a timely post.
After an awful yet ultimately meaningless defeat yesterday I felt very underwhelmed, underwhelmed by both the performance and the result. If last week with our second string was promising, last night was anything but. The side were overran, overworked and ultimately outplayed by a hungry team who caused all sorts of problems for a team who played like they had nothing to play for.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times that such calamitous goalkeeping is such a shock but in reality it was almost a weekly matter that we would see such humorous debacles such as the Manone scissor kick or the Fabianski follow the leader and leave an open goal.
Regardless of that it was an unacceptable performance from a side that for all accounts and purposes should have been out there to impress. I expected a hungry performance from the likes of Coquelin, Frimpong and Chamberlain but essentially was subjected to one of the dullest Arsenal performances in a long time.
Whilst the work rate of Olympiakos must be admired, one thing is clear. Our second string, whilst all talented tidy footballers need to be playing in order to progress as situations where they were pressed and rushed were ones that they really struggled in. You can’t help but think that if they were to have more games under their belt they would have had more success getting the ball out of their own half.
So whilst the result was as unimportant as any in recent memory so was the performance by the team. The question then is; where do these players go from here?
I cannot imagine the likes of Frimpong nor Coquelin getting many chances especially given the imminent return of Diaby (again) and the eventual return of potentially our best player in Jack Wilshire. It is difficult to see opportunities arise unless of course the boss wants to treat the FA Cup as a League Cup. This is something I will not be happy with but would not be overly surprised. The logical step for both of the player’s development is to be sent out on loan to top flight, ideally Premier League clubs to get the invaluable experience they so desperately need.
Then we have the older, more experienced fringe players in Arshavin and Squilacci who, on the evidence of yesterday are going to find it even more difficult to get close to the starting XI than ever before. Whilst I understand Squilacci being unable to perform to some extent, Arshavin is going to run out of excuses, even from his most ardent of backers. It is becoming more and more difficult to justify his role in the squad and I personally feel losses have to be cut and he should be removed from our squad. Whilst undoubtedly full of talent, he has the work ethic of a 13 year old that hangs around outside a Budgens “supermarket” on his BMX asking people to buy him cigarettes. The number of times he just gave up yesterday was unbelievable. I am about 15stone and his height and I could have run more than he did last night.
Lastly we get to our second and third choice strikers. Sorry to steal Mr. Arseblogs’ line, as time goes by the “less the transfer of Park is understandable”. I cannot understand how in a game where we had nothing at stake could the little Korean still not make an appearance, I know injuries were unfortunate but it is seeming like a pointless signing. Not that the other striker in the reserves offers anything better. Whether it is confidence or incompetence, I am not qualified to say. All I know is that he is not good enough and from what I can tell never will be for our club so again let’s cut our losses and move him out for the type of money that has been mentioned.
All of this coupled with the injury to Santos and last night is looking more and more like a disaster by the second. I understand the logic for playing him but it was a gamble that never really offered great returns so was never worth taking. We should all just count out blessings that Vermaelan was not injured last night.
Seeing as we officially without all four of our fullbacks life could be fairly difficult for the foreseeable future, especially with the all important game against city coming up. I imagine it will either mean bringing in Miquel who looked fairly good or moving Vermaelan out to the left and shuffling the rest. I am not sure which way to go and do not envy the challenge the boss has over the next few games.
So whilst I would like to say that the last leg of Champions League fixtures was the one I was hoping for, I cannot really. Well that is until you see the two “dominant Manchester clubs” crash out of the Champions League at the first hurdle!
Got that out of the way, now back to sleep and a depressing life.
Good night to you all.