First off, sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, changing jobs, moving house and such, been hectic!
A lot has happened since I last made a post, Rafa out, Roy in, players in, ownership changing (with any luck), and of course the new season starting! A few fans were against Roy Hodgson joining the club, for what reasons I’ll never know but in the short time he has been here, he’s been brilliant for us, making some quality signings, tying down our two best players in Steven Gerrard then Fernando Torres, and giving us fresh hope for this season. And after today’s result, we have a lot to be hopeful about!
The first half was forgetable, not many chances, quite a srappy affair. The best chances fell to a Vermalen free kick and a Ngog header which was cleared off the line. Jovanovic and Mascherano impressed me in the first half, and speaking of Masch, I was suprised to see him involved at all with the transfer saga surrounding him, but he again showed 110% for the club even though he may wish to leave England f0r personal reasons. The obvious talking point was the red card to Joe Cole. The challenge WAS reckless, it WAS dangerous and he DID go in two-footed. But his eyes WERE fixed on the ball, he’s NOT a violent player and it should NOT have been a red card, a yellow at most. But Atkinson gave the red, and that was that. Half time.
Now the Liverpool of last season would have come out, and been beaten with just ten men. But not now! With fans st but still finding their seats for the start of the second half, David Ngog slammed home a fantastic goal, after Monster Masch played him in. Yeah the Arsenal defence and goalkeeping wasn’t the best but fair play to Ngog who after much criticism (from myself included) put his first of the season away. Maybe he would be good cover for Torres…time will tell.
For the next ten minutes we bossed the game with some good chances, especially from corners. Skrtel unlucky and Ngog should have made it two. Then Arsenal started to turn the screw with the one man advantage. Some good chances, most noticeably Rosicky burst through into the box but a fantastic fingertip save from Reina denied him. We looked like winning…
Untill the 90th minute. A howler from the normally reliable Pepe Reina, spilled the ball into Chamakh’s path, it hit the post, he went to gather it off the rebound, it hit him and trickled in. A bad error but very uncharacteristic of him. I’m sure he will bounce back from it and show everyone why he is the best Premiership keeper and possibly the world. Another harsh red was next, for Laurent Koscielny with an apparant deliberate handball, second yellow meant he was off. For me, he could not have done anything about it, and the card was harsh. Last minute, a Steve Gerrard free kick was unlucky not to win the game, but a good save from Almunia.
A great performance by us, especially in the second half. The performance we showed rivaled any performance of last season, a sure sign that we are on the up and rising! Bring in another left back, cover for Torres and we will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Bring on Man City next Monday night and Trabzonspor in the Europa League this Thursday, let’s hit the ground running in all competitions!