Morning all and it’s not a good one…..
Yesterday, what many feared, played out in front of our eyes.
We started quite well though and within six minutes we’d registered our first goal of the new Premier League campaign.
Oxlade-Chamberlain broke down the left and then cut the perfect ball back across the six-yard box to Giroud who slotted the ball into the far corner. The perfect start…..
On the 22 minute mark, Villa drew level through a penalty. The referee, who was awful from start to finish, awarded a spot kick after he believed Agbonlahor had been brought down by Szczesny. Having appeared to play the advantage as the ball dropped nicely for Weimann, after the Villa player fluffed his shot, Taylor rewound and went back to the original offence.
Not sure that was the right thing to do on the day, I’m not 100% sure on the footballing law regarding that.
Szczesny was shown a yellow card for his involvement and Benteke stepped up to take the penalty. Our big Pole made a good save but the ball popped back into the penalty area where Benteke was nicely positioned to head home.
Arsenal players seemed stunned!
The tempo upped a bit from then on, not so much with the level of the game but the tackles were thick and fast from both sides, only ours appeared to be noticed by the referee…..
Gibbs took a wack to the head and suffered a nasty cut above his eye resulting in him going off, Villa captain Ron Vlaar and Jack Wilshere had handbags on half-way line resulting in a booking for both.
Szczesny then had a moment of madness dashing out of his goal and trying to defend like Koscielny but just in time, he managed to get his butt back where he should have been and to produce a save which prevented Ashley Westwood’s long range shot from finding the back of the net…
As the second half got under-away, Tomas Rosicky had the first real chance to grab us the lead but he fired over the bar. The interchange with Giroud deserved a better finish.
Villa were then denied taking the lead by the inside of the post. Apparently the new goal decision system, GDS, came was used to make sure the ball hadn’t crossed the line….. Didn’t even notice that…
Then came a big moment of controversy. At the time, I thought the referee had got the penalty decision right but replays clearly show that Lauren Koscielny made contact with the ball, albeit slight – but as we know, Agbonlahor likes to impersonate Tom Daley and he did so very well.
He conned referee Taylor and up stepped Benteke. 2-1…….
Just before 70 minutes struck on the clock, Koscielny received his second yellow of the game after a coming together with Villas Weimann. A player as good and wise as Koscielny should have been more careful.
Down to ten but we gave our all to get a second goal and try and earn a point – Rosicky and Cazorla were both denied by Brad Guzan. But the more we pressed forward in search of a goal, we were left exposed at the back and with around five minutes of regular time left on the clock, Villa hit us on the break with Luna making sure all three points went to the visitors…
It was a truly awful opening day of the season for the club we all love and support. Not only the result but the injuries to both Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who both had to be replaced. Sagna took a battering too and to be honest, a few players look a way off being at the top of their game.
Koscielny will now miss the next league fixture which is away at Fulham and I suspect Gibbs and Ox will be at least out Wednesdays clash in Turkey. Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain is suspected to have suffered a serious injury and could be out for three months at least according to The Mirror. He left the ground on crutches and the damage is suspected to be to his ligaments. He’s going to be a huge miss if this is true.
Of course Wenger and his many supporters will immediately point to the ref but haven’t we been doing that for too many seasons now?
Shouldn’t we be better than that, shouldn’t we be able to beat sides like Aston Villa at home quite comfortably? We would if we had the squad but we clearly haven’t….
What happens now?
Well that’s anyones guess.
Will this result force Arsene Wenger into action in the transfer window? It should.
Will the players who looked so lost and forlorn yesterday, be able to pick themselves up for the CL qualifier against Fenerbache on Wednesday? I doubt it.
Will Arsene Wenger have the right words to pick their chins up of off the ground? I doubt that too.
We can blame who we like but ultimately it’s one man’ responsibility to make sure we have a strong enough squad to start the season and a deep enough squad to see us through the season.
Yesterday we had neither, today we even less, I suspect tomorrow ill be just the same…..
Nothing will change until Wenger changes…….
Gossip: The Daily Mirror reckon we are going back to make a better bid for Lars Bender and £25 million will get us Michu.
It’s all getting a bit boring now isn’t it….
Have a good day all……
PS – Don’t forget the HH Fantasy Football League which is set up on the official Premier League website.
1 – Click the link HERE.
2 – Sign up for an account and select your team.
3 – Click onto Leagues or if you get lost, follow the link HERE.
4 – Select Highbury House and enter our league code which is: 2047837-437358