Arsenal Still Aren’t Clicking
After the goalless draw with Liverpool on Monday Arsene Wenger called his team’s start to the season ‘very average’ – and one win, one draw and one defeat can’t really be called anything else, in fairness.
They won here but they never quite produced the football that we know they are capable of, with perhaps their gameplan getting knocked out of shape by the early red card for Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the inability to cut through their opposition again harming them just as it did against Liverpool.
Having decided that everything was apparently going to be different this season, the Gunners need to improve and fast if they are to have any title pretentions.
Newcastle Are A Work In Progress
In terms of judging this Newcastle team, you can take far more from last weekend’s goalless draw at Manchester United than you really can from this result, but there was a resoluteness from Steve McClaren’s side that the manager is bound to be pleased with.
The 10 men stayed in the game, and although they didn’t carve out many chances or trouble Petr Cech, the raw ingredients do seem to be there for the new boss to fashion a decent side.
Theo Walcott Missed His Big Chance Upfront
Theo Walcott seems to have decided that he should be played as a centre-forward this season, but he has a funny way of showing it based on this performance.
His movement was never quite up to scratch, and far too often he was making runs which weren’t quite on the same wavelength as the players looking to find him.
Olivier Giroud might not be perfect, but as a focal point for the Gunners attack he certainly offers more at the Englishman does at the moment, with that mythical ‘big name forward’ still strangely absent.
Aleksandar Mitrovic Had This Coming
There was nothing especially malicious about Mitrovic’s clumsy lunge on Francis Coquelin which earned him his early red card, it was just a bit daft.
The Serbian has very quickly carved out a reputation as one of the Premier League’s new bad boys, but if anything it’s a lack of something going on between his ears which is holding him back more than outright nastiness.
Steve McClaren clearly faces a battle to try and keep his star forward’s head in check, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were more incidents such as this in the future.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Makes Things Happen
Called into the team at the expense of an injured Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t quite live up to the fine form he has displayed in brief cameos this season, but he nonetheless kept making things happen.
His shot which deflected in off Fabricio Coloccini for the only goal was another fine example of just what he does well, and he must have given his manager even more to think about as he continues to search for more regular starts.
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