Of course, that meant the blog was neglected for a 2 day double whammy! With my birthday only falling once a year, this shouldn't be the case for another 12 months...
So, where do we start... another 0-0 draw... and another disappointing display.
It's crazy how we've got to this point - from being one of the most attacking teams in the league to a team who simply can't get the ball in the net. With the Van Persie strike against Everton aside, we haven't scored in the premiership in how long now??? Walking to the Emirates, I had a really good vibe about the Fulham game, soured a little when reading the papers on the way - the pundits all predicted a 0-0 draw, and I really thought if we started Nasri, Arshavin, Vela and Van Persie we'd have enough fire power to score... but the team looked like it was playing within it's own shell. We looked like we thought we wouldn't score...
And then yesterday, Aston Villa were 2 goals to the good - I was staring UEFA cup in the face... But Stoke surely saved the day. They clawed back the game to 2-2 and now all of a sudden the glass is half full again.. if we beat WBA tomorrow (a game which I'll be travelling from London to Birmingham for...) then we'll be 3 points behind Villa and they've got Man City away on Wednesday. Suddenly I have a glimmer of hope - albeit a glimmer. The hope will be pinned on the ability to beat WBA tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the biggest game of our season.
So, what was the reaction post Fulham... the gaffer had this to say:
“It was a big disappointment because 0-0 is a very disappointing result for us. We are desperate to get the three points and in fairness the game was not a 0-0 because we had chances on both sides. I feel we had weaknesses defensively and offensively today but we continued to fight. Fulham played and credit to them they were the better side in the first 20 minutes. They created more movement but after we slowly took over. We always lacked a bit of sharpness to take advantage of our chances and I feel our passing was not quick enough to give them problems. They defended well and they’ve got plenty of 0-0s away from home because their central defence plays very well. There are plenty of reasons, one of them is certainly psychological. I think once it is a psychological problem it is very difficult to assess what is tactical and what is technical. At the moment the more I speak about it the bigger I make the problem. I don’t feel that we should look at the solution in the injured strikers because we had the same problems when the strikers were fit. We didn’t score more goals recently. It is difficult to assess. The good thing in football is that problems don’t last forever and at some stage we will score goals. We have quality but today we were a little bit jaded physically.”
When I read this, I kind of read this in disbelief… how can an Arsenal side, a team renowned for it’s attacking flair not be able to score… it’s a precurious position and I don’t like it – WBA is such a massive game, it’s unbelievable…
I’ll be back tomorrow with a WBA preview, but until then, let’s take the Stoke late two goals positively and look to closing the gap tomorrow.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna (Eboue 70), Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Arshavin, Denilson, Diaby, Nasri, Van Persie, Vela (Bendtner 63).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Song Billong, Djourou, Gibbs.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird (Stoor 46), Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey (Gera 88), Johnson, Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Kamara, Dacourt, Kallio.
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).]]>