October 21, 2015

They Know...

By Steve Kessel

The result on Tuesday was good, really good, and to top it off we played a solid game from front to back.  A lot was made of the fact that Bayern had the majority of possession, but on balance I would say we had the better chances and deserved the win.  Although they had a lot of the ball, we really limited their number of chances.  When they did carve out a chance, Cech was on hand in fine form to cut out the danger.  He had a great performance and truly is one of the world’s best.  I have to admit that I was a little disappointed for Szczesny when we got Cech, but now he really feels like a Gooner and our only signing seems like he will be a real difference maker this season.

There were solid performances all over the pitch.  The more I watch Ozil, the more I am fascinated by him.  He truly is operating on another level and was my MOTM.  I am not just doing a Garth Crooks team of the week selection there and just picking whoever scored, no matter how they played the rest of the game.  His play yesterday was inspired and his reputation most definitely proceeded him.  From the get go Bayern were pressing all our players hard, except Ozil.  Whenever he got the ball they would stand off him cautiously.  They know that he has the potential to do real damage with the ball, they know, and as such were not willing to dive in and get humiliated.

Bellerin just seems to improve from game to game.  He was not fazed by the occasion, not at all.  Since Debuchy’s injury he has grabbed his chance with both hands and never looked back.  Debuchy can complain all he likes about not getting enough time on the field, but what manager in their right mind would leave Bellerin out right now.  He has been electric in attack and solid in defence.  The anticipation, speed and ability he showed for his assist gave me a semi.  Not bad for a kid who couldn’t even get in the Watford team during his loan spell a few years back.  Long may his improvement continue!  Let’s just hope we can keep him at the club.  I am confident we can as we don’t need to sell anymore and he seems happy.

Walcott had a good game, and was unlucky to be denied by a Neuer supersave, but it was fine as the Boss was able to change it up and bring on super-sub Giroud to break the dead lock.  The boss got everything spot on last night, from tactics, to subs, to (one can only assume) the half time team talk.  He was asked in the press conference why he was instructing to go up for the free kick.  He said that he could see that the team were looking to play it short and thought it was a better option to flood the box and cross it in.  He, as he usually is, was right, and now he is the only manager to beat both Guardiola’s Barca and Bayern teams.  Not too shabby.  
Finally, a quick shout out for the fifth and six officials.  Before this year I have NEVER seen them do anything.  In our last two games they correctly gave goals, one for and one against.  Not easy decisions, but they nailed them.  Give me goal line technology every day of the week, but credit where credit is due. 

Let’s hope we can get at least a point in Munich and revitalise our chances to progress beyond the group.  In the mean time we have a tough game against Everton, but confidence should be sky high.  Keep the momentum up and really mount a title challenge.

Up the Arsenal!!!