Reading Aftermath, Theo Walcott and the Confused Giroud
Entertaining, enthralling and epic – these were the words I used to describe one of the most nerve-raking matches I’ve watched in all my years as an Arsenal fan. As I reiterated in yesterday’s post, Arsenal was successful in fucking up my mind, giving me several emotional states in one single friggin game.
As expected, the quarterfinal draws have been made and Arsenal will travel to npower League Two outfit, Bradford, that ousted Wigan Athletic on penalties. After winning the pulsating encounter against Manchester United, Chelsea has been rewarded with an away fixture against potential giant killers, Leeds United. Norwich defeated those Spuds to lock horns with Aston Villa while Swansea vs. Middlesbrough completes the quarterfinal round.
Judging from the last eight teams in the Capital One cup, Arsenal has a realistic chance of breaking its trophy drought with an early appetizer in the form of the Capital One cup which serves as the first trophy any English team can win in the course of a season. The Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League are usually decided in the climax of the season.
Arsenal’s fixture against Reading showcased the Gunners amazing mental strength, but it didn’t hide the fact that our defense had an absolutely torrid time, which is certainly a cause for concern. Despite shipping in five goals, Damian Martinez had his fare share of saves and howlers, and if I’ve been complaining about Mannone, I might as well get a chainsaw like Thomas Hewitt and tear Martinez with my words.
Ignasi Miquel struggled at left back and I was very surprised with Laurent Koscielny’s performance. He failed to connect with his defensive partner, Johan Djourou, and that own goal must have made his confidence to plunge downhill. However, Koscielny was unfazed by that error and went on to score a vital third goal for his team. He was also lucky to stay on the pitch because he made a few eye-raising tackles, even after been brandished with a yellow card.
Carl Jenkinson continued his fledgling performance for the Gunners and I must say that the technique he used in killing off Walcott’s goal that had crossed the line was lovely. If there were concerns over the ball crossing the line or not, Jenko’s slammed effort sent every Gooner into raptures as Arsenal actually scored four goals despite being 4 – 0 down in the first 38 minutes.
Marouane Chamakh also deserves a mention in today’s post. Despite being frozen out the team and clearly out-of-favor, the Moroccan has refused to let all get in his way and he put up a great performance for the Gunners as he actually scored two goals, a feat he hadn’t achieved since that 2 – 0 win over Wolves in November 2010 – a game fondly remembered for Lukasz Fabianski’s heroics.
Get well soon lad.
You can’t actually utter a word about the Reading – Arsenal game without mentioning the undisputed Man of the Match, Theo Walcott. Walcott was a phenom on the pitch and in my honest opinion, this is definitely his best outing in Arsenal colors. The winger hopes for his team to carry this newly-found blistering form to the Premier League, starting with the crunch encounter against Manchester United.
Theo Walcott’s teammates have ran out of superlatives for him, and the most vocal Gunner has been Andrey Arshavin. The diminutive Russian has also stated that God played a role in the epic victory as well,
“I did not think about when we had to equalise, I just felt that if we had the chance and God will help us, we will make a draw!”
“He helped us and that’s why we scored in the last minute.
“I have lost twice 7-1, once I lost 8-3 and once I won 9-3 and now 7-5. But this game was one I will remember always because it was from 4-0 down.
“I don’t think anyone here believed that we could come back, but we did it and we deserved to win.
“We showed spirit because you cannot come back from 4-0 down if you don’t have spirit.”
Arshavin went on to say that this is a game that he’ll never forget. of course Andrey, I don’t believe that this game will leave any sane Gooner’s memory in a long time, and if you didn’t watch this game, you’re on a very long thing. For the benefit of those that missed the game, here are the highlights of the 12-goal thriller.
Still sticking with Walcott, Arsene Wenger has hailed Walcott’s commitment and has finally stated that the winger is ready to lead the line for Arsenal but skeptics believe that Theo Walcott’s worrying contract situation hinges on regular first-team football, rather than the greens.
Judging from Walcott’s form this season, Arsenal fans will go haywire if he leaves the club on a Bosman, and everyone, including Jamie Redknapp, has urged the Arsenal hierarchy to make Walcott sign da ting.
The Reading – Arsenal game had everything; goals (obviously), improved performances, howlers, saves…you name it. However, there was a very hilarious moment when the French duo of Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin pelted their jerseys at the direction of the euphoric Arsenal fans celebrating Walcott’s dramatic equalizer.
After the game, some journos caught up with the hunky Giroud and he had this to say,
I thought that in cup games when you drew, there was a replay. Someone told me that!
“Luckily, I was able to get the shirt back OK – the fan gave it back to me quickly so I could start the game again.
“But after the game, I threw the shirt back into the crowd again after that.”
That someone must have told Giroud about the FA Cup, were you earn a replay after a draw but Giroud’s confusion is nothing, compared to Queens Park Ranger’s Stephane Mbia, that thought that QPR was a club based in Scotland.
We all get confused from time to time, I guess.
I can’t wait to watch Skyfall in the Palms today. 😀
I’d be honored if you vote for Gooner Daily, in the Best Sports blog category of the Nigerian Blog Awards. Voting is still ongoing.
You can download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button