Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Arsenal: And that's the Arsenal Way.

November 4, 2010 6 Comments by Sian

Oh, bollocks.

Well that was today’s blog, more next time!

In all seriousness though, we deserved what we got: a 2-1 defeat. The side Arsenal put out, lacking Cesc, Song, Diaby, Denilson and Arshavin were never going to look as good as a side that… well, had Cesc, Song, Diaby, Denilson and Arshavin. Apparently Arsenal have never won in whatever region it is Shakhtar Donetsk is in (gave up Geography long ago) but those stats are always stats I find a bit pointless. At the end of the day, if you play better than your opponents you will win, regardless of history in that area or the presence of a voo-doo curse put on the team by an old lady with a nose the size of Italy or regardless of any other of a number of factors. Perhaps that is simply my female pragmatism at work but sometimes I do wish blokes would shut up with those sorts of facts.

We started out strong in a stadium where the atmosphere was quite electric, to be honest. That was before the fans started whistling. Is there, with the exception of the vuvuzela, a more irritating noise in the world than whistling? I don’t think there is. Anyway, Theo put us ahead with a goal more than worthy of the #14 shirt. He sped away at a rate of knots before putting it easily past the keeper in a way that looked a lot like Thierry Henry except that Thierry Henry was a lot bigger, would have smashed it a bit harder and had a slightly odd shaped head. Theo’s is very normal shaped you see. It also houses a very good brain, both footballistically and in-every-day-lifelistically. Nice goal, even nicer run in the lead-up to it.

That, unfortunately, was about the highlight of the game. Lots of our players looked completely off the pace, Eastmond looked to have a case of the heebie-jeebies befitting of a boy playing in a European competition he was not quite ready for. Jack was good as usual but missed the chance to add a second goal to our scoreline. Eastmond did manage to score, but unfortunately it was in our own net.

Eduardo then scored just before half-time, which is always a crap time to concede. The second half isn’t really worth mentioning because there weren’t really any highlights to be honest. I don’t know about you but my brain has this really handy ability to forget defeats really quickly. Makes it difficult when writing about it, but otherwise quite nice.

The lessons to be learnt were, put a second-string side out and get a second-string performance, teach Gael Clichy to boot the damn ball when the goal is under threat and that the day Craig Eastmond smiles will be the day the moon turns cube-shaped.  Not really that bothered about the defeat except that we now need to win both final group games to ensure we qualify top. Would have been nice to have left that job to the younger players while saving the more senior chaps for League games but I think last night shows that that maybe is not such a good idea.

It really isn’t the end of the world though, everyone. Pretty much every year we have a match that we lose in the group stages just to make it a bit more difficult for ourselves. I like to call it the Arsenal Way. A courtesy by the players who fret that if we’re not a bit worried at some point in the group, we’ll get bored and switch over to The Apprentice instead. Don’t worry. It’s allllll part of the game plan.

Meanwhile, the pundits and commentators going to town on how dire last night’s result was: 5-1 > 2-1.

Newcastle at home next and it’s a match my sister Evie is coming home to London for which means YAY. And that’s about all.



  1. Daniel
    2545 days ago

    Nice blog! As per…

    Did we lose? Can’t remember.

    I do think Gael could do with watching some old Gael DVDs though.


  2. Treez
    2545 days ago

    I had a horrible feeling about the inevitability of last night’s match. Always happens when we venture further east than Germany. Why the hell do they include these God forsaken outposts in the CL anyway?
    Felt sorry for Craig Eastmond who, as you say, looked out of his depth.
    Eboue looked as though he’d decided he didn’t want to be a full back anymore and Benders looked a bit ‘cart horsey’.
    Not sure AW had that much choice in the mid field selection and it’s a bit pointless criticising him now, but I would have given Lansbury another shot.
    Nice blog though. You have an uncanny knack of finding humour in an otherwise disappointing night.


  3. Daniel
    2545 days ago

    On Eboue: I think Wenger has unfortunately managed to harm that boy’s talent. I’m glad he can still smile all the time because he was shaping to be a superb right back from day one, never quite made the winger role and now has not grown as a defender. He’s in football limbo.


  4. Sam H
    2545 days ago

    Be careful you don’t go and pull a Villa


  5. Alan
    2544 days ago

    I’m smiling having read this, but I wasn’t smiling last night. Kack is the word that springs to mind. Poor Eastmond wasn’t up to it, Eboue needn’t have bothered and I’m getting just a bit pissed off with the regularity of Clichy’s cock-ups. Roll on Sunday.


  6. Rebecca Jill
    2544 days ago

    I didn’t get to see the game, but that whistling must have been annoying. I did see a clip of Theo’s goal, and it’s one of the most brilliant, since our dear Thierry Henry.
    Yay for Evie being home for the game at Newcastle.
    I was a little down they did not win yesterday, but not too down, since there’s always one of those Arsenal Way games like you said.


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