This article is part of our series featuring the commentaries on matches of recent years by Gf60.
In 2011 the Emirates Cup had been disappointing with two draws, and the pre-season had ended with a defeat to Benfica.
The opening of the season was awful too, with just two victories in the first seven games.
The opening match was a 0-0 draw against Newcastle. Match 2 saw us at home to Liverpool, and we lost although in between those two games we beat Udinese at home 1-0 on 16 August.
So Liverpool, the ‘hyperactive in the transfer market this summer’ according to AW, played the somewhat somnolent. And won… for the first time at the Grove.
And we got another red card. And another injury. And had 2 or 3 débutantes. And 2 wastes of space. And Sami and Nic pulled out of obscurity. And both Liverpool goals seemed dodgy. So quite what is there for a Gooner to be somewhat proud of?
Well, Sami was a total professional and deserves credit for never hiding when many in the crowd (and, indeed, this old fart) were being uncomplimentary. And he was a bit unlucky not to score. For sure he was the brightest of the attacking players. Not that it was difficult to be brighter than AA and Theo. In all honesty I wondered if I couldn’t have done better than either of them. And I’m 69.
But there was a very sound defence even after Kos sprung a gasket and limped off. The Verminator shepherded young Miquel and played as well as I can remember him playing. He was without doubt the best player on the pitch and, like Chewbacca, who played well if out of position, didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. Come to that nor did Ches or Jenkinson.
And then there was Aaron, a great deal of carelessness mixed in with a great deal of skill…his own goal must be forgiven as being part of the “Will nothing go right for the Gooners at the moment?” syndrome…and Emmanuel Frimpong who may turn out to be the pitbull we’ve needed since Flamini left us. If he can learn to stay out of the ref’s notebook, we may well have a winner here. But the truth is that his red card cost us the game…at least a share of it because in truth, we didn’t look much like scoring. This the first time in 42 years apparently that we’ve not scored in the first two games of the season.
So, if like me, you’re suffering from goal starvation, the video on view at Untold Arsenal http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/ will put a smile on your face. A few notable omissions admittedly, but good viewing.
I haven’t yet had time to find the exact page Gf60 is referring to, but I think it was just something we were running on the home page at the time. Still nice to know that whatever it was, was noticed.
- Gilberto Aparecido da Silva; prince among players, prince among men
- Colin Addison: the serial manager
- Arsenal’s past openers: 16 August 2008. We win. But…
- Starting the season: Everton 1 Arsenal 6. 15 August 2009.
- Arsenal’s last season at Highbury: Arsenal v Newcastle, 14 August 05