Seven losses this season before the end of January makes it a very worrying time for Arsenal at the moment. Having never been out of the top four in the Arsene Wenger era, we’re very very close to it happening this season, without doubt.
The 7 losses this season have been:
- Swansea 3 – 2 Arsenal
- Fulham 2 – 1 Arsenal
- Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal
- Sp*rs 2 – 1 Arsenal
- Blackburn 4 – 3 Arsenal
- Man United 8 – 2 Arsenal
- Arsenal 0 – 2 Liverpool
Despite having injuries to various left backs and right backs, the core part of the squad – the likes of Van Persie, Walcott, Song, Koscielny, Szcznesy and Ramsey are all first choice and good enough to make the team tick. That was the negative part about the result – that we do have talented players, but they are not good enough.
Out of all the missing players, I think Arteta was the key one – Song is used to having the Spaniard next to him and today, it was clear that Benayoun and Ramsey weren’t working as well with him as Arteta would have. We lost the calmness in our midfield and that caused us problems throughout the game.
Our line up was:
Djourou – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Miquel
Benayoun – Song
Walcott – Ramsey – Arshavin
The missing players, just in case you’d like to know were:
Fabianski, Sagna, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Santos, Gibbs, Coquelin, Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby, Gervinho, Chamakh
For the goals, Van Persie’s was excellent – the little Russian putting him through and the Dutchman opened the scoring with a sublime right footed shot – but we got instantly complacent which let the home team back into it – and a very strange decision to award Swansea a penalty saw then equalise from the spot – Dyer actually stamped on Ramsey and then was awarded a penalty. Swansea went ahead in the second half when some very good play saw Dyer in and free and he smashed the ball past Szcznesy. We equalised with half an hour to go, through Theo Walcott, good finish and good through ball from Djourou – but seconds later an excellent run from Graham saw Swansea go 3-2 up. Having put Henry, AOC and Rosicky on, we did look much better, but were unable to find the equaliser.
Losing this game was a game we could simply not lose. Arsene needs to have a deep look at the squad and if decide how we can improve. Whether it’s more players, or whether it’s a different approach on the pitch, formation, style, design. We need to do something different. We’re battling it for a Europa spot at the moment with Liverpool and Newcastle and that’s not exactly where we’d like to be.
Arsene seems to be lost at the moment to understand how we’re not performing and spoke after the game:
“I still don’t understand where the referee found the penalty [for Swansea's equaliser], then we defensively made some mistakes that we should not have done. When it was back at 2-2 we knew we could score a third but it was important not to make a mistake. But in the last games we have made mistakes that are difficult to explain. It is unbelievable, it happened at Fulham the same and again today.”
It’s a little worrying when the manager doesn’t quite have the answers.
We’ve got United next week and it’s important to focus on getting our injured players back and looking at our defensive organisation. There are 7 days until the next game, which will leave plenty of time for discussion.