Wednesday 19 October 2011

Average Arsenal edge mediocre Marseille

I don't mean to be negative, I am just trying to be realistic and objective, but up until the last few minutes we were really very average in the final third and hadn't created much at all of note despite a hell of a lot of possession. Still the introduction of Gervinho had given us that little bit more spark up front, Djourou's excellent cross was flicked on by Gervinho, Ramsey was in the right place at the right time and finished expertly, a great late goal and an invaluable three points gained. Great result but definitely not a great performance.

There were some real positives which I shall start with. Koscielny was absolutely superb, he timed every header and tackle to perfection, while Mertesacker was decent alongside him. Jenkinson had done well before his injury midway through the second half. Santos was terrible in the first half, he gave the ball away cheaply on several occasions and was defensively poor.

Arteta had a cracking game, he did a lot of excellent defensive work, he used the ball intelligently as well, while Song played with great discipline alongside him. Rosicky did ok, he worked hard and did his best, but if one is going to be critical he didn't do enough going forward. RVP was not supported well enough, Theo did reasonably and was a definite threat, perhaps his final ball could have been a bit better. Arshavin was absolutely awful, sloppy in possession and utterly ineffective in attack, he really should have been substituted off sooner.

I was deeply unimpressed with Marseille, they were very very mediocre, they gave the ball away as cheaply as us, provided very little attacking threat, Remy had one decent dribble that led to his shot being deflected just wide but that was about it. It did look like a draw until Ramsey's winner and really we were a tad fortunate to come away with a win in the end.

The thing that concerns me is not our defense, other than Santos' dodgy defending we looked very solid at the back. Mertesacker and Koscileny are a solid emerging partnership, while Arteta and Song played very well in the heart of our midfield. The thing that concerns me is our average play in the final third and the terrible form of Arshavin. Marseille were there for the taking tonight and we only just scraped home.

Gervinho's spark and dynamism contrasted with Arshavin's complete lack of an attacking threat, he looks like a man lost at sea, bereft of confidence and belief, he appears to be floating away into a abyss of mediocrity. We lacked great options on the bench, the Ox was strangely left at home, while a hell of a lot of weight is being put on RVP's shoulders, he really needs another striker to take some of the load. I do not mean to whinge after a win but we have to see tonight's win in context, there were certainly some big positives, but we cannot ignore the fact that there are some rather big problems staring us in the face.


Anonymous said...

what game were you watching? Arshavin was far more involved and dangerous than Walcott in my eyes. At least he can control the ball!

1979gooner said...

I was watching the Arsenal-Marseille game.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that dose of reality. You really add-value as an Arsenal fan!

Anonymous said...

The main thing is that we won.

Walcott was terrible,there was one occassion when a counter attack broke down because he simply couldn't control the ball, one of the basics of the game.

He makes me weep for all of thosenaturally more talented footballers who have never had the opportunity to play the game professionally,yet alone at the top end of the game.

Anonymous said...

Spot on. Arshavin has been a massive disappointment ever since his breathtaking first few months at the club. I was delighted with Koscielny, and even though he was skinned a couple of times I thought Mertesacker was solid overall. When Vermaelen comes back I think I would just opt for Koscielny ahead of Mertesacker, but it is a tight one. Santos was very slack in the first half, but better in the second. I'm looking forward to more open games when we get to see him in full flight going forward. Overall, great result, poor performance. We need Wilshere back as soon as possible and certainly another creative player in January.

Danish Gooner said...

It was the official end of Wengerball,this looked more like Grahamball circa 1994,it was a travesty a complete shambles ,players on thousands of pounds every week couldnt pass 2 feet to their colleagues,walcott doing his usual invisible man routine,Arshavin being wastefull and incredible careless in position.Rosicky ambling around without no end product.The defense as shaky as ever against a seriously incompetent Marseille attack.My God this is Arsenal anno 2011 and it is seriously hard to stomach.

alex said... nil to the arse!!!!
good enough .

Kipmonster said...

I myself am very critical of what as gone on at the Club pre season & in the early months but tonight's result was uplifting & should be a boost of confidence to the players & frankly you are some sort of cunt writing this article soon after.

1979gooner said...


thankyou for the insult

actually I have pointed out the positives as well, however to deny the negatives is not clever in my eyes

to pretend we played well is silly, we were pretty dreadful going forward for most of the game

we have to be able to vaguely objectively judge our own team's performance and this was not a great performance overall

strangely against tottenham we played far better and lost, funny how things can pan out and how luck can have an effect

we definitely need to sharpen up in the final third though and our squad certainly looks like it needs more firepower

Anonymous said...

Being a Danish Gooner I don't understand the enormous credit Theo Walcott always seems to be given by British bloggers and journalists. Is it just because he is - British? To me he didn't have a "decent" game in Marseille. He was absolutely awful. Terrible first touch, no technique, can't turn with the ball, no vision - he passes the ball too early or too late or with no precision at all. I agree Arshavin was bad, too - and look what happened when Gervinho and Ramsey came on. I was screaming for exactly these two changes already in the first half. But worst of all, regarding Theo: This seems to be his level this season. I would choose AOC over Theo anytime. He appears to be a much more complete footballer.

Anonymous said...

I have read a great deal this AM, but this about wraps it up for me. Disagree on TW though, too. I do like the signs of fight, specifically from Jenkinson and Arteta. More of the same last spring and who knows.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal vs Stoke LIVE Link
That is Arsenal's second consecutive win of the season. Although, performance isn't great however this win be good for confidence going into the game against Stoke on Sunday.