Wednesday 17 February 2010

Porto punish sloppy Arsenal

My mid match comments can be seen below, if ever a ninety minutes summed up our qualities and weaknesses then this was it. Two awful bits of defending cost us two shocking goals. No matter how good we looked at times, no matter that we were in the ascendancy when Porto scored their second, you simply will not win anything defending like complete and utter numpties.

Fabianski must shoulder a lot of the blame but it would be unfair to blame one man. At 2-1 down when Porto stuck men behind the ball we didn't look likely enough to get back into the game, there were a few decent moments but there was not enough clear cut. Denilson is not an awful player by any means, he'd look good at a mediocre Premiership club, but the lad is simply not Arsenal quality. Clichy is also looking rather dodgy, even though he has been out for some time, his lapses have become a trend over the last couple of seasons.

This was no world beating Porto side, they were distinctly average in my opinion, so the way in which they took our defence apart at times was very worrying. Sol did very well but where is the strength in depth in our squad, it just isn't there is it. The fact that we had only one fit striker meant that although Bendtner did well, he didn't get enough support and there was no option to bring another proper striker on later on when we desperately needed a goal.

Maybe the back pass was accidental, maybe Rosicky should have had a penalty, maybe we did lose because of two awful goalkeeping errors, maybe we'll still get pass this rather average Porto side, I don't know. What is clear is the fact that the trends are there for all to see and they point to the fact that we have systemic defensive problems that have not been addressed, the spaces left in front of our defense at times were gargantuan, we also do not have the right balance of talent in our squad. I know this is very negative, it does come as a bit of a knee jerk response, but if we had equalised it really would have just papered over the cracks, we are not good enough in some ways and I think we need to face that.


Anonymous said...

Easily beat em at home.
Fabianski looked very indecisive when coming out.

1-0 win at home is enough.. it'll be 3-0.

Unknown said...

Maybe we could compete if we were to have some fucking shots

Anonymous said...

Furnell, Wilson, Webster, Barnett, Rimmer, Wood, Barron, Jennings, Lukic, Seaman, Lehmann, Almunia, Mannone...I've seen all of these men keep goal for Arsenal in my time as an AFC fan - and probably a few more besides that have slipped my memory - but never have I seen such an inept cretin as the man who stood between the posts for us tonight. Those of you who say that Almunia is no good and it's time for him to be dropped so Fabianski can have a go simply don't know what you are talking about (and before you all crawl back into the woodwork, and pretend that you never held any such opinion, I know there have been quite a few of you over the past year: you should be ashamed of yourselves). This guy isn't worth a place in a Conference team. Think of the Carling Cup semi against Tottenham 2 years ago; think of the FA Cup semi against Chelsea last season; think of Stoke a couple of weeks back; and think of a number of other less well publicised flaps that have cost us goals in less prominent matches. How on earth he has managed to win international caps for Poland is beyond me. He's a disgrace to the tradition of Tomazsewski. If he's in goal for the return leg we've got next to no chance of going through, no matter how well the outfield team plays.

les said...

anonymous 3......u forget wright, vito, bartram, taylor, wilmot tooo

Anonymous said...

Agree with your post. I think that:
A) Bar Sczcesny, all our keepers are crap.
B) our fullbacks offer zilch in attack.
C) our midfield lack meat. Too many pansies.
D) our defence is comical at times, like watching a Chaplin skit.
E) all our forwards are overrated underachievers.
F) AW do not have any actual playing tactics or strategies.
G) with this crop of "talented" youngsters it's only a matter of time "flops" like Fab & Arshavin decide enuff is enuff.
G) Denilson is such a glorious waste of space.

Anonymous said...

The defence is soooo bad. It has been since 2006 every year same mistakes we just can t defend and will therefore will win nothing arsenal need a new goalie or 2 and a midfielder who understands the word defence plus a new defensive coach if this happens we can dream of winning things if it does not then fourth place every year until wenger retires said...

Anonymous said...

2nd goal was dodgy. the ref was actually blocking Sol from running back to defend . Plus the backpass was not intentional as the ball pinged up and hit his foot

Also as I understand it a ref is supposed to back away from the ball to indicate he is allowing a quick free kick rather than standing over the ball. I doubt his assessor will look kindly on him.

Still a shambles though. Glad I don't have to face work colleagues tomorrow

Obsinho said...

The free kick should not have been allowed to have been taken quickly, an the ref did not indicate he had allowed it to be taken. Terrible refereeing from my point of view.

But why the he'll did Fabianski chuck him the ball so easily? Every footballer knows if you foul you pick up the ball hold it for a few minutes and argue, then chuck it up in the air after walking away. That's Fouling in Football 101.


1979gooner said...

I agree it wasn't a free kick and the ref shouldn't have then allowed what he did.

However this is just a bit of a side show that detracts from our real failings in my eyes.

Ted said...

Well said 1979. As the world's leading authority on bad refs, which is all of them, I agree with you that this shambles of a defensive performance was not the ref's fault.

What is disappointing is that having given Almunia a hard time recently, Fabianski looked a complete muppet.

I refuse to believe that the rumours about Sorensen on 31 January were idle chat. It is too random for that. There must have been some interest from us, and on this performance, you can see why.

We might just sneak past Porto next week. But last night is yet another reminder that AW has taken us from the best defence in the country to one of the worst in the Prem.