To be perfectly honest, that first half display of football was some of the worst I have seen Arsenal play. There was no one who remotely looked interested, bar maybe Jenkinson. Four goals down after 37 minutes and I felt myself finding faults with every player. Our defence was simply terrible and I even caught myself almost saying that Santos is better than these clowns….I said almost. Djourou although you had a better second half, I don’t think you will be seeing much game time this season.
The second problem for me was playing 2 holding midfielders, Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin. We did the same against Schalke in the CL loss, I don’t think that a formation like this works. Players just end up occupying the same area, or leaving a man, that they think the other will pick up and leaves us thin in other areas of the midfield. Anyway that is what I think, and we saw when that formation changed we began to dominate the midfield.
4-1 at half time and at the 60 min mark is when things started to spark. Thomas Eisfeld and Olivier Giroud entered the fray in place of Frimpong and Gnabry as the Boss decided enough is enough.. Chamakh, Arshavin and Walcott also looked like new players with these changes coming on.
Giroud made an immediate impact and was getting into positions that was causing Reading players huge problems and snapped up a goal with his first touch 4-2. The final minute of normal time another corner produced a third goal. Laurent Koscielny making up for his own goal, 4-3 come on the Guns only injury time remaining. I could start to feel my heart beating so hard, but I still thought “Surely not”.
IT HAPPENED …Walcott somehow got the ball in, in the 95th minute even though only 4 were shown, much to the complaints of Reading.
Now I found myself on my second beer and screaming at the TV as Extra time kicked off, what a game! Giroud and Arshavin combined great with Chamakh as the Moroccan smashed in his first goal in 13 months Wow. But that wasn't the end, a lapse in concentration in true Gunners fashion allowed Reading a Goal and it was 5-5.
But then in the last minute of extra time after a great run from Arshavin, Theo pounced on a loose ball and thumped it home for his hat-trick and 5-6! A few nervy minutes before a defender mistake allowed Chamakh to get his brace and finish in style 5-7 on the night.
I literally have no words. Although there are big questions to be asked about our defence, there is huge credit to be give to the boys for that display.
Arsenal I love you and thank you for an evening of Football I won’t forget any time soon.