I thought the youngsters would fare a bit better against Olympiakos, and players like Fran Merida (not Merryda, Clive Tyldesley and friend) and Aaron Ramsey did well. At the other end of the spectrum, I felt Walcott was poor, and Vela had two clear cut chances he should have put away; one fairly easy finish he put straight at the ‘keeper, the other he tried to overcomplicate by chipping it – he was never gonna get the ball over Nikopolidis and under the crossbar.
Ramsey impressed me with some real eye-of-the-needle passes that should have been finished better by Walcott and Vela etc, while Merida was good on the ball. Something that frustrated me was Walcott’s free kicks – that was the first time I’ve seen him take one and I know why now, his delivery was pretty rubbish each time he took one.
Wilshere was fairly quiet, Sunu looked fairly promising when he came on, and Cruise and Bartley did well at the back. Silvestre kept trying to launch the ball, and it rarely came off, which annoyed me. Fabianski commanded his area well, I think he’s now ready to step in for Almunia, who’s been average at best this season. Fab couldn’t do much for the goal they scored, he did well to narrow the angle, and Gilbert could have made more of an effort to get back.
Disappointing that we never see big Phil Senderos anywhere near the squad these days. Whether it’s Wenger’s lack of confidence in the Swiss bruiser or a fall-out between the two, I don’t know, but it looks like he’s on his way in January. He always gave his all for the club and was the team translator – not to mention one of Cesc’s best mates. Interesting that Hleb and Flamini, Cesc’s other best mates, have already left, so you’d hope that the departure of those two and ex-flat mate Senderos doesn’t influence any future decisions Cesc makes about leaving – I hope he never leaves, he’s been my favourite player since I went to the 2005 2-0 win over Juve at Highbury, he orchestrated that midfield, dominated Paddy Vieira, scored and set up one. Loved that game.
Walcott got a knock at the end, but managed to come back onto the field so he should be in the squad for the Liverpool game. He’s done well a couple of times at Anfield, both with lung-busting runs to set up a team-mate for a goal – only for ‘Pool to go up the other end and score! Hope they don’t do that again if we score late on. Will be hoping to see Arshavin in the same position as he was in against Stoke, basically that same team except Song in for Eboue. And maybe Walcott in for the injured Rosicky. I’m out, school tomorrow, have to get up at 7 – yawn.