On this day back in 1995, Dennis Bergkamp made his debut for us against Middlesbrough at Highbury. We only managed a 1-1 draw but regardless, it was the start of a wonderful relationship between Bergkamp, Arsenal FC and the fans…
Last night was grim.
Aaron Ramsey, who has so many times been our saviour, showed immaturity to pick up two bookings which will see him miss next Wednesday’s do or die match. Shirt pulling, the first was silly enough but to go and repeat such antics and get sent off was stupid.
Mikel Arteta hobbled off injured and it’s looking likely that he’ll miss the second leg too.
Olivier Giroud, well he could have won the game and given us a huge away goal which would have given us a great advantage in this tie but his shooting boots and his legs were clearly missing last night.
Alexis shone, as did Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when he replaced our Chilean international but why the pair of them weren’t on the pitch at the same time amazes me. Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta to name just a few just didn’t get into the game. Cazorla seldom does when playing on the left. Calum Chambers was again a rock in the centre of defence, a defence which did well to keep a clean sheet.
We were fortunate not to conceded and Ba came very close to doing just that from the kick off. Thankfully Szczesny was alert to tip the ball onto the bar.
Our midfield just isn’t right. Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere just doesn’t work in my opinion. Not one of them is good or strong enough to protect our defence when needed and last night should have been clearly obvious to Arsene Wenger that he needs to sign a defence minded midfielder as if he doesn’t, we’ll be ripped apart all too often. Maybe the injury to Mikel Arteta will force him to act, not that he should need last night to make him realise we need that kind of player, it’s been clear for a while.
Callum Chambers, as good as he is proving he is, is just 19 years old. He’s played all through pre-season and if he carries on playing each week, he’ll soon be either injured, or exhausted and that would be wrong and unfair on such a talented player. Yes we have Mertesacker coming back but he alone isn’t enough, we desperately need a CB.
On last night’s showing, I’m slowly joining the ‘we need a striker’ camp to because Giroud really was woeful. He could so easily won that match for us.
The bright side of the game was Alexis and the very nearly goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain who was denied by the post. Chambers too had a chance near the end but he just couldn’t get his headed on target.
After the match Arsene Wenger talked about the defence:
We are a bit short at the back, yes you’re right. But we should have Mertesacker and Ozil and Podolski available again at the weekend. Let’s hope they are in good shape when we go home.
And his transfer plans:
Not at the moment, no. I have nothing special to add on that at the moment. Honestly, we are not close to signing anybody.
I hope he’s lying!
We’re not out of the Champions League just yet and if the club get a move on and make a couple of signings, we won’t be next week either.
Before then though, we face a very tricky trip to Everton…….
That’s your lot, have a good day all….