This was always going to be a tough fixture against a team known for being hard to break down and quick on the break. Arsenal’s attitude was going to be key, matching the intensity of David Wagner’s boys. 🙂
Unfortunately Arsenal’s attitude stunk the place out early on. Yet another slow start not helped by yet another dreadful referee who allowed the same niggly fouls all over the pitch as the norm. He even allowed a blatant bodycheck on Wobbly which was a stonewall penalty if you view the replay.
The stats for the first half were …… shots for Arsenal 3, with a big fat zero on target. Wolves had 7 attempts with 3 on target including a decent goal on the counter after a Xhaka-induced turnover. The only stat we won was fouls – Arsenal 1 Wolves 8 which adequately illustrated both teams’ commitment levels.
Emery’s tactical change at half time to shore up the exposed left flank of Arsenal’s defence, was both timely and effective. The Wardrobe looked anything other than a competent left back in that first half but why the players on the pitch couldn’t see he wasn’t getting any support, Dennis only knows.
Guendouzi made an immediate difference and with Wolves content to protect their lead and hit us on the counter, the game took its familiar ‘second half at the Emirates’ shape with all the action moving towards the North Bank goal.
To be fair, Wolves restricted the red and white chances to some extent. Terrier drew a fine fingertip save from the keeper. Hector failed to keep the ball down with his left foot when scoring appeared a formality and worst of all, Auba (POTM for October due to his impressive strike rate) hit the post from the edge of the 6 yard box when it seemed impossible to miss. If we’d have scored then, I don’t doubt we’d have gone on the win even if we hardly deserved it from the balance of play up to that point.
The subs sparked new chances which found the Wolves keeper in the right place when called upon, until he was finally beaten by a fizzing curling cross from Micki which was missed by everyone and nestled into the far corner. The Wolves players bleated about a non-existent offside assuming the ref would reprieve them in the same fashion as he’d given them everything else, but hard as he tried, him and his linesman couldn’t find anything wrong with the goal.
Wolves had a couple of excellent chances to seal victory on the break as Arsenal resorted to the old kamikaze Wenger style of throwing everyone forward, even when the opposition have brought on a speedy forward who looked as though he had a dead hamster on top of his barnet.
We couldn’t quite manage an undeserved victory in amongst our attempts at professional suicide and the game ended in a draw.
Wolves played very well with little possession and are an extremely well-organised and efficient outfit. Expect them to become features of the Premier League for many seasons to come.
The first half was appalling yet again and it was a miracle it didn’t cost us defeat. Auba and Laca on the pitch from the start is shoehorning which just doesn’t work. How many more times? The back 6 and front 4 had no link. Poor.
The amount of stoppage time at the end of the second half was a complete joke. There were 5 substitutions (the Wolves’ ones taking at least a minute apiece); the Wolves lad at the end play acting was on the floor for 3 whole minutes including one of the added on minutes; the referee himself wasted 3 minutes by insisting play was halted every time there was a booking so that he could find his pen to write the player’s details on his piece of card; not to mention all of the time wasting at goal kicks and when the ball went off the touchlines. A conservative estimate would have been 8 minutes. How can you discourage time wasting if you don’t add it all on?
The unbeaten run continues ………… just. 🙂
Ratings (based on the BR ‘miffed that we played so poorly’ system)
Leno – MOTM, which says a lot …9
Bellerin – as dangerous as ever, missed a glorious chance …7
Mustafi – iffy in defence and his passing isn’t that good either…6
Holding – holding the defence together – who would have thought …8
Wardrobe – not a left back, more of a massive Welsh dresser …3
Xhaka – another costly mistake …6
Torreira – efficient and tidy – the ref allowed him to be kicked as usual …7
Ozil – before the game Arsenal put up a clip asking him who people should put in their Fantasy teams, Auba or Laca? He replied “both”, as he would assist both. Not on yesterday’s performance, Mesut …5
Iwobi – never looks comfortable on the right – sacrificed for Douzi at the break to give us some balance …6
Aubameyang – left his scoring boots at home with his award. Seems to have lost that smile he was playing with when he first arrived at THOF. Mind you, there wasn’t a whole lot to smile about for Arsenal on the pitch yesterday …5
Lacazette – not much service, but poor touches when he did get a sniff didn’t create a good impression of the Frenchman’s performance …5
Guendouzi – gave Arsenal some control back …7
Mkhitaryan – scored …7
Ramsey – popped up in a couple of good positions …6
p.s any Wolves fans daft enough to read as far as this……yes, it’s biased but if you read between the lines, you’ll see that it agrees you should have won. 🙂