About Me

My photo
Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Taming of the Shrews

Could Arsenal's start to the season get any worse? It would cost just £10 to find out as they took on Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup.Taking my seat thirteen rows behind the Town dugout, the aura of excitement, usually so prevalent on these cut price evenings which allow many a rare opportunity to watch an Arsenal game live, was in short supply save from the massed ranks of the Shrewsbury fans behind one goal who needed little prompting to remind everyone of the strange name of their region, Salop.
With the ground little more than two thirds full, an early goal was required to lift the atmosphere. In the opening ten minutes Arsenal scarcely went into their own half as Marouane Chamakh was twice denied by goalkeeper Ben Smith. Having survived the early onslaught though Shrewsbury took the game to their hosts, serving notice of their intent by hitting the post before Jamie Collins opened the scoring with a header. Cue much celebration at the Town end and a smidgen of congratulation all round for their manager Graham Turner, a great unsung hero of the lower divisions with a managerial career spanning over twenty years.
Naturally the goal also sparked a few boos and panic from the Arsenal ranks, with Shrewsbury continuing to dominate. In particular Town defender Reuben Hazell looked like a chip of his old uncle Bob. The tide turned when Francis Coquelin ran half the length of the pitch to make a great tackle in his own area, and thanks to Smith fumble Arsenal drew level when Kieran Gibbs' header crept in at the near post.
In the second half a powerful strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the comeback before Yossi Benayoun capped a good night's work with a third.
Game over and the post mortem in Che Guevara's produced the consensus of a good night for Ignasi Miquel, Benayoun and Coquelin. However Johann Djourou despite being captain looked a man broken by his Old Trafford experience, as did Carl Jenkinson, whilst Ju Young Park gave little cause for optimism. Still job done and the chance of another cheap night out in the next round.

1 comment:

Lenny Baryea said...

Johan Djourou’s terrible run of form has been one of the most disappointing things for me of late, as he looked imperious at times last season, and I think I’m right that there was, for a long time, a quirky fact that Arsenal hadn’t lost any game that he had started (or played in)?

Superb cross by the much-maligned Jenkinson for the first goal.