Olympiacos 3 - 1 Arsenal: Good thing this was a meaningless game, eh?

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Olympiacos 3 - 1 Arsenal: Good thing this was a meaningless game, eh? Empty Olympiacos 3 - 1 Arsenal: Good thing this was a meaningless game, eh?

Post by Jay29 Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:45 pm

In a word, that was shit.

I think this is the worst we've performed defensively since the Blackburn game a couple of months ago. Olympiacos applied simple tactics of pressing us high up the pitch and not allowing us to play out of the back and we could not deal with it.

With us losing the ball within our own third, we were always going to look all over the place at the back. Add in the elemant of comical goalkeeping and you get a pretty disastrous defensive performance.

Do I need to even go over their first two goals? Both were conceived from poor mistakes at the back; the first a result of Djourou and Squillaci going for the same ball and missing, and then Fabiasnki coming out into no-mans land to cover for that mistake. The second is just ridiculous. Mannone initially does well to clear the ball, but then opts to not use his hands and makes a complete mess of saving the shot.

A simple solution to the problem would've been to forego passing it out the back and playing it long. Who was up front tonight? Chamakh. A target man. We could've played some long, direct balls up to him, thus relieving us of the pressure and giving time for the defence to settle. Of course, this isn't Arsenal's way... but it's such an easy and obvious thing to do.

In fact, a long ball up to Chamakh resulted in a goal. Arshavin played it direct, Chamakh held it up and Benayoun came in to smash in a volley. That's what Chamakh can offer you if you utilise his skills correctly.

We had a couple of opportunities to level the game, but ended up conceding a third thanks to some woeful set-piece defending. 3-1 the final score.

Should we really care?
Nobody likes losing, and there are no excuses for the level of performance. But to be frank, do we really care? The game was a dead rubber. We had won the group two weeks ago and all this game has really done for us is show what we already knew: certain backup players are not good enough.

No point in knee-jerking
It's tempting to linger on how rubbish we were tonight, but I'm certain this isn't going to carry over into our league form. I mean, if you look at the players who we didn't have out there tonight:

Szczesny - the obviously undisputed number one keeper.
Koscielny - our best defender this season.
Mertesacker - a big calming influence in defence.
Song - the beast in midfield.
Arteta - the experienced presence in midfield.
Ramsey - the creator.
Gervinho - the livewire.
Walcott - Batman.
van Persie - Robin.

All of these will be back for the Everton game and you'll see a completely different team. The performance tonight may be a bit worrying in terms of depth, but then, we've known for a while that mass changes never end well for us and our depth is best utilised in small doses.

Player Ratings
Luckasz Fabiasnki - 5. Yeah, not very reliable tonight. Gave the ball away in bad areas and didn't cover himself in glory for the first goal. Injured, too. Pretty bad night all round.

Sebastien Squillaci - 5. Just an accident waiting to happen. It's obvious why we're looking to sell him.

Thomas Vermaelen - 5. I was disappointed with Vermaelen's leadership skills tonight. As the captain and defensive leader, I thought he should've done a better job, you know, leading. I know it's hard for him to play alongside Squillaci, but he's played with worse and still performed well.

Johan Djourou - 5. All over the place positionally and was beaten time and again by Mirallas.

Andre Santos - 6. Gets a higher rating by virture of having not much to do, surprisingly. Injured. Now we have no fit full backs. Yay.

Emmanuel Frimpong - 5. The worst of Frimpong came out tonight. Didn't use the ball well, not very disciplined tactically and made some silly fouls. We know he's capable of being a good defensive midfield, as evidenced by the Udinese away leg, but he obviously needs more experience. A loan will do him good.

Francis Coquelin - 5. Thought he looked a little lost. Chased about, got some tackles in, but didn't do much else.

Andrey Arshavin - 5. Just a waste of space nowadays.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6. Was bright in patches, showing some moments of real talent. However, he had a quiet second half.

Yossi Benayoun - 6. Had a much better second half, scoring a great goal and working hard to make things happen.

Marouane Chamakh - 6. Had a good game tonight. Yes, you read that right. Chamakh looked livlier tonight with his movement and held the ball up well whenever he got it, which wasn't often. Perhaps should've done better in front of goal, but then this a guy who hasn't scored since Blackburn.

-----------------------------------

Vito Mannone - 5. An embarrassing performance.

Ignasi Miquel - 6. Did well defensively and offesnively. May be seeing more action with Santos' injury.

Tomas Rosicky - 6. Also did well when he came on.


Last edited by GoonerJay29 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Olympiacos 3 - 1 Arsenal: Good thing this was a meaningless game, eh? Empty Re: Olympiacos 3 - 1 Arsenal: Good thing this was a meaningless game, eh?

Post by Sri Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:50 pm

Adios Olympiakos. I hate having to play in Greece. Oh the look on their faces after all their celebrations!

Here is a gem:

Arsenal are so awesome, they eliminate teams even when they lose!

Btw, Arshavin covered the most ground tonight - 10.51 km. Most of it seems like pointless running around to me tbh. Barely any contribution.

Miquel seems a great prospect for the future. I would have no qualms promoting his over Squillacci.

Benayoun - MoTM for us. Not just for the goal, but for being the most attacking player we had on tonight.

Good learning experience for the kids. Frimpong has some way to go still. That loan move in January, hopefully to a good side which would give him first team football every week, would do him a lot of good. Coquelin to continue as Song's back-up while we wait for Diaby and Wilshere to get better (I think Wilshere would be back sooner than Diaby).

Thats about all from me, have a meeting early tomorrow. Good night fellas!

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Post by djoe26 Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:54 pm

arshavin :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
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Post by RealGunner Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:54 pm

WTF WAS THAT CRAP
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Post by Sina Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:57 pm

VITO atleast get inujred properly so we could see arshavin at goal Laughing
BVB the bottlers


Last edited by sina90 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by urbaNRoots Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:57 pm

Hahahahaahhahaahah sorry, but Olympiakos were playing like thugs all the game, and I'm glad they didn't qualify. We were sh*t though.
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Post by EL Patron Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:59 pm

this will keep some of the lads feet on the ground....the entire back four had a stinker today, Miquel did very well when he came on.

apart from Benayoon's goal i am kind of struggling to take any positive from this game, well it's was a shocking performance Very Happy
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Post by REWB Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:00 pm

arshavin
chamakh
djourou

these guys make our second team look crap, but they are not, its just individual players like the names listed who keep letting EVERYONE down, the worrying thing is that these guys might be called up to the first team when injuries strike.
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Post by Amar Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:00 pm

Arshavin was an epic fail tonight.

Chamakh popped up every 20 minutes, and Frimpong really needs to control himself.

Benayoun was good though...
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Post by Sina Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:02 pm

first Ajax then RM AnyboDY DIsagrees Clubber
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Post by Eman Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:04 pm

Benayoun was pretty bad in the first half and dribbled far too much, but he improved in the second half. I felt that Rosicky was our best offensive player once he came on. Squillaci and Vermaelen also weren't bad, but they were under so much pressure and had to deal with awful goalkeeping.

Lay off Chamakh though - he got no service tonight, but did what he could. It's too easy to use him as a scapegoat.
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Post by Wilson37 Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:05 pm

Back to old days of Arsenal defending and Almunia goalkeeping...
And injury problems too..
Fabianski looked rusty and unconfident.. Mannone was also the same from the first ball he kicked.. Became a joker by jumping and trying to kick a ball which he could have caught easily...
Djurou was pathetic.. Worse than Squillaci today.. Verminator also didnt look comfortable playing with these jokers..
Santos and Miquel had a good match.. Frimpong and Coquelin also good.. Supervolley by Benayoun.. Chamakh was poor as usual.. How can we call him an Arsenal striker ? Hopeless.. Arshavin average.. And again Chamberlain showing his brilliance.. He is surprisinglty strong for his age and size.. Not sacred to take 2 or 3 defenders.. Nice moment when he dribbled past all and 5 defenders surrounded him to take the ball way.. He deserves to play sub in first team ahead of Arshavin..
I am having a laugh at the arrogant and hostile Olympiakos crowd.. They thought they did it.. Marseille scored twice in last 5 min to qualify..
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Post by EL Patron Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:11 pm

Eman wrote:Benayoun was pretty bad in the first half and dribbled far too much, but he improved in the second half. I felt that Rosicky was our best offensive player once he came on. Squillaci and Vermaelen also weren't bad, but they were under so much pressure and had to deal with awful goalkeeping.

Lay off Chamakh though - he got no service tonight, but did what he could. It's too easy to use him as a scapegoat.

apart from the goal i don't think he did anything worthy but at least he tried to get us going
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Post by Jay29 Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:26 pm

Updated first post.


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Post by Jay29 Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:33 pm

By the way, these are the teams we could draw in the last 16:

Napoli (provided they qualify tomorrow)
Trabzonspor/Lille/CSKA (any of the three could qualify)
Benfica (if they finish second)/Basel (if they beat Man Utd)
Ajax/Lyon
Bayern Leverkusen
Zenit St. Petursburg
AC Milan

Draw is on Friday, 16th of December.

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Post by RealGunner Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:35 pm

We have a chance against all of them

Milan and Napoli will be hard though
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Post by Arquitecto Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:48 pm

Absolutely meaningless game indeed.

I did not watch the game so I cannot comment, but I can gather some things.


Chamakh despite being the butt of all jokes including me, is actually a solid player. Simple fact is after his 1st half burnout last season he lost much of his confidence and instinct through the bench and injury as this has caused him to look frail and lack composure within the box. The fact is, he does much on the pitch along with linking up and intelligent (if not a little cumbersome) movement.

Lets not forget his aerial presence which is still the best in Arsenal yet with more effort and Arsene's help he can recover that instinct he had and score in the golazos.

Arshavin has been under my criticism for a long time. Aside from seducing other clubs into buying him, not taking his salary seriously and having less work ethic then Cassano on a post Nutella binge, he hasn't performed at ALL this season.

Get him to actually hustle on the pitch and make a contribution.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt considering he is not playing in the central position in which he is best at as on the left he is predictable and cannot play make from there.

Sebastien Squillashit?? FFS be thankful you boys don't have Danielle Bonera AKA the worst defender of all time
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Post by izzy Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:50 pm

The Ultimate Trolls

All Hail Arsenal :bow:
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Post by SamuelJayC Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:20 pm

Worst performance since Old Trafford.

Shocking display.

Mannone, Squillaci, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh > :facepalm:

Coquelin + Frimpong average.

AOC promising at times.

As for starting Vermaelen and Santos in this game...... Clubber
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Post by SamuelJayC Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:32 pm

If you found Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Olympiacos tonight a frustrating watch, spare a thought for Martin Angha.

The 17 year old defender, who has established himself as a Reserve regular this campaign, was due to make the trip to Greece with Arsene Wenger’s squad, but was unable to do so after finding out that he is not registered to play in the competition.

To be eligible for inclusion on the B List, on which an unlimited number of players can be named, an individual has to have lived in the country in which their club is based for at least two years. Angha’s anger was compounded by the fact that he missed the criteria by just two months, having moved to England in early 2010.

The irony of this situation is that, had Angha been included, Andre Santos would have most likely not have travelled and therefore would not have picked up an injury that could rule him out of the weekend’s Premier League game with Everton.

http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/angha-was-late-withdrawal-from-olympiacos-trip/
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Post by SamuelJayC Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:48 pm

Average age of team tonight = 25.4 years.

Not a youthful line up like arsenal.com calls it
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Post by SamuelJayC Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:01 am

Zenit, AC Milan + Leverkusen we can meet in last 16. Most likely to be joined by Napoli, Lille + Ajax on Wednesday night.
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Post by EL Patron Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:20 am

so with Santos set to be out for a while...this leave us with 4 centre halves at the back

4 centre halves at the back= defensive solidity hmm

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Post by Nishankly Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:30 am

Could this mean that your squad depth is poor?
How many first teamers were out?
Please count RVP as 2 guys.. Razz

An how many of these played well and could play in those guys position who didnt play tonight .. This could give u and idea about your depth ..
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Post by EL Patron Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:39 am

Nishank wrote:Could this mean that your squad depth is poor?
How many first teamers were out?
Please count RVP as 2 guys.. Razz

An how many of these played well and could play in those guys position who didnt play tonight .. This could give u and idea about your depth ..

We have a couple of players that simply can't be relied upon anymore

Arshavin
Chamack
Squillaci

Can't wait till they leave Clubber
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