Yesterday's game bellied with it. Our season no doubt has been full of it.
We drew with Fenerbahce yesterday 0 - 0 and it's a sign of our recent decline considering we put 5 past them in Turkey. Arsene opted for a younger starting XI but maybe he didn't have too much choice. Ramsey, Nasri and Djourou were all brought into the starting line up that looked something like this:
Toure – Djourou – Silvestre – Clichy
Denilson – Ramsey – Cesc – Nasri
Bendtner – Van Persie
It was Ramsey’s home debut in the Champions League and a return to the side for Djourou who many have been calling out for in the wake of dire performances of those that “go before him”. Albeit, with Sagna and Eboue not 100%, the manager was forced into this change. With Adebayor out of action for the next three weeks, Bendtner has his chance now.
So the game itself started in a good fashion. There was some determination to do well and show our quality, but at the same time you could sense the nerves and the lack of conviction. I’d say that we’re at an all time now in terms of self-belief. What a Rosicky or Eduardo (or Gilberto) would do to our team now.
Van Persie was clearly the man of the first half, with some intelligent play and good chances. His first chance was presented to him when he ran on to Fabregas’s chipped pass and beat Volkan to the ball. Cesc lifted the ball over the defence and VP’s run was timed to perfection, and he shot first time, but the ball drifted inches wide. Cesc was at the heart of everything good and when Volkan fumbled the young Spaniard’s shot into Van Persie’s path, VP’s resulting shot was blocked by Diego Lugano. The next chance saw Roberto Carlos deflect a free kick from VP round the other side of the post and it looked like it was a matter of time until we scored. Just before the break, Van Persie went close again when he latched onto Kolo Toure’s pass and turned inside and unleashed a fierce shot, Volkan denying him by palming his shot on to the bar.
As much as I’ve said about the first half, I could probably say about the second, except for the lack of pentration in the final third. Most of the second half saw us pass the ball around their penalty box, but with no real incision or clear chance on goal.
The game filtered out, although Vela’s running and Diaby ball keeping (at times) was impressive. At half time, you could see that this game lacked something, and could easily end up 0-0 and that’s exactly what happened. One interesting note is that Silvestre broke his nose and looks to be out of the United game. So maybe we’ll see the Toure – Djourou partnership that did so well in pre-season.
This result was frustrating, as was our play. But the post-match comments but Cesc some up his frustration:
“As usual we had a lot of possession, we outplayed them all over the place. We’ve lacking a little bit of mobility in the final third. I think we’re a bit too nervous.
“I’ll a little bit frustrating to have so many chances and not score. It’s not all negative. We played very well. It’s two games we should have won. We have a lot of injuries, but a club like Arsenal that’s no excuse. We’re wearing a big shirt in Europe. We have to play well as we’re playing for Arsenal. We have to make sure we give everything on the pitch always.”
When says says “a big club” like Arsenal, I think…. A big club like Arsenal should have signed a defensive midfielder this season, but hey… let’s not dwell on that…
I am a little worried about what Arsene has said in regards to us being tired.
“I believe that overall we didn’t concede a goal. We created many chances in the first half.
“In the second half we became flat physically and I believe that’s explained by the fact that we had three tough games physically last week.
“You could see that reflected in the creative side of our game in the second half.”
We’re only in November, two months into the season and Arsene is saying we’re tired? That can’t be true. No way. If it is then surely we need more players? We’ve got Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea amongst others before the end of the year and we need to find some energy soon.
Painful times, painful words.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Toure, Djourou, Silvestre (Song Billong 83), Clichy, Ramsey (Diaby 59), Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Bendtner (Vela 59), Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Mannone, Sagna, Wilshere, Gibbs.
Booked: Djourou, Van Persie.
Fenerbahce: Demirel, Gonul, Edu Dracena, Lugano, Roberto Carlos (Wederson 68), Maldonado (Josico 68), Sahin, Boral, Kazim-Richards (Bilgin 59), Senturk, Guiza.
Subs Not Used: Babacan, Yilmaz, Cakmak, Deivid.
Booked: Sahin, Lugano, Wederson.
Painful times, painful words.]]>