We couldn’t get our game together again last night, albeit in an intimidating atmosphere. Demba Ba tried an audacious shot from kick off, which nearly had Szczesny beat. This summed up the way the game unfolded. As i said yesterday though, a draw would be an okay result against Besiktas, who are clearly no push overs. We just have to turn up at home and win, business as usual.
The pitch was atrocious, chunks missing, which caused he ball to bobble about and become unpredictable. Wenger had complained about the state of it prior to the match. Matters were not helped when Mikel Arteta had to be substituted due to twisting his ankle. He was wearing a protective boot after the match, so we will have to wait for the scan results to know the true extent of the damage.
Aaron Ramsey will be missing the next leg due to receiving a red card, which was dubious and could have been prevented. The first yellow he received was questionable but understandable as he pulled back on the shirt of the player tugging on his own shirt. The second yellow came from a dive from the Besiktas player.
We played at a pedestrian pace again, as we lacked pace. Alexis Sanchez was the only true outlet until Chamberlain came on. Why he didn’t start over the sluggish Cazorla is beyond me, he needs to be starting. Cazorla is truly wasted out wide. As soon as the Ox came on he made a difference, as he did against Crystal Palace. He nearly clutched the victory with a jinking run concluding with a left footed shot, which got tipped onto the post.
Giroud started up front and had an absolute nightmare of a game. His first touch was woeful, he was getting bullied off the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sanogo start ahead of him, if fit, against Everton. I would have even liked to have seen Joel Campbell start last night, either on the wing or up front. I know Giroud can be a very effective, yet limited, striker for us but last night he was dreadful. I’d love a new striker to rotate Giroud with, once we have bought a CB (Manalos) and a DM (Carvalho??).
Our one true saving grace last night was Calum Chambers. Bar one mistake late on where he allowed Demba Ba to get an opportunity on goal, he was outstanding yet again. He was well positioned to nullify a lot of attacks last night and was vocal, barking instructions along the back four. He has to be joint signing of the summer, along with Alexis.
Let’s hope we see the real Arsenal turn up against a very tough Everton side this weekend.