I must have been watching a different game to so many people on Tuesday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the game even if our performance was still short of what we expect from this Arsenal squad.
The pitch was awful and certainly not what we should expect at this very high level of football. There should be a certain standard that all teams should have to adhere to. I can't believe that isn't the case in 2014. A team that cannot provide the required playing surface should not be able to take part in the competition.
That would soon sort out the problem.
Having said all this, I thought the pitch added to the game. There were tackles flying in from both sides, and end to end attacking football that reminded me of the matches we used to play in the park growing up. #iwantmyfootballback
The only surprise was that there were no goals to show for it. I won't go into the game itself though, you can catch @LennyPetsPuppys's excellent views here.
A goalless draw isn't the best result in the world but neither is it the worst. Having to beat Besiktas at home to qualify should be very possible for an Arsenal team who will hopefully be sharper by the time the teams face each other next.
There are rumours that Lukas Podolski could be sold to Galatasaray or elsewhere and I must say that wouldn't be much of a surprise. If Theo Walcott was available last season then it's likely that Podolski would not have had the games he had towards the end of the season. We've now signed Alexis Sanchez, who like Podolski can play both wide and through the middle so Podolski's chances to play regularly have diminished further.
I'd love him to be kept around though, you can never have too many goalscorers but he'd have to be ok with not being in the match day squad every week and that is likely to be an issue. If we are not to reinvest in that area then I'd much rather Lukas stay put until January at the earliest.
Arsène Wenger had his presser today so we have some semi fresh, warm news to tuck into. He was asked about Joel Campbell, and he informed the journos that Joel had not yet had a chance but he would get one soon. I guess he is another reason why Podolski could be surplus to requirements.
While Joel does not yet have the experience of the German I get the feeling that Campbell has more tools to work with and could offer the team more in terms of mobility, pace and creativity. But League cup games aside it's hard to see Campbell getting a chance when we have more established players in his position. Perhaps there is an area of his game that Arsène wants him to work on before he is unleashed, who knows.
Arsène also said that he was not against signing a defensive midfielder before the close of the window which is probably another way of saying he wants to buy one but in a manner that doesn't come across as desperate. Will we see someone who can play at centre back as well? Or will Arsène opt for another centre back?
I'd quite like to see how Chambers performs in that position, especially with Arteta missing. I asked Gooners on Twitter which player they'd rather to replace Arteta for the weekend, Flamini or Chambers and more than double went for the youngster. Experience lacking aside, he looks well suited to it after his last few displays which I know isn't the greatest sample size but hey, what else do we have to play with?
Also his height would give the team a hand when it comes to set pieces. An area in which we have struggled since the beginning of pre season. Per, Giroud and Chambers gives us a much better chance of winning headers in our zones. Given that conceding from open play has yet to happen, including pre season (I think) it is an area where we have to improve so we can pick up more points.
You can just picture Koscielny striding out from the back, driving into midfield pushing our attacking players up the pitch and watch Chambers drift seamlessly into the back four to cover him. I don't think this will happen this weekend anyway. Arsène might want Koscielny to rest his injury because he won't want to push him too much so soon, so a Chambers and Mertesacker partnership may well be tried out.
Lastly, as you'd expect for this time of year there are a lot of rumours doing the rounds. Cavani, Falcao, Reus and all that kind of madness. My advice would be to simply ignore it all and take it with a pinch of salt. We've been signing Balotelli, Schneiderlin, Khedira, Carvalho, Manolas amongst others and it's mostly been horse poo. Not that you (or I) will listen to any of my advice.