Anyway, back to all things Arsenal and media reaction to the game hasn't been as bad as I thought. In all honesty I was expecting to see "Arsenal's season over!" but instead all I saw was praise for Hull and a match report about how the game panned out.
So if the media haven't over-reacted, then I certainly won't. I spoke yesterday about the need not to panic, and got some very interesting feedback from some of the regular readers, worth taking a read if you haven’t already. After coming back from the course today I’ve had a good read of what’s been said today and the thoughts of our manager and players alike.
I’ll start with what Arsene has said today:
“We gave them too much room for the first goal and we didn’t clear the ball on the second one. I believe that we have more a size problem in our defending than a quality problem. It’s not just the centre-backs who defend – as a team we are a bit short. Perhaps on a subconscious level we were thinking we would do it. I don’t fault the players for not wanting it but it can happen when you have just won two away games. Where we are guilty is that we had difficulties in the first half but then still went 1-0 up and we shouldn¹t have given it away from that. There will be changes to the team. I don’t believe we were thinking about Tuesday night, though.”
Interestingly, Arsene speaks about a size problem. What does that mean? Physically size or mental size? If there was a physical size problem, then why didn’t we play a taller player? Why has Djourou (our best pre-season performer) been overlooked? Will Arsene drop Gallas? He does say that he will make changes, but will he drop our captain, who has been at fault for pretty much every goal we’ve conceded this season!
When asked about the potential punishment for some of the players by being dropped, Arsene said:
“Punishment? No, you know sometimes you make changes because you consider the other team, you consider the balance of your team, sometimes because one player is not at his best. If a player or two do not play tomorrow it is not a punishment, it is just because of a rotation in the side. You cannot play every single game with the same 11 players.”
I honestly think you need to punish players by dropping them to the bench now and again. Hatrick aside, how has Adebayor merited being in the team at the expense of Bendtner? Experience? Maybe valid, but his performances and ability to stay onside have to be seriously questioned.
I’ll be at the game tomorrow and if I see another below par performance from Adebayor, I literally will pull out all my hair. I hate it when I see a lack of professionalism on the pitch and that’s what Ade showed us on Saturday. Anyway, it’s not the time to bash a player. Ade, I know you can do it, but I want you to show the desire and want. Play like you did last season. Starting tomorrow.
Arsene went on to speak about the goal we conceded
“I believe the goal we conceded where we are less guilty is the corner against Hull because it was a well-taken chance. Cousin is very tall and very good in the air. It was a perfect header and that can happen to anybody. You gain experience through the games. At the back is where we have experience because you cannot say with Clichy and Sagna and Kolo and Gallas that we lack experience. Will Kolo play in midfield? No, not at all. As for Vela, it’s difficult to go into any individual case. I believe Carlos Vela is a player of the squad and the whole squad will be used over the season. You cannot go from one team to the other and change 11 players because we just lost one game. I believe what is happening is that players have shown quality behind the first team and that is very interesting for the future of the Club.”
True, but when you see such a disappointing performance from your main striker (cite Ade) and such a great performance from an up and coming one (cite Vela), you can see where the fans are coming from. Arsene doesn’t have to change 11 players. But for the game against Hull, you could see in the first 45 minutes that Ade wasn’t up for the game. Would a half time Bendtner for Ade sub been so bad?
Arsene carried on:
“I believe the Champions League is a different game. We have learned from the Hull match that you need a Champions League focus in every game. If we are guilty of something it is that we couldn’t get our focus to the right level to take our chances. The analysis of the game shows that we had enough opportunities to win. On the other hand, they made 100 per cent of the few chances they had. So credit to them and damage to us. You have not to make too much of it. We lost a game we did not want to lose but we have enough strength inside the Club and inside the team to deal with that. It can happen but it cannot be repeated. I don’t think we needed to be woken up but it was a big disappointment because we felt that we had enough quality to win the game.”
Although, having said that, surely the Fulham game would have been the wake up call. Do we get 2 wins for every loss? If we continue in this vain, we will win 26 games, gain 78 points over the season but suffer 12 losses. Interesting facts. On 78 points, we won’t be champions.
Kolo has also been speaking, and apparently he is scared by the smaller teams…
“Against Man United everybody thinks it’s going to be a tight game but when you play against Hull it’s harder because you are expected to win and score in the first minute. But it doesn’t happen like that. I was scared against Hull because there are no easy games. We are professional players and when we go out we want to play well and win.”
Well, I won’t go into much more today. I’ll be back in the morning to review tomorrow night’s game.
Apparently Deco says Porto will win. Good for him.
Apparently, our reserves lost 4-1 at home to Aston Villa. Ouch.
Apparently, it’s time to go to bed…