Sunday 19 September 2010

Calmer thoughts - frustrating but not a disaster

It is just so so frustrating to lose a game in the final minute. Nothing but time can take away that feeling of wanting to break one's head on a wall. Overall a point at Sunderland is a good point, three points was so close, but one must remember that one point is better than none.

Despite the sloppy late goal Sunderland were restricted to very few decent openings, generally we defended reasonably. The equalising goal was sloppy and this makes things even more annoying. Sagna appeared to be way out of position, the back four were not in the right shape as that high ball came in, our defensive unit was not organised at that point.

Neither Kosielny nor Clichy attacked the first ball, it was won too easily by Sunderland, two Sunderland players were then left to Squillaci where I thought Sagna should have been and It broke and Clichy mishit his clearance, an unfortunate ricochet of Koscielny then presented Bent with the goal. None of the midfielders were in there helping out or challenging at any point.

The goal was a mixture of luck, bad defending and bad defending. Song should have known better than to pick up two such stupid yellow cards, Dowd's rank inconsistency in punishing foul play compounded this decision. Rosicky's penalty miss was salt in the wound, but even the greatest miss penalties.

Irrelevant of this game I think Clichy's defensive form has been too erratic in the last couple of years, now is the time for Gibbs to be give a chance to displace him. Gibbs has the potential to be a better defender, his is tougher, more robust in the tackle and stronger aerially.

We should not get carried away in optimism or pessimism after such a draw. Our defense is bound to be dodgy at times when the back four have hardly played together before. This was evident with the goal, but also the lack of help from the midfield also stood out. If Song and Diaby had been on the field then would the first ball have been left unchallenged. There were positives, Almunia was strong, there were the negatives too. Still, all this talk hasn't made me feel any less like attacking the wall with my forehead!


Anonymous said...

The way to judge Clichy is to ask yourself would you like to have a striker that panics everytime the ball reaches his feet in the opponents box? Of course not, the player wouldn't be a striker.
Basically that's what Clichy does at the other end. Bottom line - NOT A DEFENDER.

Anonymous said...

Clichy happened to have a very decent game yesterday. In case you didn't notice most of their attacks came down the left. he dealt with pretty much eveyrthing thrown at him and dealt with it well. He tried to clear the ball upfield right at the death-it hits a defender and tamely bounces to Bent. Maybe he should have hit it out over the goal line, who knows but as the author says-the ball should never have been allowed to enter the box again! Somebody should have attacked Zenden's inital cross.
Hey it was a cruel blow but considering all we were upa against it was a good display by the lads.
Sunderland palyed veyr well without really threatening us-a compliment to our defence yesterday. Rosicky has to score the penalty though. Game, set & match then!

Onto the Totts and WBA at home.

Uncle Mike said...

It is bad to lose a game in the final minute. It's even worse to lose a game AFTER the final minute!

But as much as we were screwed, we do have to blame our own players -- and, this time, not Manuel Almunia, who truly was man of the match. Arshavin did next to nothing, Chamakh wasn't nearly as effective, Nasri made a few bad mistakes, Clichy was terrible, Wilshere was terrible before the yellow card (but great afterward, good wakeup call for him), and Rosicky, I haven't seen a penalty that bad since Roberto Baggio's to end the 1994 World Cup. What was he thinking?

And Cesc injured? Oy vey...

Face it, the Stadium of Shite is a tough place to play, the officials were against us all game long, we got only one goal on an all-timer of a fluke, and we lost our best player... and we still walked away with a point. I can't say we earned it, but, as you said, this is not a disaster. An upset stomach, sure, but not a disaster. Doesn't mean we didn't get robbed, though.

1979gooner said...

Ignoring this game, Clichy has not been consistent enough or solid enough defensively for a long time in my opinion.

Still a very decent player and fantastic in some ways, problem is a defender needs to be a defender primarily.

Gibbs is stronger, better aerially and a better defender for me, and that is even though he is far less experienced.

It's only a matter of time for me before Gibbs takes the first choice slot, barring injury.