1) 1-0 and through to the Champions League group stages. How were your nerves going into that final twenty minutes?
@AFChymnSheet - It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be Besiktas didn't threat us too much, I was more worried about the Referee than the team from Turkey. I would of preferred Ox to finish his chance
@goonerdesi - Couldn't sit in one place....Forgot to breathe...The game was getting really physical and the ref was losing the plot...Just some individual moments of fight/quality by the Gunners kept me alive in that period I think
@Merse10 - Honestly, after the red card I was bracing myself for Demba Ba to score a last minute goal & visions of Mourinho celebrating it. Old fashioned grit & determination from the lads though. Real spirit in this group of players
2) What did you make of our starting line up and team set up?
@AFChymnSheet - Not a fan of Sanchez up front he is a grafter though. I am also a bit miffed about Özil on the wing, I do like the back four at the moment with the exception of Monreal, mind you he has looked quite sturdy of late
@goonerdesi - From the players available, I thought this was the best possible line up. Team set-up was not a problem in itself but the issue is that there are a lot of little changes that the players have to get used to. For instance, Ozil had a very good game against Everton but he struggled with his choices and execution in this one. Didn't have any understanding with Sanchez. Lots of balls were played into areas the runner didn't go to...These things will improve with time.
@Merse10 - I like Özil wide. A lot of his best work last season was in wide areas. He can play a similar role to Pires & impact the game from there. Was pleased to see Sanchez up top again - I believe he can be a huge success there.
3) Which players stood out for you? and who was your man of the match?
@AFChymnSheet - Jack stood out he bossed the Midfield his driving runs in the middle of the pitch was great to see he gets a lot of criticism but he is a great player. Just needs to lose the bad attitude he has
@goonerdesi - Sanchez was my MotM for his goal which proved decisive and never ending effort throughout the game. I loved his physicality, he'll be handful for many Premier League defenders particularly when the ref is a bit lenient. Wilshere was a fighter, could have been quicker with some passing though. Cazorla stepped up, Chamberlain had good energy and some nice touches on the flank (shame he didn't score)... Arguably Monreal's best performance in an Arsenal shirt, definitely so from a defensive point of view.
@Merse10 - 3 stand out performances for me; Jack, Sanchez & Santi. Jack was brilliant from the moment he turned away from 2 players early on. Best response to criticism is to let his football do the talking & he did that. Sanchez incredible work rate a constant nuisance & Santi ran himself dead.
4) Who did you feel wasn't quite up to scratch tonight?
@AFChymnSheet - The Referee gave the most needless of cards and was very harsh sending of Debuchy who made a great challenge and was up there for MOTD until that point. Of our players I wasn't to happy with Ox and Özil felt their work rate was a bit lethargic at times
@goonerdesi - Ozil was quite below par IMO. Just didn't seem switched on mentally. Had chances to play Sanchez in that he missed uncharacteristically, lost the ball more casually than a player of his quality should... Can't say he wasn't trying... did a fair amount of tracking back, for instance. So the physical effort was there but the mental connection was iffy and overall output suffered.
@Merse10 - The referee! Can't really knock any of our players. All showed grit & determination that is often said we lack. Win like tonight will do so much for the spirit in the squad.
5) I'm having trouble trying to work out what the referee was playing at. Do you have any idea?
@AFChymnSheet - I'm still puzzled I think you can win a referee badge of a box of cheerios in Portugal it's the only explanation. The yellow on Chambers was a joke I think our opposition would rather him get on the pitch quick smart than time waste.
@goonerdesi - Ha ha... the less said the better... I don't think he was favouring one particular team and in that sense Arsenal might have gotten lucky in the first half... Probably deserved luck for the Gunners but a bit harsh for Besiktas... We know the feeling of being robbed.. a penalty in the first half would have completely changed this game. It could be that he was harsh on debuchy in the second half to make up for errors in the first... completely lost the plot at the end
@Merse10 - Debuchy red card was ridiculous only then to outdo himself with the Chambers booking. Perhaps they could have had a penalty. A nightmare evening for the ref.
6) Now that we've seen Alexis Sanchez playing at the centre forward for the second time, what are your views of him in that role?
@AFChymnSheet - He isn't tall enough in that role of a lone striker he needs to play of someone or he needs to be on the wing creating chances.
@goonerdesi - Well, he was my MotM so I obviously liked him a lot. He should not be seen as the traditional centre forward but more a player who can help the team with his qualities irrespective of where he plays. That said, I'd not want to count on him as the main man for bulk of the season because it will take time for him and others around him some time to figure out how to work together for the benefit of the team. Besiktas were quite open and prone to errors at the back, other stronger defences will make it much harder for him. It'd be best if he plays there against a few weaker teams to begin with. I'd start him over Sanogo or Walcott, which basically means another top player is needed.
@Merse10 - love him. He is clinical in front of goal which we'll see more of. He is so tenacious & eager to run. There's more to come for sure but he offers us an out ball especially when we're backs against the walls. Defending from the front is a underrated quality & his pressing will cause problems for teams.
7) Any final thoughts?
@AFChymnSheet - 17 years in a row champions league football we never seem to qualify with ease. I'm just happy to be in the pot for the draw
@goonerdesi - Arsenal are unbeaten right now but have also had to work very hard against opposition that can be classified as average at best. There's been drama and heroism in the games but I'd really want to see outright dominance in such games. There were again many mistakes in midfield that led to counter-attacking chances. Better teams will cause havoc. Wenger has a lot of work to do in the transfer market and on the training ground if he wants to move from a top 4 battle to a serious fight for the major trophies.
@Merse10 - 17 consecutive years. This is a huge achievement & we should not take for granted our time at Europe's top table. Now, 3 points needed at Leicester!
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