Saturday 18 February 2012

Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0 - clogging overcomes toothless Gunners

That was the kind of performance that just sums up where Arsenal Football Club has been going wrong for the last few months.  The effort was there but there just wasn't enough quality to open up a stubborn Sunderland defence.  It was a very even game, we had plenty of the ball and did knock it around reasonably at times, there just wasn't enough in the final third in terms of incision and end product.

The first goal was key and Richardson's goal owed a lot to lady luck, a deflection off Squillaci and the ball flew into the bottom corner, a couple of Sunderland players in offside positions also seemed to be impeding Fabianski's view.  After this Sunderland could sit back, defend in numbers and make it very tricky for us to break them down.

We dominated the possession and even had more shots than the home side, but we just didn't create enough clear cut chances.  Walcott had come on just after half time and I have to say I barely noticed him on the field, a sad indictment on his lack of a performance, again.  Ramsey had again been poor in his attacking midfield berth.

It was a tight competitive game and Sunderland fought hard, they also had that little bit of luck that we didn't get in the penalty box.  It has to be said that the useless Howard Webb helped Sunderland by letting them get away with numerous cynical deliberate fouls in the midfield, a nasty O'Neill tactic that would have been stopped  by a competent official.

Tactically we just look pathetically naive at times, we keep being destroyed on the counter attack and we really struggle to break teams down that stick a lot of men behind the ball.  There is not enough help for RVP, we have no proper leaders of the line at the club.  However the manager seems to have run of ideas tactically, the same mistakes keep on happening, we used to destroy teams on the counter attack, these days we seem incapable of doing this.

There was effort and heart there today, the majority of our players do not deserve the criticism that will be fired in their direction from certain quarters.  The concern for me is that our squad is woefully short in terms of its attacking options, especially in the centre forward position, it is poor that the board and manager have allowed this to happen.  The lack of ideas and the tactical naivety do concern me, it has been happening for too long and patience can only run son far.


Rich said...

If you truly believe that there was heart and effort on show from the players then your standards have seriously slipped.

Not one of them took a grip on the game and responsibility is a word none of them have heard of.

The first goal was a case in point, first Djourou misjudges it, then when the ball is cleared Sagna doesn't throw himself into the block, in fact he barely dangled a leg and before we know it, we are losing,

They have given up and from the minute we conceded Arteta, Song and Ramsey took the no risk pass every single time. Under pressure, they buckled and that's with a friendly away crowd following them. I can only imagine the viciousness that will come there way next Sunday should they play the same.

leon said...

You are a deluded Wenger Knows Best Preacher looking to find positives where there are none. This team aside from RVP is a total disgrace - no application and no understanding of what it means to play for a club like Arsenal and there is one man to blame and that is Wenger. If he is here in the summer that will prove that football is not the priority of this club. This was absolutely disgusting - Wenger should go now..

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you think there was effort and heart from the players today. There was nothing at all from them, they were barely on the pitch.

Anonymous said...

until arsenal learn to defend the rebound both in our box and when on attack we have no chance. Another rebound goal would think we'd have leart by now. The wonder goals against us rack up but we invite the opposition to have a go every time.

jay911 said...

Well written article. That match was a combination of sideways one touch passing with no direct forward play or pass and move. This is the foundation of wengers training methods and tactics, if passing slowly sideways fails keep on doing it anyways.

Wenger prioritises possesion over everything else, and it alone cant win football matches. Wenger hasnt evolved with the times of the premier league and wont change tactics that simply wont win matches anymore.

Wenger needs to move upstaires before he buries the careers and confidence of some of our players with serious potential. Change the training and tactics or change the manager its clear we cant have both.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Premier League is bent and its the fault of those damned shape-shifting reptilians again eh?

Is it possible that the Arse are just a slightly above average team with a tactically inept manager who has a disturbing obsession with teenage boys?

stoney said...

Another trophyless season for the goonies and more feeble excuses from arsebag whinger. Never his or the inept players and tactics he employs. Gutless little turd. The best is yet to come though. Next week you're going to get an absolute kicking from the mighty SPURS in your own backyard. Actually, it's not your backyard. You lot are a bunch of pikey travellers from south of the river. Nevertheless an absolute stuffing awaits. I hope you don't sack whinger. He's doing a great job screwing you goonies up.

Anonymous said...

If Arsene Wenger is a man of honour then he must resign!! He is the most consistently failing manager in the premiership today and many better performers have been sacked!! He built this team and is responsible for it frailty, lack of creativity and weakness of character. Go and GO NOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your moment in the sun wow you,llfinish third the first time for how long have you finished above us gooners
normal service will be resumed maybe you will choke as as always . Or maybe when uncle Harry fucks off

Anonymous said...

Arsene Wenger should do the right thing and retire - hes well past it and Arsenal are soft when they need to man up and be counted.

Anonymous said...

Amusing to read the comments of the two and three year olds, come back when you have grown a brain and some maturity.


I agree with you. However AW's great sides of old were not ineffective and one dimensional like this.

I think the board are more to blame than is at first apparent.


Anonymous said...

Even in the darkest moments, idiotic Spud fans manage to make me laugh. Stoney - "tik a boo" son.

Anonymous said...

March arshavin back to Siberia! Sack the useless board! Send chacrack, walcock, roshitscky, djourou onto the transfer market! We want our Gunners back! Wenger, man up and kick some fight into the team! Atm they are a bunch of wusses who pocket 100 grand a week for shit! Pull your socks up arsenal!

alex said...

Spurs fans:
The man that has your team achieving their best result in more than a decade (3rd PLACE)doesn't want to stay with you, when he's gone you'll return where you belong, the middle of the table.
For the next 10 years you'll be watching DVD's of that wonderful season when Luka Modric was playing for you and you finished...... 3rd.

Ted said...

I don't agree that you can blame the board for yesterday's abject failure, or indeed for Wednesday night.

There is not a single player at Sunderland who is genuinely of real class. We made some of them look good but that's because we are shite.

Same goes for Milan. Zlatan apart, there have not been massive channges at Milan since we beat them in 2008 (?). Its the same old Van Bommel, Mexes, etc

The real change in those teams in recent times is the manager. Love him or hate him, O'Neil gets his teams fired up, organised and hard working. Remember this is the guy who made Emile Heskey look a class act.

Wenger at the moment is doing the opposite. The level of performance from our players goes steadily down. Even our better players like Song, Sagna, Ramsey, even RVP, are looking pretty average, probably poor if you are being honest, at the moment.

We deserved nothing and got nothing. Unfortunately, I also agree with Roy Keane about the gloves - any team that has 5 players starting the game in gloves is going to have a big problem. Our aim should be to get hot and sweaty kicking northern monkeys in the air, not abound which brand of glove keeps our soft southern hands warm.

The way the team is prepared and approaches the game is Wenger's remit. Not the board's.

footystuff6 said...

The original post was clearly written with 'rose colored specs' on! blogger clearly influenced by AW who clearly didn't have any specs on again! He was talking post match about 'clear penalties'. They are excuses. Arsenal didn't turn up and Sunderland wanted it more. The 'big game' players hid behind safe passes and didn't penetrate at all. RVP didn't complain about the so called penalty at the time because he knew the defender got the ball.

Get a clearer set of pecs on if you want to know where the problem is. Need a change at the top. Its obvious.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see Aresnal Supporters grasping at straws no team has a god given right to be at the top. Today it is money that puts teams on top not managers skills and Arsenal do not spend big enough. Unless UEAF,FIFA put strict rules in place money and not ability will win trophies. Sunderland did not clog they played a deep defencive tactic and a fast break out, Arsen cannot coach for this,do not complain about deflected goals, there are so many each week, the player shot at goal defender tries to stop goa, deflection wow. It all boils down to the fact that current Arsenal players are not up to the task. Please do not turn into the likes of moaning Liverpool supporters be gracious in defeat as well as glory

Joe said...

We must do a mass protest , ban one league match no one mst turn up twitter and face book all arsenal fans to not watch a telecast ... thats the only way choose one game and do this instead of cribbing ... show that money making scoundrel who gets him the money !!

Start with this week end league match! (im posting this on all majore blogs )Time to be a real gooner come on!

Kngshirker said...

Arsenal dived a lot, might have had a penalty (as might we; I thought Webb got both right), committed the only straight red offence, the two-footed lunge picked up by TV but unseen by Webb for what it was) and clogged when they felt it necessary. They were beaten fairly and squarely by a team that got it right, and were superior, on the day. And I say all that as a Wenger and Arsenal admirer. But this is a truer assessment of the game and bet you all now that you'll come begging for Sessegno, from our team of cloggers, come summer.

Anonymous said...

Your match summary is garbage. Give Sunderland the credit they deserve. You were outplayed. You shaded the first half but didn't turn up for the second.

Try being a bit more gracious in defeat.

Anonymous said...

Poorest arsenal team in a long time yet still 4th remarkable any one with a brain will start getting behind the team because we can beat Tottenham hotspunk. And we will sign top quality tuis summer.

Anonymous said...

An SAFC fan here, responding to Ted, among others. Sessegnon looked a class act, as did O'Shea, Bardsley and Larson for much of the game. Those 4 have looked good against most of the opposition since MON took over, and you could aso reflect on the contribution of Colback, a relatively recent first teamer who shamed some of your young stars.

Yes, I'm biased but don't denigrate us just because you were, in your own words, "shite".