Tuesday, 22 February 2011

We only went to see Tehoue. Leyton Orient match report.

Leyton Orient 1 Arsenal 1

Frankly, I think the reaction to this match has been overdone.

We put in a good first-half performance but couldn't quite fashion a good enough opening to score. Tomas Rosicky put us ahead in the second half with his first goal in a long, long time and Orient really weren't creating anything. The fact is, we were the width of a post away from going 2-0 up, moments before Tehoue equalised.

And, more to the point, who was screaming for a substitution? I was a little puzzled Arsene hadn't changed it - Orbinho let me know on Twitter it was three years since the last time Arsene made no subs - but the reason I didn't tweet about it is because I wasn't too worried.

Sure, there was more impetus after Orient equalised, but you can't play like that for 90 minutes because throwing bodies out of position like that is quasi-suicidal. And, it's a little disingenuous to say we didn't go after the second goal - as I've already said, Arshavin hit the post just before Tehoue equalised.

In all, it was a disappointing result, but there were lots of positives - I felt Denilson passed the ball really well and his incredible passing stats show why for me, he is more use than Song against Barca. Ignasi Miquel did well on debut, and frankly, I didn't think anyone did particularly badly - I get the impression Chamakh needs games but I'm not sure he's going to get them at this stage of the season unless Robin breaks down. So he probably will get them.

A word too about Manuel Almunia. Regular readers will know that I've always liked Manuel and while he isn't as good a keeper as Szczesny, it's impossible to say whether the Pole would have saved Tehoue's shot. It was hit low and hard, and wasn't easy to save; and the abuse Almunia takes is staggering. People forget he made a brilliant save against Huddersfield and I don't understand why other players (like Van Persie) are given plenty of time to play their way into form, but the slightest of errors from Manuel and all and sundry are having a go at him. He is a good goalkeeper, and if he leaves in the summer, I have no doubt he could strengthen a lot of very good teams.

So a replay it is - not the ideal result for my bank balance, but there's a few players who need game time, and the replay will give them a further chance to make their case and play themselves into form - and that's probably a good thing with all the matches coming up.

I remember an excellent Edu performance at Old Trafford last time we won there in the FA Cup and he was a squad player - hopefully some of the players who played against Orient would like to show what they can do at Old Trafford, and I fully expect us to win the replay.

The fixtures keep on coming and it's dirty Stoke tomorrow night before the cup final - I expect a cracking atmosphere and we should take the points.

On another note, I'm still looking for a ticket to Wembley - if you have a spare of hear of any, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Keep the faith.


Joel said...

Very well written. I agree that the performance wasn't terrible, but you haven't mentioned anything on the lack of urgency. Sure, Denilson passed it well. But where was the creativity? Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner and Chamakh failed to provide much. Arshavin was the only effective creator in my opinion.

This second string has little passion and determination. Although the players are very good, they don't seem to work as a team. Bendtner and Chamakh definitely don't gel together in the 4-3-3 formation.

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