I’m pretty fed up of having to write posts after a miserable game.
Miserable game or miserable result?
Definitely a miserable result. This was a must win game – together with all the other must win games that we haven’t won in the last four since we lost to Wigan. We don’t have long to find out whether the point gained yesterday will be of any value as todays games will either see us stay in the top four or drop out.
We all know that this season, third in the table is far more precious than fourth just in case those west london chavs go on to lift the trophy in Munich and so it would have been so immeasurably wonderful to have just won this game. Instead we scored in the 2nd minute and then failed to play for the next 45 minutes.
Miserable game? Miserable first half. Having started so brightly we then conspired in a pretty typical fashion to let the opposition into the game. What is wrong with us attacking the ball? Is it the New Arsenal way to not think about defending as a team? Not unusually, we conceded a sloppy goal as soon as the 12th minute. How many ridiculous goals have we conceded at the Emirates this season? Far too many and this was followed by another in the 27th minute.
How do we expect to get back into the game when we don’t challenge for the ball, when our mid-field just allows the opposition to waltz through unchallenged?
I really can’t be bothered to write about the nitty gritty of the game and which players did or didn’t perform as I’m sure you can read better reports elsewhere. I know we’re missing Arteta and he has been the glue this season but there are other players who could put in more effort and concentration to ensure we’re tighter in the middle. Just challenging for the ball and working harder would make a big difference.
Anyway, on the half hour mark Sagna went down apropro of nothing and it turns out his leg was broken – poor Sagna. He was replaced by Coquelin which was a bit of luck because I think Coquelin is rather good. Someone kindly played Coquelin a hospital pass for his first touch and he was awarded a free kick following an unfair challenge by Hoolahan who should have been carded. The first half closes 2-1 down.
The mutterings of supporters around me hoping Arsene gave them a good telling off at half-time seemed to be true as they were out early and started brightly. But no, was it going to be one of those days where for all our creative play we just couldn’t put the ball in the net?
Robin could have had at least three already but we know ‘he scores when he wants’ and so it came to be that he found the net for an equaliser. Funnily enough, I had in the previous passage of play implored someone to ‘just put it in the back of the net’ in a rather unladylike way and the very nice young frenchman sitting next to me was rather shocked. Once Robin had scored I wondered whether I should throw caution to the wind and just swear like a trooper. Clearly it worked because Robin scored another to make the score 3-2.
And here it all goes horribly wrong again. There we were deliriously happy, third place almost secure for another few days, singing ‘by far the greatest team’ at the tops of our voices when another lapse in concentration allows Norwich to score for the third time. Talk about having the wind taken out of your sails, crushed is the only way to describe the feeling.
While all that was going on Ramsey was subbed for The Ox on 60 minutes and Yossi came off for Chamakh on 69 minutes.
We may be extremely lucky and hold on to third place but don’t hold your breath as some of this team just didn’t stand up to the challenge of getting us over the line yesterday and there’s no guarantee that next Sunday will be any different. Too many clever touches, too much intricate play, not enough simple football tactics.
Who takes the blame? The team or the manager. This game wasn’t a one off, I’ve seen too many of these this season to be fooled into thinking this is a transition and patience is required. We needed to win today and we didn’t turn up first half and that is just not good enough. There are many that think that success is just around the corner for this team and I believe we have some very good players but do they have the motivation to be successful? On yesterday’s evidence I’m not sure.
Written by peachesgooner