Here are a few AAers’ comments………………….
Half-time expertise on AA
Big Raddy says:
Cazorla has been at the heart of the problem – his passing has been terrible.
But then so have most of the team as we have been comprehensively outplayed by an average MU. Coquille’s limitations are being cruelly exposed but he is not helped by Ramsey or Cazorla. The less said the better about Ozil
Back 4 doing OK under difficult circumstances as is OG but we have to do better second half.
Best AFC player is the 12th man – Away boys in fine voice.
75% pass completion (50% when in the final third!).
If we are playing Ramsey wide to help us keep possession better then it isn’t working. I would bring Cazorla off, put Ramsey central and bring a proper winger on. If also be tempted to put Wilshere on ASAP to give us some bite in midfield and help us move forward quicker.
Whatever we are doing so far is not working.
There is something wrong when we bring the ball forward through midfield. We too often seem to “miss the moment” as I would put it when we potentially have a dangerous attacking position we could exploit.
Personally I think this has been the case through this season even during our good run. Missing these moments is more obvious against better opposition as you don’t get so many of them as you do with lesser teams where I feel it can be disguised more.
It seems that so many of our midfielders seem to over-run the ball or hold it too long looking for an option and then lose possession. Either that or they stop and turn sideways or backwards losing the initiative in the attack. Personally I feel this is down to the limitations that Ramsey (not a winger) and Ollie bring due to their lack of pace. It worries me that Arsene seems to think this is a winning formation to move forward with. Maybe he doesn’t. I hope that is the case and the summer TW will see additions that show this.
Post match thoughts
Look at how Ramsey started bossing the midfield in the last 20 minutes after Wenger moved him to central midfield. The sooner Wenger stops this playing midfielders on the wings nonsense the better. I don’t buy the “we have a fluid front four which rotates throughout the game” story, fluid is the last word I would describe our attacking play in the final third during the first hour or so.
Another thing. While Giroud and Coquelin both performed admirably so far this season, I think this game exploits their limitations. As much as I hate saying this, Giroud is not a clinical striker and In tough games against top four opposition like today you very rarely get more than one or two clear cut chances and you need to make the most out of it. Top strikers/poachers like Aguero/Benzema/Suarez etc would punish opposing teams the minute the opportunity presents itself and they can make something happen out of a half chance. Coquelin who has been great so far has also shown his weakness today which is a lack of of physical size and passing. He was tasked to bully/disrupt Fellaini but he ended up being the one on the receiving end.
Cazorla in particular had a poor game for his high standards recently, and once again Ozil goes missing in the big games (something really needs to be done about this.) And can we please see more of Walcott?
All in all, I guess I shouldn’t complain considering we got a frankly quite undeserved point (thank you lady luck) but I feel that Wenger still has quite a lot of work to do for us to challenge for the title next season.
Interesting comment Adrian
Not sure why you “hate saying the Giroud isn’t a clinical striker”. He isn’t, simple as, however, we all know he does very well within his limitations but he is limited.
“Coquelin’s job was to bully Fellaini”, well yes, but give me the name of someone who has ever successfully done that? Le Coq did his job as well as anyone, if not better than most of our team in the first half.
Ramsey: In an ideal world, the Welshman would replace Coquelin and Walcott would play on the wing, the problem is that the defensive side of Ramsey’s game is still not good enough, hence the need to start with Coquelin and only later, when we go on the offensive as we did today, does Ramsey replaces him. This is not an ideal situation but had we started without Coquelin we could well have been three down by half time, think of the thrashings we got last season and ask why this isn’t happening this season.
On a side note I thought Wilshere was excellent when he came on.
In my opinion we were rubbish in the first half, I would like to say slow build up play, but i can’t as we didn’t attack at all, our passing was horrendous United over powered us and we were truly squashed. I have had times where i thought we were playing badly, but in this instance we were just outplayed.
I felt we were extremely lucky not to be down more than the one goal. United pressed us pressurised us and overpowered us into submission. The players walked off at half time battered and bruised without a clue of how to change the flow of the tide.
Arsene Ii feel, is not the best tactician so I would assume he would have told them to carry on as the first half, as United would have expelled a lot of energy and chances will come.
Sadly United started much the same and so did we, We never had a shot at all for sixty minutes if you can call it that, but where Arsene was probably right, they did start to slow down and we actually started to get one or two passes together.
I believe the ref was a homer as he certainly never thought any of United blatant fouls was worth mentioning, as Arsenals attacks were broken down by unnecessary fouls, it took a while for us to mount ant kind of possession.
Arsenal it has to be said, cannot play against a side that pressurise every player, they give the ball away and shy away from the physicality. we relinquish possession and also makes players hold the ball too long. In today’s game, it was almost impossible to get the ball out of our own half.
Three quarters of the game had gone before we came to life, United having a breather and we strung a few passes together but all the time our focus was on alert for a breakaway so no flowing play, our equaliser came from ricocheted cross, just as well as we had nobody out there with any idea of where their goal was.
Both sides settled for a draw after that, United was tired and Arsenal players minds were blank. Shared points was always better than a loss, but a game like this shows that Arsenal still need a lot of building. Money will definitely need to be spent, because what we have is just cutting the mustard.
Our wings are empty, our forwards are clueless our keeper is not top notch, and the rest of them could be easily replaced by better, Yes indeed our last two games have been pitiful, a weak united with a weaker Arsenal.
So which game did you see?
Was it classical ‘rope-a-dopeing’, allowing United to run themselves into the ground and then pick them off in the last third of the game?
Would we have scored without Van Gaal’s fantastic substitution bringing Blackett on?
Do we all simply respond to the final result? Just imagine the howlings of doom this morning if it had stayed at 1-0.
Ospina – 4
Bellerin – 5
Koscielny – 6
Monreal – 5
Coquelin – 6
Cazorla – 4
Ozil – 4
Ramsey – 4
Sanchez – 4
Giroud – 4
Ospina – 4
Bellerin – 6
Koscielny – 8
Monreal – 6
Coquelin – 6
Cazorla – 5
Ozil – 5
Ramsey – 8
Sanchez – 5
Giroud – 6
Wilshere – 8
Walcott – 6
Cobbled together by chas