When I wrote the preview of this game, I said that after tonight we will get a clear picture of what’s left of this season. Well we have the picture and it is not looking good at all.
Two weeks, out of three competitions, injuries in important positions, fringe players performing crap, the League is still to play for with 10 games to go and the big question remains that will we be able to finish the season with a trophy? The season for us has gone from bad to worse in a jiffy in the last week and I don’t know what to expect next. As things are shaping up, I have prepared myself for the worst. However, to remain positive I have hope that we will win the League but as I said in my preview, we will need to show massive character, not what I saw today.
As far as today’s game is concerned, it was typical. Manu flooded the defense and midfield, they stayed deep, invited us to attack them, which we did. We had plenty of chances and plenty of possession, we failed to score. United played on the counter and got their goals on the rebound. Denislon had his usual evening jog, Gibbs had a nice time watching Denilson, Almunia saved our blushes, Sagna collided with Djourou, who is out for the season with a dislocated shoulder (coumpounding our misery) as Manu got through and we return home with another disappointment and our season going down the drain.
After watching today’s game, I am still at a loss as to what we learned from the Barcelona win because frankly speaking some of the players today looked like they had no belief, they showed no tenacity, no hunger and looked lost. What’s more frustrating is that these players talk big off the field but when it comes to performing, they always end up short. It hurts every time I see the same player’s underperforming and I don’t know for how long I can take it.
Coming to player ratings:
Almunia (7): Made some good saves to keep the score respectable. Cannot be faulted for the goals. Nothing much to do as mostly we had the ball.
Sagna (6): Upfront had a good game as he delivered in some excellent crosses which our forwards failed to utilize and we suffered in the end. Defensively did enough.
Djourou (7): Played well for most parts. Too bad he is out for the season.
Koscielny (6.5): He was solid at the back but should have done better on the first goal. The thing I have noticed from the last two games is that he is very capable of moving forward and is good with the ball at his feet. His passing is accurate and today he created a good opening. Van der Saar saved his shot though.
Gibbs (3): Many people were saying that Gibbs is Clichy’s replacement. Today he showed us that he isn’t and it is not for the first time. He can be a wing player who can cross but not a fullback. His positioning, game reading and decision making is poor to say the least and he was awful at the back today. Look at the buildup of how we conceded the second goal and the countless other opportunities that Manu created from his side. Unbelievable!!
Wilshere (6.5): Another decent game from our best player so far in the past couple of weeks. He plays every game with passion, only if the players around him would show 50 percent of that, we will not be disappointed after every game.
Diaby (4): I don’t know what has gotten into him. How many more games does he want??
Denilson (3): My patience is over with him. He isn’t good enough wasn’t good enough and never will be good enough. Wenger please stop playing him. He is a liability and nothing else. Look at how he is jogging alongside Valencia and not closing him down before we concede the second goal. Unbelievable again!!
Nasri (6.5): Nasri to me looks frustrated because game in game out he is trying hard but his team mates around him aren’t. Had two good shots on goal but Van der Saar produced saves on both occasions. However, I still expect more from him.
RVP (6): Didn’t get enough support and clear chances. Tested Van der Saar with a few shots. Other than that couldn’t influence the game much. I was expecting much from him too only to be disappointed.
Arshavin (5.5): Got in and out of game. Misplaced a few passes. Didn’t make much impact as he was substituted.
I was delighted to see Chamakh (5.5) when he came on, only because Denilson was taken off though. Added nothing much as he had a shot saved by Van Der Saar. Rosicky (5) missed a sitter in stoppage time, as he also didn’t add much when he came on. Was good to see ramsey (no ratings) come on. Moved around well and I hope he gets the go ahead of Diaby and Denilson in the coming weeks.
As has been the case with the games in the past couple of weeks, we have to move on from this one too. We have found it difficult but the League is now our only opportunity to get some silver ware and we cannot make mistakes. If we can’t win it, this season will go down as a failure and nothing else. No doubt this season we have certainly improved but no one will remember it if we don’t win something. We are in with a good chance and it’s time now for the players to forget what happened in the last two weeks and deliver the EPL.
It starts for us again in a week’s time, keep your fingers crossed!!