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Moving onto the current game at Old Trafford, it's always dangerous to underestimate Manchester United, but I can't help but feel...bullish about our chances.
Never would I have thought that Arsenal would have any problem with passing, and yet it happened for most of the first half. Only in the second when we got some of our rhythm back, but we still slogging it out in an overcrowded midfield, and it was a game where nothing went right for Giroud.
When Bendtner came on, I bitterly laughed my arse off. I admit, it was a moment of desperation for Wenger to try something different, but come on! In any case, his abysmal performance (even in the last 15 minutes of the game), highlighted by his glaring lack of anticipation to score off yet another brilliant Sagna cross (easily Arsenal's man of the match, in my opinion) as he (I think) tried to score with his head, realised that he couldn't reached and switched to his leg halfway through the motion.
We also badly missed a pacey winger. Theo Walcott comes to mind, but Serge Gnabry did really well for the 7 minutes he was on. He almost undid Manchester United's gameplan (almost because we didn't fully exploit with goals). I can understand Arsene Wenger's reluctance to play anyone but his first team week in, week out, but it paid dearly today, with the team looking lethargic for the match.
Having said that, it also makes me wonder why didn't we attempt to start with Gnabry to begin with, and then close off the game with Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere being introduced later on?
In the end, though, we did come off with 2 wins from 3 games; one against Dortmund (definitely not a team I would consider inferior to United) and Liverpool (credit to them, they seem to have really gotten their act together this season, and I would consider the SAS to rival Rooney and van Persie). People will harp on about "Arsenal in crisis" malarkey (I actually count 5 articles written to that effect in the Guardian this morning), but remember, it is only 3 points. Leagues are won by generally not screwing up. Now, we have the international match break, by which time we should be seeing Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott back in the squad, which will add a much-needed avenue of attack and cover (rest) for Giroud.
I actually understands why Wenger decided to bring on Bendtner. He has actually worked out pretty well as a targetman for Denmark against difficult opposition.
As for Ozil, yes, his stamina is not examplary for a professional footballer but nobody's perfect. How can we expect him to immediately have better stamina in a more physically demanding league if he did not play a full game in Spain where the football is much slower and more technical? He is not a player that runs all the time on the pitch. He drifts in and out with moments of absolute genius, and he has had to do a lot more running here than he did in Spain (which I absolutely salute him for).
If I had to summarise what I just said: lay off him for a while. If his performances do not 'improve' when we have more attacking options available allowing for him to rest/rotate/recover then you can bring up the topic about his contributions.
@Lied: Bendtner was placed on the wing, not up front. There were never going to be a lot of chances to perform in his target man role. The one chance he did get, he screwed up. Giroud, credit to him, worked his socks off, again. It just was not his day today.
Just as it was bad luck for Arsenal in the previous encounter.
OUTPLAYED? Arsenal kept a solid defensive backbone; their offence could not penetrate our defence. Eventually they push harder and harder, leaving more and more space in the back, and it leads to the sucker punch we saw."
Keswick >> Today - 06:44, Edited Today - 06:53
"If you are only able to come away with a 1-0 win over a dead-tired team, in your own ground, in a game in which you were TOTALLY OUTPLAYED in the second half and when the only goal itself did not come from open play, you have more problems than meets the eye."
now you are just speaking against yourself. if the team you support is outplayed it is "solid defensive backbone", but if you play decent second half vs man utd (without creating a single goalscoring chance) then it is "totally outplayed"
Isn't that what's so beautiful (or ugly, depending on how you look at it) about football? Two random blokes can actually get together and argue semantics over a common subject.
Oh, and if you wanted true neutrality and common-sense stoicism and examination by Socratic method, you could always try Piers Morgan...oh wait...