The defeat out in Dortmund did not surprise me one bit as they are a very good side and Klopp’s men could beat any team in Europe. However, it was the lacklustre performance that hurt and disappointed me the most. It wasn’t just one player who had a bad match; the whole team looked out of sorts (maybe I’m being harsh on Szczesny who done well to keep the score from becoming embarrassing). Anyway the reaction against high-flying Aston Villa would be important. The key players such as Mesut Özil and Danny Welbeck certainly stepped up to the plate as Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Apart from winning there were a couple of other noticeable points to come from the game. Firstly, the fact that we scored all three of our goals in 3 minutes of football shows that Arsenal can be clinical when they put their mind to it. Although Paul Lambert’s side have got off to a good start in the league, they cannot be classed as a top club (they’re not in Europe, let alone in the Champions League), so did not really pose a challenge. The real test comes against teams such as Tottenham tomorrow, or Chelsea next week, where we have to continue to be ruthless in front of goal in order to take all the points.
Secondly, Mesut Özil began to show his class again and proved that his early season form has been perhaps temporary. Pundits said that Arsene Wenger was to blame for the German’s slump in form but fail to grasp that a manager can only work with him to a certain point. It’s up to the player to perform. Also, many critics have said that Özil played better against Villa because he was in the no. 10 position, but that is a fallacy. Wenger gives the whole of the Arsenal midfield license to roam and swap positions with each other so it’s down to Mesut where he plays.
Most of you reading are probably wondering why I have conveniently left out Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third round defeat at home to Southampton. This is simply because I do not think the result will have much relevance on our future performances in the Premier League and Champions League (where it matters). Obviously it’s always nice to win and I would have liked to progress just to give our squad players some game time, but none of them took their opportunity so they only have themselves to blame. Having said that, the team from the South-coast played extremely well.
I’m getting behind Team Afobe (MK Dons) for the Capital One Cup.
By Glen Shorey