A friend once told me 'never argue with the TV'. It's an argument you won't win and worse still you'll most likely end up with an hoarse voice as I'm finding out this morning.
Being thousands of miles away from Ashburton Grove, I faced the arm chair fan dilemma, namely, where to watch my favourite team. Fortunately, I did not also have to deal with the time zone dilemma as the TV masters had decided that Friday night football was a thing and a great way to kick off the season. Thus sparing me from making the decision of whether or not to stay up late on a school night.
So where to watch the Big Kick-Off? Choices on offer were in the comfort of my living room, taking a short drive into the City Centre, but in the end I opted for media city as I had earlier spent the day near there. Only downer to my decision was although the venue was advertised as a sports bar, a resident DJ was playing before, during and after the match. I can't stand most football commentators but you feel thrice removed from the experience of watching a game without their inane and anti-Arsenal biased commentary.
As for the match itself, we scored from our first attack, contrary to my fear of us having a lethargic start to the season. A cross from the right edge of the box by Eleny was instinctively nodded into the corner of the net by our new number 9, Lacazette. I made it his second touch in a competitive match for us, a truly 'fox in the box' type of goal.
Thereafter, my worst fears were borne out as first Cech miss-judged a cross to the back post resulting in Leicester’s equaliser from Okazaki. Followed by a well worked second for Leicester as they pounce on sloppy play from us in the middle of our half. The pace and position of both Albrighton's cross and Verdy the goal scorer was superb.
As can be imagined, my argument with the TV was provoked by these two incidents.
Surely these professionals currently wearing the colours of my team know that you're at your most vulnerable when you have just scored. Naturally, I would have expected them to try their utmost to hold on to the lead for a few minutes at least.
Also, don't they know that you do not play tippy-tappy slow passes in the middle of your own half, it's a very bad place to lose possession of the ball so don't risk it.
Approaching half-time, Welbeck equalised after intricate play broke Leicester’s offside trap. With the score level at half - time the expectation was that we had overcome the scare from Leicester and will comfortably go on to get all three points in the second-half.
But within ten minutes into the restart the moans and groans resurfaced as the unmarked Verdy headed a corner into the bottom left of the net. Where was the marking? What happened to Gibbs on the line to clear the ball away? Ok, he was not on the pitch, but someone else in the team should have taken on that responsibility.
Irrespective of the score and barring injuries, Arsenal's substitutions under Wenger takes place around the 60'min mark. Usually a double substitution if we're losing or a defensive change if we're winning. True to form, with us losing 3-2 a double substitution followed on the 65' min. A master stroke as it turned out with the two subs, Ramsey and Giroud scoring our second equaliser and the winning goal.
Overall verdict? Getting all three points was the most important aspect of today’s game irrespective of the performance. Lacazette getting off the mark was another positive although he was too easily pushed off the ball so a few more hours in the gym for him.
Goes without saying that the defense has to improve, which I believe it will once Koscielny returns to the team. More concerning is the goal keeping position, with Cech past his best whilst his deputy is not good enough to play for Arsenal.
The priority for the remainder of the transfer window should be to get a world class goalkeeper or else 5th will be the new 4th place trophy.
Stoke City away next; it's not on a Tuesday night, not in the winter and not likely to be windy so what can possible go wrong?