My take on the Olympiakos experiment: Time running low for Vela?

In Arsenal FC, Champions League 2009/10 on December 9, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

With a starting team with an average age of 19 without the captain on the night, Silvestre, the way the team swarmed all over Olympiakos side like a plague of Locusts.

You did sense that making all the possession count was vital and sadly it was a case of the same Arsenal as no real chances were cut out, and when they were, nobody seemed to be able to finish them.

Ramsey was immense in the center of the park, his vision is second to none and you can see why people call him a young Cesc, not that Cesc is all that old himself at just 22. Merida did his hopes of more appearances in the first team no harm at all with a lovely little performance. At times he chose the wrong pass but young players tend to do that, his close control is fantastic and he can get himself out of really tight spaces in the center of the park, and what can I say about Alex Song? Simply superb. Strong, surprisingly agile. Class act.

In defence Kyle Bartley impressed me, his only mistake, and it wasn’t a howler by any means, ended up in them scoring a rather good goal. Is it just me or do we concede a very, very high volume of goals to chances in ratio?

Another mention for Tom Cruise who for a kid with a fantastic name, seemed decent going forward and didn’t really make any mistakes of note. Can cross a ball which makes a change I suppose!

Kerrea Gilbert was unconvincing I thought, its a shame to see after the impression he made a few years ago. Hopefully he can turn his career round. Fabianski was very good tonight I thought, I usually have kittens watching him but he seemed dominant and confident, a vital mix. Very nice to see.

Now, the forwards. Wilshere, Vela, Walcott. Wilshere did nothing and was the best of a very bad bunch, he has a little bit of the spoilt brat about him sometimes, at one point he ripped into Fran Merida for not playing him in but Merida had already been knocked to the ground. One decent chinking run but it ended in nothing.

Vela. For all the hype around him, he has shown very little. This is his big chance, he has got to do something soon because at the moment it doesn’t look like he’s cutting it. I don’t care what he has done for Mexico, I judge on what he has done for Arsenal and at present, its very little. Two guilt edged chances he screwed up today, could have won us the game. The only positives? Worked hard, was in the right position to miss the chances.

Theo Walcott apart from two runs, was woeful. I guess its hard to expect much from a player who has had two hours of football this season. Hopefully that wasn’t too bad-a knock he picked up towards the end.

All in all, it was encouraging the attitude the lads took out there. There is no shame in losing with that line-up against a side that is going through to the next round. You can’t look into this game too much so thats why i’ve decided to comment individually and there were some very encouraging performances.

We have to look ahead to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Its a big, big game and 3 points are essential. Arise, Mr Arshavin.

We have the draw in the next couple of days for the next round so lets hope we avoid Milan, Bayern, Lyon. Porto would be a very nice draw but probably too nice to ask for.

Til next time.


3 Responses to “My take on the Olympiakos experiment: Time running low for Vela?”

  1. I think everyone is being too quick to criticize vela.He is severly underused by Wenger and you are being too quick to criticize him.On the other hand everyone seems too forget how dissapointing Theo has been.

  2. Time running out for vela???
    You’re insane mate. Hes the best youngster we have by far.
    Physically and technically he’s world class. He needs to work on his movement imo. He should have scored today, and it was surprising he missed because hes been deadly in other games for arsenal.
    I’m not really aware of what he has done for mexico to be honest. The hype around him WAS generated from his performances for arsenal. (This article is really ignorant btw)
    He’s been head and shoulders above the rest in the league cup – some of whom, merida for example, are also excellent players in their own right.
    Let me say as well – pound for pound, he has done FAR more in the few performances hes had for arsenal than walcott has done in all of his. You want to talk about a player living on hype – the guys one something like 60k a week without actually accomplishing anything aside from some sparse (but nonetheless very good) moments in matches, and today he was stepping over better free-kick takers just because hes had more 1st team appearances.
    If vela had half of walcott’s confidence he would already be a top class striker

  3. The hype was not wholly generated by his Arsenal performances, before he even arrived here people were marking him out as the ‘next Ronaldo’.

    If he was physically world class he wouldn’t spend half his time on the floor and if he was technically world class he would be running down blind alleys.

    Im a Walcott sceptic too btw but he hasnt played much this season, Vela has had a good run of games now and failed to impress.

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