Good morning Positive AFC,
As we all anticipated our excellent home form carried us over the line against Toon. It was a little messy at the end and as we discussed last night by not slotting a second and ideally a third goal we left the chance available for the visitors to scuffle something from the game in the final few minutes. Despite a couple of misdirected efforts from Ayoze Perez in that phase we were ok.
There has been a bit of debate as to the quality, or lack of it, of Arsenal over the 90 minutes. As Arsene had suggested in the pre match press bash a little more speed and craft were required to score goals.
Mesut is always creative although first half he seemed to be playing further back than usual. His goal was a peach, the work of a world class footballer. I’d say with Alex Iwobi and Jack starting that more creative spring was in place. Alex would pop up one moment on the left side dribbling into the Toon box, in the next move he’d be crossing from the left. We shot more and we shot accurately. I think therefore that ball carrying/crossing/using the full pitch was better. Newcastle were pulled about and opened up. As in the West Ham game all they could do for long periods was clear it them wait for our next attacking wave to arrive.
Where more work is needed is in the finishing as having opened the opposition up wide twice more (at least) we did not add to our goals tally. Laca’s chipped effort that sailed over Elliot and the bar by six feet was a shock – for the Frenchman as well as the 60,000 spectators. To be fair, and I’m always fair, I thought our Chilean did rather better yesterday than in recent matches and put in a couple of excellent crosses, one to Hector first half and a second to Larry, either of which could/should have been converted. Sanchez can cross a ball superbly – and that is what wingers do. Do more of it.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles ? That crazy slalom first half run! The finish that hit the side netting with Elliott flailing. A right footed midfielder at left back ?!? What is it all about son? In any event your first PL home debut and hardly a foot put wrong. You may therefore receive the MotM award from this fan. Please enjoy the day.
So on to the Ammers and the Cariboo on Tuesday, a very quick turnaround, before a big Friday night in prospect. B team to dispatch what I guess is likely to be the Claret and Blue B team. We have more than enough quality to put them away. Friday though …………… that is the game I am already looking forward to.
Enjoy your Sunday.