Well that was a funny old game yesterday and talk about ‘game of two halves’ – it was just that.
Seven minutes in and Carl Jenkinson had a disaster. Not really sure what his intentions were. He appeared to get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea when ‘defensive header’ ended up being the perfect ball for Lorenzo Insigne – he fired home, 1-0 to Napoli!
Hopefully Wenger made a mental note of that one! No, not so he can have a moan and groan at Jenkinson but to realise that some of our younger/less experienced players need more time and what we need now is an experienced addition to our defence.
17 minutes on the clock and a soft penalty was awarded to us by referee Kevin Friend after Napoli’s Valon Behrami fouled Kieran Gibbs. Up Stepped Lukas Podolski – but a soft shot was easily dealt with by Pepe Reina.
As 30 mins approached, 2-0 down we went. It was a dreadful goal to give away, not because of the scoreline, but the way in which we conceded. Marek Hamsik had all the time and space in the world to casually breeze through our defensive barrier (or lack of it) before setting up Goran Pandev who made it 2-0.
That’s what happens when a side doesn’t have a defence minded midfielder or pace in the defence.. Well, in Mertesackers legs really!
The second half was very different and we were the better side – bringing on Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave us so much more going forward. Bacary Sagna showed exactly why he needs to stay and keep the right back position. No way should he be relied on to play central in my humble opinion. We need a centre-half, sign one!
On the 73rd minute, Walcott sent in a corner which caught Napoli’s defence flat-footed and Olivier Giroud, in a fine athletic manner fired home with some sort of overhead kick. Yes yes, irony but he scored, with a little help from Sagnas shoulder without which, his shot would have gone wide.
There was one really ugly moment in the game when Napoli substitute Andrea Dossena was booked for a late, nasty tackle on Sagna, thankfully our right-back got up and walked away unscathed. In a ‘proper’ match, I would hope that such tackles result in a red card!
During the final fifteen minutes we well and truly knocked on Napoli’s door and eventually found an equaliser through Laurent Koscielny. There was just four minutes left on the clock when Mikel Arteta played in a cross which Per Mertesacker headed towards the goal. Reina saved it but could only push the ball up into the air rather than out to the side.
Thank you said our Frenchman, as he nodded home the equaliser….
Serge Gnabry did himself no harm at all yesterday as he fights for a place in the squad. He’s big, strong and wasn’t at all fazed by the Napoli players. Akpom was on on for minutes while Zelalem and Martinez were the other two youngsters on the bench who didn’t feature.
I’ll finish with the gossip.
According to John Cross, The Sun Newspaper claim that we have agreed a £6.1m to bring Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter to Arsenal. Bizare as that sounds as Cross writes for The Mirror, but he’s obviously read the other story and then used Twitter to relay this piece of news.
Of course he hopes it true as he broke the ‘rumour’ a few weeks back…
Finally, Sport 360 report that Omar Abdulrahman could be set for a move to Arsenal after the Premier League club approached Al Ain to take the talented playmaker/winger on trial. Abdulrahman has previously been on trial at Manchester City and the club were very keen on signing him but now it seems that Arsene Wenger could get in there first….
That’s about it for another day, enjoy the match against Galatasaray, let’s hope it all goes by smoothly..
Oh, and no booing Eboue, he’s not ours any more…..
Have a good one….