Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oh dear, what a terrible game.

Arsenal is an obligation for me; a desired obligation but one nonetheless. So when I awake, how can I put this, in a rather poor state from being 'tired and emotional' the night before, I still put the effort in. I drag myself out of bed and across London to support the team that means so much to me. I would add that whoever decides games should be played at 12 on a Saturday obviously has no social life.

And then this. Two words, as suggested in my headline, spring to mind: oh and dear.

All credit to Blackburn, I've never seen a team so ruthlessly play for and achieve a replay. Keeping 47 men behind the ball all game worked very successfully. Whilst, on a rational level, I can understand their tactics, on a, perhaps higher plain of thinking, they did not play football against us. Ruthless pragmatism is not something I wish to associate with football.

Yet, despite their legions of defenders, we should have cruised the game. The reason we didn't was as much due to our deficiencies as their limitations. Henry is not a centre-forward and is badly missing Pires/Reyes/Cole. Watching Theo is becoming unbearable: I want him to succeed so much but today he couldn't beat his defender. Neither for that matter could Freddie, who was painfully awful, alternating between sitting on his backside complaining and failing to beat him man. Aliadiere's effort can't be faulted but, ultimately, produced nothing; Flamini needs too many touches and is not a good enough passer.

The only bright spot was William Gallas's return, but today we needed a match-winner and he was not one.

I've seen some poor football matches before but the game today is up with the best/worst of them. Turgid, frustrating, painful and pointless. And, to cap it off, another trip up North. Here's hoping eh?


Anonymous said...

With Thierry playing the way he is we dont have too many reliable goalscorers. RVP is out, Pires is no longer there, Cesc has forgotten how to score, Rosicky isnt grabbing the goals, Freddie's legs cant take him where his brain wants to go and Theo is seriously struggling. The fact is that most of our stuff in the last 5 years have gone through Henry, and he isnt doing it. Cesc badly missed Hleb. Flams not up to it. We also miss Eboue's powerful thrusts down the right. All in all, a game that showed the limitations of a fairly large squad. Im sure in the summer, we will sign a left winger with pace and bottle who can score. Like the 2005 season, when we let 2 centre midfielders go, we let go of both Reyes and Pires last summer and are struggling. We need someone like Kewell (4 years ago not the arthritis ridden liability he is now) or Overmars.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Babel is that left winger.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in 3 years when he is 24 but at 21, adapting to a new country, adapting to a left sided position in a 442 not a 433, and inexperience, I'm not sure how much Babel can contribute in his first season. I agree he is the type of player I would be happy with but we NEED a 24-27 bracket player. Overmars was a European Cup winner and Pires a European Championships winner when they came. We need a player with that sort of pedigree who can start scoring straightaway. I know Marc and Bobby didnt do it straightaway but they contributed much more in their 3/6 seasons then say, Theo will in the next 3 seasons.

Anonymous said...

I awoke early in the AM to catch this Cup tie on the tele, and for some reason I had a feeling I wasn't going to see some exciting footie.... Now I'm no future teller, but after the Long, brusing match with the "wallrus's" club I just thought we'd be out of it.. & I was 'spot-on!!!' There work to be done on this squad before we can compete for any titles, mainly gutting out victories on days where we may not have our legs under us.. Freddie Ljungberg (God Love Him) was horrible, it seems like he goes to ground way too easy now ala' J.A. Reyes... Is it just me or does anyone else get a bit twitchy when Big Phil (Jug Head) gets the ball with a forward breathing down his back, your almost waiting for the forward/midfielder to snatch the ball of his foot and scream towards goal... Henry wasn't fully on today, but he's Titi so thats that! I just hate the fact that we have to make another trip for a replay when we should be taking care of biz in our own house!! I have done alot of reading on this remark that Cesc made to Hughes, and alot of ppl including Arsenal supporters think he was out of line, well not me!! Mark Hughes was a hacker for Man'ure in his day and he's brought that same style of play to Blackburnt, so good for him, at least I know he has a bit of spit in him especially towards a loved Man'ure legend (legend used really lightly there.) Well in the end I feel the sameway I did about the 4th rnd tie v. Bolton at the Emirates, TAKE CARE OF YOUR BIZ IN YOUR HOUSE!!
Thanks All,
D.L. Gilbert
U.S. of A

gazzap said...

without a doubt we miss at least one regular goal scorer from midfield since we lost pires. I mean a guarenteed 15 goal a season man. I dont know much about babel and whether he can do that. But I do know that until we get a player like that we will not challenge for the league. chelsea have lampard and man u have ronaldo, to compliment the goals that both strikers will score.
furthermore, they have other players who can score goals like Robben and Scholes.
until Arsenal can sort out a better supply of goalscorers from midfield we will struggle to beat plucky defensive teams like blackburn.

Goonerboy said...

Its what I've been saying for ages Gazzap: Freddie not scoring and Bobby leaving have cut about 20 goals a season - at least - from us.

I think Hleb and Rosicky are terrific players but they don't score enough. Nor does Cesc, who actually hasn't scored a league goal this season.

Personally, I'd like to see Rosicky play more centrally, and for us to buy a proper left-winger who's full of goals. Finding one will be rather difficult though.

Premiership goals and streams said...

Highlights are online

When you see this you ask yourself how did we lose, but thats football.
I was hoping that magic trio would be better, they were even enough rested with gilberto.I really dont know what happened today.
They beat us in tactics, fact!
Adams said that we played only when we had a ball. I think that there was also some fear because players except much from this CL season