Match Review - Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1 - Premier League
Ok so that did not quite go according to plan, at least in terms of performance it didn't. On paper Arsène's starting 11 was making my mouth water. A creative midfield of Özil, Cazorla and Rosicky with two scoring outlets in Alexis and Walcott. What was there not to love?
To be fair we showed more than a glimpse of quality going forward during that first half. Well in between our passing moves breaking down in the final third. Some of the passing and interchanging was eye catching but we looked vulnerable to say the least at the back, something that hasn't been leveled against us for a few weeks now.
Looking at the selected line up and the approach to the game, I can't help but feel that Arsène wanted to scrap the approach that must have frustrated him against Tottenham. Defending deep and counter attacking was replaced by a high line and a team packed with creative goodness. Arsène has always been a front footed manager, a manager who has taken his teams to Milan, Madrid amongst other places where English sides have not won before and then took the game to those teams, outplayed them and won. Rightly or wrongly, that is what Arsène Wenger is about and you get the sense that whenever his team plays conservatively, he is not truly comfortable with it all.
Credit must go to the opposition though even if some of the foul play was not to my taste. They played out from the back even against our attempts to win the ball back high up the pitch. They certainly did a better job against us than we did at White Hart Lane. Even though they are stuck rock bottom of the league, they were brave in taking the game to us, especially down the flanks.
The Foxes could have taken the lead on another night before Koscielny pounced on Mesut Özil's corner to side foot in from the near post. The German was involved once again for the second goal, it was his long range drive that was palmed straight to Walcott to lash in from close range.
We went into half time with a two goal lead, we had taken our chances where as the away side hadn't. I was hoping we'd run away with it in the second half but it wasn't to be. I had underestimated Leicester City and they gave it a good go. For some reason we couldn't break up their play and our defensive organisation looked anything but organised.
The visitors got the goal they deserved. A cross by danger man Riyad Mahrez found it's way to the back post where Andrej Kramaric controlled and rifled past Ospina for his first goal for the club.
He should have equalised later on when sent through on goal but his chipped effort was comfortably saved. On another day I suspect the vibe would be rather different today. But those are the differences between banners and vitriol to 'it's all about the three points'
With our teams you have to look a little deeper I believe. Our results are often very closely linked to our performances. That is not always the case for more functional teams who rely more on a structured system rather than confidence and improvisation. That is why our display concerned me somewhat. We have a run of decent fixtures but we need to be better than last night to win most of those.
The referee was horrendous, as was the case the match prior but I'm bored of talking about the referee. Amazing that the new deal is worth over £5bn yet the quality of the officials are so bad. Or is it? With so much money involved I wonder when we will move away from sport to entertainment. Not that I am insinuating anything you understand. Just thinking aloud.
Anyway, I suspect it will be all change for the weekend and that could be good for everyone given the weekend result and parts of yesterday's display.
I haven't even mentioned the injuries. Think I am just trying to block them all out of my mind. Another spell on the sidelines for Ramsey who didn't last long after coming on. Alexis also was on the wrong end of a strong challenge. Hopefully neither are hurt badly but given the importance of the latter, I nervously await news on the Chile International.
Anyway, what was it again? 'It's all about the three points' yeah, that's it.
Podcast will be available to download either tonight or tomorrow.