Sunday Quickie: Arsenal 2 – 3 West Brom

Evening All…

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:

Almunia

Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy

Diaby – Song

Eboue – Nasri – Arshavin

Chamakh

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!

  • tom G

    I completely agree with your assessment Dev of Diaby, I had a bad feeling when he was in the starting line up, I only hope that Wenger has run out of patience with him. I don’t understand the decision to leave Wilshere on the bench, and I also don’t understand the decision to leave Rosicky out, who for me, penalty miss aside, has been one of the highlights of the season so far, a return to form for the mercurial bright player that he was before last season.
    The only reason I can think of – and it’s a fair one to be honest – is that he needs the whole squad to get playing time and to have responsibility. Of course he does, we do as a team. But Diaby is way off and I have rarely seen him play as we know he can, ever, come back Ramsey, come back Frimpong, play Rosicky, play Denilson, go away Abou.
    We know the players will do better again, there have been some phenomenal performances this season, but I hope Wenger reacts too and stops indulging in Diaby.

  • devday

    The thing with Diaby is that he can perform much better – looking at the Blackpool game, Diaby started and played well. With Wilshere playing 120 minutes against Sp*rs, and of course, being of the tender age of 18, I think Arsene was keen to rest him. Personally, I would have played him again and got Diaby fitter for Tuesday’s game – Diaby is more suited to European games and that could have been a prime time to rest Wilshere. If we lost against Partizan, you’d think we’d still have chances to come back into the group. But having said that, how was Arsene to know Diaby would be so bad?

    It was a tough one, but we have to learn from that mistake.

  • tom G

    I think he has good potential, and, frankly, he wouldn’t be there unless he was – or could become – an exceptional player. And sometimes, yes, you can see that. Plus of course he is a big lad, and we should benefit from that. But I have always found he slows things down, even when not coming back from injury. Yes- more suited to Europe perhaps, fair point. But I thought his performance was difficult to forgive against W Brom and I kind of saw it coming to be honest. Not a real team player in my book. Maybe I’m being a bit knee-jerk, but I wouldn’t mind not seeing him play for us again.