Welcome back to a new season! Oh the joys, we were all looking forward to today with such optimisim and here we are. Anyway, the Q&A section is back for another season and some Arsenal fans on Twitter have had their say on the goings on at the Emirates. If you want to take part just get in contact and we can arrange which game you want to feature in.
1) Well that was fun wasn't it? In as many words as you like, where on earth did that go wrong and why?
@antmaley - that was the furthest thing away from fun! It was yet another one of those games where we outArsenalled ourselves. you can carry one player. or even a couple sometimes. but if your entire first XI doesn't perform, you are only ever going to get one result, regardless of the level of opposition. West Ham completely deserved the points, quite an accomplished performance from them but we never put them under any real pressure which is the most disappointing aspect of today. it was almost easy for them. certainly wasn't the debut that Petr was looking for! but everybody else under performed, he was by no means the only culprit. it can (surely?) only get better from here.
@beltransmole23 - Everything that could've gone wrong did. We were poor in possession, Petr Cech had a nightmare debut and is very much at fault for both goals, and we never looked like scoring, despite bringing on Walcott and Alexis at the end. But the most worrying thing is the fact that we didn't look like scoring. In that sense, it was very much like the games towards the end of last season, particularly Swansea and Sunderland, plus/minus errors by the keeper. Against Swansea, like the first half today, Coquelin was allowed to be on the ball. Coquelin is fine if he's simply winning the ball back and laying it off to the others, but if he tries playing, it all goes wrong. That's simply not his game. Cazorla is a bit better at controlling, because he can actually pass well, but sometimes he's too eager to bring the team forward, when they need to control possession and try and draw teams out.
@chuxugo - Only God saw this result coming. Plain and simple, we underestimated West Ham today, expecting to bag all 3 points without turning up and we got exactly what we deserved.
@hahostolze - We were poor but we'd have probably won if not for errors. Always errors the undoing. 34 errors leading to goals in four seasons. It's not good enough. Cech was so disappointing, can't believe he was nervous so what was it? Anyway all the hype has dissipated.
@ihwright - I thought the team started well in the first ten minutes but seemed to lose fluidity very easily. West Ham defended solidly but we gifted them the goals. In fairness to Bilic that's the third time we've played one of his teams in 12 months and on all occasions they've been very hard to play against. I know they made 10 changes from the team that played in Romania in midweek but I wonder if the earlier Europa League games meant they were a bit more competitively sharper.
@MananAgrawal1 - That was the most fun it has ever been (NOT). Everything that could go wrong went wrong basically, we seemed a bit too arrogant to start with and didn't looked as if we were at the races, to use a cliche.
2) Before kick off, were you content with the line up?
@antmaley - Yeah, I was quite happy with the lineup. wondered why Hector had dropped out but soon found out it was injury related. and Mathieu is a more than able deputy. it was a strong enough starting XI, certainly enough quality to beat West Ham, with all due respect. Would I have rather had Theo up top than Oli? different styles of players but it would have been a moot point - neither player played well today. I would probably have picked Oli over Theo as Theo offers more from the bench - if we are chasing a goal, his pace is more dangerous than Oli's height and hold up play, I would say. or it should be! but he was anonymous when he came on.
@beltransmole23 - I was content enough. I have reservations about Cazorla wide and about Coquelin against almost anyone aside from the top 4 or 5, but I thought we'd have enough to beat West Ham.
@chuxugo - Not completely. Bellerin aside (a forced absence), I was expecting Theo to get the nod over Giroud. Still a strong lineup nonetheless.
@hahostolze - It was the best available line up, Arteta was probably not fit enough to start otherwise I'd have him.
@ihwright - Yes, Bellerin was an enforced change but with Alexis just back in training I thought it was the strongest team that Arsene was in a position to pick.
@MananAgrawal1 - Umm, no actually. Would have wanted Mikel Arteta to start over Coquelin for obvious reasons and it showed.
3) I read a few tweets blaming Cech for the goals and others defending our new keeper on the two West Ham goals, where do you stand?
@antmaley - Well, he certainly didn't cover himself in any glory for the first goal. when you see a keeper come flying out like that, he has to make it to the ball or he is wide open for criticism. that said, Monreal was the wrong side of Kouyate and Kos should have been more aware of this. it was virtually a free run for him. as for the second goal, I'm tempted to say Cech is a little at fault there too. takes a step to his left for some reason and it leaves him completely flat footed. wasn't a particularly great shot, just accurate. definitely saveable.
@beltransmole23 - I think Cech is at fault for both goals. To be fair, he's let down by some really bad marking on the first goal; one player (Coquelin, I think) plays them all onside, but if he's coming off his line, he needs to get the ball. Ox stupidly gives the ball away for the second goal, but he's got to save that. It's not hit hard, it's not in the corner of his goal, he's not really blindsided by Koscielny; he's got to save it.
@chuxugo - On the 1st goal, Cech has to take the blame. If you come out for a cross, you must get something on it. Thats a cardinal rule of goalkeeping. If he had stayed on his line and the header was on target, ultimately resulting in a goal, then we could blame the marker on the set piece. As for the 2nd goal, no blame on Cech. The defence switched off as soon the Ox lost the ball. By the way, this is becoming a bad habit he needs to cut out of his game ASAP. We saw him lose the ball in dangerous positions against Monaco last season and more recently against Everton in pre-season, both errors leading to us conceding needlessly, just like today.
@hahostolze - Cech was at fault, even if the defending was shoddy. If you come out to punch, be sure. Period. And his late response to the Zarate shot was painfully reminiscent of Ospina's despairing armless attempts of last season.
@ihwright - Cech made two really bad errors on the goals but at the same time they came from mistakes other players made. Koscielny and Monreal didn't mark well on the free kick and Ox gave the ball away in a stupid position for the second but we really have to expect more from the keeper in both situations. Put it this way, if either of the keepers from last season let those goals in people would be apoplectic
@MananAgrawal1 - Cech and our marking were to blame for the first goal while Coquelin, the Ox and Cech for the second. Who knows, Cech could have saved the second goal if he hadn't taken the step in the opposite direction.
4) Difficult I know but which Arsenal player stood out for you positively today?
@antmaley - I genuinely can't pick anyone. We had moments of good play but it was all lost in the utter sh*tshow that was the full 90 minutes. The Ox started brightly but he continues to give the ball away in risky positions. that was about it. it was all a bit of a disaster today.
@beltransmole23 - Ox looked like the only one who was going to make something happen. I actually think we lost a lot when he was put at right back and a clearly not fit Alexis was brought on.
@chuxugo - It has to be the Ox (his mistake for the 2nd goal aside). He looked our best player by a mile. Most of our best moves came from him, even after he was shifted to Right Back (that mazy run and cross comes to mind). Not much to say about the rest of the team to be honest.
@hahostolze - Ox, but only just. Started so brightly and he's gonna have a killer season, but still sloppy on the goal.
@ihwright - No one really, it was one of those games where the players who weren't playing were probably made to look better in their absence. I suppose Sanchez did add a bit of directness and energy when he came on but with so little training with the team done it would have been unfair to expect big things from him today.
@MananAgrawal1 - If I have to choose one then Koscielny, by far. Ox had a good first half but a poor second one. The others were very very poor. Even Nacho wasn't his usual consistent self.
5) Which player(s) were not at the races?
@antmaley - All of them. They were all woeful. Certainly not of a standard we expect. or were used to after our strong ending to last season. every single player today is better than the performance they gave today. and I expect to see it next week at Palace.
@beltransmole23 - All of them? But in particular, I thought Coquelin, Cazorla, Giroud, Debuchy and Koscielny were underwhelming. And Cech, of course. Özil was quiet, but he needs his teammates to make runs for him, and he also needs to get the ball--it was too hard for him to even get on the ball in the first half.
@chuxugo - Got to say the whole team except for the Ox. They just didn't seem up for it today. Alexis could be excused though, since he's only been back for a week. Nevertheless, he seemed more up for a fight than most of the others today and that tells a story in itself.
@hahostolze - The rest. Walcott especially when he came on was absolutely appalling. Bringing him on when the opposition can sit back is pointless anyway.
@ihwright - Where to start, pretty much the entire 11 underperformed. Cech has already been mentioned obviously but no one really imposed themselves on the game.
@MananAgrawal1 - All, though that would be a bit hard on Alexis considering he's nowhere near ready to play after having returned to training less than a week ago.
6) Do you think this performance will do any real damage to our title aspirations?
@antmaley - No, I don't think so. it's yet another disappointing opening day for us. but the season is a marathon and not a sprint. we haven't lost the title because we have lost this first game. no team will ever go through a season unbeaten again and so we can expect to see our rivals drop points. It is important however that we right the wrongs of today quickly as a poor start (first 5/10 games) can do real damage to a title bid, as we saw last season.
@beltransmole23 - No. It's a reminder that we're still, like the other top teams, a flawed side, and can have these types of games. And maybe it'll spark Arsène into buying a defensive midfielder who can pass and control.
@chuxugo - Not really. Just like pre-season, you don't use one game to judge a team. Plus, we are only a point behind Chelsea :P. We all know we are much better than the non-performance we put in today.
@hahostolze - We're only a point behind the only team who I think are better than us, so, no. But it's a waste, against Chelsea there's not many chances...
@ihwright - It's only one game but to be honest I've been a little suspicious of all the pundits talking us up as title contenders. We're certainly capable of it but I don't think we're quite strong enough to go toe to toe with someone at the top of their game and still beat them over the course of the season. I think if we are to win the title it's because Chelsea under perform this season. Which could happen, Costa's hamstrings don't appear to be getting any better and Terry is ageing, I'm not sure if they're get as much out of him this season.
@MananAgrawal1 - I don't think it should unless we let this get to our heads. We have usually been very consistent in the sense that we have always bounced back strongly from a defeat and put a good run together. Maybe this is the kick up the arse that we need to buckle up and focus to actually win the title?
7) Arsène Wenger gives you a ring on your mobile to ask advice on team selection for the next game, what are you going to say?
@antmaley - I tell him "Arsene, there was nothing wrong with your selection for the Hammers game, there was enough quality to win that game. but we lacked the desire/application to do so. Make sure the boys know that cannot be the case again today."
@beltransmole23 - Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Walcott; Giroud.
I don't think Alexis is quite fit enough to start, but if he is, he plays instead of Walcott. Palace are a decent side, but I think Cazorla and Ramsey can handle them, provided one holds when we're in possession, and those two got the ball back more today than Coquelin did, so it's not like his physical work was playing a massive role.
@chuxugo - Please start Theo.
@hahostolze - Give them an absolute bollocking. They've become so complacent, that's the biggest problem.
@ihwright - I don't necessarily think I'd change much based on who we have available. I'm hopeful that Gabriel will get more games this season and that he proves himself to be capable of doing what we need but at this early stage I want the team to establish a platform first. Like any fan I'd probably start bending his ear on transfers to be honest. I worry about cover for Coq.
@MananAgrawal1 - Bin Coquelin. Please. Pretty Please. Coquelin and Ramsey have a disastrous partnership and Coquelin seems to need his babysitter in Cazorla to support him.
8) Any other thoughts?
@antmaley - One result does not change my overall confidence in this team and squad. This squad, when fully fit, has enough quality to mount a serious challenge for the title. but quality has never won a title by itself. it has to be coupled with hard work, desire and the right mental attitude. too many times, I feel like we turn up at games and expect the result to take care of itself, for our quality to win the day. that only happens when you put it all together. We can still win the title this year but only if we can keep days like today to a minimum. Keep the faith...although I know it doesn't feel like it today!
@chuxugo - If ever we needed a reality Cech (sorry had to throw that in) better now than later when it really matters. I think we could all do with a confidence boost right about now. Benzema, anyone?
@hahostolze - I'm starting to believe I've become permanent bad luck for the club. No club on earth has our level of calamity and potential combined. It's so frustrating.
@ihwright - Today was a big disappointment, but none of the other supposed contenders were that impressive this weekend and while there is a good chance for Manchester City to put down a marker on Monday evening we have a side which has huge room for improvement.
@MananAgrawal1 - We have a great squad this year irregardless of if anyone comes in and this should be just a minor hiccup in our title challenge though we can fall short in games like todays and in big games with Francis as our defensive midfielder. We need someone who can actually pass the ball and read the game rather than jumping into tackles like a headless fool.
Thanks to all above who contributed. Follow the guys on Twitter by searching for the name provided in this article.