Morning all and welcome to a new week.
It’s the week the Champions League begins and believe me i’m excited, but leaving aside that, we should talk about the game on Saturday.
We hosted the Orcs…who aren’t really Orcs in that sense anymore seeing as they got some semi decent players and try to play decent football. We started with Theo Walcott upfront and I was at first surprised as I was certain Stoke would try and play defensively and sit deep and pack men behind the ball. Apparently, I haven’t been watching Stoke games and Arsene surely has. They gave us space and we were able to play at blinding speed sometimes.
We won 2-0 which was good, but boy were we wasteful. The stats say we had 29 shots! 12 on target, yet we scored just two. Now I don’t want to be churlish and all, but it does make you wonder. What if this was a game where could muster say only six shots? Or maybe have just three on target? What happens then with our conversion rate so low (it’s the second lowest in the league)
I wanted to tear my hair out on Saturday, I was so frustrating at times, but the upside of writing this post on a Monday morning is that I have had time to look over it and I can begin to see more positives. We ARE creating chances, it’s only a matter of time before we start putting in more. Many will be of the opinion that ‘hey if only we had bought a world class striker…’ yes, if we could find we should have bought, maybe even pushed out the boat a little for someone we wanted, or a player who could offer something different, but hey this is the team we have and we have to stick with them.
The fact is we know that the strikers we have on hand are better finishers than they have shown so far. We seem to forget that and are quick to point out Giroud’s Monaco game, or Walcott’s wastefulness. We forget that Giroud is a player you can generally bank on to give you a minimum of 15 goals and we forget that Walcott isn’t too shabby in terms of goals.
They have been wasteful so far, no doubt about it, an Aguero would have buried those chances easily, no doubt about that either, but we don’t have an Aguero do we?
I loved the result, I was proud of the performance, only the wastefulness worried me, but I can get over that if the other areas are doing their duty.
I was particularly impressed with Coquelin. He doesn’t look out of place in that team and can’t stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best DMs in Europe at the moment. What a story it would have been if we didn’t recall him from Charlton. It’s quite possible his talent would never have been realised and he would have had a mediocre career till he retired. Thank goodness he’s doing so well for us.
If Ozil and Santi keep this up, it’ll be a toss up in POTY for them, but, I would really like to see Ozil be imperious in a big game. Now I am not throwing out random criticism, I love Ozil and I think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread (or in a Nigerian’s case, Agege bread) but, I would love to see him do this against the best of the best so as to shut those critics up.
Anyhoo, we play Chelsea next and honestly I don’t think we could have picked a better time to play them. Sure they seem to be shafting us again with a midweek game where we travel and a 12:45pm kick-off for an away game while Chelsea don’t have to travel and I think that sucks but they are professionals and should be able to handle something like this.
I wonder if persisting with Theo as the centre forward will make him better and maybe more suitable to the role, but I digress (that’s what I’ve been doing all through this post)
I hope for a win on Wednesday, till then, have a good one.