Reflection on Newcastle & Wolves Preview

Two days after the debacle of which was the home game against Newcastle… and a day before the Wolves game… it’s time for reflection.

Was the game on Sunday bad? Yes… very bad… in fact, it was abysmal. It was a very very strong team with a very very strong bench. The fact we thought throwing on RvP for the second half shows what a bad game it was – the fact that the manager knew that if he didn’t try that, the current team on the pitch wouldn’t be able to come through and turn the game around. Losing to West Brom is one thing, and is considered a freak result, but losing to Newcastle was unacceptable, and the way in which we lost has been even worse – without a fight.

Arsene has been vocal about changing the style at home, by being more direct.

“I can’t deny that in the last four home games we have not absolutely made a demonstration of football. We had problems to win the games. We might find a way to play a bit more direct in some situations because everybody drops deep against us and as soon as you make a mistake it becomes even harder. For example on Sunday clearly I think we were serious but we didn’t create enough. We looked at some stage that we could play for a while without scoring a goal and that is of course a worry. It was a [couple of] days after the Champions League game away at Donetsk and it’s always difficult to deal with that.”

As long as being more direct means moving forward with more ambition to shoot rather than sideways with the ambition to pass, which is what it looked like on Sunday – personally, and I’ve said this many many times – we need to play 4-4-2 – and Cesc is not a striker! We need to play with Song & Cesc in the middle and Nasri and Arshavin on either side of them. Stick Van Persie and Walcott up front and you’ve just gone and recreated the dream team (Henry, Begkamp up front, Pires & Ljungberg on the wings and Vieira and Petit in the middle!)…

The Wolves game is on later today and in reality it’s a MUST MUST win game… as Theo Walcott was quick to point out, it’s a game for redemption:

“It [the defeat to Newcastle] is in the past now, we lost but the great thing about football is that there is a game around the corner. We’ve got a game on Wednesday and we can amend the disappointment that we had on Sunday.”

And with the 4-3-3 formation currently deployed, you’d expect him to start on the right of the front three against Wolves – with Samir Nasri out for a while. The appeal for Koscielny was also dismissed and the player will now serve a 2 match ban – against Wolves and then against Everton on the weekend. Personally, I am not sure what was going on at Arsenal HQ with the appeal in the first place, it was never going to be upheld and was always going to end up in a 2 match ban!

The probable line up for Wolves will be:

Fabianski

Sagna – Squillaci – Djourou – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin

Chamakh

I can’t see Bendtner or Van Persie starting as neither are fit yet – and I really wish that Carlos Vela, who is fit would get some game time whilst Bendtner and Van Persie played the reserve games that Vela is currently playing!

The manager says we’ll see a better Cesc tonight:

“He is completely clear [of his injury]. It has taken a lot out of him mentally and I believe that the fact he came through well against Newcastle you will see a different player on Wednesday night.”

And we definitely need him fit and raring to go – we need 6 points out of the next two games and both these fixtures look much harder than the West Brom & Newcastle at home fixtures – we have to remember that nothing in football is certain and a win is only achieved through hard work and dedication to win.

Come on you Gooners, let’s get behind the team today!

  • trevor

    I know Arsene Wenger is a genius and I am a mere mortal but I’d love it if sometimes he just lost the plot in an interview.

    People probably won’t agree with me here but I’d find it refreshing if Arsene really gave it both barrels to the squad in public after suffering such a sloppy defeat like we did against Newcastle United.

    Don’t get me wrong, in my opinion, Chris Hughton’s side deserved the win but that was a game we should be winning if we want to nick the title off Chelsea this season.

    Maybe Wenger gave it to the players in the changing room, maybe a few tea-cups were thrown around, but I still feel a public dressing down would give these players a kick up the arse.

    For me saying we were unlucky in defeat just breeds a little complacency. Sure I can understand Arsene wanting to protect his players but sometimes a bit of tough love can go a long way.

    I saw Jack Wilshere’s twitter (he said it was just a bad day at the office) and whilst I agree to a certain extent it has to be more than that.

    Was losing at home to West Brom a bad day too? If so we are fast running out of ‘bad days lives’ and need to address it. Sharpish.

    We were bailed out by Chelsea losing too but that doesn’t really make me feel any better about it. I view it as losing vital points and ground in the title race.

    The next three league games will shape our season. Three games tougher than the steak I had at the weekend and we have to bounce back. Hard.

    Arsenal cannot afford many more slip ups. We face some potential banana skins in the next couple of weeks. Its a big big test.

  • Berth

    Its very simple. We cannot win the league. lets try to be honest with ourselves for once. The odds is against us – most people surprisingly take Wenger’s words serious; you shouldn’t dear – they are filled with high expectations but with little assurance.

  • Vazy

    1st min goal from Chamakh

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Excellent result in a hard battled game. Fabianski kept us in the game at the end before Chamakh’s 2nd goal.

  • Sam

    So glad we had fabianski in goal. Good win but could have been a really unfortunate game.