For the mid week clash with Olympiakos, Wenger went with a youthful team with only a couple of first team regulars knowing that the result is not going to make any changes in their position in the group. It was his 200th match in Europe and he would have expected his youth team to play well just like they did against Manchester City in the Carling cup. But that was not to be, and we saw a well below average team on Tuesday. Arsenal lost 1-3 to the Greeks and they truly outplayed us from the word go till the end. With this loss, our unbeaten run in the Champions League comes to an end. There is definitely a lot of learning from the match for the youngsters and the manager. One that worries me the most is that there is no depth in the squad. We do have a talented bunch of youngsters and arguably we could say that most of the ones who played in Greece don’t feature regularly, but then they are professionals and they need to show that commitment on the pitch in whichever game they play. Expect for AOC I didn’t see anyone who had a good game. Yes it was physical, but the ones who are trying to break into the first team would need to do a lot more to get their chances.
The game against the Greeks was a very physical one and it ended with a few injuries to us. The major blow being Santos and he confirmed on his Twitter account that we would be out for over 2 to 3 weeks and that’s not good news. Fabianski too got injured but that shouldn’t be worrying us much. Now that both both left and right back players are injured it would be interesting as to who would be fitting in to those roles in the coming few matches this December and we have a couple of big Games.
Wenger after the match had this to say
“I never like to lose and I have some regrets,” .”We must give credit to Olympiakos tonight because they played a very physical game and in the first half it was very difficult for us.And I don’t think we had the right tactical approach.We went too much for short balls and it was a game of contact. In the second half at 2-1 we looked like we might come back, but they were always dangerous and probably deserved it. Many of the players did not have experience in the Champions League so were a bit surprised by the pace of the game.I think we didn’t help our goalkeepers, he said.We exposed them with our lack of quality in the passes we gave them and they were quite brave.”Now that the Champions League tensions are over we can concentrate on our game against Everton in the Premier League who are placed 10th in the table. Arsenal are fifth in the league and just 2 points into the top four. This is going to be a tough one, but looking at how we had started the season its good to see our team in this position. Arsenal has taken 19 points out of the last 7 matches which is 21 and that’s not at all a bad one. The match against Everton on Saturday is a completely different ball game and it would be the first time Arteta would face his previous team. Everton has had a tough campaign this season and whats getting difficult for them is to get some goals. They have failed to score in five of the last 13 matches and they have just managed to score 15 goals in all which is one more than our top goal scorer who is Persie with 14 goals.
The big worry for Wenger would be who would feature on the left back . Koscielny got a rest this week so we will see him come in to the team as right back and many would fancy Vermaelen to get into the left back position, i don’t know about what Wenger is thinking about the match, but u would like to see Mertesacker and Vermaelen to be the central defenders and maybe Miguel, who had a good back this weekend, or Djourou to fill in for the left back.
We going in with the following starting 11 for the match against Everton and a scoreline of 2-0 for Arsenal.
Arsenal Staring XI: Szczesny , Miguel, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Song, Ramsey,Arteta, Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho
Let us know what your thoughts are on the match and your predictions for the match.