Few people have wanted to write about our losses this season – there have been too many sadly – and yesterday was no exception. Watching the game on a good stream it was difficult to draw any positives from a lacklustre performance that was more reminiscent of the dark days in January than the recent exciting football we have witnessed.
There were a few shocks. The team selection was strange for a start. It seems that Arsene hasn’t noticed that the team is unbalanced when he starts with Song, Arteta, Rosicky and Ramsey, who out of that four is supposed to run the left wing? Yesterday it was pretty clear that none of them were going to be, which meant that we only had an attacking outlet with Theo on the right.
Why does Ramsey have to start? Why can’t Gervihno or Oxlade-Chamberlain play for 60 minutes and then bring on Ramsey? If Ramsey starts then surely one of Arteta or Rosicky has to be dropped and Ramsey play in their role but Arteta and Rosicky are pretty undroppable at the moment so what’s the answer? Clearly Arsene needs more time to decide but we struggled against Everton away precisely because the aforementioned four started and yesterday the same problem occurred.
Wenger’s post match pretty much laid the blame at the players feet
It is very frustrating because they left us the ball and waited for our mistakes. We took the ball, did not do a lot with it and made the mistakes. At the end of the day that made the result.
Our performance was not good enough to win this kind of game, especially in the duels. They had a little bit of extra special commitment that took advantage of us in some specific positions defensively. Overall we can only congratulate QPR for their attitude and be unhappy with our own performance.
Playing teams that are fighting to stay in the Premier League are always going to be extra difficult to play against but it looked liked one of our senior players had decided to take control of the game all by himself. What was up with Vermaelen? He deserted Koscielny early on in the first half, was culpable for QPR taking the lead and seemed to not want to be a centre-back. In addition Song was finding it difficult to make his Fabregas-like passes find an Arsenal player. I don’t have a problem with Song or indeed any Arsenal player looking to play an eye of the needle pass except when a simpler pass would have done the trick and yesterday there were a few occasions when just passing the ball would have worked better.
Anyway, moaning apart, we started well, but after 5 minutes of not scoring we allowed QPR to get into the game and they went ahead in the 22nd minute. In the 37th minute Robin was fouled just outside the box but the ref allowed the play to continue and luckily Theo was alert and managed a shot that hit the post and rebounded into his path for him to slot home. I always like it when we come from behind but could we push on and actually craft out a win?
We started the second half brightly but were hampered by not really being able to find the right ball for Robin who seemed to be limping. At around the hour mark Robin hit a great free-kick that was pushed away by Kenny and in the next minute Robin is through again but Paddy Kenny makes a great save. The pressure had been building and it did look like we would score but in the 66th minute Mackie skips past Vermaelen and squares a ball to Diakite to score. 2-1.
There was a change in the 69th minute with Gervihno coming on for Ramsey but QPR were happy to dig in and make it even harder for us to play through them. When that change didn’t achieve anything Chamakh and The Ox were brought on for Gibbs and Arteta in the 82nd minute. I’d like to see changes made earlier when we’re chasing a goal, I can’t see how either Chamakh or The Ox really had time to change the game.
And so it came to pass that we lost our 9th game of the season. We didn’t play very well, we certainly didn’t create enough and probably didn’t deserve to get anything from the game. Was it complacency that led to this, certainly I didn’t think that we would falter in west London. We are still in third though and hopefully will see the weekend out there. The chavs won, the oily chavs dropped points and the scum play today. Seven games to go and still I think there’ll be some twists and turns on the road to staying in the top four.
I’m optimistic that we’ll return to winning ways next Sunday against the oily ones.
Written by peachesgooner
And the following was written by LB
Yet another one of those infuriating games in which on paper we start as favourites but as the reality of the game dawns we are left with the very same paper embarrassingly crumpled in our hands.
Damn that was frustrating, made even worse by the fact that I have at least ten good friends who support that team, I am going to have to suffer smug knowing looks every time I see one of them. And believe me they have memories like elephants I still find myself from time to time in ear shot of them telling that silly story of oh I was there when John Jenson scored and Impey and blah, blah, blah they won three one if you didn’t know; still, at least they will have a new story to bang on about.
What? You want me to talk about the game? Are you sure? Well, we were crap but some players played more crap than others and I am not going to do the polite thing and just say oh well that was just a bad day at the office and we should all move on and focus our attention on the next game. That my friends makes for a very, very boring blog. Match reports are supposed to be about the opinion of the author, it has to be surely because if it was just about describing the game we could all just go and read far more articulate reports from the likes of Henry Winter.
Ok the game; there were two clear managerial strategies in play: QPR’s was to sit back and wait for us to make mistakes and ours was to play a close, tight, quick passing game in the hope of finding a way round them. The result says all we need to know as to whose strategy turned out to be the most effective.
For long periods we moved the ball around the half way line with all the penetrative thrust of a two month old banana. QPR just waited until we made mistakes and picked us off. And that is the fixture and the match report consigned to the dustbin after one sentence.
Szczesny: starting to believe his own hype, he is taking more and more risks and because of that he will not go the whole season without one major embarrassment. Should have held onto the ball and calmed play down just before QPR’s winning goal. 5
Sagna: a shinning light in a sea of mediocrity. 7
Koscielny: just when I was sitting back smugly thinking, well TA do you still prefer Mertasacker’s slow, giraffe-like style to the lightning mobility of the Frole and the Belgiun, Kozzer goes and puts in a scatter brained performance like that. 6
Vermaelen: Tom you were all over the place mate. 4
Gibbs: time for a change, I expect Santos to start in the next game, we needed attacking nous today and Gibbs left us wanting. 5
Song: you can’t blame him for the lack of chances created, well I can’t anyway. I wish he would be a bit greedier and have a shot when he gets the chance. 6
Arteta: The Spaniard gets my MOTM if one has to be awarded; he at least looked as though it really mattered to him. 7.5
Rosicky: went back to his ineffectual dreadful self, missed placed passes, running into dead ends, poor tackles. 4
Walcott: now you would think that I of all people would save the bulk of my wrath for Theo but even though there was very little space to operate in and his control still leaves a lot to be desired he was not bad, the goal obviously helped but all in all I liked Theo’s attitude. 7.25
Van Persie: service, what service? Isolated for most of the game, not at his majestical best when he got the ball it must be said. 6
Ramsey: we have a problem here, young Aaron is too good to be left on the bench and not good enough to be playing. Wenger knows he would never accept being on the bench for any length of time, he would be off, so the Welshman is shoe-horned into the left wing which as we all saw was no good for him and no good for the team. Yes, I know he is young and yes I know he will improve but this comment is about his performance against QPR. 4.5
I have gone from not caring one way or the other as to whether QPR go down to yelling: open the trap door now and let the bunch of banned words drop.
Written by LB (Not a happy bunny).