By Walter Broeckx
In my match review I didn’t talk much about our two new signings. I did this just because I wanted to think a bit more about their performances and to have a look at a few situations in the game.
So let us start with our goal scorer Chamakh. On Arsenal.com he was voted man of the match and I must admit I didn’t vote for him. Not because I thought he had a bad game but I really thought that Rosicky was the most impressive player on the pitch. He did more than all the other players of the two teams had done in the whole 90 minutes.
But on the Chamakh. The way he forced the goal was a very untypical Arsenal goal. A cross from Rosicky from the left and Chamakh was the quickest on the ball and was unlucky to only hit the post. Lucky for us Reina made justice happen by flapping the ball in his own goal. I loved the way Chamakh attacked the ball and I think that we will see him score a few goals this season when he gets some good crosses. I think one of his problems is that we haven’t had a striker like him for a while. So the team has to adjust a bit and has to practice on different crosses to give him good service. But let us not forget he made his EPL debut away from home at Anfield. Not the easiest game to play for your first match. But the fact that he forced the goal will give him a big boost.
The only thing he has to work on a bit is some of his close passing. I think he has a very good technique but playing a team that parks the bus, like Liverpool did for the majority of the game, is something that hardly is ever seen in Europe. Or it should be in Italy but I don’t watch Italian football unless there really is nothing else at my TV. This is something he will have to learn to play against. But this can only be learned by doing it.
Let us pass on to Koscielny who had a very mixed afternoon. His first half was really great I thought. Liverpool never really could come near our goalkeeper. Some good interceptions and stealing off the ball at times. Sometimes he missed but he was always back to smother any possible danger.
I also noticed that he is a player who is staying more behind than Vermaelen. I think this is good. He looks to be more a real defender than Vermaelen. Vermaelen could easily play in midfield but Koscielny looks to be a player who is more comfortable in taking the ball away and then hand it over to another player and keep behind to guard the defence. Just the thing we needed I think.
When he was bought some fans looked at a picture and said he would be blown away by the top strikers in the league. He was too thin. Yes he is not a big fat lump kind of defender. But certainly is not a player that is quickly intimidated. The tackle on him would have been enough to put most people off the field. According to Wenger he had had big lump on his shin after that. The doctors feared even a broken leg but our too thin defender raised himself from the stretcher in the dressing room, looked at his leg, felt he could walk, felt he could run and he came out in the second half. Much to the disliking of the Liverpool fans but much to my delight. By doing this he proved he is not a soft player. No he just escaped a broken leg but he just came out on the pitch and continued his game.
When Torres came on he did two great duels with the Spanjard who was fresh on the field. On both occasions Koscielny outran and out battled Torres. These were really fine pieces of top defending I thought and much needed. And that is what Arsène Wenger has bought him for. Leave the fancy football to Cesc and Robin and Koscielny will do what is needed behind.
To make his game ever more memorable he coloured his debut. The first yellow tackle was a very well deserved one. I think Mrs. Kuyt will have had a very quit night. I surely wouldn’t want to be in the place of Kuyt when his boot hit him where you don’t like it up there. But his second yellow card was a joke from the ref. Yes Koscielny handled the ball, but the ball was 1 foot away from his hand when the Liverpool player tried to hook the ball over Koscielny’s head. The ref gave a yellow card for it. Now you can only give a yellow card if you think it is a deliberate handball. In this case it was very doubtful. The other very deliberate handball I saw, from Ngog when he tried to nick the ball away from Clichy was not sanctioned with a yellow card. What do we always hear about refs: they have to be consistent. Well in this case the ref made a mess of it. If you give a yellow card for handball than you must make sure you hand them out to all the players who do this. And not just one player in the final minutes of the game with a handball that was not deliberate and it also was in Liverpools own half so it was not that Liverpool was on a scoring opportunity.
So the ref spoiled his debut by sending him off. So, it looks that nothing has changed during the summer when it comes to referees in the EPL. Same old referees, always cheating….
Anyway, it is just only one game played. An away game at Anfield so a difficult game. We were without many important players and with 3 debutants in the team, with a player who hasn’t played a minute this season like Diaby. With a player who is out of form. And we got a point. Our debutants did good, some of the players who came off the bench showed they are also ready. Some big players coming back soon. So, why worry there will be sunshine after rain, there will be another 37 games to be won.
Oh and don’t worry about that other EPL debutant Wilshere. I will bring my view on him later on. I think as one of our own youth project boys he deserves this.
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