By Walter Broeckx
Lets have a look at our own players in our match against Chelsea. Not by giving them any points or so as this is not Untold to do but I think some things should be said about the players.
Ospina : hardly had anything to do really. But he had each shot covered in a calm way. The coming together with Oscar was the only time he was beaten but Bellerin came to the rescue. Mind you I do think that Oscar was just offside when the ball was played to him. If it was a penalty or not was down to the ref ruling that Oscar had his shot before Ospina bumped in to him. If it would have gone in, nobody would ask to cancel the goal and give a penalty. Bellerin preventing the goal was the next incident one could say. In fact you rarely see such incidents being penalised with a penalty apart from when the striker tries to goes round the keeper to have a shot.
Bellerin. Well what more can you say about this young man. Did anyone see Hazard shine during this match? I must admit that even I as a huge Bellerin fan doubted before this match. I thought maybe the experience of Debuchy and as one who knows Hazard from their days in Lille might have been a better option. But blimey the way that Bellerin played was once again excellent. What a wonderful player we have in our hands. And he is maturing in an amazing way the last months.
Mertesacker: The miracle man. Referring to his ankle injury of course that looked bad at first but the medical team could prepare him for the match. The organiser, the cool head, strong in the air and even the man that could have scored a goal. But then again as I said in my match report defenders do tend to rush themselves when they get a chance to score and that is what he did.
Koscielny: Another solid display from him. Was also responsible for the fact that Chelsea didn’t create much. William tried to kick his head of his shoulders in the second half and that could have resulted in a nasty injury. Lucky he escaped. So did William who should have seen a red card as he was facing Koscielny and so had no right to put up his boot that high in the direction of the face of another player.
Monreal: Our left back once again showed that he is a very reliable defender and not the bad purchase some painted him at first. Understands the PL now completely, plays with confidence bot in defending and attacking. He should have been the person to be remembered as the one who gave the assist to an Arsenal goal but Özil couldn’t finish of his low cross in the extra time.
Coquelin: another fine and complete display. Once he got booked he had to be extra careful of course and this might have held him back at times. Got another clash of heads when he connected with the back of the head of Drogba and needed medical attention. One thing is for sure he certainly is not holding back when it comes to putting his body at risk in a match. Amazing how he keeps on performing at the level he has done since starting to play regularly in the first team.
Cazorla: The little Spaniard was a bit more subdued this time I think. Dropping deeper to stay closer to Coquelin and then go forward when the chance would arise will have been the tactic I think. But as Chelsea refused to commit themselves really and they gave no space for him he looked a bit wasted at times. But then again him moving forward would surely have opened gaps for Chelsea to counter. So very disciplined performance working for the team.
Whathisname? Or Aaron Ramsey worked his socks off during the whole 90 minutes. Energy, attacking, defending, he did it all. Alas he got no real goal chances in this match with the Chelsea defenders always outnumbering the Arsenal attackers. Starting on the right win moving all over the field he later dropped a bit deeper when Theo and Welbeck came on and Coquelin was taken off. Great 90 minutes and great after match performance also. Keep it up Aaron.
Özil: Man of the missed chance in extra time. I saw already some people slagging him off. But then again I have seen statistics saying that he created 4 chances for Arsenal in this match. And missed one himself. Some said what a waste of money…. oh well that will be those who judge a player on his last touch he had in the match probably….
Giroud: not the best day of his career. But worked hard as ever and came back to defend with corners and free kicks. But with the numbers Chelsea defended he wasn’t really available and his flicks also couldn’t really find a teammate in open space. Open space is very rare to find in a packed bus of course.
Alexis: worked hard but was unlucky with his shots and some of his passing. But as usual the Chilean attacker gave it all and for me looked the most likely Arsenal player to score a goal. But once again with all the bodies around him just couldn’t find that bit of space to have a decent shot at goal. Now it was all too hasty. I wonder how much the nasty kick on his ankle from Ivanovic hampered him in this match.
Welbeck came on for Giroud and couldn’t properly get to the ball in extra time from Monreal that Özil had just touched a bit. Faced the same problems as Giroud did with being always outnumbered by the Chelsea defenders and midfielders around him.
Walcott: only some 10 minutes of playing time. I think Wenger was speculating on his movement in and around the box and hoping that the ball would fall kindly for him for once. But it wasn’t to be our day as most lose balls fell rather kind for Chelsea as they had players in numbers there.
A difficult match against the team that probably can defend the best in the PL. Chelsea have the best defence and it showed in this match. The last pass just wasn’t good enough in this match. Of didn’t came quick enough. But that is how it goes sometimes and certainly when teams are closing the shop as they can. Then you need that little bit of luck to break them down and that didn’t happen this time around.
PS: Because of Tony being out of office no anniversary files in the next days on Untold. Sorry for that but lets give him a break. Tony I mean.