Talk about getting off to the worst possible start to the month of November. The first defeat to Shakhtar was largely down to complacency and inept defending. The defeat to Newcastle was not down to complacency, we just weren’t good enough to cope with the challenge that Newcastle posed us.
To hear Wenger talk after the game about how Fabianski was maybe too confident of getting the ball when jumping with Carroll was more than a little annoying as the last person in our goalkeeping department that should feel confident in winning a ball in the box is Fabianski. Carroll is a real handful in the air and once Chamakh failed to make any kind of telling contribution to marking him, Fabianski was never realistically going to win that ball. I suppose his rising from the ashes of a potentially ruined Arsenal career was too much to hope for, though hope we did. The problem is that when your goalkeeper makes a mistake, it is almost certain to result in a goal. Our first and second choice keepers have made making mistakes and costing us points something of a forte. Infuriating.
A key part of Arsenal’s game is to get the first goal, that way the opposition has to attack and that will leave plenty of space for us to hit them on the counter and leave a bit more space for our passing. When we fall behind, the opposition have no real desire, or need, to come at us because they know if they keep things compact, more often than not we will not be able to find a way through. Teams know that we will endlessly pass the ball sideways but have no real cutting edge.
The most annoying thing about Sunday was that Newcastle scored with their first shot on target, that simply isn’t good enough. There is no hope for winning the league if you are so susceptible to conceding. We badly miss Vermaelen and it is looking like it will be a while before we see him back in the team again. According to John Cross (@johncrossmirror on Twitter) he keeps breaking down with sharp pains in his achilles. Not good news at all.
If Reina is available in the summer, we need to pull out the stops and sign him. We will never be successful with either Almunia or Fabianski in goal. End of story. I know there are some that will promote Szczesny as our next no1, but I would much rather see Reina as our no1 and then play Szczesny in the cups and in any meaningless Champions League group games.
I wouldn’t mind, but Arsenal’s ineptitude on Sunday cost me money, too. Luckily, I recouped it on the Spuds game last night. I am going to steer clear of betting on Arsenal for a while, their form is just too erratic. The worst thing is that no matter how many times Wenger says that we have learned our lessons from defeats past, the team continues to make the same stupid mistakes and turns out below par performances. The players need to step up and make sure that our season doesn’t finish in November because if we fall too far behind Chavski now, it’ll be very hard to claw them back. I know that we did it last year only to fall away again near the end but I don’t think that they will be as easy to catch this year. Our home form must improve.
If we had beaten West Brom and Newcastle, we would be top of the table with the way the other results went. The Emirates is not the fortress that it should be. We need to change that and maybe a good way to start is to get some atmosphere going in the ground. I know that it is easy for someone to say that when they are living abroad and don’t get to go to many/any games but, those who are lucky enough to go there should at least make some effort to generate an atmosphere. The away fans are great for generating atmosphere, we need to transfer that to our home games.
Anyway, looking ahead to tonight’s game against Wolves and the team news is that Koscielny is out after the FA upheld his red card from the Newcastle game. So, that should see us line up with; Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri and Chamakh.
I don’t think that Arshavin will start as he has been, by and large, pretty poor away from home. Koscielny’s ban is for two games, so he misses tonight and the weekend’s game against Everton. When did a red card stop being an automatic three game ban, especially as this was Koscielny’s second sending off of the season? Seems odd to me, but I’m certainly not complaining at the fact that the ban is a game shorter than I’d expected. Djourou is getting more games this season than many of us had expected, hopefully it will help him develop into a good centre-half. I expect Szczesny, Denilson, Arshavin, Rvp and Bendtner to all be on the bench tonight
I haven’t seen any reports in the media yet, but expect a new 5yr deal to be announced soon. The good news is that the player involved isn’t Clichy. I really hope that someone is foolish enough to bid £10m+ for him this summer because, if they do, we should jump at the chance to offload him. He makes way too many costly mistakes and just isn’t up to scratch. Thanks, Camolli.
Right, that’ll have to do for today. Here’s to getting an essential three points against Wolves tonight. Let’s hope that Karl Henry doesn’t maim any of our players.
Take it easy.