The excuses are running out…fast!
Written by sanchit.
The Newcastle game has shaken me, and after the game, I find myself devoid of ANY excuse that I can give for Arsenal’s loss. Each season, we have had some key players injured at key moments, and rightfully, we fell back on that reason to explain us dropping points to teams.
But the Newcastle game is rare, and different. It is the second time in the season already, in only 11 games, that we have lost to a newly-promoted side at home. Last time we put the blame rightfully on Manuel Almunia’s shoulders, even though we were only diverting attention away from a complacent, and overall poor performance.
This time, we don’t have a late goal. We don’t have a MAJOR goalkeeping error (Fabianski WAS at fault, but not enough to pin the entire blame on him). And most of all, we had a nearly full squad.
We could no longer say after the game, “Oh, Fabregas was injured; van Persie was not there. What do you expect?” Fabregas was fit. So were Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin, Chamakh and Song. So was van Persie, who played a good half hour of the game.
After the Chelsea game, I was convinced that we lost because we missed the presence of Fabregas, Walcott and van Persie. But now, I am having some doubts. You can argue that if a side comes to Emirates only to defend, then it is hard to score. But I ask you, how many times did we give away the ball? How many times did a player had a poor touch? How many times did we play one pass too many in the final third? The answer is: Too many times, too many times. Our pinpoint passing was a faded dream, and there was no accuracy.
We could feel aggrieved, because they had one shot on target, and that unfortunately was their goal. But there was ample time for us to hit back and equalise, if not win. We never recovered, and in some ways this was worse than WBA, where we atleast bounced back to strike twice before dropping the three points.
Put simply, it was a disappointing team performance. No excuses. And most of the tough fixtures haven’t even started. Games away to Everton, Villa, Fulham etc. will be tricky.
The bad points:
1. Attack. For obvious reasons stated above.
2. The lack of tempo in the first half, and over-elaboration, a term which is somehow coming true of Arsenal’s play.
3. Fabregas. Yes, him. He gave the ball away too many times. Only positive point was when he hit the bar.
4. Walcott. Totally silent, out of sorts and unnoticeable. Credit to Enrique, for keeping him quiet, but still, much was expected which was not delivered. Again, positive point when he hit the bar, but that was about it.
5. Gael Clichy. Endeavouring to play left wing at every opportunity. Giving the ball away. WHY are we offering him a new contract?
The marginally okayish points:
1. Wilshere. Outstanding strength, and commitment. Just wish he played more like Fabregas than Song.
2. van Persie. Looked okay to me. Was positive. Still a long time before he becomes the van Persie was old