Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Olympiacos (H)

Our unbeaten run came to end on Saturday as we went down 2-1 to Chelsea, largely I have to say due to our own errors. Defensively we were all over the place and although I understand why Wenger chose Vermaelen and Koscielny over Mertesacker, it was the wrong choice and I think he knows that. The first goal came from a free kick conceded by Vermaelen who steamed through Torres, as it was put in Torres somehoe wrapped his foot around Koscielny and put it into the top corner. 

We retaliated before the half when Gervinho stopped an Ox cross in the box, pivoted and rifled into the roof of the net leaving Cech no chance. It was a great goal but apart from that Gervinho had a relatively indifferent game, there is no doubt he is one of the most frustrating players there are. We started the second half well and for the first 7 or 8 minutes we were the better team but then once again we conceded a free kick which Juan Mata whipped in and Koscielny could do nothing but help it into the net. It was goal bound anyway. After that we went totally flat and didn't do much, Cazorla was shut out effectively by Chelsea and I think we lost something after Diaby went off 15 minutes in with what we now know is a Thigh strain. Perhaps we should have had a draw when Giroud rounded Cech and but only found the side-netting from a tight angle, not the easiest chance but the opportunity was there to shoot and a player in form may have found the finish.

Champions League action tomorrow as we host Olympiacos. After beating French champions Montpellier in France, a win tomorrow would set us up nicely. Judging the team is difficult at the moment. With Diaby out it's possibly we may see Frimpong occupy his role but I doubt that is the case. I think its more likely we'll see Ramsey sit behind the front line with Arteta, far from an ideal setup but there you go. I think the line up will be something like this: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta, Alex OC, Cazorla, Podolski, Gervinho. This is another game we should be winning in the group and it will be interesting to see how the team bounce back after the weekends disappointment.

In other news it's good to see that Jack Wilshere has played his first 60 minutes of competitive football in 14 months, after making an appearance in the 1-0 defeat to West Brom U21's yesterday. Let's hope we'll soon see him back in the first team.

I don't think tomorrow will be too challenging but in the Champions League very few games are easy.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Olympiacos