I like to think that we provide a vaguely balanced view of all things Arsenal related here, anyway we try to be fairly objective and not get carried away as certain people do in the mainstream media. The world is not black and white, we live in many shades of grey and many people would do well to realise this.
I didn't watch last night's game, I listened online and I don't think one can draw too much positive or negative from it. The positives must be that Kieran Gibbs didn't get injured, that the Ox and Coquelin impressed, and that we got through. The negatives must be the woeful form of Johan Djourou and our general weakness defensively.
Johan Djourou was our best centre back for a long chunk of last season until his form collapsed in the spring, he now continues in this poor vein of form and looks a player short on confidence, decisiveness and aggression. There is only so long that one can persist with failing players and I think many of us are thinking the same thing about Johan, his time appears up.
Our defending worries me and has done for some time, even though Arsene Wenger reacted rather strangely to questions about needing a new defensive coach, he seemed to be slightly angry when asked about this and refused to answer the question. Our defending is going to decide our season in my opinion, we need to sort it out fast if we are to have a hope of climbing up the table and into the top four.
Arsene needs to organise our back four and improve the way we defend as a unit. The goal we conceded against Shrewsbury yesterday was shocking, we had the men back, but no one moved, so static and no one attacked the ball. This has happened so many times of late, the ball watching and the slack marking gives our opponents cheap easy goals far too often.
There is the issue of the individual responsibility to defend. Song must be told to go out and play with discipline, he must sit in front of the back for long periods, the holding player must not desert his role unless there are exceptional circumstances. The midfielders and forwards must have specific defensive roles so that the full backs are supported and the opposing team's deeper runners are picked up from deep. I would like a return to the 4-4-2 formation but I am not hopeful of this.
Arsene will be judged by our results over the coming weeks and he has it all to do starting against Bolton this weekend. We need to pull together fast and adapt our approach if we are to succeed. I fear if we do not learn from past mistakes, then the same defensive naivety will continue to cost us games that we should be winning, just like last weekend at Blackburn. I hope Arsene can do it but I am not overly optimistic.