Arsenal Accused, Djourou Ashamed & Fabregas Out
Arsenal have had a rough week. If being well beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League wasn’t enough to darken the mood around the Emirates, seeing rivals Tottenham progress a stage further really rubbed salt in the wounds. The amount of competitions Arsenal are now involved in has been halved in the space of a few weeks, and with Manchester United just around the corner in another winnable competition – the FA Cup, the next game will be massive for the season.
Manuel Almunia was one of only a few players who had a good game against Barcelona on Tuesday after he came on in the 19th minute for the injured Sczcesny, and from his busy goal, he watched his team mates closely. Like many others, he wasn’t impressed. The Spaniard accused his team mates of lacking effort, and believed that if they did more and showed more fight in the game, they may have been able to snatch a win.
“Barcelona bossed us and in the second half we had players that were not running. We only needed one goal and with a bit more effort we could have caused them damage at the end.
“Even at 3-1, we only needed one goal and, well, you can’t understand how there can be players that were walking. We were tired.
“It seemed that everything was lost but you can score a goal at any moment. So the only explanation I have is that we were so tired and the players couldn’t give any more.
“And down to 10 men, it was double the effort. We came up against a Barcelona side that are the best in the world.”
Almunia can’t be blamed for his light criticism of the team – the now infamous statistic of a total of zero shots on goal will be and as been brought up by rival fans for years to come and Barcelona’s domination in every area of the pitch was clear for all to see.
The match however did not come without it’s controversies – the referee’s decision to send van Persie off for shooting at goal after the whistle had been blown for offside the big talking point. Massimo Busacca, the referee in question, was called many things after the game, but his Swiss compatriot Johan Djourou even went so far as to claim a sense of shame:
“I am Swiss and the referee was Swiss. I feel a sense of shame.
“He had no right to take a decision of that kind. It changed the course of the game. At this level of football you can not accept decisions like that.
“But you have to be honest and admit Barcelona deserved their win. Lionel Messi is an exceptional footballer, all the more so when he plays at home, and he does some amazing things.
“It is really hard to mark him. We succeeded in the first half. We were very compact and it was a real pity that we conceded just before the break.”
Arsenal’s next game will not be as hard as the last – that is for sure, especially in United’s current form. United have lost their last two games against Chelsea and Liverpool, and in the absence of Nani after his deep cut on the shin, Arsenal will be hoping to make United’s losing streak a miserable hat trick.
Arsenal will be without Fabregas however, after his suspect peformance at Barcelona was explained by a recurring hamstring injury, as Wenger said:
“He will be out maybe for the next two games”
Sczcesny’s injury – a dislocated finger – will also rule him out for the immediate future, and Almunia will fill in for him for the game against Manchester United. Robin van Persie will be available too, as he went off – admitedly in qustionable fashion – but without an injury.
Time for a trophy for Arsenal, and time for a win against a big team. The victor in the weekends game will – I believe – go on to win the Premier League. It’s going to be massive.
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Submitted by DBSFootball
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