It’s 4 days on yet I still can’t wash off the frustration of saturday’s first defeat of the season. The fact I felt rare bit of over confidence going into the game personifies the frustration, a case of miss placed optimism.
I want to write how it was just an off day and the defeat shouldn’t mean too much after 38 games but a large part of me can feel elements of recent actions repeating itself.
Lack of leadership at the back when defending set pieces. We have conceded 5 goals this season, which is actually quite impressive but 4 of goals have been preventable through better defending and an authoritive figure. Steve Bould can work on set piece defending in training all day but who will be his voice on the pitch to ensure these actions are actually followed?
I love the spirit and fight shown by Vermaelen but the repeat of defensive mistakes seen in previous seasons is again making me nervous. I agree with the sentiment (albeit in hindsight) that Mertesacker’s calming influence and leadership was missed on Saturday but with Captain Vermaelen as a guaranteed starter, Per had to make way for the pace of Kos.
With 51% possession and 17 attempts on goal, 4 on target, Arsenal struggled to really enforce their agenda on to Chelsea. We looked quite static and at time with a lack of movement and fluid play. Again, while this was just one game, these are traits we all all fear repeating themselves.
The pressure is really on Giroud not only to deliver quickly but deliver immediately. Having missed another chance on Saturday, the pressure is just going to intensify. No other striker in recent history has faced the same pressure as Giroud due to another striker being present to ‘pass the baton’ on to the new comer. Think about it from Wrighty to Anelka ; Suker to Henry; Greedybayor to RVP (at his 8th attempt), but poor Giroud just has the baton thrown at him. Regardless of what you think of him I question the decision by the club and player to let Bendtner move without helping to cover the goal scoring requirement. Remind me who paid his wages until September?
Anyway the chance to move on quickly comes in the shape of Olympiacos in the Champions league. The boss will be serving the 2nd match of his 3 game ban so Steve Bould will deputise. The Boss has also spoken about how an instant reaction from the Chelsea defeat is going to be key:
“They are still down of course, but we have a Champions League game in front of us at home and we want to put things right,” he declared.
“There were a lot of positives in that game as well, what was not good is easy to correct.
“It is about how we respond. I am impressed by the mentality of my team, but the mentality is as well about how you respond to disappointment.
“I am confident we will, but that is what we want to show tomorrow.”
That’s the photo we’ve all been waiting for, it’s taken 14months. I doubt we’ll see Jack in the first team until the end of October but light might finally be at the end of the tunnel for our number 10. I seriously can’t wait to see him back in action
“He came through it all right,” Wenger added. “There was no reaction.
“We are pleased but it is now down to taking the right time to ease him slowly back.
“We are all very happy, and he especially must be exceptionally happy, but he has been out for 14 months.”
With Arteta rated doubtful for tonight after sitting out training, the boss is deciding whether to risk him or not.
“Arteta will have a test tomorrow morning. We will make the decision then whether we include him in the squad or not. He has an ankle injury.
“We lost Diaby, who has a thigh strain. He is definitely out for three weeks as well. Apart from Diaby and Arteta, everyone came through well.
A win tonight and a win against West ham (and Fat Sam) on Saturday will definitely mean we’re back on track but with the old mistakes still looming in the background, we really need to ensure every game is treated with the utmost respect and concentration.
Come on the Arsenal!!
Feel free to follow my ramblings on twitter @Tottz82