Firstly I am not going to dissect the details of our depressing 3-1 defeat to Manu today. It was a Manu side there for the taking, they had a very weak back four on show and an unconvincing keeper. We did create a lot of very decent chances and on a better finishing day we could have easily had four or five goals. The referee was woeful, allowing numerous tackles from behind to go without punishment, but this was not the reason for our capitulation.
The defensive naivety on show today was truly flabbergasting. The first United goal was awful defensively, Nasri didn't cover Clichy properly, Denilson's attempted defensive effort was truly pitiful, I don't blame Almunia as Nani's ball was almost impossible to defend. The problem was that when we went behind we threw men forward in the most suicidal of manners, we were frequently outnumbered on the counter attack, it made it easy for United to dismantle. There was simply no need to throw caution to the wind like this, we were only one goal down for God's sake. The second goal showed our rank defensive naivety as Nani broke, Vermaelen tried hard to cover, Denilson's casual strolling while Rooney motored past him was typical of his pathetic performance, Rooney finished well but it was far far too easy for him in so much space. Gallas was regularly going missing up the field, seemingly forgetting that his primary job is to prevent the conceding of goals.
The frustrating thing was that this is no great United side. Arshavin could have had a hat trick, as could Song, we opened them up easily without even having a proper centre forward up there. With RVP up there we could have cut them to ribbons. Song was the only midfielder really defending for the team, Denilson was wasteful in possession and as useful as a traffic cone in defensive positions. Overall in our front six we only have one player (Song) carrying a decent portion of water, that is simply not enough to get by in this league.
The third goal saw Gallas nowhere again, Clichy was left on his own and failed to close down Park quickly enough, it was another calamity of errors, conceding a third so early in the second half meant that game was over. There was just no need to leave ourselves so outnumbered at the back, serious questions need to be asked of the management as this defensive naivety has seen us attempt suicide in several games of late, the Everton game included in this and the Pienaar goal a classic example of this idiocy.
I do not mind us defending naively in the 89th minute when we are going for a key goal, but throwing men forward recklessly so early in the game is nothing but plain stupid. The lack of defensive players in the squad compounds this obvious problem, Song cannot lift planets alone. Denilson was awful yet again and does not have what it takes to make the grade at Arsenal in my opinion. The lack of strikers in the squad is also obvious, even if Bendtner and Eduardo were fully fit it would not leave us enough depth to cope with our fixtures for the rest of the season, a striker is badly needed in my opinion. Ignore the referee, ignore the great chances we squandered, the defensive naivety that we are playing with at the moment will never win us a league title, this was no great United side and we made them look rather good as a result. If Arsene does not look in the mirror soon then I really fear for our future.