Reading back through the comments during and after the game, the disappointment was intense.
Largely, I expect that before the game most gooners had felt that we should come home with all three points from Carrow Road. By the time it got to the last ten minutes of the game I would have settled for a point even though both of the Manchester clubs and the chavs had come from behind to win their games earlier in the day. The days of our Arsenal swashbuckling their way to a victory from the jaws of defeat seem such a long time ago.
The stats for the game tell you nothing of how poorly we played. They say we had thirteen shots to Norwich’s seven ……… THIRTEEN, can anyone remember that many because I can’t and seven of them were on target. Oh, I do remember Ruddy catching the ball a couple of times but they were hardly close.
We had 62% possession according to the BBC, I’d rather have 30% and make it count for something. In truth, we didn’t ever look like scoring because we really didn’t try very hard.
Maybe it was Arteta being pulled out of position protecting the space left by Santos, maybe it was Podolski carrying an ankle injury, maybe it was Vermaelen not playing as a steady centre-back, maybe it was Gervihno being trapped and Santi’s radar being switched off and Giroud just not seeing enough of the ball but this Arsenal hardly played as a team.
I’d noticed similar problems against West Ham but we got lucky and managed to score and win that game.
This team have for some reason stopped playing like a team. Is the Theo question having a destablising effect on the dressing-room? Have the frailties that stopped previous squads pushing themselves forward hit this squad already? The early gung-ho, look at us, we’re the mighty Arsenal has vanished.
Yesterday we returned to passing backwards and rarely running with the ball through the mid-field to frighten and open up the opposition. The Norwich players were on their toes and they seemed to know exactly what we were going to do and they were ready to cut out our passing almost every time. We on the other hand were extremely lucky to get away with a 1-0 scoreline, I feel.
I would say we were undone in the final third but that doesn’t explain why so little of the play actually got into the final third.
You have to wonder what the morale is like after a defeat like that. When we lost to Chelsea it was as a result of poor defending of set-plays, they scored two goals that we should have defended better but at least we were trying to score and on the balance of the play probably we were good for a draw. Yesterday a goalkeeping error helped Norwich to a goal but it wasn’t in the 85th minute, it was in the 20th minute, we still had plenty of time to get into the game and turn the screw. No-one’s head seemed to be in the right place.
Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla and Gervihno will get us goals this season as will Theo, The Ox and Ramsey but the play has to lead to a goal scoring opportunity and yesterday it didn’t. We had ten corners and they just weren’t good enough.
I’m very sad because I was really looking forward to watching this team play again and I’m disappointed that we’ve slipped further behind the leaders with this loss. I know we’re only eight games in and it’s a long race but we should be gaining ground not dropping down the table.
Luckily there’s not much time to hide under the rock, licking the wounds and an injury to The Ox doesn’t help when trying to look for positives but Jack was there, ready and willing even though AW didn’t send him into the fray. Other players that teams find unplayable like Theo and Diaby will hopefully return soon and Gibbs and Koscielny give us more options in defence.
Did we have a captain out there today? Vermaelen was wearing the armband but I didn’t much in the way of rousing the team from him. AW has to find an answer to this fairly quickly, in games like this one when we play in this way we are rudderless and that can’t help with team harmony either.
The connection that was in evidence at the start of the season between this group of players must return at some point, sooner rather than later huh?
Written without humour by peachesgooner