Arsenal 1 – 2 Hull, Let's Not Panic…

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.]]>

  • http://deleted Dan

    I agree the front line has been stale all season. Neither have shown any kind of spark, and in all honest they just aren’t clinical strikers. Hence us missing so many chances. The ideal player to make this team awesome is Eduardo and i cant wait for his return. He is EXACTLY what we lack at the moment.

  • Kunal Vasa

    < ![CDATA[I can only panic after watching and reviewing the relative merits of our strong rivals.
    The squads of United, Chelsea and Liverpool consist of many PROVEN and experienced world class players who have knowledge of how to win trophies.
    There are not that many players around at Arsenal who remember our last league truimph, that of the invicibles in 2004.
    Van Persie has never played a full season let alone score 20 goals in it, Adebayor has had 1 great season and then shown a lack of desire to stay at the Emirates, Nasri is unproven, Walcott still inconsistent, Denilson not in the same imposing vain as the towering Gerrard, Lampard, Ballack or our old friend VIeira. Eboue is frankly a walking or falling disaster, Sagna has had a poor start and William Gallas is certainly not a leader or defender in the Tony Adams mould. Manuel Almunia would be fourth in line to Pepe Reina, Van der Sar and Cech which basically leaves us two solid reliable foundations upon whose small shoulders our season will rest. The impregnable Kolo Toure and the proven world class winner (Euro 2008) Cesc Fabregas. However I wonder if the pressure on these two gallant individuals will be too much for them to handle.]]>

  • AJ

    Totally agree with you and Dan, the front line needs a shake up and at the start of the match I was hoping Vela would start or come on earlier than he did, I think if we let him and Walcott go with Nasri floating around behind them when he is fit, we could see a interesting frontline, Bendtner for me still isn’t the finished article, mind you Walcott and Vela aren’t, but I think him on the bench with those two starting could be interesting.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[i'v always felt that adebayor lacks consistent commitment. he switches off too many times during the game. he still doesnt know what offside means and he just doesnt work hard enough up front. he doesnt hold play up at the front either. rather than take advantage of his size he runs back toward his own goal under pressure from an opposition defender. he should try turning the defender more often or at least hold play up. the moment he gets the ball he passes back. and when the rare cross comes theres nobody in the box. its his job to be there yet he isnt. in his first season he looked quicker when he played with henry. now he looks too lazy. his attitude isnt right sometimes. he seriously needs to wake up and the best way to wake him up is to sit him on the bench till he realizes there are other strikers just as good if not better and make him think about whether he wants to play and how badly he wants it.
    why adebayor isnt clicking is his own fault. whereas the reason for van persie's lack of form is that he's fallen victim to our weak midfield this season. we'r so short on players that we'r having to play eboue and walcott on the wings. if you think about it, theyr only there because nasri and rosicky cant get fit. i'd rather have rosicky and nasri than walcott or eboue. and because we'r weak and light in midfield, van persie's having to be the 5th midfielder, the link-up man rather than play as a second striker, where he shines.
    what makes me angry is wenger's persistence and utter stubbornness to stick with eboue. there are far far better players in football than him. offensively and defensively. and more consistent as well. why couldnt wenger get a wide player in the transfer window. for example basitan schweinsteiger. he had a brilliant euro. he's a real team player. he has that determination to change the game when its not going well. there was only minimal talk about him moving to a bigger team, so i'm assuming that transfer fee wouldnt have been an issue. the wages i cant say about but come on. if everytime we're going to need a few players and stop the deal from happening because of some money then we might as well forget about winning anything. arsenal need to realize that theyr quickly fading away from the team that everybody fears and gets intimidated by. that isnt good. as fans we'r disrespected by other fans who just laugh off any talk of us being contenders. fans of top clubs respect the top teams like manutd chelsea liverpool inter milan ac milan real madrid barcelona juventus lyon etc. we'v faded out of that group already.
    now we have to repair the damage done to us on the weekend. we should drop ade to the bench. we should play with either bendtner and vela up front because they'v built a really really good partnership and play well with each other. theres really no risk in playing them from the start. if it doesnt work you can always substitute. wenger needs to grow some heart and take that risk. its really not that big a deal. it only makes sense. ade needs to get his attitude right. so either vela and bendtner or van persie and one of those two. i think bendtner has really improved. and he's much quicker on his feet than ade. it helps a lot up front to get away from defenders. he's got decent pace. he's even shown good ball control. the more time he's given on the pitch the quicker he'll improve. and really vela and bendtner deserve their chance after their consistent displays throughout the season. ade misses too many.]]>

  • LEON

    < ![CDATA[i feel that the forwards had bad day at the office,ade is very good player i feel he can be a bit waistful but seems to have a high work rate and always puts imself at rigt place at the right time and for his size and stucture is a pretty playmaker,on the other hand rvp seams to luxury player to me at the moment and both players on that day were very wasteful and must be alot more clinical, i would never put bretner before ade because he is good impact player but i have ith him if he is scoring he has very little effect , but with ade is more all action type player creates his oportunities,but i would but ade and vela together because unlike rvp vela is prepard to play in midield when needed and is great play maker and goal scorer. what i also saw in this match is more than able to hadl ethe physical side and for the most part they were dealing with aerial attacks that hull throgh at them amunia only had 1-3 saves the whole match,

    i feel that wenger should dijouro and sylevester must more have chance, although gallas and toure are very good defeding in open play when it comes to dealing long balls and corners arsenal seam vunreble, wenger always goes with gallas toure and anyone can se that they are to similar.]]>

  • Maxwell Omeke frm nigeria

    What a SHAME. I feel disgraced. Hey we all should 4get about who’s playing well & who’s not. Right now our problem is WENGER. Does he think he’s gonna who trophies wit those small boys? Let him use the money at his disposal to get good and experienced players. He should forget about the club’s finances cos he doesn’t own the club. Am even considering dropping arsenal cos other fans laugh when i talk about football and of course they are right when they laugh. Am so bitter i dont know what else to say.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[I completely agree with the article - its not cause for panic just yet, especially as Hull are showing themselves to be this years surprise package.

    Positivies to take from the game include our domination, and, er.... Walcotts speed. However, Walcott was a little redundent in the final 5th of the pitch, nearly everything he started petered out too soon. RVP and Ade were off colour, and as I've said a hundred times - that hat-trick against Blackburn suddenly looks a bit useless - if he'd have kept two of them back for Saturday things would have been different.

    Another positive was Cesc's performance - it wasn't vintage but at least he showed himself a couple of times and helped fashion the goal.

    Leon - what are you talking about? RVP spent most of his time in or around the center circle. I'm not the only one who thought he was playing too deep - we need someone like Vela up front so Walcotts runs can actually lead to a cross - too often he has to hold up and wait for support. At times I thought we had a 6 man midfield with Ade and RVP playing so deep.

    However, Hull were lucky. They had two real chances and took them both. An excellent shot and an excellent corner lead to a lead that really neither team deserved. Gallas again was done from a set piece, just like Fulham - there is simply no excuse for our captain and central defender to get done like that at the near post.

    If Arsenal had played a striker up front to capitalise on some of the work done by Walcott (and yes, even Eboue) rather than two sulky playmaker types and if they practiced set pieces more often I think this would be our year.

    It still might be.

    At least Sp*rz lost :D]]>

  • Maxwell Omeke frm nigeria

    Those boys wont and cannot win us trophies. Wenger is taking us for granted by not spending the money. In a recent comment, he said if given 100million pounds to shop for players, he would give the money back. What on earth is that supposed to mean. He builds up the players to sell to other clubs. We dont have a bench at all and thats why when one key player is down injured, there is no replacement. Is that the game. We need to raise this issue and take it seriously. If he’s gonna be this way, then am gone.

  • Maxwell Omeke frm nigeria

    Keiran, i have always said ade is not the kind of striker arsenal needs. He is slow and most times he doesn’t know what to do with ball and to sum it all up he misses too much chances. If we had a striker like berbatov or even eto with all the creativity from midfield, you wouldn’t wanna count the goal rain. Those players are sharp and very wise upfront and they know what to do with the ball. I eagerly await the quick comeback of rosicky, nasri and eduardo. We need bite and wenger knows it. Am so pissed….

  • Maxwell Omeke frm nigeria

    To be beaten at home by hull city is a shame & all the players includin wenger need to cover up their faces wit masks. Wenger needs a mask. Doesn’t he see the way chelsea approaches their games wit all seriousness. Each game by them is like a final match & thats what PROFESSIONALS are made of. You are in d premier league to win trophies & not to groom or test players. ARSENAL is now like NEWCASTLE & non fears us again. There is a VERY BIG CAUSE FOR PANIC cos arsenal is goin down. Lets not deceive ourselves.

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[I think your over reacting a bit. A week ago we were top, and i'm sure you were happy then. The team is close... so close. I think that RVP and Ade lack confidence in the midfield, but they shouldn't. If they were to concentrate on their own games and put the ball in the net when they get the chance, things would be rosy. I'm just not sure either can consistently do that. They are the kind of strikers that don't score at all when they aren't in form. Eduardo on the other hand can be quiet for 70 mins, but will be alert enough to put it in the net when his time comes. That is what we need.

    Hopefully we can do well enough to be within a couple of points from 1st come January, and then really kick on from there with Eduardo and maby even Rosicky!!!]]>

  • Gala

    < ![CDATA[Here’s a simple fact - we’re two points behind the leaders, with a goal difference that is only one worse than the leaders.

    Here’s another fact - our children’s team looked a dream and a half on Tuesday.

    Or another fact - even if Utd win their game in hand we are still above them in the league.

    Or another - when Utd screwed up earlier this season - or indeed at the start of last season - I don’t recall anyone saying, “that’s it, all over, that’s the end, Man U are dead in the water…” Of course not. Everyone takes it that their manager knows a thing or two about football, and has just had a bit of a bad run.

    I’m just another supporter, and, for what its worth, what I feel at the moment is…

    a) there is nothing written in the laws of the universe that says Arsenal have to be one of the top teams - after all for many years of my life the club has very obviously not been one of the top teams.

    b) I have never in all these years of watching the club seen football as exciting and stunning as in the Wenger era.

    c) The football I am seeing now is not worse than during the 2 Wenger double seasons - it is in fact better.

    d) The only period at all in all the years I have been watching Arsenal in which the team exceeded what is being offered now was the unbeaten season - but

    e) The prelude to the unbeaten season was a dreadful awful terrible dispiriting defeat at home to Leeds which lost us the league

    f) The aftermath of the 49 was a dreadful run where we couldn’t have beaten our own children’s team

    I don’t think this is a disaster at all - because I am not going to measure everything against out ability to win every single game.

    I loved the game against Sheffield U, I am not going to give up on this season after just a handful of games, I am certainly not going to start criticising Wenger just because we have lost two games this season by the odd goal, I am going to the game against Porto full of enthusiasm, the world did not end on saturday evening, and most important of all…

    If I was coming to this country from Brazil, with no knowledge of English football, but as an incomer was looking for a team to support, I would look for an attractive, attack minded team that could make a serious challenge to win the league. That would reduce the field to two - utd and Arsenal. I would choose Arsenal because of the tradition, the ownership, and above all the pure style and quality of the club.

    One defeat by one goal changes nothing.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Exactly the future is very bright - look at the other end of the table, it could be worse!

    The only issue for me is the sometimes wastefullness of Adebayor.

    On a side note, its easy to get carried away with the win against Sheffield United - it wasn't exactly vintage for the firast half an hour and SU did roll over and die rather after the first two goals - you can't use that as a barometer for success.

    The thing is Arsenal hit the bar and RVP twice came close against Hull - if the ref wasn't such a crunt with his whistle every two seconds the match could have been completely different.

    At the end of all this you do have to give Hull some credit - they were often first to every loose ball, they had two chances and they took them. Brilliant play for a small team who many thought would struggle for survival.]]>

  • Doc 3

    I think your way off the mark mate, it’s a complete nightmar start to the season! We’ve had by far the easiest start to the season with regards to teams with had to play, and yeah the Bolton and Blackburn results look good but it’s not the same (Alladyce)Bolton we used to stuggle with, and Blackburn are also not the same team without Hughes. Basically with played no one and lost twice, Chelsea/ManU/Liverpool will all beat Hull at home, and pick up at least a point at the Cottage, so thats at least 5 points we have to make up somewhere else. 4th if we’re lucky.

  • pissed off

    With all due respect to all Arsene fans, lets go back to histroy and read about Wenger’s profile towards the end of his reign in Monaco. If you do then you gonna agree with me that his lost it, the touch, mental strengt. To b honest with you all wenger is still shakened from Mourinhos short spell in chelsea and hasnt really recovered

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