T’Rovers – Champagne Attack, Pub Team Defending

It might be the hangover I’m still suffering having watched the game on television with a load of raving Vietnamese Gooners in a bar in Ho Chi Minh City last night (game kicked off at 7.30pm local time), but a little of the shine of some magnificent attacking play was taken off by some pub team defending for both of t’Rovers’ goals.
I thought Vito Mannone was at fault for the first. He should have been a bit more assertive. I put William Gallas down for being at fault the second visitors’ goal. This might seem incredibly churlish when we’ve just put six past a Sam Allardyce team but we have to aspire to excellence in every facet of our play.
We’re never going to have a goals against record like George Graham’s great 1990/91 League title team did. That was a fundamentally more conservative team and manager, excellent as it was. We do need to cut out the pub team errors however.
I still think Vito Mannone has done enough to stay in the side. I think he’s got better, quicker reflexes than Manuel Almunia and is a more imposing size than Lukasz Fabia?ski. Thomas Vermaelen is still looking like the signing of the season, despite missing the header that led to the first goal for t’Rovers. What an absolute siege cannon of a shot he has. More control than Kolo Touré too, who also had a real Howitzer shot.
The continued improvement in the form of both Robin van Persie and Cesc Fàbregas – my man of the match against Rovers – is also very welcome. Likewise the goal-scoring return of Theo Walcott and the performance of Tomáš Rosický, rapidly regaining his sharpness and match-fitness. Now we head into the international break hoping the injury gremlins leave us alone for once.
Let us hope that Aston Villa can have Manchester Citeh over tonight and we can look forward to the next match at home to Birmingham City.
Keep the faith!

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