Sunday 3 October 2010

Not enough for a variety of reasons

At least the Ryder Cup went well this afternoon, because the football certainly didn't. Blackpool went away to Liverpool and showed that it is not just about the individuals, it is about the team and the work ethic. It wasn't awful by any means against Chelsea, we had our chances, there were some positives. The problem was that we didn't really have the cutting edge we needed to convert the possession into goals, and we also never looked as robust as they did in defense.

Chelsea were stronger and more athletic than us, this is not something one would have said five years ago. Our injuries have played a part, depriving us of the pace of Walcott, the craft of Cesc, the incisive RVP and the powerful Bendtner. However we don't quite have the athleticism and the pace in the side that we did in those great Wenger sides of old. For this reason we found it hard to break down the Chelsea machine, despite having a lot of the ball for long periods.

Defensively we looked rather vulnerable at times, again Gael Clichy was caught out of position time and time again. It was not entirely the defense's fault though. I think the 4-3-3 system is part of the problem. The full backs are often left terribly exposed due the lack of cover from in front, while the fact that our full backs are so attacking compounds this problem. The three central midfielders often roam all over the shop and there is too often very little structure to our team's shape, especially when a certain Russian does very little tracking back indeed. Not a single clean sheet away from home in 11, this tells the story of our failings, we simply cannot keep a clean sheet.

Credit again to Chelsea, they were largely solid at the back, they were tough and athletic in midfield, while Drogba gave them that cutting razor edge up front. Fair play to them, they have invested a lot of their money very wisely. They have a better balance in their side, they can grind out results, they can keep clean sheets, they have only conceded two goals all season. Really we should look at Chelsea and see that they have some things that we lack, we should learn from their power and athleticism, they also had no passengers in their side today.

It was not all bad, I apologise for being negative. Fabianski built on his impressive midweek performance, Wilshere handled the game well, it was fantastic to see JET get a few minutes at the end. There is also no doubt that the missing players significantly blunted out attacking options, we also had some good early chances to take the lead. The problem was that at one nil down we didn't really look like equalising, we didn't bang hard enough at their door.

In conclusion the sad thing is that this Chelsea side has a lot of the attributes which remind me of our great double winning sides under Wenger, they have some terrific powerful athletes and defend very solidly as a unit, they can be lethal on the counter attack. We need to learn from Chelsea's positive attributes and not hide in denial pretending that we were as good.


Robimo said...

I am very sad to say, but we need to replace RVP. Don't get me wrong I love him, but the lad hasn't completed half a season since he's been hear. with Bendter and Walcott out also we just don't have the fire power. We need a solid striker that can last the pace. We keep our faith in RVP bt he just keeps getting injured and unlike others in other teams its never a couple of weeks its just weeks! Arshavin and Rosicky need to step up to the mark also (alla Lunjdberg and Pires).

jeffers said...

I was thinking the very same thing about our double side. I cant really fault the lads out there, they played pretty well and put the effort in. They played as well as they were expected to. the problem is there is still something missing.

The other reason why we won't win anything is that 2 or 3 times every game we give the opposition clear chances. Against the lower teams we will either get away with it as they dont have the quality to convert them or we will go up the other end and score a few ourselves. Against the sides who can defend well and take their chances we have little hope no matter how well we play in the middle of the pitch.

I am not sure if its the personnel or the system, but as long as we keep doing this, we will win nothing.

It still doesnt look like we have quite the right centre backs. They are by no means terrible, but in this kind of game, they just weren't quite up to the level.

Our full backs are constantly up with the attacking play, but when can you honestly say they played the vital part in a goal? Their scoring record speaks for itself. Attack wise, they are willing, but I am not sure they are able. They may be best concentrating on defending in this type of game.

We also missed a bit of creative spark out there, but with Fab, RVP and Theo missing, thats a fair chunnk of creativity out. It's just a shame we dont have the team to go out and earn a draw at the times when the creativity is missing. It's the difference between being 4 points off the top and 7.

1979gooner said...


RVP is a great player as we all know, I think he may stay fit for a period soon!

Obviously if he has hardly played come the end of the season then maybe we do need another striker.


very much agree with what you say, you can't really fault the effort, but we weren't quite good enough, it was a mixture of our defensive naivety combined with the lack of cutting edge thanks to injuries

Anonymous said...

pfff!!! credit to them for having Drogba. No more than that, because I think we were better in the whole game but if you can't turn the possession into goals, then, there's many reasons to worry about. Unfair result at the end...

Anonymous said...

Atleticm's overrated on this one - we weren't clinical in front of goal - that's the long & short of it... we created enough chances in spite of their organisation!!!

Anonymous said...

Chelsea played very well. Upped the ante just when it was needed, forcing a couple of errors within 40 meters of Arsenal's goal and then capitalizing. Pure experience and the killer edge from Drogba.

Afterwards in 2nd half they invited Arsenal to attack them calculating that one of Drogba/Anelka/Malouda would score on the break.

It was a great game to watch. Arsenal were terrific up to the goal and the match didn't have the deflating feeling last year's games against to opposition (apart from the first Man U game) had.

Chelsea suffered but won. But look at their team Drogba, Anelka Malouda, Essien and Cole - the only English player, trained at which club? - are all world class, experienced players and have been playing together for 3 to 4 years now. They'll give any team in Europe a run for their money.

And so can Arsenal. Of Arsenal's top three players only Arshavin was playing. RVP is not on the same planet as Chamakh, Vela, Bendter and co and Fabregas is the team leader.

Arsenal started running out of ideas with about 20 minutes to go but up to the 2nd goal Chelsea couldn't say it was in the bag.

The season's long, now Arsenal have to avoid droppig points against the lesser lights and give Man United an overdue tonking. Chelsea (an Barcelona and Inter) will come around next spring, lets see where they are then.

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