The match against Chelsea started with a lot of expectations and it ended with the same score line as last time. There was a marked difference between the two games though as we weren’t overpowered the same way and we showed lots of fighting spirit which was an improvement and good to see.
I’ll be quick over here as I have some other work.
First the Positives:
We showed good fighting spirit.
Our Pressing was better.
We were continuously on the attack.
Fabianski had a good game.
Wilshere is fast becoming an important player for us.
Even with more than half a team out with injury, we gave a hard time to Chelsea.
Now the Negatives:
We are not clinical in front of goal.
Our defence does the job but is shaky at times.
We are weak on set pieces and crosses.
We leave too many open spaces for the opposition.
We can’t defend as a team.
Counter attack is our biggest weakness.
Coming to Player ratings:
Fabianski: Another good performance by him on the trot. Some pretty decent saves and some good catching along with decision making. There was one bad moment though nothing happened on it. Can’t blame him for the goals. 7.5
Sagna: Good work rate. Was excellent with the interceptions in the first half. Although was caught out of position on the first goal. Can’t blame him much as he had Ramires and Cole both attacking from his flank. 6.5
Koscielny: Looked weak against Drogba, still managed to keep him at bay. Made some excellent tackles. Had a brilliant opportunity to score in the second minute. Gave away the freekick that led to the second goal, still the fault was Nasri’s as it was his misplaced the pass. 6.5
Squillaci: Did well on most occasions but not an assuring performance. Gifted a goal to Anelka, but we got lucky as he hit the side netting. 6
Clichy: Good going forward, not bad in defence, crossing needs to be improved. Supported Arshavin well. He is quick in closing the opponents but sometimes he gets easily beaten and then there is plenty of space behind him for the opponents to exploit. Needs to do a lot of work on his shooting. 6
Wilshere: Very good game for him. He never was intimated by the Chelsea players. Played his natural game, some good passing and interchange play. 7.5
Song: Again disappointing by his standards. He is there to shield the defenders and again he was found short on that. Somebody needs to tell him we have other players for creating goals. Still some good pressing and movement up front. He needs to work on his positioning if he has to go forward. 5.5
Nasri: Looked liked one of the players to score. Some good movement and passing by him. Still not enough to penetrate Chelsea’s defence. It was his misplaced pass that made Koscielny to tackle that led to a freekick and a goal. 6.5
Diaby: A good return by him. Showed commitment and energy. Was involved in everything in the first half. Still needs to keep it simple. Lucky didn’t get injured badly but unlucky with the substitution. 7
Chamakh: Again good work rate, but disappointing with his finishing. He needs to take his chances with hitting the ball. Had plenty of opportunities to score but was always wide. And he should not always look for the penalty. 5.5
Arshavin: Was good early on but faded as the game progressed. Tested Cech with a couple of good shots. Was threatening whenever he had the ball. Still needs to give the team something in defence. 6
Rosicky: He made an impact as soon as he came on. Made good runs and his crossing was good. Did his best to contribute but had little time. 7
Vela And JET: Not much time to make an impact. No Rating
The fact is we cannot win matches if we are not clinical in front of goal and if we cannot defend properly as a team. With our style of play we need the whole team to respond. We can keep on saying that we are ready for big things but seriously how many times has it happened that we have come short on that claim.
The game last night was a big step forward for us. We have to show this same spirit in every match we play. Things are bound to improve for sure as our injured players return after the International break.
Keep the faith.