Tejasvi Bhandari ( SaviAfc)
Our first game away from home was at Stoke yesterday where we lost 0-1 . We have struggled badly there on the road recently . We looked poor in the game, without any inspiration, Poor finishing & as usual some sloppy defending. First half started brightly for us where we were in full control but couldn't convert our chances. Refree had a poor game too where he didn't give two clear penalties in the first half for a clear handball & a blatant foul on Bellerin. We went into the break at 0-0 where we looked in full control of the game with stoke only having an odd chance. Then like the last game we started the second half poorly where Xhaka gave the ball away as usual & we conceded in the process thanks to some good play by stoke including our poor defending. Only Wenger can be blamed for our poor defending as he fielded 2 LB's at CB & a RB at LWB while club captain Mertesacker was on the bench & Holding was dropped though he travelled with the rest of the squad. We haven't won 2 straight opening Premier League games for 8 years now but it seems we will never learn, we don't acknowledge the positions where we need strengthening, defending is school buy stuff & we keep repeating the same while expecting to yield different results. We had 77% possession in the game but thanks to our poor finishing couldn't even score one goal. Lacazette was robbed of a goal later on where he finished brilliantly but then wenger did the unexpected n took him off(our best finisher) while the worst finisher welbeck was still on. We put giroud on at around 65 minutes but started crossing the ball into the box only after 85 minutes. We had so many chances , the whole team looked frustrated but we just couldn't find a way through while stoke had two chances in the whole game & scored with one. We will really need to improve our gameplay & approach to the game as well as preparing thoroughly for a particular opponent. We still need strengthening in some key Areas , A Solid CB is a must , A CDM who can control the game while protecting our defence should also be a priority too. I would welcome an attacker too who can create because we lack creativity sometimes( though that won't be a priority). Hope things change & fast. I'll be very critical of the players today. Onto the Ratings :
Cech – 5/10
He is not the same world class keeper anymore he used to be. Looks a lil nervous at times. He was largely untested in the game though i feel he could have done better for the goal. Made a crucial save at the start & did some sweeping tidily.
He looked sloppy n sluggish at times in the game. Almost costed us a goal in the first half. Made some crucial tackles. I think he needs to take more responsibility in the defence & improve his game.
I think he did well for a left back playing at the centre of a defence. Our management needs to understand he is not a Dominant CB but a LB . His interceptions were crucial at times.
Again I don't blame him for anything in this game because he did his best considering he was playing out of position, its down to poor management solely. He looked solid as usual for me i am sure he will do wonders at his preferred position.
I really don't understand what is up with this guy & what is our management thinking in starting him as our left wing back. He can't even cross nice with his preferred right foot , how do u expect him to cross with his left?
Looked sharp at the start but later on as the game went on he looked clueless & sluggish. Never really influenced the game
He already costed us 2 goals in the last game & continued by costing us the only goal in this game . His passing was sluggish. He looked erratic & sloppy. I would like him to take some responsibility & really work on improving his game.
He looked sharp today. Probably our best player going forward, made some dangerous runs & looked dangerous. But he really needs to hold on to his position more & help his partner to control the game ( that could be managements idea too)
He started in his preferred position at RWB , dribbling was top class but as usual no end product in his play. Crossing was bad sometimes & could really improve upon his final ball.
This guy just can't finish ( really shameful for a striker ). He worked hard & did some running but finishing was very poor as he missed some easy chances. Doesn't deserve to start in that eleven.
He couldn't influence this game & looked lethargic like the last game. Was frustrated for large parts of the game but his passing never let the team down. He was the only creative spark out there at times. Needs more protection & support from team mates .
He looked sharp , was deprived of any meaningful service otherwise could have done better. He was robbed of a goal wrongly by the refree towards the end where he finished brilliantly. Should have been on the field till the final whistle but was wrongly substituted.
Looked great with his passing & hold up play. Created a great chance for Lacazette which was wrongly disallowed.Almost scored towards the end, but again lacked proper service . We waited till 85th minute to cross the ball into the box which his forte. Should be starting games .
Hardly any influence in the game . Could have done a lot better . No service to him as well. Needs to improve a lot to be in that team.
No influence at all. Was sent on to provide a creative spark but couldn't help the team. Tidy passing but he really needs a leader to reach his potential.
MOTD was jack Butland of stoke for me who kept on making some great saves & kept his side in the game.
I hope you liked my review & ratings, some comments on your thoughts would be really appreciated.
Tejasvi Bhandari ( @SaviAfc on Twitter)