Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ten Thoughts on Arsenal 1 QPR 0

* In terms of stupid statistics, the one that was frequently mentioned before the game yesterday - that Arsenal hadn't won a league match against QPR in over a decade - was particularly stupid. They haven't been in the prem for that long, that's why, not because they have some form of hex over us.

* Arshavin shouldn't have been named MOTM - I thought Kozzer was perphaps more worthy - but Arsh did show that he still has some definite value to the squad. His time at Arsenal has never quite lived up to that glorious opening few months when he almost single handedly got us into the Champions League in '08. But he isn't lazy - he's just been struggling for form. He didn't do a lot yesterday, but his assist was a moment of pure class, and shows that we would be stupid to sell him in January.

* We need someone else to start scoring goals. That said, Robin's finish was brilliant.

* Theo Walcott's finish wasn't. Clean through, he has to score, or, at the very least, force the keeper to make a decent save. His attempted finish was appalling, and if he can't take chances like that, then he has no right to ask to play through the middle.

* Gervinho is better than Nasri. Nasri has reverted to the level of form that he had for about 2/3rds of his Arsenal career. Gervinho consistently offers a threat going forward and is much more of an all-round menace, but his decision making needs to imrpove. He often gets into threatening positions, and doesn't seem to know whether to shoot or pass.

* Vermaelen's injury is precisely what we didn't need. Surely we will now have to get a full-back of some sort on loan.

* QPR aren't very good. I expected us to beat them and, really, we should have got more goals. I think they are a major candidate for relegation - any team with Traore at full-back is going to struggle. I say that in part out of hope because Neil Warnock is one of the more odious members of England's footballing establishment, not because of any rancour towards QPR as a club. His comments about RvP's 'clever' tactics - he constantly fouls players in the air, apparently - were needless, and was a classic attempt to deflect the reporter from probing him on why QPR have been so woeful of late.

* SZCZ made a great save early on from SWP. He sometimes has a tendency to needlessly punch the ball, rather than catch it, but you wonder if we would have kept a clean sheet yesterday if Almunia or Fabianski had been in goals.

* It was a good weekend for us in general, with all our major rivals dropping points. We have to build on the advantage we've gained by beating Fulham on Monday, but I wonder what kind of team we're going to put out. There look to be a lot of tired legs out there at the moment.

 * If you look at how far we've come since the 8-2, we've done really well to get the season back on track. We're now only a few points behind Spurs, are ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea, and are into the knockout stages of the Champions League (again). That said, there has been some talk on Twitter today about us winning the league, given our recent form and the fact we're only 9 points behind City, after their defeat at Sunderland (check out Martin Tyler's commentary of Sunderland's goal if you can find it on YouTube). This is silly. We are going to be in a very tough struggle for fourth place, and City will end up winning the league comfortably. If their form goes through any form of prolonged dip this month, they'll buy someone. It's not fair, but they will buy the league this season.


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afrix said...

Good point on Arshavin, he played ok but judging by some fans comments you'd think he played crap. We need the full backs to start supporting our half wingers.

Anonymous said...

Arshavin and Chamakh should not be sold if we want depth in our squad.

Anonymous said...

City will not win the league as easily as you suggest and Arsenal can still win the league

Anonymous said...

Arsenal win the league? Dream on buddy.

Anonymous said...

you win one nil at home and bad mouth the opposition. no class