At the beginning of the game, predictions all round, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0. Hatrick for Van Persie or Adebayor. Everyone was expecting a hammering. What more could you ask for? A mid week break, fitness levels restored. A home game. The opponent is a newly promoted side who'd be nervous travelling to the Emirates. A definite three pointer?
Yesterday's game was the biggest shock of the season. In fact, it's the biggest shock of any game I've been to at the Emirates.
But let's not panic. Why?
Well, I've watched the game again and again and I can say with all truth that we did dominate the game. We did play well, we did have possession. But we didn't play at 100%, we played at 90% and if you're going to do that, you're always likely to lose in the Premier League.
Hull played well and we didn't. Simple. In fact, the team didn't play that badly, but a few key players didn't turn up. Personally, I was aggrieved at the performances of Adebayor, Van Persie and Eboue. For me, those three players didn't show up. Cesc hasn't got started yet either and when you've got four players in such positions not playing on the top of their game, then we're missing a vital attacking part of our game.
In my opinion, it's time to shake up the front line. It's time to let Ade and VP know that they're not automatic choices up front. We've always had strikers who could change games, Wright, Bergkamp, Henry... but at the moment, I can't see Ade or VP taking the game by the scruff of it's neck and making things happen. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but that's what I saw yesterday.
Bendtner and Vela are two strikers waiting in the wings, Eduardo is due back soon too. Let's mix it up and let all four fight each other for a starting place. It will wake Ade up. Even though he scored a hatrick at Blackburn, I really don't think his performances have been that great this season.
It will be interesting what happens next, who Arsene plays against Porto. Will this performance be "rewarded" with a starting berth against Porto? I don't know.
We have a great team right now, technically gifted players. If we play to our maximum, we can beat any team we play.
But, only IF we play to our maximum. I don't think we need to panic, I think we all just need to focus. The team are capable of better performances. They are capable of better movement, higher tempo and have the ability to score.
I just hope they realise what a mess they've made and really try hard to clean it up.
Cesc put us ahead after good work by Walcott, but a wonder strike by Giovanni and a Cousin header meant we went 2-1 down and ended up losing the game.
Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Bendtner 69), Fabregas, Denilson, Walcott (Vela 77), Adebayor, Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Song Billong, Silvestre, Djourou
Arsene was shocked and berrated the lack of focus and attitude.
“It is a shocking defeat for us and overall our commitment was just not good enough. Human beings are not machines. Perhaps subconsciously we thought we would make it. They (Hull) deserve credit. We cannot be happy as we were ahead but after I think we were careless and we were punished for it.We expect three points in every game but we have a good opportunity on Tuesday to show we have the strength to respond. I think we had 15 chances and scored a scrappy goal, they had nearly nothing and they scored two goals. We were not mature enough to kill the game off. But this kind of game exists in football when your focus is not high enough and your opponent is committed and gives absolutely everything. What you have done three days before doesn’t count. When you’re a top-level sportsman you are only judged on your performance of the day, and today we weren’t good enough. We now know that if our attitude isn’t right, we can lose games.”
It’s time to regroup and focus now, we’ve got Porto on Tuesday and let’s try our best, give 100% and play them off the park.]]>