The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Unexpected Challenge for Harry Winks.

Get Changed Chirpy, you're on.
What can possibly go wrong in two minutes?
The Jimmy G2 Column.
Phew! We needed that performance at The Library to prevent our hopes from plummeting and our fears from gaining ground. What a difference a game makes. Yet another draw but this one was a point gained rather than two points dropped.

 After Bayer Leverkusen in midweek I feared for the worst at the NLD. Away from home against a team who would have gone top if they'd won, not least against the 'auld enemy'  after the worst ever performance many can remember this was a must not lose moment.

I haven't dwelt on the CL game as it is best forgotten. Vertonghen and Wanyama did OK; the rest drifted between hapless and hopeless with Sissoko the pick of the latter.

The Arsenal game was a Premiership Cordon Bleu occasion not a pie and mash supper and as usual we were suited and booted for it. The return of Harry though not at his best after a couple of months out showed us what we had been missing.

Janssen is a willing understudy and his brief appearance  pointed up his weaknesses.The Soldado factor is an incidental red herring. He will likely settle in as Lamela eventually has.

An unfortunate own goal by Wimmer gave them hope. Were several players offside when the kick was taken? Apparently not in the latest version of the offside rule.The ref was probably technically correct but the law is a nonsense.

They weren't interfering with play. As Bill Nicholson once said: ' If they weren't interfering with play what were they doing on the pitch? Add a Yorkshire accent and some down to earth language and you get the flavour.

At least our penalty was indisputable other than among Arsenal fans. Dembele's driving run at the heart of their defence, something he should do more often instead of lateral runs and negative changes of direction, induced a penalty.

Harry converted with confidence though Cech went early and the ball was driven straight down the middle. The defence held firm, Lloris was on form, Rose Vertonghen and Dembele were outstanding and honours were even.

Eriksen stepped up in the absence of Lamela and Dele and as usual ran further than anyone else but on this occasion to good effect.

Another talking point was Son's failure to beat Cech to the ball when the keeper slipped. Did he funk it? Was he slow to react initially? Was it a lost cause anyway? I tend to the first and that he should at least have tried to get a toe in.

The substitution with less than two minutes to go of Son for Winks was too little too late again. Chirpy might have done as much in the time available. 

Walker struggled on with an injury until 10 minutes to go and was replaced  by our very own Lone Ranger. Who is that masked man? KieranTrippier no less.

Our injury list is starting to be a worry: Toby, Lamela, Dele and now Walker.  Davies and  Son have confirmed ankle problems. But at least Harry is back which should give a boost to the whole squad.

Especially as the latest news is that Janssen was subbed off with suspected concussion after being punched by Mignolet in the Holland, Belgium friendly. No confirmed details of the injury as yet.

Mauricio needs to match his new found flexibility in formation with renewed confidence in the youth. The bold move of going three at the back and using Walker and Rose as wing backs seemed to free up space.

We often in fact play this way with Dier moving into the back line giving Toby and Jan the freedom to move forward.

Will this give us momentum for the next phase of the season? Beating City didn't  and with Chelsea and Liverpool scoring for fun we need to make sure we don't slip any further behind.

We are still in fifth but now 5 points  behind the leaders and only three clear of Everton and Man.Utd. It could develop into a tough 7 team dogfight and maintaining our unbeaten run with draws won't hack it.

But this was a performance to gladden the hearts of players and supporters alike. Arsenal were very negative and timid in the circumstances. Their star players didn't perform but we hardly gave them time and space.

We need more of the same Mauricio against W.Ham after the break. After that it's Monaco and Chelsea so no time to relax or think about the Christmas shopping just yet.

Editor's Note.
Chirpy's registration has been refused by the FA and he is therefor not available for selection. We are appealing the decision

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All the highlights. A few chances evenly shared. You decide about the two goals and the Son opportunity. Offside, soft and funked for me.


Cheshuntboy said...

Like you, I feared the worst at Arsenal, and reckon a draw there is always a good result - it's pushing fifty years since I EXPECTED us to win there! I'm not letting Pochettino off the hook, though - how did he get it so wrong at Wembley only a few days earlier? Isn't he supposed to have abolished 'spursyness' long since?

JimmyG2 said...

Not concentrating on the Prem is he?
The end of last season proved that 'Spursy' is still in our DNA.
Need more brain and less brawn these days. What's happened to Dier?.

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