“Worry is for those with little faith.”
Are you worried?
We currently lie in 5th place after another lacklustre performance against Sunderland, another 0-0 draw and another home game where we were unable to win and unable to score. Aston Villa lost earlier in the day to Chelsea, where it was evident that neither team offered much more than we could. Neither team will challenge for the title and neither team should stand in our way if we could win our up and coming home games.
But the cards were not in our favour, and on the day that we could have really climbed up the table, we failed to take advantage and with 12 games left this season, we still have to recover 6 points. We face United, Liverpool and Chelsea before the end of the season, and as a result, the games against Everton, West Ham and Sunderland, two at home, were “must win” games. We failed to win any of the three games and those six points will be even harder to recover now.
Andrei Arshavin featured in the starting XI and he lasted 60 minutes. The first half was all about the Russian – very much smaller than I thought he was – in a very small Russian team, he didn’t look that small – but in a slightly taller Arsenal side, he looked very, very small. But he’s quality was there for all to see – he had a few shots, and most on target, he looked quick and he looked direct.
Apart from the impressive debut, we basically created a little more than Sunderland but our finishing was woeful. Van Persie, somehow managed to miss the target after rounding the keeper, and Carlos Vela – who’s finishing had been amazing in the Carling Cup – missed two “sitters” from about 8 yards. The worst part of this performance was the lack of urgency to score and in the last ten minutes, seeing William Gallas act as an auxiliary centre forward and the misfiring Bendtner bounce around reminded me of the John Terry / Mourinho, “I don’t know what to do” games.
On the game and Arshavin’s debut, Arsene said:
“We had the chances but we could not get the goal that would have made us happy. We don’t concede goals but we want take advantage of the chances that we create – we need to play with a little bit more freedom. Andrey Arshavin showed some good signs but he is also showed that he is not completely fit.”
“He has shown in glimpses that he has talent and that he will be a player. He has also shown that he is not ready physically yet. You could see that if he was on the ball more often he will effect the game. in the final third you feel that something can happen. He nearly scored two goals; one right-footed shot and one with his left well saved by the keeper.”
So, the major is where do we go from here? We have Roma this Tuesday and then Fulham on Saturday – it’s going to be a very interesting week. Make or break, no doubt.
I’ll leave you with that today, no time to ponder, two days until Roma….
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Toure, Clichy (Gibbs 85), Nasri, Denilson, Song Billong (Eboue 78), Arshavin (Vela 63), Bendtner, Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Djourou, Merida.
Booked: Nasri, Clichy.
Sunderland: Fulop, Ben-Haim, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Tainio (Leadbitter 76), Reid (Murphy 78), Richardson, Jones (Edwards 88).
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Davenport, Healy, McShane.
Booked: Richardson, McCartney.
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).]]>