It was great to see the team get back to winning ways this weekend. It was especially tough in recent weeks to see us take the lead against both Norwich and West Bromich Albion, only for us to falter and not pick up the three points. What’s the deal with us never doing well in November? Do you think we start the season well and get into a false sense of security? Once or twice is bad luck but for every November to be like this, there has to be a reason. Something to think about for next season, for now, let’s press on and keep in touch at the top.
Once again I have to praise Mesut Ozil. He is just a joy to watch, and his presence on the ball is a majestic sight to see. He moves so freely it is like he is floating on the pitch. He is at the peak of his career and I am forever grateful for that fateful September day in 2013 where you convinced him to play for the greatest team in the world. It is tough to see so many injuries amongst us, I pray that Mesut does not get injured. I know you will manage him well, but please ensure he isn’t next on the injury list, he is the reason we are in contention for the title. His delightful pass to Campbell was assist number 12 for the season, and the five chances he created in the game took his overall tally to 63, by far the greatest creator of chances in Europe. The next best is Boudebouz at Montpelier with 55, then Neymar with 49. Numbers don’t lie, Ozil makes things happen, he doesn’t simply pass the ball sideways. The little turns and flicks he does are not simply for show, rather, they are him thinking outside the box, and not allowing the opposition to dominate him like they did in his first season for the club. Today, once again he made the opposition look ordinary.
Let us not forget another brilliant acquisition for us in Petr Cech. He has literally saved us countless times this season and this match was no different. There was a huge chance early in the game, where it was just him and the striker, but he read the situation well and managed to keep the ball out of the goal. In addition to this there was a save on the line from a corner and a save which he had to make because of an awkward backpass form Monreal. Any of these three chances could have easily gone in on any other day, but it was once again a brilliant performance from a world class keeper. He reads the game so well and anticipates what will happen, he makes the opposition work really hard to get one past him. His raw talent combined with experience and technique in these situations makes him the maestro that he is. Cech won’t win you the game, but his saves will keep you in the game long enough to win and this is exactly what happened. We were 2-1 up and he made two amazing saves. I don’t need to tell you how much Cech’s influence affected the result.
It is also wonderful to see the emergence of young Joel Campbell. Replacing Alexis Sanchez on the wing is no easy feat, but he has been consistent in the past few weeks after a slow start and chipped in with the first goal. A solid, composed finish in between the keepers legs, gave him a lot of confidence for the rest of the game. Due to all our injuries he will be getting more and more game time.This will be a crucial part of his career. I hope you can get the full potential out of him as he has lots of raw talent.
It was also great to see Aaron Ramsey come back. He has always been our unsung hero, he works as hard as anyone on the pitch. He made the most passes of anyone on the pitch with 124 with a 92% completion rate. He also topped the charts for most shots (4) and most touches (145). While he does not have the skill or technique that Ozil does his contribution to the team is invaluable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a boring player, but his exciting play will come soon enough. It is unfortunate that Cazorla is out for a long period, but this represents an opportunity for Ramsey to cement his place and go on a run of games and perform to his potential. When he is at his best he is unstoppable, he is as good as any midfielder in the world, think back to the early part of the 2013/14 season. He got just reward for his hard work, nice vision to pick out Giroud and a goal deep in injury time to seal the points. I cannot wait for him to take his opportunity in these next few weeks and build on this!
All in all I would be lying if I wasn’t concerned about our injuries. I mean, the bench looked pretty bare of attacking options bar Theo Walcott. It is good to get the win, but it is crucial we see some of our players come back soon. There is no opportunity to rotate the squad, because the likes of Iwobi are simply not good enough to start, and every game is important these days. We do not want the players who are currently fit to burn out like Cazorla did, so I really hope that Welbeck is back soon, he seems to be the closest. Do you think recalling Gnabry would be a good idea?
Our mental strength needs a little work too. We did end up winning today but not before conceding a silly goal shortly after taking the lead (although, to be fair it was Giroud best finish of the season!). This cannot be allowed to happen too often, in this instance it was only the heroics of Cech that allowed us to get the three points, the rest of the team needs to take responsibility and ensure we kill off teams early. This is the way titles are won.
Onto the Athens where we must win where we have never won before, and by two goals. It kind of reminds me of a famous day in Anfield in 1989! As I said there won’t be much opportunity to rotate the squad so it’ll pretty much be the same XI to try and get us into the knockout stage. I hope the players travel well and stay fit for the game and we are able to make it 16 consecutive times out of the group stage.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list to receive your FREE Invincible’s E-Book. Enter your email address to subscribe TODAY: