Job done and three points is a good way to kick off your European campaign but there will be some worries that we made life difficult for ourselves against a team who playd 80 minutes with 10 men.
Early in the first half we moved the ball around nicely, it came to Robin van Persie and he went around the keeper, knocked the ball too far and was falling over before the keeper made the tiny amount of contact he made with his foot. An extremely soft penalty and a very harsh red card, in my opinion. Roles reversed and Jens with a red we’d all be spewing this morning. Still, Gilberto smacked the penalty away to put us 1-o up.
Worryingly ahead of Sunday we lost Kolo Toure who was replaced by Jusitn Hoyte. He went to left back and Gallas moved into the middle.
In the second half then 10 men could have had an equaliser but their player stuck a decent chance wide. Then we went 2-0 up with Tomas Rosicky’s first goal for the club. And what a goal. He took possession about 30 yards out, nudged it inside then buried it in the top corner. A brilliant goal. See what happens when you shoot now and again? I hope the boss makes them all watch that goal again. And again. Adebayor then, unsurprisingly, missed a good chance and Gilberto was left unmarked to power a header wide from 6 yards out.
Hamburg had a goal disallowed for offside then in the last minute they scored. Justin Hoyte went to sleep and then didn’t track his man back into the box allowing them to score a simple tap in. No question that we deserved the win but conceding these soft goals is becoming a bit of a habit now and it’s a worry.
Afterwards Arsene Wenger was pleased to get the three points and has aims of winning the tournament but Gilberto sees room for improvement, saying:
We controlled the game quite well but we lost a bit of concentration. The game seems to be easy but then we missed concentration at the end and conceded a goal to them. This is the kind of thing we need to be concerned about.
There are other things we need to be concerned about too. Again Emmanuel Eboue’s final ball was atrocious. Does he see Arsenal shirts in the stand behind the goal and pass it to them? Justin Hoyte also remains unconvincing at left back and I think Wenger made the wrong substitution taking van Persie off and leaving Adebayor on. Maybe he had Sunday in mind but I think the Togonian really has a lot to prove still.
On the plus side I thought Rosicky looked very good, Gallas and Djourou comfortable at the back and at the end of the day three points is three points and it was important to win to gain some confidence ahead of Sunday’s game against United.
The Dublin meet up of Arsebloggers was a resounding success. There were three of us. Well, four if you count the fact that one of them brought his Man United supporting brother. We also met Anto and his mate whose name I can’t remember but I think it’s GT. Anto couldn’t believe he was meeting the famous DublinGooner. He just has this aura about him, doesn’t he?
It might have been my fault there were so few though. I came into the bar and sat down in front of the only TV I could see thinking I was a great man for getting good seats. Just before the game started I went downstairs to use the loo and found a whole other room packed full of Arsenal fans. Doh! Oh well, next time.
Nothing else to report so it only remains for me to say *boilk*