1) Before kick off were you worried about the game given the crazy results the day previous?
@gunner4life24 - I was quite worried to be honest, even before yesterday's round of matches took place. Once yesterday's results came in, my anxiety only increased. I was very wary that we would fluff our lines after the Manchester City result and the memory of the loss against Blackburn two seasons ago dominated my thoughts.
@shivams18 - Wasn't worried. Probably would have if not for the composed performance last weekend. Was circumspect, yes. These away games to lower league sides haven't always been a walk in the park for us. In a way, yesterday's results would've made the players more focused.
@SweGoon - Not really. Other teams results holds no bearing on us. If anything they should have made us more focused.
2) How do you think the team played given the changes made to the side?
@gunner4life24 - Offensively I thought the team played well even though there were a couple of opportunities to score on the counterattack that were squandered. It was great to see Özil and Walcott back and amongst the goals and Rosicky was absolutely superb. Defensively, I was less impressed with Koscielny's poor clearance in the buildup to the first goal and his playing Baldock onside for the second. To end on a positive note, it was good to see the team see the game out under pressure in the end.
@shivams18 - As the defence was almost entirely different to last weekend's game, some jitters were expected. But given that we conceded only 2 shots on target, I feel that it was a good job defensively. Going forward we were excellent, and with a little better pitch our counters could've been more fruitful. Credit to the team that despite the wholesale changes, we didn't look disjointed.
@SweGoon - Very well, aside from the defensive lapses. Özil and Walcott looked a lot sharper.
3) Who was your man of the match and why?
@gunner4life24 - There is really only one answer to the question...Rosicky. His work rate at 34 is outstanding alone but his vision to spot the pass to Özil for our second goal was amazing! The run he made for the third goal, the no look pass to Giroud and the technique on the volleyed finish were outstanding. He is truly a little Mozart.
@shivams18 - I think there is only one contender - Rosicky. He has been my favorite AFC player, despite the arrivals of the likes of Santi, Ozil and Alexis. So his performance was a bit more special to me. He made us tick, and brought a dynamism to our attacking play. Given that Ozil and Theo were making a comeback, it was imperative that someone else takes the attacking initiative, and he did, as he most often does. His assist was sumptuous and the goal was equally well taken. Pity, we didnt see his sliding tackles because of the pitch!
@SweGoon - Rosicky. A great overall performance, even if he got a bit lazy for their second goal.
4) Who wasn't quite up to the required level and why?
@gunner4life24 - The first name that springs to mind is Flamini. His weak challenge on O'Grady which allowed him the opportunity to turn and score the first Brighton goal really got under my skin. I don't wish to be unkind but he is really unsuited to football at this level at this point in his career and his performances consistently show this. Koscielny did not have the best day at the office and was partly culpable for both the goals we conceded. Also, Szczesny seemed a bit rusty to me and on crosses I thought he looked a bit suspect.
@shivams18 - Flamini. His problem is his cavalier approach. It seems he thinks of himself as a box-to-box midfielder. How else would one explain him being at the right wing when we were 3-1 up. He then has to track back, hence gets less time to position himself well. Coquelin, on the other hand, almost always stays back, and lets the game play out in front of him. Hence he has a better idea of where to position himself, and more time to do so.
WS. May be a bit harsh on him, but again we conceded with both shots on target. It doesnt do his reputation any good.
@SweGoon - Flamini. He was just a shambles. Can't think of anything he did well tbh.
5) Two wins out of our last two games with many different players. When it comes to our next league game, what team would you choose?
@gunner4life24 - I think it has to be Ospina in goal. Three games, three clean sheets speaks for itself. In defence, I think Mertesacker should come back in to pair up with Koscielny. At RB I would put Bellerin back in. After a rough start in the first team he has looked more assured with each game he plays and his athleticism and energy are fantastic. This may be controversial but I would start Monreal ahead of Gibbs at LB. I think he has been great over the past couple of weeks and is a real unsung hero.
In the midfield, Carzola has to play centrally ahead of Özil. I don't think Carzola should be forced to play wide given the form he is in. I would have Coquelin ahead of Flamini, Alexis obviously, Ramsey, Walcott for his pace and ability to run in behind the defence with Giroud leading the line.
@shivams18 - I would choose the team which played against City, especially the back 6. Theo and Ozil would have to earn their place back in the side, because it would be unfair to the Ox if he is dropped (if he is fully fit, that is). Ramsey may need a rest given he too is making a comeback and has played most of the minutes. Rosicky should be rested and played against Spurs, he loves scoring against them!
@SweGoon - Ospina - Bellerin, Per, Koscielny, Gibbs - Coquelin, Cazorla - Alexis, Özil, Rosicky - Giroud
6) Do you think we have a good chance of winning the FA Cup this season?
@gunner4life24 - After Saturday's results, I think our chances of retaining the FA Cup this year have increased significantly. However, we must not underestimate any future opponent, whether they be from the Premier League, Championship or the lower leagues. We saw what the likes of Bradford can do with the Chelsea result. Indeed, we got our arses handed to us by them a couple seasons ago in the League Cup.
@shivams18 - Without getting ahead of myself, I would say that our chances have massively improved over the weekend. ManU, Pool and WHU are the most realistic challengers now. And if we can maintain our form and fitness then we can go all the way.
@SweGoon - We are favorites for sure.
7) Any other thoughts?
@gunner4life24 - This may have been beaten to death already but how impressive is Alexis! Watching him ride tackles and press the opposition to either retain possession or win back the ball is so enjoyable to say the least. I was disappointed for him to have not gotten at least one goal...damn you Stockdale and crossbar!
@shivams18 - Rosicky. He shows great fight and grit, yet he displays such child-like enthusiasm for the game. A bit like Santi one can say. And given how the injury gods have treated him, it is to his great credit that he retains the love for the game and hasnt become a cynical old man. I am hard-pressed to find a player in world football who matches his playing style, with his out-of-the-boot passes, no-look passes and sliding tackles. Lucky he is ours.
@SweGoon - We really need to bin Flamini in the summer. Also, how confident did Coquelin look coming on?
Other match related content: Brighton (a) Second half Rosicky purring once more