Posted on Thursday, 29th September 2011 by Taaza
The match was interesting to watch, with the Gunners taking the lead in the opening 8 minutes through 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The lead was then doubled when Andre Santos struck in the in the 20th minute. However, the Greeks did manage to get one back, which created a very nervy finish, but thankfully we came out of the game with 3 points.
So here are 5 things I learnt from last night’s game:
1. Defence still needs improving
Even with all the comments being hurled at the club to try and stop using zonal marking or at least use it right, the goal we conceded was down to very poor marking. The whole zonal marking system leaves space for opposing players to make unmarked runs into the box and threaten our goal. We have a 6’6’’ defender in the heart of our defence, but why we don’t seem to use this to our advantage when defending, it’s a mystery to me. On the bright side, at least we have finally started putting men on the line during corners. Arteta being the man to make a goal line clearance, had he not been there we could have joined the list of English clubs that didn’t win in Europe on match day two. Despite the fact that we were constantly caught out by olympiakos’ short corner technique, Santos doesn’t suit to play as a left back; he is better suited as an attacking full-back. His attacking play is much better than his defending, as Olympiakos really tormented us on the left flank. On the other hand, we were able to see out all of Olympiakos’ attacks to grab the victory.
2. Lack of concentration
Don’t know why they still can’t sort this issue out, but we always seem to suffer from a lack of concentration when our opponents seem to get a goal back. When Olympiakos had grabbed a goal back, the players just seemed to lose all sense of direction as the Greek’s tried to force the game and grab an equalizer – it would have been the Greeks first point in 9 attempts on English soil had they drawn.
3. Players look committed
Yesterday’s game really showed how players are affected by results. after 3 wins on the bounce its good to see the team really getting into the game after they had regained the confidence. And they were not afraid to keep possession and made good challenges. However, commitment in marking still needs work, but when it came to the man in between the sticks, young polish keeper Szczesny showed why it takes a lot to get anything past him – he is the one player I always see trying to direct his back four and didn’t seem afraid to air his views when they made silly mistakes. Since Vermaelen got injured, Shezza seems to be the only player who does this. He was clearly determined to keep the clean sheet – it was just unfortunate he didn’t.
4. AOC in the house
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain really took his Champions League debut by the scruff of the neck and showed why he was signed by Arsene Wenger. The youngster made excellent runs, good passes, popped up in very dangerous positions in the oppositions final third, not to mention grabbing a goal in the process. He’s quick, and to be honest he does play better than Walcott did when he came to the club. The English youth star will give Theo a run for his money on the right flank.
5. Where was Park?
Last night I was really hoping to finally see Park have a game with the senior squad. When Olympiakos threatened to grab an equalizer, Pat Rice over looked the possibility of putting Park on and instead selected Robin van Persie and Aaaron Ramsey to come on and stabilize the team. Instead of taking the risk of playing Van Persie, with the north London derby just around the corner, I believe Park should have been given a run out – he might have produced something special for us.
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