Monday, 16 September 2013

Ozil outshone by Ramsey -Flamini shows he's vital -Koscielny needs talking to

Morning all.

It was great to have The Arsenal back after two international games which robbed us of the chance of seeing Mesut Ozil in the flesh in the red and white (or yellow as it was) since his signing.

And while this game had been billed as the Ozil show, it was another player who stood out and took many of the plaudits. Aaron Ramsey has had an astonishing 2013. Since the day he turned 22 on January 1, he's been  a different player. He's confident, pragmatic, has a work rate which never drops and has added goals to his game from the start of this season.

There is no denying that the way which Ozil picked Kieran Gibbs' ball out of the air was wonderful. The next bit of the move was just as special as he looked to his right to see Olivier Giroud running through on goal. The weight of the German international's pass was perfect and our top scoring Frenchman found the back of the net again for his fifth of the season and his first ever Arsenal goal in the league outside of London.

Ozil showed his brilliance again. Placing a number of chances on Theo Walcott's plate. But sadly the 24-year-old England man couldn't find the right shot to find the back of the net. There's no denying that I'm excited about the Ozil - Walcott partnership. I think it could be one of the most devastating in the Premier League when both players are on the same wavelength.

Ramsey had a pretty quiet first half. Jack Wilshere, it seemed, didn't want all the limelight to be on Ozil and showed us why - in glimpses - he's going to be a fantastic midfielder for us. Meanwhile further back in the formation Mathieu Flamini was there shouting and encouraging his team mates. I do believe that the 29-year-old Frenchman's signing could be one of our most important of the season.

We went in at half time with just a single goal advantage. And in the second half Sunderland came out all guns blazing.

Should we have any arguments that Adam Johnson dived under the challenge of Laurent Koscileny? It appears not. The Sunderland man seems to have gotten away with the notion that you're supposed to stay on your feet. But it was an idiotic challenge by Koscielny. Surely after the opening day's game with Aston Villa where he gave away a penalty with another silly lunge, someone would have had a word with him.

The recovery part of his game - the last ditch tackles - are one of the reasons he's become such a fan's favourite. But it something needs to be said because we cannot continue being penalised like this. Szczesny had no chance with the spot kick.

Ramsey at the other end put us back in the lead. An outstanding volley from the edge of the box after a great cross from Carl Jenkinson.

And then the most controversial piece of refereeing this season. Martin Atkinson failing to give Sunderland advantage after a tussle between Sagna and Altidore. The USA international went on to score but Atkinson pulled the play back to outside the area.

I don't think it was a foul. How can you give it when both players have hold of one another's shirts? Neither are less guilty than the other. But we got away with it.

And then five minutes later Ramsey added to our advantage. Wilshere played the ball to Ramsey who found Ozil. The German played it to Giroud who found Ramsey in space in the box and the Welshman finished superbly.

It was a lovely one touch movement which wouldn't have looked out of place in any Arsene Wenger team.

Arsenal saw out the game, sadly not without incident. Giroud forced off with a knee complaint and Chuba Akpom made his Premier League debut for us for the final moments of the game.

It looks as though the Frenchman should be fit to face Marseille on Wednesday night. But it certainly would have taken the gloss off things had our potent striker been injured more seriously.

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