Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gunners leave it late!!

Marseille 0-1 Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey's injury time winner in the south of France sent Arsenal to the top of group F last night. Another win in the return leg at the Emirates in two weeks time will see the Gunners on the verge of qualification to the knock out phase of the Champions League once again. Furthermore, they will have done so with two games to spare, all despite the lacklustre start we have had this season.

Although last night's game continued a run of positive results which have seen Arsenal lose once in their last six games I still believe there is much room for improvement. While the team looked solid defensively, with Koscielny and Jenkinson in particular excelling, going forward we still seem to lack a cutting edge and the ability to retain possession for a prolonged period. This is rather concerning as these are the principles that all of Arsene Wenger's teams have been built on. The players seem to lack ideas when we approach the final third and Van Persie becomes an isolated figure, while Walcott and Arshavin do not offer enough width resulting in our play becomming narrow and predictable, Consequently possession is lost as the opposition easily intercept our forward passes and get the opportunity to hit us on the counter attack.

Arshavin yet again proved yesterday that he does not deserve to wear the famous red and white shirt, with another insipid display. He has openly admitted that he has not performed to the best of his ability, however it is his work rate, or lack of it, which concerns me the most as he rarely chases back when he loses possession giving the impression that he isn't really bothered. I hope he is sold in the January transfer window as I would rather see a player with half his talent who gives his all for the cause.

The introduction of Gervinho, who always looks to attack the opposition with his direct runs and incredible pace, gave us another option and subsequently Arsenal created their best opportunities. The goal when it came owed much to Ramsey's willingness to support the attack despite the clock ticking over into injury time. A good cross from Djourou, miss-controlled by Gervinho, found Ramsey in acres of space and he calmly slid the ball past Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal to give Arsenal a great result away from home.

Hopefully this result will give the squad great confidence going into Sunday's game against Stoke, and lead to an improved performance as well as those much needed three points.

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