Reading were awful! Not the worst Premier league team we’ve seen maybe but certainly a contender. Therefore anything we did learn has to be treated with caution.
Starting at the back – the big Pole at last commanded his six yard box in the air. Apart from one rash attempted punch in the second half he was comfortable. Two catches under real pressure were exactly what we have been waiting for.
The defence was hardly tested. However they still managed to look shaky most of the time and frankly comic for both of the Reading goals. Mertesacker’s performances are so inconsistent. He ranges from absolutely hopeless – how slow was he yesterday? – to dominant – Man City away. Can we really build a defence around him without knowing which Per is going to turn up?
Vermaelen is really struggling at the moment. Even against Reading he looked uncertain. Hopefully it is simply poor form but it’s dragging on now. Time to shape up Tommy.
The full backs did ok I suppose at the Madejski. Ok Gibbo was utterly at fault for one of the goals conceded but overall, given the opposition was so poor, the game was another step along the road to producing a class left back. As for Bac I fear the worst. I think he is going. He has that Alex Hleb look about him to me. He is a warrior but even he looked like a warrior- lite to me last night. Watch this space!
The midfield had nothing up against them at all. Hence they all played well. Jack is not back to anything like his best yet. But he is big hearted and will get there sooner than most would.
Cazorla? You have to perform like that every three days from now on mate. And Arteta showed again why he isn’t a holding player. If, in the January ‘window’, we make no attempt to buy in that position then the club’s decision-makers are seriously deluded as to what is required.
‘The Ox’ was lively enough and is just beginning to show something. For the second half of the season…again watch this space!
Podolski may have got lucky in the German international caps raffle (over a 100 times!?) but at Reading his contribution whilst not great in quantity had real quality. The ball for the hat-trick goal looked easy but often do we see them over or under hit. His goal was top class too.
Now what of Theo? The great Arsenal enigma! Well I have said previously he is a Michael Owen …and he is. Arsene doesn’t play a pair up front however so can he play there on his own? Well he made a start but it was Reading. And as for Gorkss, he was an opponent made for him. That said Theo did all he could and his goal was pure Wrighty!
What we learned? We have some bricks to build with. We can beat teams that allow us to play. We desperately need to get rid of the deadwood. We MUST buy a holding midfielder or two and hope Tommy and Jack get back to what they can be. Above all hope that the medics discover the miracle potion that keeps Abou Diaby fit!!
What were your thoughts on the win at Reading? Get involved in the comments section below.