Arsenal In Disgrace

This Arsenal team matched the champions in every department except finishing, yet as far as I’m concerned they are still in disgrace.

Why?

Because if they had shown just 50% of yesterday’s commitment, concentration and skill against West Bromwich Albion eight days earlier we would now be only four points behind Chelsea and level with the Middle Eastlanders. Not to mention three points ahead of the knuckle-scrapers from down the road.

Losing away at Stamford Bridge is no shame, particularly with a battling performance like yesterday’s, but what will kill us this year is inconsistency. That and our worrying ability to collapse in games we should win comfortably – a phenomenon that started in the last quarter of last season.

I know some will say that West Brom is history and we should move on, but the single biggest lesson our squad needs to learn is that they have to be up for every single game as if it’s Chelsea away.

So onto yesterday’s match. The first thing to say is that it was an excellent game of football: two good teams going at it, chances at both ends and two outstanding goals (sadly both from the Forces of Darkness).

We were fast out of the traps and had two chances early on – a difficult diving header from Chamakh that led to a corner, then a lame headed effort from Koscielny inside the six yard box with the goal beckoning. He seemed to get his body into the wrong position and ended up connecting with the back of his head, sending the ball over the bar. Frustrating in the extreme. Arsene Wenger even singled it out for mention in his post-match comments, which is a real rarity as the boss hardly ever criticises individual players.

What was pleasing in the early stages was that we were defending from the front and closing down Chelsea whenever they were in possession. Nasri was busy, Song was committed and less profligate in his forward forays than against Partizan, Diaby had remembered to turn on the ‘on’ switch in his brain, Wilshere looked classy, both fullbacks were having good games.

Then there was Arshavin who was, well, Arshavin. Winston Churchill once described Russia as a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma and we might well use that description for our own little Russki. He looks semi-involved and semi-interested most of the time and then springs to life to create goal chances. In the first half he managed to produce two powerful shots that brought two good saves from Helmet in the Chavs’ goal.

Chelsea always looked a threat on the break and although our centre backs just about coped with Drogba’s pace and strength, they never looked assured against him and it was no surprise when he opened the scoring: an audacious near post finish, leaving Fabianski no chance.

Half time 1-0 down, but we came out for the second half with the air of a team that really felt they could get back in the game. Our pass-and-move football was a joy to watch, with Nasri, Wilshere, Diaby and Song at the heart of everything. We were pulling Chelsea all over the place and looked the better team.

I really believed we were going to get the equaliser our pressure deserved but whatever chances we carved out were squandered. Chamakh rose well for a header that went three feet wide when it should have been on target and was probably our clearest scoring opportunity, but there were many occasions when we got into the box in threatening positions only to be foiled by wrong options, mis-control or good defending. Sometimes it was plain bad luck, with ball running kindly for Chelsea on several occasions.

Clichy and Song both tried long distance shots with predictable results. (With Clichy’s goal record he should be under strict orders NEVER to shoot from distance – it just wastes an attacking move).

At the other end we held a high line and played Russian Roulette with our offside trap. Fortunately whenever we pulled the trigger the chamber was as blank as Ashley Cole’s moral conscience.

Song did a good job breaking up Chelsea’s moves and tried his best to out-muscle Drogba, although the Ivorian’s strength meant that sometimes the only option was to foul him. I’m not going to complain about that – we have all been crying out for our midfield and defence to take the pragmatic option more often and that’s what Song was doing.  At least he didn’t pick up another yellow card.

When Alex made it 2-0 with a thunderbolt free kick in the 85th minute you knew there was no way back. Again, Fabianski had no chance and although you could criticise our wall you have to acknowledge the quality of the strike.

We ended up losers, but with a much better performance than we managed against Chelsea either home or away last season. With our missing players back  you would really fancy us to do them at the Grove.

We’re now seven points behind, but at this stage of the season that’s easily capable of being made up. And make no mistake, Chelsea are not as good as their results indicate. They will drop more points as the season goes on and if we can avoid any more performances like the one against West Brom we can keep ourselves right in the race.

Player  Ratings

Fabianksi: one dodgy moment early on, but did very well after that. Could the Pole be beginning to slay his demons? 8

Sagna: good defensively and really contributed to the persistent threat we posed down their left flank. 7

Clichy: got caught out upfield a couple of times, but overall had an excellent game. We were terrorised down our left side against Chelsea last season but this time he kept them quiet. I wish he wouldn’t shoot from outside the box though. 7

Squillaci: named captain presumably because of his age and experience, I thought he did well against a very powerful and potent attack.  Yes, he didn’t always win the tussles but at least he was tussling and he held his position well. 6.5

Koscielny: should have scored very early on, but defensively did OK. The jury is still out but I think he’ll be a top player when he fully settles in to the PL. 6

Wilshere: spread play beautifully, kept his discipline and always moved the ball quickly and well. I would rather see him swap position with Song because he offers more threat in the final third. 7.5

Diaby: by no means my favourite player but he was very good in this game, showing skill and commitment. He also cleared three or four of their corners from the front of our six yard box. How can he be the same man as the one who ambled round the pitch against WBA? 7.5

Song: very good all round performance, breaking up Chelsea’s moves, giving the likes of Drogba and Essien a real physical battle and passing much better than he did against Partizan. 7.5

Arshavin: a lot of things didn’t come off for him (his touch is very on/off at the moment) but he is always a threat and was unlucky not to score with one long range shot. 6

Nasri: becoming Arsenal’s best player this season by a stretch. Involved in everything and always looking to get at the Chelsea defence. His effort and attitude are top notch. 8 – MotM

Chamakh: could have done better with that second half header, but always offered, worked hard to close them down from the front and got into dangerous positions, even if they didn’t come off for him. A couple of penalty shouts, but they would have been generous in the extreme if the ref had given them. 7

Subs:

Rosicky: involved in some good moments. 7

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Carlos Vela weren’t on long enough to merit a rating.

RockyLives

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84 Responses to Arsenal In Disgrace

  1. Morning all

    Thanks rocky for an honest report about the game.

    It was, for me, a great game of football just a shame about the score and I haven’t felt like that about a game that we’ve lost since the first game away against the mancs last season.

  2. Gooner64 says:

    I agree a great game and great commitment from the boys but they most show the same levels of urgency in every game.

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, bitterly disappointed but not surprised by the result at all.
    It’s possible to pick apart individuals performances if you so desire in order to pinpoint the reason for our loss but I think our manager has let us down tactically – again.
    Season after season the Chavs are happy to let us have possession knowing full well they can pick us off on the counter so why not try to match their tactics and wait for them to commit themselves?
    I know we major in the possession game usually but when our usual approach is palpably –and consistently –not working against the Chavs is it not worth trying something different?
    Whenever you are up against a superior opponent you should whatever they least like or expect. The Chavs know what we are going to do – why not give them something to think about?
    Finally, brave write up R Lives – after any sickening defeat I find it very hard to want to face the story of the so kudos to you, sir.

  4. London says:

    Morning all.

    Excellent report Rocky, classy in fact.

  5. London says:

    Morning Chary

    This is not meant to be confrontational but tactically what would you have done differently — I am at a loss.

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    I agree with all the comments so far. Top notch report Rocky, you’re a better man than I, I was too sick to write anything last night.

    Chary makes a very good point, the performances form the chavs and ourselves were totally predictable as was the outcome. I am a big fan of Chamakh but he missed a header half way through the second half that should at least have been on target and would have made it one all which would have been a just result.

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    London, perhaps we could have not committed so many forward early on in the game and put the onus on the Chavs, as the home side, to show more attacking intent – maybe then we could counter attack more effectively.
    Time after time we come up against the Chavs and play EXACTLY the same way, if we tried something, anything, differently perhaps we could give the Chavs something to think about?
    What I saw was our team making myriad so f passes in front of goal waiting for the eye of a needle pass, running ourselves ragged making passes for the sake of passes and not being effective.
    Maybe I haven’t expressed myself well enough( feeling a bit rough today and I hate Mondays, especially the last 2 we’ve had) but a surely by coaxing the Chavs front line/attacking midfielders to leave their holding positions may allow us to expose space behind them, rather than the other way round?

    A final point to drive home the loss of form in the league, we are now have only one point more than Stoke, I mean Stoke FFS ! :(

  8. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, a really good write up. :-)

    I know it is all a matter of opinion, but, I have to say that although I agree with 99%, the 1% where I don’t is important, to me.

    The match result was disappointing, of course, but the game itself showed we were equal to the vaunted Chavs in most areas.

    Where we were not, and where I disagree with you, was at full back.

    Both Sagna and Clichy play like old fashioned wing backs, and simply leave huge gaps at the back.

    Where did their first goal come from? A neat triangular move allowed Cole to clip the ball in to Drogba who, flukely I thought, diverted into goal. Where was Sagna? Nowhere to be seen.

    Practically every Chelsea “out” ball was to our right back, or at least to where Clichy should have been.

    Sorry, neither of them are top class backs, fine going forward when we are attacking, but unable to defend in games like this.

  9. London says:

    Chary

    I certainly understand why you make the point.

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    Fair dos London. A part of me thinks had we tried something different and lost I wouldn’t feel quite so sick today.
    Still looking on the up side we made £56m profit!

  11. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, I meant our left back of,course, their right flank.

    I agree with you CharyB. It is the same old, same old tactics. We murder them with possession, and attack, attack, until suddenly, Arshavin or Chamakh lose the ball and with everuone up field we are stuffed.

    Just watching, with the blinkers off, the almost militarily precise formation and discipline of the Chelsea defence, I had to admit I was grinding my teeth when I looked at the disorganised clutter we have come to expect at the back for Arsenal. No tactical nous, it seems.

  12. terry says:

    i just cant belvie this …. what the hell… a few seasons ago if we every lost to chelsea we would always be very pissed off… but now looks like we have finally accepetd we are no match to them….

    this is really disgraceful….

    i am not saying change the manager but we need to do sumthing now or elase it will be too late or is it already too late….

  13. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s what – in my own ineloquent, stilted way – I have been driving at RedA.
    I haven’t got a precise solution, but just something different, anything !

  14. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB,

    Another area which needs addressing is our lack of pace.

    Thierry used to collect the ball deep in our own half and then, turning on the afterburners, he would, in a blink, be in the opposition penalty area and bang!

    Yesterday, our guys did their best and tho’ they are not slow, they were not quick enough to outpace the Chelsea guys.

    I know some one will say “we have Theo, he is v. quick”, but how often does he get off the treament bench to play?

    We need a really pacey player to give us that cutting edge.

    Terry, look at the 3rd para of my 10:08. I do not want to believe we will lose; expect to lose; or agree that we will always lose to the Chavs or that they are better than us. I am disappointed enough without some one wrongly accusing me of accepting defeat or that i am disgraceful. Back off!

  15. Rasp says:

    I agree chary. When we play the clever possession stuff around the edge of the opposition box, the probing slowly sucks all of our midfield and wing backs forward so that we are vulnerable to the quick counterattack. If you watch Barca, they always keep enough players back to cover if they lose possession. Had Anelka been on form yesterday we may have conceded a couple more goals in that manner.

  16. bob says:

    Lets face facts Chelski played poorly and still won 2 0 if chelski had played any thing like they can it would have been a rout 4 maby 5 0 Arsenal are light years behind the mighty chelsea and I will be buying a chelsea shirt next season.

  17. Rasp says:

    OK bob, you’re clearly not an Arsenal supporter so I hope your chelski shirt is a good fit.

  18. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s a good point you raise RedA. We used to attack with pace, now it’s a slow laboured build up between the centre circle and the oppo’s penalty area which means the oppo defence has plenty of time to organise their defence and negate our attempts to pass our way through a congested middle.
    Is it just me or does it seem that our trademark possession/passing style is now becoming our weakness as well as our strength? Are we so intent on exhibiting it that it is the raison d’etre of our play rather than a means to an end, i.e winning games?

  19. Rasp says:

    chary,

    I got into quite a few arguments with other bloggers in the past over Hleb’s ‘clever ball possession’ as it slowed down our attacks and gave time for the opposition to get 10 men behind the ball. As well as he’s been playing, I see a bit of that in Nasri’s play now. He sometimes holds onto the ball for a long time. The rapid pinball football that meant we were more likely to score from the opposition’s corner kick than one of our own went with the Invincibles.

  20. Red Arse says:

    I hadn’t thought of that in connection with the Gunners CharyB.

    Sun Tsu, the great Chinese general, said strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory; but he went on to say, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

    You are a genius! :-)

  21. Billboy says:

    How you can say Song gave a good all round performance when he was responsible for both goals is beyond me. He hung on to the ball too long for the first and although he should have been given a free kick he wasn’t. That’s the price you pay for pissing about with it. Who told him he could play?

    For the second goal he actually swayed out of the way of the ball. He only had to glance it and it would have missed. It wouldn’t even have hurt him. He, like a few others in the side have no bottle.

    I seem to spend my time try to decide who is worse, Song or Diaby. Unless, of course, Denilson is playing.

    WTF!

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    While it may sound like I’m asking for the return of the Invincibles Raspers, I’m actually advocating forward passing when attacking with organisation at the back.
    We may not have Thierry with us, but I know for a fact, that we still employ a sprint coach and our players forward pace will reap far more dividends than an obsessive turgid, sideways passing style.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    Just to avoid confusion, I love CharyB, but I am RA and don’t understand why you are responding to him about the points I made.

    I will change my muskrat aftershave if that would help?

  24. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks RedA – to my mind there does come a point where strengths and weaknesses coalesce.
    I think we made similar points RedA so that’s why Raspers is addressing those points, great minds thinking alike and all that!

  25. Rasp says:

    Sorry Red Arse, no offence meant. I hadn’t understood the string of the conversation :oops:

  26. Red Arse says:

    Billboy,

    You have a point about the first goal, Song did dawdle but it was a foul against him. Blame the midget ref. our defence should have been able to cope with the result from that far out.

    I think anyone who attempted to head the Alex freekick would have been decapitated. Be realistic!

    I am disappointed with Song this season but just piling into him is not helpful.

  27. Red Arse says:

    No offense taken Rasp.

    I was amused to see your 10:56 response to the first sentence of CharyB’s 10:52. :-)

    Nothing I say is original anyway. :-)

  28. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    What do you say; should we club together and buy Arsene a copy of Sun Tzu’s quotes on how to defeat your enemy? :-)

  29. SharkeySure says:

    Top quality read that Rocky. Its a very good summation of yesterdays game, and your opening lines re WBA last week are absolutely on the money

  30. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL RedA – it certainly wouldn’t do him(Wenger) no harm to look at that, perhaps he might also look at the concept of Yin and Yang, the balance needed in an effective team – in our case – creative sylphs AND physical grafters.

  31. Tim says:

    The key to assessing yesterday is that, on a different day, we could easily have drawn or even won. Last season, there is no way we could have won either game against Chelsea, so poor were we.

    Yesterday we weren’t bullied, and despite suffering from injuries (as ever), we gave as good as we got for most of the match. As always, this team needs to focus on being more ruthless in critical situations.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/10/03/arsenal-beaten-by-chelsea-but-not-bullied/

  32. akostoke says:

    lightweight side tryin punch above your weight face it its another potless year and your beloved 4th place is underthreat @)

  33. charybdis1966 says:

    Akostoke – ah, you’ve provided me with the comedic, light-hearted pick-me-up I needed. :)
    Cheers mate, a chuckle a minute. So original too, I’ve genuinely never heard that said to Arsenal fans before.

  34. Red Arse says:

    What a wit that Akostoke is; well in his own infantile mind anyway.!!

    That peurile comment and Stoke’s “football” are beautifully matched.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    G’day.

    What I find disturbing is the “plucky loser” tag.

    We MUST get rid of this if we are to be Champs. If you want to sit at the table top then you have to act it. Look at the difference in demeanour of Drogba and Chamkh without knowing which teams they played for , it would be obvious which one played for the Champions.

    AW has to find a way of combining a hard work ethic with Vieira style arrogance.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. Super read and in particular I agree with your first paragraphs.

    After the Sunderland game someone wrote on AA that Arsenal lose points in groups, and he was correct. I believed it was a stupid blip and we would get right back on track – I was wrong. Now we have 2 weeks to re-assess and get back to winning ways.

  37. charybdis1966 says:

    Afternoon Radders- I think what you point out is a result of having our expectations “managed” by the Club.
    I yearn for the days where we won big games and everyone hated us.

  38. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    As we cannot be rude to Arsene, by buying him a Sun Tzu book, perhaps we can leave a few quotes for him on AA, as I am sure he reads this blog! :-)

    ***If you know the enemy and know your own strengths you need not fear the result.

    ***You have to believe in yourself.

    ***Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

    ***Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you strike, fall like a thunderbolt.

    He should find something there to think about! :-)

  39. charybdis1966 says:

    He can’t go far wrong taking those quotes on board, RedA.
    I like this one from Lao Tsu, we could add this to Wenger’s “must read” quotes:
    Nature, immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs,
    Faces the decay of its fruits.
    A sound man, immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs,
    Faces the passing of human generations.
    The universe, like a bellows,
    Is always emptying, always full:
    The more it yields, the more it holds.
    Men came to their wit’s end arguing about it
    And had better meet it at the marrow.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Chary.

    I was there until the final word ….. Marrow ????

    Is this an ode to the mighty vegetable?

    Or is it marrow as in the liquid stuff at the centre of a bone? Which would make a lot more sense.

  41. Red Arse says:

    That’s excellent CharyB,

    All we need now is to attach a translation! :-)

  42. rockylives says:

    All a bit negative on here today. Sorry if my headline contributed to a less-than-positive tone. Time to lighten up a little.
    We competed well and could have drawn or won on chances made. Yes, they probably carry a bit more confidence, but then they are champions.
    I don’t buy the argument made in some posts that we fell for the same old rope-a-dope treatment (ie they soak up all our possession and pressure then kill us on the break). Drogba scored a brilliant but slightly freaky goal. Apart from that we weren’t hit on the break until later on when we were really chasing the game. No defence finds Drogba-Malouda-Anelka easy to deal with and ours made a pretty good job of it.
    And while I miss the days of our instant defence-into goals breaking style with Vieira, Pires, Bergy and TH14, that’s just not the way we play now. Our entire style of play has been built round Cesc Fabregas for some time and it’s modelled on the type of game best expressed by Spain and Barca. Playing this style, we have regularly demolished teams.
    I saw definite improvement yesterday, and this from a group of players some of whom have only played together for a handful of games.

  43. Benwell says:

    I think he was right to defend high up the pitch, but the centre halves did drop deeper as the game went on, probably out of panic and dread of the DRog.

    Someone should have got behind Malouda to stop him spinning and he might of copped it in the kisser.

    We did play well overall and Nasri in the drifting role worked but it left dear old Cashley space to bomb into.

    Anyone that knows me, knows how much I hate the Chavs and I look at yesterday as an opportunity missed!

  44. SharkeySure says:

    BBC: “Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has been dropped from the Netherlands squad for next week’s international matches.

    De Jong was involved in a tackle which broke the leg of Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa during Sunday’s Premier League game at Eastlands.”

    Bit of a better response than Shawcross being rewarded with a call up !

  45. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders, it means “marrow” as in core/centre of (as in marrow of bone), not an ode to the rude looking root vegetable that would have Esther Rantzen grinning !

  46. Rasp says:

    chary, if you’re around, do you fancy writing a piece for us on the tactics employed yesterday? (or anyone else for that matter) I see even Arseblog has questioned what AS was doing so far up the pitch at SB.

  47. rockylives says:

    Elbows Davies in the England squad? Unbelievable. Do we really want our Jack hanging around with his sort again?

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi rocky,

    The future of the England team should lie with the likes of Johnson, Rodwell, Wilshere, Gibbs and Theo, and Capello calls up Davies and asks Heskey if he’ll reconsider :(

  49. rockylives says:

    Rasp, couldn’t agree more. The problem is, Capello has said he is going after Euro 2012, so inevitably he’ll be building a squad for 2012, whereas we should be building a squad for 2014 based around a core of young players like the ones you mention.

  50. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I could do although I’m very happy to step aside to let someone else have a go at that.
    It’s brand new two and a half men tonight so I wouldn’t mind. :)
    Let me know, as I could do a short post (less than 800 words), either way.

  51. Rasp says:

    chary,
    Its just that I know you have strong views on the subject and even 200 words from you would be good :P

    rocky,
    Good point. It seems the FA hasn’t learnt any lessons about issuing long term contracts to England managers. I’d hate to add up the money we’ve wasted.

    Why does the England manager have to be the highest paid in international football? It’s a job where you get chauffeur driven to as many matches as you choose, you travel the world and are feted wherever you go – most of us would pay to do a job like that.

  52. SharkeySure says:

    Respectfully…..

    “what Alex Song was doing so far up the pitch at SB”

    Pressing the ball, squeezing the play, winning it back…giving the man on the ball a passing option. Jack Wilshere was playing BEHIND Song, as per the managers instructions I dare say.

    Song’s briliant tackle on Ramires – edge of our box, wrestling Drogba – deep in our half, body checking Essien – deep in our half, fouled by Ramires two phases before opening goal – deep in our half.

    Time spent in their half – well we dominated large parts of the game, edged possession overall, and for one 10min spell we had 64% possession.

    I really must be missing something here.

    Yesterday Song went box to box, like he was told to do, and I very much doubt that anybody from either side broke up play as much as he did (perhaps Ramires came closest?)

    Rant over.

    I guess thats me and you arguing again Rasp. ;-)

  53. Rasp says:

    Sharkey,

    Similarly, I know how fervently supportive you are of Song (none of us are anti), isn’t it about time you wrote a few words for us? Your previous comment is already half way there.

  54. Rasp says:

    As regards the content of your comment, I would repeat what I said before the game. Our number one priority should have been to get through 60 minutes without conceding by making defending the priority, we were after all the away team. Chelsea were happy to let us have possession because we weren’t posing a serious threat to their goal and they knew they had players to inflict damage on us. I’m sorry to say this, but it looked like they could have cranked it up another gear if they had needed to.

    Anyway, I don’t want to start this discussion now as I’m hoping someone will submit a post to air these points tomorrow.

  55. kelsey says:

    Hello,

    As the season starts to pan out I feel justified in being able to criticize sometimes, though my support shouldn’t be questioned.

    If I said how I felt,I would be told to f*** offski, and therefore I have decided to say nothing, well at least for the time being.

  56. SharkeySure says:

    I know Rasp, I know.

    Timings not great, with lots on at work, and three in-outlaws staying with me at the mo, but I will give it a try as I’m so long overdue to write something.

    I did once offer Peaches my 10000 word tome entitled – ‘Doomers are Wifebeaters’. It was rejected.

    Funnily enough it was also rejected by ***** and ***** over at ** *****, which left me astonished, not to mention a littledisappointed !!

    I’m still touting it around and hope to have it published soon !!!

  57. SharkeySure says:

    Surely you don’t believe you’ll get told that here Kels…you might well get some fervent disagreement, but it will be done respectfully

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    Come on, give us your thoughts, no-one’s going to tell you to anything offski ;)

  59. kelsey says:

    OK, The statistic Lee Dixon came up with on MOTD2 that “Since the Invincibles Arsenal have played United and Chelsea 33 times in all competitions and won 6″ got me thinking and I need a bit more time to put my words together.

  60. charybdis1966 says:

    Alright Raspers, shall I have something in drafts tonight ?

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I realised belatedly the meaning of “marrow” ,,,, As my teachers always told me … engage brain before writing

    I am heading for warmer climes for a few days. Keep up the good work and we shall meet in the ether ……

  62. charybdis1966 says:

    Have fun Radders, in the meantime one of my much loved(?!) heavy videos…..

  63. barumgooner says:

    Good post Rocky however I would have scored the cbs the other way around. If i’m totally honest (and believe me i hated myself for thinking it but) looking at the line ups before the game I didnt give us a chance. We were however the better side for most of the game. The difference to me was when they scored they have the ability to shut-up-shop whereas if we had scored it would still all be up for grabs. This IMO is where AWs lack of tactical variation costs us.

  64. barumgooner says:

    I have said it before though and i still believe that these games dont win you the league but the little ones. we cannot afford to drop points against the lower clubs anymore.

  65. rockylives says:

    Agreed barum. The defeat at SB would be less painful if we’d won at home to WBA.

  66. Irishgunner says:

    I agree with Barum as well, the WBA game was the real killer.

  67. barumgooner says:

    at least with a break now we should be back to nearly full strength by the time it all starts again.

  68. rockylives says:

    I don’t understand the argument (made by some people in comments today) that we never looked like scoring or never troubled Cech. Both Kozzer and Chamakh should have scored from headers, Cech had to make two good saves from Arshavin, Nasri went really close and on many other occasions we cut through the much-vaunted Chelsea defence only for us to mess it up in the box. Obviously the messing-it-up-in-the-box bit is not good, but it’s not the same as saying we posed no threat.

  69. Wrighty7 says:

    Good evening everyone, long time no see.

    I’ve just seen the points total chart on the right.

    We aren’t gonna lose for a while now!

    It seems we lose two in a row and then go unbeaten for a while!

  70. rockylives says:

    Hello Wrighty. I hope you’re right. We have a decent run of fixtures coming up, with Citeh away on Oct 24th being the only ‘biggie’.

  71. Wrighty7 says:

    I reckon we will beat Citeh Rocky.

    But then again I had a score on Arsenal beating Chelsea 2-1!

    Seriously though, I think we are in good shape.

    Defeat at Chelsea is no disgrace but we just lacked that cutting edge.

    I hate to use injuries as an excuse but had we had Cesc, RVP and Walcott available we would have won.

    The game was perfect for RVP and especially for Cesc.

  72. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers/Peachy – I’ve saved in drafts, but feel free to change the title and add pictures if you think it’d help.

  73. Evening chary – what a top blogger you are :)

    Shall we meet sometime soon – when’s the next game for you?

  74. Hi Wrighty – did you go to the game yesterday?

  75. Rasp says:

    Thanks chary, you’re a star, although I don’t think you should have put the bit in about Ashley Cole having a 3-some with the Pet Shop Boys :)

  76. charybdis1966 says:

    Good one Raspers, just as well I left out the bit about Freddy Star and the hamster.
    Peachy, my next game is Shag-a-donkey on the 19th.
    We’ll sort out pre or post match drinks beforehand.

  77. You’re on, Shag-a-donkey :lol: what have they done wrong? I can’t wait to hear.

    Kevin Davies for England????? What is wrong with Capello????

  78. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m looking forward to giving eddy a welcome back/proper send off Peachy; hopefully the reception he’ll get will make him so emotional he fluffs all his shots!

  79. Wrighty7 says:

    Hi Peaches,

    I never went yesterday, just watched it in a boozer!

    Wish I did go though, I thought the lads did us proud yesterday despite the loss.

  80. Wrighty7 says:

    Oh by the way, I’m never watching England again whilst that piece of shitenhousen Davis is in an England shirt!

  81. I have to agree Wrighty, its weird, I’ve not found many gooners today who didn’t enjoy watching the game apart from the result. I watched it at home and was ready to turn it off if it turned into a mullering ….. but that didn’t happen.

  82. Its such a ridiculous decision by Capello – what point is he making? That we have to scrape the barrel to find English strikers, the fool took Emile Heskey to the World Cup and left Darren Bent – third highest goalscorer at home durrrrr

  83. Rasp says:

    New post…..

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