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A few thoughts on the Hull City FACup 3rd Round match

January 6, 2015

“Arsenal is like no other! We choose how to play” Really!!! Why would you choose to play like Arsenal have this season?

On a cold Sunday I was really at odds with myself if I actually wanted to attend this match. The rail service between Harlow and Tottenham Hale was down and part of the journey to Arsenal would have meant travelling by bus. I’ve been caught this way before and let me tell you it takes ages. How the rail authorities expect eight carriages of people to get on a couple of buses I’ll never understand.

Anyway as my Son has our other season ticket, I decided we’d go and we drove down from Harlow to Blackhorse Road and from there took the tube to Holloway Road. Travelling up in the lift at Holloway Road tube station I saw Terry Neill who was also travelling to the Emirates, of course I said Hi! Spent many a good night in his Sports Bar in Holborn Viaduct talking to the man. My Son Luke said I bet he is the guest at half time. Don’t you just love smart ***** :).

My Son and I got into the Emirates about 4.30pm. As mentioned it was really cold and felt even colder on the upper tier concourse while watching Manchester United beat Yeovil and their players celebrating goals as if they had just scored in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid. There was one minute when on one screen showing Sky Sports Milner had just bagged City’s winner v Sheffield Wednesday in the ninety-first minute and on the other screen Herrera scored United’s first against Yeovil. I’ve had better minutes in my life.

After being ripped off for £4.80 for a coke and a bottle of water at one of Arsenal’s food outlets, my Son and I took our seats about thirty minutes before kick-off. The team was announced and as expected Ospina was in-goal. Bellerin was in at right back, Chambers partnered The BFG and Monreal was in at left back. Cazorla and Rosicky play-makers with Coquelin as defensive midfielder. Campbell, Sanchez and fit again? Theo Walcott up front. Hull apparently made ten changes for the game.

With the kick-off at 5.30pm on a Sunday evening (is nothing sacred any more), the match be shown on BBC terrestrial TV and the opposition the stadium was at least ten thousand down on capacity.

The FACup gave Arsenal a chance to forget the league and take on Hull in a repeat of last seasons FACup final. Arsenal started well and could have been three up, yet Campbell shot straight at the Harper after a good one-two with Sanchez. Then Harper saved well form his own player with his legs and Sanchez having a great chance cleared off the line after good work from Rosicky. Even a good move involving Theo-Cazorla-Theo saw Theo hit a weak shot straight into the arms of the keeper.  In between these chances a corner, I repeat a corner, yes I said CORNER was swung over by Sanchez and the BFG headed Arsenal into the lead. The last fifteen minutes of the first half was pretty much both teams just going through the motions.

In the second half I felt Arsenal couldn’t get going yet had a few chances that were blocked. Then one great chance opened up for Theo from an inch perfect pass from Cazorla, Theo’s control let him down and he put his shot well wide of the goal. I’m not going to blame Theo as Theo is not anywhere near match fit yet. Arsenal then had a very good move with Cazorla passing the ball to Sanchez on the edge of area with his back to goal, Sanchez turned and curled a beauty into the bottom right hand corner 2-0 game over!!!

I’m not going to get carried away by this win. Hull City were never really in the game and with only eighteen odds players to choose from Steve Bruce did make a lot of changes from their match. Maybe it is so many games played over a short Christmas period of time or maybe it a fact of football life that Premiership survival is paramount in today’s money is King football.

However, take nothing away from Arsenal as they did play well for most of the match. The passing was good for once, the team battled, show fight and Arsenal are through to the fourth round (just found out we have Brighton away) Happy days!!!

Ospina was safe – did what he had to do but was not tested. Bellerin and Monreal played well and the young lad looks real promising, like a tackle, covers well, speedy and makes some good runs down the right.. The BFG scored and along with Chambers did enough, but the defence was hardly tested by Hull’s forwards during the game.

I thought Cazorla was very good and back to his best form recently. Full of energy and running, good with the ball at his feet and some cracking eye of needle passing.I really don’t understand fans today when a player goes through a rough spell how there is no quarter given and it’s time for said player to go.

Coquelin I thought also had a very good game, has been solid and dependable last few games. Does the simple things well, break up play, get the ball, move it on, long or short, yet you do feel he will pick up a booking in almost every match he plays.

Rosicky is full of industry and work rate, such a good player to have around and his run to set up Sanchez is typical of the player. Never gives up and a great squad player.

Campbell did well though missed a sitter, but again you could not fault his work rate.

Talking of Skill and work rate, I give you Mr. Sanchez what a buy this fellow has been, so strong on the ball and his look the other way passing is magic.How he beats players with ease is such a joy to watch. I can’t believe the amount of stick he takes form defenders who seem to get away far too often with fouls on the him and yet he just gets with it. Sadly if Sanchez complains about treatment he gets booked or a little foul as in match v Hull in the book.

Then we have Theo who was obviously not fully fit and needs games to get his sharpness back. However he showed in those two misses and a few passes he made it’s still there and will hopefully slowly get back to form and have a good injury free run in the side. Yeah! I agree – what are the chances?



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