Written by SharkeySure
Most Arsenal fans don’t really like the ‘R’ word, but accept it as a necessary evil when the games come this thick and this fast. We’d all lauded the herculean efforts of our heroes only 48hrs earlier and knew that changes were afoot for the trip to the Sports Shop that is Wigans home ground. It was just a question of how many, who and where.
There were more changes than most of us expected.
Back line, DJ and Clichy out, Squilly and the Somali Pirate in, Ok.
MF. Everyone out, Diaby, Den, Tomas in. Not too sure about that.
Forwards – again everyone out, Arshy, Chamakh and Bendy in, unconvinced.
The big plus from Monday was the sheer energy and passion of the team, we’d all hoped to see more of the same last night but were left disappointed.
The first ten mins were all Wigan, then we seemed to settle down a bit, but still looked wholly pedestrian. There hardly seemed to be a player in a yellow shirt capable of either controlling a ball or passing it to another guy in a yellow shirt. Wigan were not much better, and the ball ping ponged back and forth. N’Zogbia who had looked threatening all evening went on a jinking run inside Eboue after being waved on by the lethargic Diaby. Insomnia was subjected to the lightest of challenges from Kozzer and over Charlie went. Replays showed a clear clear dive and that the non contact was outside the box. 1-0 Wigan.
My stream wobbled so I missed what caused Diaby to limp, and when it returned LJW had entered the fray. The difference was almost immediate, and our players all seemed to find the missing link at the same time. We started to retain possession and make inroads, whilst Wigan only occasionaly threatened. Bendtner got into a good shooting position and fired off a very good strike which was well saved by Al Habsi. The ball flew up high into the air and Arshavin (whilst falling backwards !) executed a perfect volley over his shoulder and into the bottom corner. Fantastic technique from our lazy little bast…oops, from our supremely talented little Russian.
Five mins later a clever run and pass from our TLR ™ set Bendtner clear and he finished with some aplomb. His touch and take to deceive the two Wigan defenders was almost masterful, a really top drawer finish from our Striking Viking. Up until then he’d been abject. Both him and Arshavin played as though they hadn’t even seen Mon’s game, let alone learnt anything from it, as we’d all hoped.
2nd half we continued to see LJW show why he is England’s only hope. Chamkah planted a very good header narrowly wide, and TLR missed a great chance for 3-1. With ten mins to go Wigan scored from a corner and Wonderman described it last night on AA as follows:
“3 errors a) Sagna loses his player which allows the player to head back across the goal b) Fabianski inexplicably leaves the centre of his goal c) Squillaci is caught again inexplicably on the wrong side of his opponent.” Complete madness and pretty much typical of us for quite a while now.
In the ten minutes that remain Nasri’s free kick is blatantly handballed, but our players hardly appeal for it. We try launching the ball long for the last few minutes to no avail.
No ratings, from me but I would single out Bendtner and Arshavin and give them both a 5, even with a goal and an assist each. Their lack of effort, really isn’t going to get us too far. In Bendy’s defence, once the team improved, so did he, but Arshavin really disappeared again 2nd half.
Oh and a short word on the ref. Cock.