That is the question of Sunday’s game.
Personally, I was very very disappointed with the result. After the build up pre game, the pre season antics and the players and manager insistent that they had learnt the mistakes from last season, what we saw yesterday was a repeat of the whole of last season in one game.
- Our keeping was terrible
- Our inability to shoot cost us points
- Too much sideways passing
- No urgency in the final third
Questions have raised about only having one striker on when we were playing against ten men. In simple terms, we played very well in the first half, but then in the second half, we dropped off the pace and didn’t play as well. It’s sickening to see such a performance considering we had been talking about winning the title prior to the game and of course, the fact that Liverpool only had ten men for the entire second half. We really should have put on Van Persie way before we did, and with so many midfielders on, was Rosicky really necessary or would Vela have been a better option. I really don’t know if I am being harsh, but any team who plays XI versus X for an entire half, at the top level, has to win.
Credit to Liverpool fr defending well, but the lack of penetration from us was very worrying. Chamakh looked industrious, and yes, contributed to the goal, but he is another player who doesn’t seem to shoot on site, and considering the overwhelming amount of possession we had, the number of shots was quite low. If we can’t beat the likes of a ten man Liverpool, how will we beat an eleven man Chelsea or United?
And Almunia is just simply terrible. It’s clear that Arsene doesn’t trust him and that in itself could be a key thing affecting his game. If a deal for Given or Schwarzer doesn’t happen then we’ll have a lot of damaged keepers on our hands, none of which Arsene trusts. And isn’t it a bit weird to have your keeper, who you are trying to replace as captain?
Almunia spoke on this whole situation:
“If somebody comes in, I will have to talk about my future at Arsenal. That is it. I cannot talk now, because the talking would be for nothing. I have to work and if one day I am not good for Arsenal, I will talk. That is no problem. I am very happy here. I don’t see anything else outside of Arsenal. It will be very difficult to play for another team in England if it wasn’t Arsenal. Spain would also be difficult. But I am 33 years old and only have a few more years left in football. I would like to enjoy them. I am a keeper who enjoys playing.”
But, I’ll lose the negativity for now – it’s clear that there is some work to do. I was impressed with the new defender Koscielny – he looked solid and seemed to have the required recovery pace that we lost with the ageing Gallas. I was impressed with his reading of the game too, but with his sending off, I am quite worried about who we will play against Blackpool, especially with Djourou injured. Whether or not Song will recover and be deployed at the back remains to be seen.
Chamakh did look decent, and in the role he played, his movement was good and I can see why Arsene wanted him in. I hope Van Persie can come back to fitness and those two can pull off a decent partnership – I do think we need them to both play to help our attacking options. It was interesting to see Berbatov and Rooney play so well together in terms of creating chances – it’s much more difficult for two centre backs to mark two players than one.
Arsene did speak out about the two new signings and also acknowlged that another defender is required:
“We finished third last year and our ambition is to progress, to improve. I feel the two players who we bought have done well – I believe Chamakh and Koscielny had an impress performance today. We are still a bit short defensively.”
So overall, yes, I am disappointed, but a draw up at Anfield isn’t a bad result, and if we can sign a goalkeeper and another defender, if Cesc can recover from flu and Van Persie can gain some fitness and give us another option up front, we can start to win games and get some points on the board – then we’ll see where we are by the time we take on another top team…
The weekend certainly was crazy, but one thing we need do now is to beat Blackpool at home on Saturday and climb up the table! One thing that is for sure is that I’ll be a Young Boys supporter tonight… as they take on Sp*rs in the CL qualifier…
Come on Young Boys………!