The Ox Answers Henry In Bullish Mood
The return of Alexis is massive for Arsenal. A link up between himself and Mesut Ozil could be lethal and in time it will be. However, there is a player in Arsene Wenger’s squad who has disappeared a little this season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had an indifferent campaign, falling behind Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott in the pecking order. He was ignored by Wenger in midweek and Thierry Henry claimed that the Gunners boss didn’t trust the former Southampton flyer.
The Ox answered back with his first ever away goal for the Gunners and the first goal he has been involved in since December 2014. He wasn’t the standout performer but it was a sign that his confidence may be returning which is good news for Arsenal and England.
Afobe Is The Real Deal And Roy Will Be Watching
The former Arsenal man is already a hit on the south coast and he may have felt he had a point to prove against the club who let him go. He may not have scored but he definitely impressed.
The young striker has everything to succeed at the highest level. Not only is he a big powerful man, but he is sharp off the mark and has the intelligence to drift into the channels and cause masses of problems for the opposing full-backs. Just ask Nacho Monreal who did not enjoy the forward’s forays down the right. He resembles a more mobile Olivier Giroud.
To play for the Cherries you have to have pretty good feet too. At just 22 Afobe has a great future and should he keep on scoring and putting in impressive performances he could be a rogue shout for an England call up. Roy will definitely be keeping an eye on him.
Petr Keeps Arsenal in Cech – Again
Petr Cech is supposedly worth 10 points to Arsenal. Well, he may well have earned them some more here.
The Czech stopper was excellent again as he made big saves at important times. There was a pair when the game was at 0-0 that slowed an energetic Bournemouth period and then he was again equal to everything the Cherries could throw at him after half-time as they looked for a way back in. He saved his best for late on when he got a big hand to a shot destined for the corner.
These saves may not be world class in nature but he never seems likely to make a mistake. He doesn’t have to be pulling off worldies every week, it is the consistency he brings that is key. Ask Liverpool fans and they would be more content with a keeper who does the basics than one who pulls off the occasional stunning stop.
Bournemouth’s Defence Leaves Them Vulnerable To The Drop
The Cherries have looked much better of late and they finally look like a Premier League outfit. However, if they are to really establish themselves in the top-flight for years to come they must address their issues at the back.
Arsenal got their gameplan bang on here. They got players beyond Giroud and in behind the home side’s defence on a regular basis, which is a real worry for Eddie Howe. The Gunners went pretty direct and their opener was a clear example of the frailties In Howe’s back four. A ball over the top was easily won and Ozil hammered home.
The second goal was a terrible error from Steve Cook as they shot themselves in the foot 90 seconds after going one down. Only Newcastle outside the bottom three have been breached more and Bournemouth must tighten up.
Referee Friend Makes None On The South Coast
You can debate the standard of officiating in the Premier League for hours but Kevin Friend made one hugely bizarre decision in this match that could have changed the face of the game massively.
Mathieu Flamini dived in with two feet right in front of the official. Granted, he won the ball but you simply cannot dive in with both feet and be allowed to get away with it.
The word we use with refs in consistency. Friend could clearly be seen mouthing the words ‘he got the ball’. As far as we are aware that is irrelevant. Two feet equals a red card.