Good morning Positivistas,
A fair night’s football I think all round. PSG area good quality football team with some excellent players and to split the points with them over two contests is probably what we would have accepted when the group was drawn, “par for the course”. A degree of frustration on my part last night as, at one point, we displayed the momentum to win the game, and allied to that quality we had two slices of luck that on another night would have won us the match. But just as the goddess bestows her favours so she snatches them away, as young Alex Iwobi is no doubt contemplating as he stares slack jawed into his ReadyBrek this morning.
I am afraid if you are anticipating any penetrating insights on the events on the field from me you are reading the wrong blog. Watching on the TV you saw a lot more than I did. I was tucked up toward the back of the Clock End, side on to the screen, and distracted for about an hour by a fellow Arsenal fan of such an unspeakably miserable disposition that had we been inmates of one of HMPs I would have pleaded for him to be put on suicide watch. As I mentioned last night so incoherent was he with disappointment and what he perceived to be the poverty of our display he stormed out after the Veratti own goal, never to be seen again. He also seemed to think we were playing Leicester. Between you and me I think he was a bit “drunk”. I expect he is out a usual this morning, knocking on doors and offering people a “spare bit of tarmac” he has from “another job” he has just finished “up the road” to repair their drive.
From what I did see of or lads it was a slow start all over the pitch. I expected the Parisians to start the game as they had in game one but both sides started warily, and it took a while for either to settle into a passing rhythm. It was not until half an hour had passed and PSG had run out of steam that we managed to get any grip on the game and string passes together. For the next 30 minutes I thought we were performing well enough to have won the game. We finally started getting some joy from crosses and finding Giroud. The final third of the game from my seat, now relieved of my burdensome companion, PSG stepped up a gear and showed the same flair they had displayed in September in Paris. Both sides traded blows, tried to win, with the French side probably enjoying the best chances.
For us I thought Olivier was good, as was Mesut, Aaron and Le Coq. Kosc was excellent against the very sharp Cavani.
For them I was impressed again with Matuidi and with Moura. Decisive, fast ball players. They would fit in anywhere.
Both sides sail serenely on to the Round of 16. I cannot really see Basel as more than a distraction. It is a non event, other than for the Swiss, and I suspect the manager will treat it as such. Since Herr Brych brought the curtain down last night I have read what seems about a dozen different permutations of who we might be drawn again in the next stage. The Devil in me knows it will be Barcelona, the rational being inside attaches no significance to the malign position of the planets. The nice thing is we need pay not attention until the draw on the 12th December, and even then two more months of important domestic football until the games begin on the 14th/15th February.
For any who have not seen the cartoon I could not let you miss it;
Onward to a very different prospect on Sunday and the Cherries of Bournemouth. Back to winning ways I think. Enjoy your week.