No game is easy, but to concede three at home to West Brom is frankly nothing other than woeful. A late equaliser may have papered over the cracks and salvaged a point, but perhaps in the long run it is better than we have not avoided this hefty kick in the nuts.
I think Arsene got the starting midfield wrong. The middle trio of the unfit Diaby, Song and Eboue just doesn't have the right balance for me, there is no real creative play maker, Diaby has only just recovered fitness and Eboue never looks as good in midfield as he does at right back.
Firstly credit to West Brom and ex-Gunner Jerome Thomas, they deserved the win, they missed a penalty in the first half and we struggled to create much for long long periods in the game. There isn't too much problem with struggling to create much if you can keep things tight at the back, but tight at the back we were not, one could have navigated a ferry through some of the gaps there at times. We simply cannot expect to win a thing defending like such complete and utter numpties.
Almunia was awful, arguably to blame for two of the goals. The full backs defended poorly, Clichy has been defensively poor for too long now, while Sagna made several uncharacteristic errors. Song didn't play with enough discipline, Diaby didn't look fit and Eboue is not midfielder. It all combined to rather devastating effect. On the positive Nasri was outstanding, best player on the pitch by a country mile.
Sometimes one can concede three thanks to freakish bad luck, sometimes it is down to the brilliance of the opposition, today it was down to neither of these reasons, we simply weren't at the races and we defended appallingly. This is deeply concerning. There is something badly wrong at the club when our most promising keeper is at no4 in the pecking order with a contract that only has months to run, I would be tempted to stick Wojciech Szczesny in the mix now, but I suspect our hapless Pole will get yet another opportunity to perform bloopers. If Kieran Gibbs can get fit and stay fit then the left back slot is his, Gael Clichy has run out of chances. Hopefully the likes of Lansbury, JET, Szczesny will get some chances if the likes of Eboue, Vela and Diaby continue to underperform.
The manager must take a good chunk of the blame for this defeat in my opinion, he freely admitted how flat and lacking sharpness we were after the match. Arsene selected that dysfunctional midfield and he has completely mismanaged the goalkeeping situation at the club. It is not Almunia's fault that he is not good enough, he does his best, Arsene has undermined his already fragile confidence and failed to bring in an experienced no1 keeper; it does not help anyone other than the opposition to boo our own goalkeeper, those Gooners who did today are idiots. Chelsea will dismantle us next weekend if we defend like this again, the players need to take a long hard look at themselves after such a lacklustre display, it was simply no way near good enough.