Sunday, 6 March 2011

First step in throwing away league complete

It's a cynical headline but after Manu's loss to Chelsea in midweek we had a great opportunity to close the gap to a single point, and in the process apply some real pressure to the bacon faced one's Manu side. In the end we gained a single point and failed to do the above, this was a massive disappointment for Gooners everywhere.

It's easy to pin all the blame on the referee and officials for the wrongly disallowed goal and the missed stonewall penalty for Bramble's fouls on Arshavin in the second half. This would be unfair, the offisde could have gone either way, the penalty decision was an error, but the poor officiating was only a small part of the reason for our failure to gain three points for me.

A bigger reason was the fact that our midfield squad players have not been good enough to fill in for the likes of Song and Cesc all season long. Denilson has been poor game in game out, he adds nothing other than his completely mediocre lack of presence, I really have to question the manager's judgement in persisting with such an average player. Diaby was also poor, slow to move the ball on and lethargic at times, although he is only just returning from injury (again), how many more chances will he be given to show us his erratic lack of genius? It is hard to believe that someone like Henri Lansbury could not have added something yesterday, a bit of bite and a bit more drive possibly. As Arseblog says this morning, the Diabnilson or Deniaby axis was frankly piss poor, and sadly this was so eminently predictable.

The poor Deniaby axis was even more obvious without the presence of Theo and Cesc to paper over the cracks. Arsene spoke of this after the game, and one can't help but feel that our lack of raw pace on the bench and our lack of decent midfield cover are both problems that he should have anticipated before now.

Having said the negative we were still rather unlucky not to come away with all three points, a combination of bad luck, excellent goalkeeping from Mignolet and some slightly wasteful finishing combined with the poor officiating to devastating effect. Mignolet's fantastic save from Bendtner's brilliant dipping shot from an angle was top notch, he made some other decent stops in the second half. Chamakh was terribly unlucky when he second half header cannoned back off the inner angle of the woodwork. Positively Szczesny was outstanding, he had to be at his best on more than one occasion to tip away some high quality goal bound Sunderland efforts on the counter attack.

Overall though I find it hard to see why a player like Denilson is still at our football club, honestly he is just not good enough. Diaby is a slightly different case given his terrible fortune with injuries, but I still feel he is showing us that doesn't have the discipline or consistency to remain at our football club in the long term. Surely Ramsey could have done more from the start than Denilson managed yesterday? Also why are the likes of Henri Lansbury out on loan when they could add some of the missing ingredients to our midfield? Arsene may be 'disgusted' with the officials, but surely some of this misplaced rage is a result of knowing that he has not done enough to address the gap in terms of our squad's strength in midfield. It has cost us several times already this season, it cost us again yesterday, how much longer will he persist with these failing players?


Anonymous said...

I'm fearing out usual end of season March meltdown. Out of all competitions in e space of just one week!

Mickey Pink Eye said...

Couldn't agree more. Denilson surely doesn't warrant a place above Ramsey. His passing is uninventive, his tackling is sloppy and he doesn't bother chasing the ball. Diaby is worth persisting with but he as well makes far too many mistakes. I would put Ramsey in before these two and Rosicky whose performances of late have been distinctly average.
The Newcastle result was inexcusable and we should have won this game too. Winning those games would have made us go top. Instead we've just handed Man U the title on a plate.

Danish Gooner said...

it will be the league left hanging by a thread come monday the 14th march,dont for once expect us to be competitive at Nou camp and Ot it is not gonna happen and even if it happens some dodgy ref will be gunning for us.

Anonymous said...

In Every game we play hencefort, let's just hope that we get good officiating. That's the only way we could win the league and probably the FA CUp if we don't have a dodgy referee decision at Old Trafford

Jekyll said...

Wenger sees a different game from the rest of us. He'll persist with Diaby and Denilson until the end of his time at Arsenal. He's put so much time and energy into trying to develop them he's constantly 'convinced' they're about to turn into world class players... if he gives them just one more chance... so on and on it goes. He can't help himself.

Anonymous said...

I disagree.. I don't think Wenger's comments were misplaced at all. Refereeing, when it is as consistently poor as its been this season, with us more often than not being on the wrong side of the calls, I don't think its misplaced to blame the referee. That distinction belongs to Ferguson after the Chelsea match.

Denilson was very very poor, and Diaby wasn't much better. That i wholeheartedly agree with. The entire team wasn't sharp in the first half. But the fact remains, we did our bit. We did enough to win it. Despite horrible officiating (apart from the big calls that is) we created a goal (disallowed) and should have had a penalty. I know it's easy to point to the referee. But to expect the team to overcome such calls every time is not realistic. No team can do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that the refereeing had nothing to do with it, far from it, it was important.

Still, i think if we had had better players to come in instead of Denilson then we wouldn't have had to leave it that late in the second half.

Uncle Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncle Mike said...

Blame the officiating all you want, and credit Sunderland's defense all you want. But Arsenal should STILL have found a way, in 95 minutes, to score a goal that even God (the real one, not Dennis Bergkamp) would not have waved off. They didn't.

A Cescless Arsenal is a sluggish Arsenal, and the guys who are left need to step it up. Nasri played the worst game I've ever seen from him, so it was like not having Cesc AND van Persie AND Nasri. We could have won this game without 2 of the 3, but not without all 3.

I deleted the comment before this one because it made me sound anti-Arsenal, when in fact I am pro-Arsenal but anti-incompetence. Arsenal need to step up the competence with 2 knockout ties this week, against 2 teams that really, really deserve a knockout. Preferably of the variety that used to be handed out by Lennox Lewis, but I'll settle for that which used to be handed out by Arsene Wenger teams.