Poor, pathetic, lethargic, lackluster and unbelievable display of football by us as we lose to a newly promoted team at home again. There is nothing good to write from the match as there was nothing worthwhile from Arsenal. We simply put on the shirts and went out there to win against a team that we know can damage any team. I am at a loss for words as to what happened today to Arsenal. After the loss at Shakhtar I had a feeling that we would put up a good show today but it never came.
Everything was wrong about us today. We never got our passing going as we continuously gave away possession. We never really created many openings and never tested the keeper except once or maybe twice. Our movement was at times good but we never showed the urgency to score. There was a moment in the start of second half in which it seemed that we would score but we were denied by the woodwork and some good defending by Newcastle. Other than that we never really did much.
We were using the aerial ball a lot but it wasn’t helping us as Newcastle cleared ball after ball. We had lots of corners to no outcome.
Newcastle on the other hand started well but then shifted to the aerial route. They were much disciplined at the back and they showed good ball movement. As they got the goal they further sat back and defended vigorously. At times they moved the ball around well but they too didn’t create much
We created a few scoring opportunities but the ones we created were saved by the keeper or else we were denied by the woodwork. Nasri had a shot saved by the keeper, Fabregas had a diving header caught by the keeper, Walcott had a shot hit the crossbar as was Fabregas’ shot deflected onto the bar from a free kick. That I guess is all.
Newcastle had a free kick and it was delivered into our danger area. Fabianski came out to catch it but he was slightly late as Carrol headed it powerfully past him for his sixth goal of the season. Fabianski was partially at fault for the goal for his wrong decision. The defence was also at fault as there was no one other than Fabianski going for the ball. There was one other moment like that in the second half but Fabianski caught it that time.
It was better than the whole team performance. Newcastle was using the aerial route and our defence stood up to it for the whole game. We made one mistake at the back and we were punished for it. Bad luck on our part and a poor decision on Fabianski’s part.
The Red Card
Koscielny wasn’t the last man as Squillaci was the covering defender. He did pull the player down and it should have been a yellow. A harsh red in my opinion, still the decision didn’t matter as we had lost by then. The problem will come in the next games as now we have only two centre backs for the next three games if Vermaelen doesn’t return from injury.
Fabianski (6) had a decent game except that poor decision that led to the goal. Most will be pointing the finger at him but frankly speaking our whole team was very poor today. I don’t know what has happened to Fabregas (4) as he misplaced pass after pass. He hasn’t performed in two games on the trot. Maybe he is still injured. Koscielny (6) and Squillaci (6.5) had good games as they covered our back line. Sagna (6) and Clichy (6) were ok but again their crosses were poor. Wilshere (7) was by far the best player today again. Walcott (5) had a few chances but other than that he was anonymous. Nasri (6.5) too had one nice shot but couldn’t do much. Chamakh (4) was very lethargic and unwilling to take his chances. Van Persie (6) had a few good touches but couldn’t do much. Arshavin (6.5) showed some urgency. Song (6.5) also had a better game than the rest. Bendtner had too little time to make impact.
What conclusions can be drawn from a performance like this? There can be no good conclusions for sure. We are challenging for the title and this is how we show up against a newly promoted team. No doubt credit to Newcastle for their good discipline but we never really did our best. We never got into gear and never opened them up. What positives can you draw from this? One may be that Van Persie is back but for how long otherwise all things point to some big questions that need to be answered.
November is an important month and again we have made a poor start in it. We have lost two games in a row and in both the games we have been very ordinary. If we are to challenge for all the titles we need to perform in every match and not just against the top teams. We always talk about complacency and we always lose because of it. The moment we realize the match is getting away from us then we step up a gear but always it is too late. Today frankly we never even stepped up the gear when it was required. We never looked like scoring today.
This might be all coming out in anger but you cannot deny the truth that performances like these will not help us win any titles. Chelsea has dropped points and the loss hasn’t been a total disaster but it would have been so much better if we had won. Still it’s early in the season and a lot more is to come. Hopefully it will be better than this.