Saturday 25 September 2010

Where were the leaders? A self induced capitulation

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.


Martin said...

I don't think enough of them care or have pride in the jersey they wear on the pitch. A little bit of commitment would have been nice today. It's hard to believe that the score would have been 0-3 without Nasri...

Anonymous said...

Nasri was leading and as far i can see the only one who combined skill with commitment. song tried hard but lacked skill and the less said about Arshavin the better. But my god the full back were dreadful attcking wise and defending. and Just when you think Alumnia was gonna be the hero he goes and lets you down again. I said to a friend at half time maybe wenger was right to keep him. how wrong i was. Wenger has backed alumnia and fabianski no end but they just do their best to proove him wrong and make him loo like a fool.

Anonymous said...

i did not watch the game but i have seen the highlights of the goals.The second goal was actually almunia's fault but what was kolcieny doing giving Jara that much space instead of closing him down.I am so afraid of these level of defensive blunders against Chelsea next week.God Help us!

Rhinogooner said...

Well done to WBA. They played well and fully deserved to beat us at home today.

This performance showed the type of ambivalence that too many of our players have. I suspect this is part of the reason Cesc wanted to leave this summer - not enough winners in the team.

Yes Mr. Wenger brought in several players in positions we needed. But were they the best we could do? Nothing against Kos or Seb*, but Arsenal could be purchasing bigger names that have proven quality. Players that no how to win. I'm not talking about £30m superstars. Just a few £15m solid performers.

Mr. Wenger makes too many purchases that just barely cut it. Rather than making us true title contenders. Sure, we might run Chelsea and Man U close for part of the season. But we'll fall short eventually. When we could have a team that could genuinely contend till the last day.

Anyway, no excuses today. Injuries can't be an excuse for this loss. A team like Arsenal has to be able to cope with that during the season. And we have to expect to beat a team like WBA on our own patch even with several key players out.

*Chamakh has been a tremendous signing. And on a free!