So its been a rough few days for us Gooners…We had oppurtunity to go top of the table and stay there, yet instead, we gave up a 17 year record that has given us bragging rights over the Scum for years…
It was very much a game of two halves, we started well, with Fabregas dinking a lovely ball through to Nasri only to be thwarted by our old CB and now Nemesis Gallas…
But it didn’t take long for the goal to come, Nasri was slipped through and although his first touch was heavy, he somehow managed to get past Gomes and squeeze an incredible goal from the most impossible of angles.
Then the 2nd goal came, a simple goal, a low, fast Arshavin cross and a sweet tap in by Chamakh, his 9th of the season so far…
Now, i suspect most Gooners were partying at this stage, i however had a very bad feeling…I wanted the 3rd goal, i wanted it so, so badly, but it didn’t come.
Half time, and you would have been hard pressed to find a Gooner who wasn’t on cloud 9 at this stage…But i forsaw it before we even stepped on the pitch.
I was watching the game on SS2 and i remember thinking to myself (Arsene, for the love of god, please do not get complacent, please drill these players and tell them that there is still such a long way to go). I knew that Twitcher would be going mental in the other dressing room, and i knew that the Spuds would come out fired up…
But in all honesty, i do not believe that they actually played that well in the 2nd half, we were very much the Architects of our downfall…A 5ft 7 Defoe, beat a 5ft 9 Clichy to a long punt, knocked the ball onto Bale, who was in all honesty getting nowhere against a class RB in Sagna, who dinked the ball past Fabianski…
2-1 was the scoreline, you couldn’t help but see what was coming next…
A free kick in a dangerous area, blocked by the wall…Oh wait, no, not blocked, a handball by our Captain, who instead of jumping, decided to protect his face…Even Gallas wouldn’t have done that.
So, a penalty, and the largely anonymous Van Der Vaart stepped up, and put away a good penalty…
2-2 was the scoreline, and once again, we knew what was coming next…
Koscielny, who was pretty much out of his depth all game, decided to make unecessary challenge on the end of the box, baring in mind that the Scum now had Crouch on, i was worried…
In the end it didn’t fall to Crouch, but to Kaboul, who was unmarked, to glance a header past Fabianski…
We spent the remainder of the half trying to find an equaliser, yet for all our pressing, it didn’t come.
Game over, 2-3 to the Spuds, when we looked so comfortable. And then we had to endure the whole “Has the balance of power shifted”
Remind me where we are in table? Idiots.
So now we go onto some of the questions this game raised, from the defence right through to attack.
Nothing Fabianski could do about the goals in all honesty, made a few important flaps, thats about it.
Sagna kept Bale quiet all game, really made him look average, that is what happens, when you have a proven, seasoned, class RB like Sagna, and not a one season wonder like Maicon managed by a complete fool.
Squillaci was solid for the most part, not that he had much to deal with…
Koscielny was out of his depth, he makes too many rash challenges, he is a very good defender, but he looks inexperienced, i do not expect inexperience from a 25 year old CB who cost £10m, not when the thing we needed most…WAS EXPERIENCE.
Clichy was excellent, kept Lennon and Hutton in his pocket, yet made a small mistake that ended up being a goal…Becoming a habit this season.
Overall, i don’t believe the personel in defence are bad, i think they are good, i do not however think AW has the intelligence or the know-how to organise a defence, and its costing us big time.
Song was very good for the first half, breaking up play and keeping possession, 2nd half, he kept on attacking leaving us exposed.
Denilson was very good all game, he sat back doing Songs job and kept the midfield ticking over, and helped us keep possession.
Fabregas looks like he has one eye on Barcelona, it was not a captains performance from him in the slightest, guilty of missing several chances and didn’t look to pick the team up. He needs to get his act together asap, if he is going to leave come seasons end i would like him to go away with a recent medal so that he at least remembers us. As of this moment in time, i believe he should be dropped.
Nasri is the shining beacon of hope in this team at the moment, he is a fearsome attacking midfielder who has everything in his locker, he has the mentality, he has the finishing, the strength, the pace, the grit, determination, he can tackle as well as any of our defenders and he loves playing for us.
Closest player i have ever seen to Zidane at the moment.
Chamakh…He has taken a beating on the forum from myself…But he is going to get some more. He scored a simple but good goal to put us 2-0 up…From that moment on however, he looked clueless. 3 times he was put through on goal and 3 times he did not know what to do, he looked to pass when it would have been easier to score himself. He needs to realise that unless he thinks on his feet quickly, he will be robbed of the ball before he even knows he has lost it.
Arshavin. TAXI for the Russian please, his time at Arsenal is up.
What was more worrying than the performance almost, was the manner in which we lost, we were at home, we were playing against our fierce rivals, striving to protect a 17 year old record…And the team bottled it.
How can a team of professionals do that? How can our captain allow it? How can AW be so clueless as to how to deal with that situation?
It is shocking. We have no plan B, we still do not know how to mix it up, we do not know how to see games out and for that very reason ANY team we go up against will feel they can get something from the game.
That is not the way a top team should be…
Somehow, by some miracle, we are only 2 points off the top, but we could have been top and clear.
All i know is that our home form simply has to change, a top team does not lose 3 of their last 5 games at home, that is a record a relegation team would be disappointed in let alone a team trying to win the title.
Our defence also MUST improve, we need a full bodied defensive coach to come in and take the reigns away from AW, because he is damaging this teams chances by making stupid decisions, he says our defence needs work but he doesn’t look deeper than the personel there, he does not believe his tactics are incredibly flawed, and until he does, no matter who we have in defence, we will always be vulnerable!
We also need to be more clinical up front. I read an interesting statistic the other day regarding how Arsenal had taken the most touches inside the pentalty box of any other team in the League…Why? Just toe the ball into the back of the net, and stop fannying about trying to make the perfect goal!
Its been a rough weekend for Gooners, but we have a a chance to put a smile back on some of faces tomorrow against SC Braga, i am hoping to see Fabregas, Arshavin and the like benched, and Bendtner, Walcott and Wilshere starting,
Until the next time Gooners, GG over and out.