Today for me was a non footballing day, a day spent the Godson… Anton. To be honest, sometimes, you need those days. It was strange being away from twitter, facebook, the blog and email for 24 hours, but definitely rewarding to spend a day with the little ones. In my absence, Stoke decided to beat Newcastle at St. James Park, Bolton took 2 points off United and Villa beat Wolves to complete a bit of a strange weekend for the Premiership – I think it’s the first time in a long time that neither Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal and Sp*rs have won in a weekend.
For us, we were probably the worst out of the lot, with an abysmal result. One that was inexcusable. Kieran Delaney will be back tomorrow morning with his reaction, so for now, I’ll just touch on the game quickly. The line up was:
Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy
Diaby – Song
Eboue – Nasri – Arshavin
I’ll do a quick highlight of what I thought of the players – a shock result and some shocking performances. For me, the worst player on the pitch was Diaby – was he fit after his lay off from injury – I don’t thin so – if physical, yes, then mentally no. I’ve never seen a player play in such a way to break up his own team’s attack. We’ve been playing very well with Wilshere and Cesc in the midfield and Nasri and Arshavin on the wings, but with Wilshere rested and Cesc injured, Arsene took this opportunity to play Diaby. The Frenchman played well in the game against Blackpool, but he was obviously not ready for a return and combined with the lacklustre display from Eboue took a lot away from the team. Had we started with Wilshere and Rosicky in place of Eboue and Diaby, then I’m pretty sure we’d have been a few goals up rather than 2-0 down when Diaby and Eboue were replaced.
The team feed off bad players and Arshavin was another player off his game. With three of the front 5 off their game, that didn’t help the industrious Nasri or the hard working Chamakh. Almunia had a few moments of misery and that again proves to everyone that we simply don’t have a top keeper at the club. And one of my favourite players – Alex Song seemed intent on going forward and he really didn’t provide any cover for the back which lead to the penalty and the first goal.
So what did Arsene think:
“We made it more difficult because we were not at our usual level. Not defensively, not offensively. Overall everything was difficult for us today – passing the ball, winning the ball back, winning the one against ones – and we got what we deserved which was zero points. We didn’t deserve more. The positive is that we did fight until the last minute but it was just not good enough at that level to get three points.”
And that was an astonishing summation – it was clear that Arsene wasn’t happy with the performance and pretty much everything to do with the game. I don’t blame him, neither were any of us – the key thing now is how we react to this – it feels like I’ve been here quite a few times, Hull at home was definitely one of those, but this game was worse, it was so flat, it was ridiculous, no urgency and no want or will to win.
Let’s hope we bounce back in style on Tuesday and then hit Chelsea for 6 at Stamford Bridge… Til tomorrow, my friends, til tomorrow!