Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg - Arsenal 1 - 0 Besiktas: Another year in the group stages

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Post by Jay29 Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:09 pm

Arsenal, why do you do this to us?

As if a game with so much on stake isn't already enough, things had to be made more difficult by Arsenal squandering chances, Besiktas actually turning up and the referee doing his best to follow in the footsteps of Tom Hening Overbo. But on a night where things could have gone so very, very wrong, Arsenal came through with a vital win.

Collectively, it wasn't a great performance. It was much of the same from the previous games, with a clear misunderstanding between players in attack. Strangely, Arsenal seemed to have changed shape from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-4-1 and the difference is clear; the flatter midfield leaves the lone striker too isolated. Two attacking midfielders in Ozil and Cazorla are now playing in slightly unfamiliar roles of LM and CM when they would be, perhaps, better served playing closer to Alexis Sanchez.

Individually, at least, there were some big performances in both halves. For what the team lacked in cohesion, they more than made up for in endeavour. Wilshere, Cazorla and Alexis put in huge shifts and the three them became the axis in which we built the victory around. They ably supported by Debuchy, Monreal and Chamberlain, plus the returning partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker. The only one who didn't really show up was Ozil, but out of position and unfit, that's probably not surprising (and I don't want to start the scapegoating too soon).

Turned out that that was enough to get us through the game, albeit not comfortably. Besiktas played with the same intensity and physicality from the first leg and defended the centre of the pitch very well, while Arsenal had the problem of getting numbers up in support of Alexis and getting numbers into the penalty area. As mentioned earlier, it seemed strange that Arsenal didn't play with a 10 to support Alexis. The fact that Arsenal no longer dominate the ball in the opposition half makes it an ever harder job for him, especially as we don't press without the ball.

So we had some issues and the game looked like it would become edgier and edgier the longer it went without a goal. Alexis popping up with the opening goal when he did resulted in a palpable sense of relief. It wasn't the best of strikes and the keeper should've saved it, but it was the only chance he got all half and he converted it.

The second half saw us play with more intensity and look good for another goal, with Chamberlain missing a sitter, until the ref decided he wanted to be a hero and give Debuchy a second yellow card for winning the ball cleanly. Inevitably, the flow of the game changed, with Arsenal camped in their own half and Besiktas piling on the pressure. They were, however, met with stout Arsenal resistance, who limited the amount of chances they had.

Overall, it wasn't the prettiest of victories, but it was a better performance from the weekend with plenty of positive performances from players. If anything, all that was missing was a second goal to add a bit of extra sheen to the result.

There'll be concerns about our attacking and the odd defensive error, but I really feel these are things that will improve the more these players play together. There were numerous times tonight where Ozil and Alexis weren't on the same wavelength – Alexis made some brilliant runs when we were breaking, but he was never found – while the defence will have to adjust to having a more aggressive right back. It's a different shape, too. It'll come.

For now, we just need to keep getting positive results. August has been a good move so far, with the Community Shield and Champions League football secured, plus an unbeaten start to the league. If we can wrap it off with a win at Leicester on Sunday and a decent end to the transfer window, that'll be great.

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Post by RealGunner Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:22 pm

Unbelievable match. Wish I was watching it as a neutral.

I don't even know how to describe it. It was a lot of hand in mouth moments and about 10 FFS per minute. Surely it's just not us who goes through this with our club lol?

Anyways, this was the best collective performance I've seen in a long time. Every player did his role perfectly. The fighting spirit was unreal. We all wanted this badly and we made it happen.

Our midfield worked better today. Wilshere was fantastic because he played a role and wasn't just 'playing for the sake of it'. Cazorla and him were both great in midfield. Flamini was as robust as he usually is.

Monreal and Debuchy were great. Koscielny looked a bit unfit but grew as the game went on. Mertesacker lacks sharpness atm. Will come though.

Sanchez Proud

We paid 32m for him and every penny was worth it. He is going to be so good when fully fit and playing properly once our system gets into place with the returning players.

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Post by urbaNRoots Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:30 pm

Champions League baby, good win.

Great game from Wilshere (as expected in a big european game), Cazorla and Alexis from an attacking and defensive point of view, they worked their asses off. As for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Özil, I can understand why Wenger wants 3 in midfield but wouldn't it be better to switch their roles so they can be more comfortable in more natural positions? Alexis was crying out for some decent through balls with his excellent runs.

Alexis - Özil - Walcott behind a top striker has some crazy potential, it's a real shame Wenger is refusing to complete that.
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Post by CBarca Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:33 pm

Alexis basically paying for his transfer with that goal Laughing

Happy you guys are in it again this year.
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Post by Chumlum Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:36 pm

Nervous, sometimes frustrating match. Not everything came together. But despite the averageness of the overall performance, I did see a lot of promise.

I'll start with the defensive team spirit: with backs against the wall. Say whatever you will about Arsenal falling short in certain ways, this post-Cesc, post-RvP squad is one that handles late pressure (in seasons, in matches) really well.

Individual performances ...

Alexis has now already paid back the bulk of his transfer fee. More or less. He looked really good in this match and I think that as he and his teammates understand each other better, the possibility of him as the front man will be doable. I'm continuing to withhold judgment. His workrate is phenomenal. I love his pace, his quick feet, and his dribbling. If he can grow into the central position with this squad, he could be a terrific Plan A or Plan B from the established Giroud/Sanogo tactic.

I said in the live thread that I thought Özil had a few sparks to him despite persistent rustiness, and I stick by that. That one pass in the 25th minute where he should have played Alexis centrally but (wrongly) anticipated a diagonal run from the Chilean was unfortunate, but it's the kind of thing that indicates he's thinking & acting creatively on the break, and that's the direction we want to see. Also, he gets credit for the assist, right? Or did Jack get a touch?

Wilshere and Ox were both solid today. A lot of the trademark Jack runs straight through midfield--in fact it's probably the most potent example of him doing just that in recent memory, no? As for the Ox, man, if and when this guy improves his finishing, he's gonna be insane.

Good work all night by the back four, despite Debuchy's enthusiasm getting out of check.

Finally, I thought Cazorla was excellent. His workrate saw him make some very useful defensive contributions and he looked dangerous going forward too. I've always loved Santi and it's great to see him moving back into form.

Looking forward to the group stage.
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Post by EL Patron Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:51 pm

Crap performance but in massive games like these results > performances any day of the week. Cazorla, Jack and Alexis were very good, on another night we might have scored more.If Arsene is going to play Ozil wide in in this new formation, at least give him the freedom to roam and play in the hole. Its a waste having him hug the touchline when he is much more effective between the lines.

Also Mikel can't come back soon enough, we are missing his passing big time, his absence is one of the reason we look less fluid at the moment. Flamini is so erratic in possession, can't believe he is still gets a start here :facepalm:
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Post by 6unner Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:28 pm

That is kind of what I see with Artetta. Most his passes these days are backwards or sideways dna not forward. Then if he does go forward he ends up out of position since he no longer has the speed to get back.

All that said it is what Wenger wants so it can not be all bad can it.

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Post by Jay29 Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:55 pm

Got another analysis planned. I'll be looking at how Debuchy effects our defence, and this new 4-1-4-1 shape that's appeared since the start of the season.

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Post by Sina Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:57 pm

Perfect time to score that Goal
2nd half was much better up to sending off

thats good thing About Debuchy when he covers behind Center backs

Santi played his role well
but feel that side isnt safe defensively vs better sides

Alexis we Love you
grew into the game with more confidence after his goal and worked hard as ever

still disappointed though feel we can involve him More in the build up as a wide player in 4231

this way we basically need to play perfect football with every passing move accurate with no big strong lad to shield the ball up top

Arsene Proud

Chamberlain need to make decisions better and quicker
his off the ball movement is improving
in that screenshot analysis jay criticized him when space opened up for Ozil on other side but chambo didnt spot it
similar occasion this time he did

anyway Rambo got a rest and hopefully will come in to run the show vs Leicester
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Post by RealGunner Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:02 am

Oh and Monreal has been really good lately. Showing his Malaga form. Great engine.
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Post by Sina Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:05 am

GoonerJay29 wrote:Got another analysis planned. I'll be looking at how Debuchy effects our defence, and this new 4-1-4-1 shape that's appeared since the start of the season.
Arsenal player will put the match online only from weekend
can use this link too Wink
http://www.footballorgin.com/2014/08/ucl-2014-2015-play-off-2nd-leg-arsenal.html
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Post by REWB Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:26 am

alexis finally playing good after the goal, hopefully he takes the form on to the next match.
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Post by Jay29 Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:36 am

So. Re-watched the game. First thoughts are that the scoreline really should've been more than 1-0 since we created some great opportunities in the second half. We looked a better side on the counter than when attempt to break them down. Defensively we were terrific.

Also, the atmosphere in the second half was excellent. Crowd were really up for it, especially when the tackles started flying in.

I want to take a closer look at Debuchy's performance, and how we fared going forward. I'll start with our new right back:

Debuchy:

Attack:

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Post by Peccadillo Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:34 am

off to a shaky start but tbh if you look at our results we have come away looking pretty good, draw away against Everton, smashed City (even if they were light), put palace away and progressed to the CL.

We are missing all our goal scorers again though and are now looking to the likes of Ramsey and Cazorla to provide.. Hopefully Sanchez now. It's a concern.

Got to confess I was losing my sh^t.. had a bad feeling throughout the entire game.

Onwards to the CL, hopefully we get an easier draw than last season!
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Post by Raptorgunner Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:51 am

We have learned to win ugly, but I dont want to go through a match like this again, 2 CL games and 2 red cards? We’ve received a red card in 4 of our last 5 Champions League games.

Monreal was solid today, I hope he keeps it up, cant really relay on Gibbs and we need him to recover fully.

Ozil was not himself, but is not his fault. Wilshere played better because ramsey wasn't in the pitch.
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Post by Twoism Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:56 am

Excellent job Jay regarding Debuchy, we need that attacking outlet down that flank because unlike left hand side, we do have pacy player down the right i.e. Ox Theo.

After rewatching the red card challenge, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. He got the ball clean, even if the ref call that one, should be no more than free kick. And the intercept against Ba was probably one of best moments in the game.

All in all, I like Debuchy, obviously we need to see him more against top side or pacy wingers but he brought in something different than Saga. It requires our defensive shape to be maintained through out the game though but I'm sure Wenger is drilling that into our tactics game by game.

I don't like this 4-1-4-1, Sanchez is isolated while the three midfielders often crammed since Ox mostly stayed on the right. But then again Ozil was horribly out of sync, he had quite a few chance to break free and either link up or through ball to Sanchez but failed.

With the last two performance one off the bench, Santi will give Wenger some headache. He shown what he could to through the middle, tough choice Ozil or him consider both have been meh playing on the left. With Giroud injured, it looks like Sanchez will play as CF so question is what kinda of meh Wenger prefer on the left, Santi or Ozil.

Problem with Jack/Rambo combo, Jack shown again he could play well w/o Rambo presence. Rambo likes to play a patient game, keep pass flowing & pop up important pass or goal, while Jack did the opposite, he like the penetrative bite, take control. Also worth to point out, Jack is more effective when he plays closer to opponent penalty box, his run is more dangerous and pose less risk. That's the luxury he doesn't have when playing with Rambo since Rambo is the one get to the box.
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Post by RedMamba Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:27 am

hahaha ozil the best AM in the world at it again :facepalm:
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Post by RealGunner Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:38 am

you know who assisted the goal?

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Post by Peccadillo Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:00 am

RedMamba wrote:hahaha ozil the best AM in the world at it again :facepalm:


Why are you so anti-Ozil? scratch
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Post by RedMamba Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:21 am

yes i did!
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Post by Sri Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:45 am

RedMamba wrote:hahaha ozil the best AM in the world at it again :facepalm:


Best AM in the world, being played as a LEFT MIDFIELDER. I'll repeat, in case you missed that :

LEFT MIDFIELD.



It's unbelieveable, the kind of heat this guy gets. Giroud is injured and people want somebody else to shat over or what?

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Post by AnJl Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:53 am

I know it is soon, but Im going to say it:

Ozil better start showing up soon. The excuses are starting to run out fast.

If he keeps being sub par, we won't hear the end of 'This is why we should have brought Fabregas back' and the last thing I want is to see that asshole have a feather in his cap.
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Post by Sri Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:55 am

Take your pick:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/mesut-ozil-stats-lionel-messi-2250622
http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/mesut-ozil-was-the-most-creative/
http://www.titanbet.com/football/europe-s-assist-kings.html#tt
http://www.fanatix.com/news/top-5-assist-makers-in-europe-over-the-past-5-seasons-arsenals-record-signing-features/144448/

I can go on, but have better (and more rational) pursuits.

People perform when the system suits their strengths. Put him in that free built-for-you-cause-we-are-sycophantic-about-your-skill 'Fabregas' role and wingers like Ronaldo/Theo/Bale/Robben on his flanks making runs and you will see how lethal he is. Not when you shaft him to experiment with a (possibly only) system which can accomodate your British core.

Playing a 3-5-2 when your squad isn't capable of it with only result in losses to league 1 sides. Simple as that.


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Post by AnJl Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:56 am

srigooner wrote:
RedMamba wrote:hahaha ozil the best AM in the world at it again :facepalm:


Best AM in the world, being played as a LEFT MIDFIELDER. I'll repeat, in case you missed that :

LEFT MIDFIELD.



Then why the HELL does Wenger PLAY him there? If he knows Ozil can't play ANYWHERE but as an AM, why the hell does he keep playing him out of position?
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Post by Peccadillo Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:01 am

He's only been back from a world cup winning squad, where he played on the left.. and has played two games.

BTW - I of course agree that he's far better centrally.
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