Good Morning Positives,
An interesting evening at Gander Green Lane. The expected result and, on reflection, an evening that I probably should have expected. The non Leaguers came on in the same old way, and with our superior firepower we despatched them in the same old way. Twas it (almost) ever thus when a very big club meets a non League minnow?
I admit I had been hoping for a more resounding victory, three goals up at the half hour market least, and the chance to ease off for the remainder of the game before a 5-6 final count. That is not however the Arsenal way, and in spite of my jitters it made for a better match to watch, with Sutton still dashing forward until the final whistle.
Of our players I thought Rob Holding had a good game, growing assurance on a windy night and a pitch though flat had an unusual bounce and the speed of the ball across the plastic was slightly different to grass The Ox was probably our best player, albeit a late entry. Industrious at the back when he needed to be, willing to give us width going forward. I shall forgive his error in the final few moments as by them as in Munich, the result was never I doubt. And Theo of course, captain on the night and 100 goals up. To be honest Theo had one of his less effective games I thought last night and what the plastic pitch offered him in speed of movement and acceleration it seemed to reduce in his ability to control the ball. Good night for Perez again. As I have said before, other than two or three PL clubs, the Spanish striker would walk into most starting line ups in England.
The negative sides I believe Alex Iwobi has his ankle strapped and iced after the kick he took. And Jeff ? Not a good night for him last night, hesitant from the start and the game went on around him. Hard to recognise the player who performed so well, so confidently, in the last round at St Marys. I think a loan spell and regular week in and week out football for JRA an absolute necessity.
Our opponents, 293 places below us in the English Football League pyramid, or some such tosh, acquitted themselves admirably on what as probably a match they will remember forever. For a few, particularly Deacon, it must surely be a ticket to back into a league club and rekindling their former ambitions.
That is all from me today. I see we did not give Sutton a pennant at kick off – much to the hilarity of the BBC commentators. We are however a little classier than that.
We have a lengthy break before the next game, and it is a biggie. Perhaps a chance to relax and breath a little, for the players, the manager and above all the most important group of all at our mighty football club, the fans. Enjoy your week.