Up to Standard?

By on November 26, 2009

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Tuesday evening brought us one of the strangest matches this supporter has seen in a long time. Arsenal completely dominated the entire match yet they won only 2-nil and Standard Liege hit the post twice. Coming back from injuries, we saw Carlos Vela get a long-awaited start and Theo Walcott get in on some action, but we also saw Kieran Gibbs go out for months just seconds from the final whistle and William Gallas look worse than Rocky after 12 rounds with Apollo Creed. We saw three clear penalties that weren’t given because, as Alan Parry said, “They must not have penalties in Austria,” referring to the officials’ home.

I am conflicted as to what I should think about the match. The injuries to Arshavin, Gallas, and Gibbs certainly overshadow the great attacking performance. I certainly don’t agree with Paul Merson and Myles Palmer that Arsenal could’ve lost this match. Of course, Standard’s first time hitting the post came before Nasri had opened up the scoring but even at 1-nil down Standard rarely looked a threat going forward.

Song had a great match and news of his newly-signed long-term deal yesterday was more than welcome. But it seems all eyes were on Vela, and rightly so. Ever since his magnificent introduction to the club with some truly wonderful goals in last year’s Carling Cup, we’ve all been waiting for him to get a right chance in the first team. He didn’t do as well we would have hoped the other night but he has been out injured for most of the season. Nevertheless, the internet’s resident bitter idiot, Myles Palmer, wrote, in an article entitled, “Carlos Vela needs to grabs this chance.If not, adios”:

It’s about time his Arsenal career took off. Seriously, how long can anybody be a promising young striker? If Vela was any good, shouldn’t he be in the team by now?

Huh? He’s been at the club for a year. He was injured at the start of the season. How long can he be a promising striker?? Are you serious, Myles? Not half as long as your beloved, English Theo Walcott, that’s for sure. “If Vela was any good?” Anyone who saw his performances last year in the Carling Cup KNOWS he is good. His problem has been that he is not only stuck behind van Persie but Eduardo as well and so he has not gotten the kind of playing time we all would have hoped. Is everyone else as sick of this tool as I am?

The injury to Gibbs is the most problematic for Sunday as I doubt many of us have much confidence in Traore or Silvestre stepping into the left-back spot against Chelsea. I would think the Boss may have to bite the bullet and play Eboue there.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers…