A game of two universes. So what next?

What went wrong?

After the first 45 minutes of the game against Spurs, I was already thinking of what the title of my post match thoughts would be. I was immersed in how I would praise Arsene as the best manager this club has ever known (that hasn’t changed mind you), how I would shower accolades on Cesc for a vintage midfield performance, commend Nasri for fighting spirit, Cham29 fir striking instincts as so on. My facebook status at half time suggested that we were almost there and all I needed was a repeat or near repeat of the previous 45 minutes. But what did I get?

The second 45 minutes was what pundits and cynics will term “typical Arsenal“. I looked up this word(s) in the dictionary of football and this is what I got:

Inability to kill off games after taking the lead, allowing the opposition back into the game. E.g Arsenal-Spurs (20th November, 2010).
See also: Arsenal-Spurs (31st October 2008), Birmingham-Arsenal (27th March 2010), West Ham-Arsenal (25th October, 2009)

Spot on eh?

The disaster began when we lost the ball after taking a free kick, and Spurs launched a counter and the ball fell to Bale who finished nicely. Then Cesc had a moment of pure madness when he was penalised for a raised arm in the box, VDV struck the resulting penalty with aplomb. Then from a free kick, Kaboul headed past Fabianksi in between Cesc and Squillaci. Game won, Spurs had completed a magical comeback and won at our home for the first time in 17 years.

While I am not one to put blame on people, I think Wenger got a few things wrong. I still do not understand why He took off Nasri for an ineffective Rosicky. Nasri had everything to play for, a feud with Gallas was extra incentive, I doubt any other player in the squad will have the determination to score the goal did. It was evident form his celebration that he wanted to win badly and did everything to get the ball in the back of the net. He also brought on an unfit RVP for Cham29, and Walcott for Arshavin. Overall, his subs were ineffective and below par.

The defenders had a nightmare of a game, and Koscly in particular was found wanting many atimes. The Squilacci-Djourou combo showed great promise and I still don’t understand why they were not paired again. Cesc had a game to forget, Clichy and Sagna did little going forward and Song was awful in his positioning, thus giving VDV ample space to cause damage.

I did not realize the effect of this defeat until I tried surfing the web I discovered that I could not visit my usual football sites without being greeted with comments and views on the game. I was in deep pain and the only respite for me was Chelsea’s loss to Birmingham. In statistics though, you’ll learn that both events are independent and mutually exclusive!

My worry now is how we respond to this defeat, our 3rd at home in November. If this home run continues, we should expect 3 more defeats (Chelsea, United and L’pool). 6 home defeats and we DEFINITELY won’t win the league title. Are there any positives? Yes. Chelsea lost their 3rd league game in a row and we are still only 2 points adrift the top of the table.

The players have been in the press talking of how important it is to respond in the game against Braga. We need to do that in style, and even if we do beat them 10 zip, it still won’t remove the fact that we have no record to hold over the Spuds any longer. How sad?

Roll on Tuesday, I can’t wait for us to get a huge win so the ghosts of Saturday’s game can be partly exorcised. One thing is for sure though, the scar of that game will be on the mind of every gooner…except of course we in the league come May.

It’s a cold day in Accra today, very weird that is. I’m off to get some breakfast and prepare myself for a barrage from my Arsenal-hating pals. Not my best of times you bet.

From wherever you are reading, look for positives.
I’ll be doing the same all day.

About qed14

God, Family, Arsenal...in that order. Follow on twitter: @q_e_d_14

Posted on November 22, 2010, in Post-match thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Michael Thomas 4

    There is nothing as dangerous as having an entire club ethos built around a manager. He is in this ivory tower where nobody is applying the remotest bit of pressure on him. Players jockey for the position if they have competition (Clichy take note, when Gibbs comes back), but until Kroenke or Usmanov get their feet firmly under the table to remove the Hill-Woods once and for all be prepared for these outcomes season on season. Wengers subs baffled & his post match comments bemused.

  2. Beautiful piece.. I normally don’t comment on fellow authors post buh this is needed…. *deep sigh* here are my complaints.
    1. Koscielny at 10M is looking like another Pascal Cygan. As much as I prefer him to Squillaci and to me HE IS BETTER dan squillaci.. If at 30 u cnt organise a defence and u lack positional sense u shld be shot and banned for life. Kozzer shld be back up and Squillaci shld be sold.

    2. Djorou is not any better BUT after such commanding performances against Wolves and Everton, he shld have started seeing as those 2 clowns have no Derby experience at this level

    3. Fabregas! Since d City performance he’s been either poor and lacklustre and on sat. He was Dr Jekyl and My Hyde.. Spliitin their defence again and again with sweet passes and all round play.. He went missing in the 2nd, and his moronic hand ball was the worst.

    4. I cldnt care much about who came on or what, AW was terrible again with his Subs.Denilson had a poor game, Song was poor after the break, Rosicky shldnt be in Arsenal again. And Chamakh needs to up his goals to chances record.

    Let’s move on, Braga awaits. Ders a first time for everything.

  3. Michael I totally agree. As I tell my mates, Arsenal’s problem is Peter Hill-wood. Starts and Ends with him. I pray Kroenke takes over, he might not be the saviour but a new owner with new ideas and change in direction will be much welcomed.

  4. All though all three goals were avoidable(counter and two set-pieces),the key issue here is the fact that Arsenal never regained control of the game after conceding the first goal.Spurs dictated the tempo afterwards.
    I see you mentioned Song’s ”bad” positioning, that was always going to be an issue with Van der Vart playing(the main reason Denilson started ahead of Wilshere)and considering Arsenal’s new methods of winning the ball back.
    Arsenal will need to effectively control the tempo(here I don’t necessarily mean chances) of games more.No use having loads of possession if you can’t put the opposition on the back-foot.

  5. This certainly was a game to forget. All round we were a disaster in the second so far song this season has forget his position compeltely kosclny has always been suspect.I hope we have learnt a good lesson from this fabegras and others. I expect a solid response against braga on tuesday till then cheers guys nice work

  6. Im sorry.. This is a game i wnt to forget. After that performance i felt the ghost of harry kewell hunting me again.

  7. If I talk,I’ll right a whole damn article….I’d rather leave it.

  8. if i fail my test i’d totally blame it on AW & his boyz.. Dey dealt my reading morale a lethal blow, took me a whole day 2 get me self bac & read 4 my test on monday… I totally agree wiv bosun + chamakh’s beginnin 2 give performances reminiscent of adebayor, gets a goal & decides he’s done enuf!! D retard was clean thru on goal twice & decided 2 turn backwards while AW in his stereotype nature of never seeing any of his players’ wrongside claimed he (chamakh) had a heavy leg 4rm playin’ in midwk… Denilson disappointed on d 1st goal, im 1 of his few admirers, he jus dint track Bale, reason jus eludes me cos he actually saw him coming & where was song 4 pete’s sake… 2nd goal, dis aint fab’s 1st time, anybody remember last season vs. Liv’pool? Last minute gerrard free kick, he pulled d same stunt deflecting it 4 a corner conning d unsuspectin’ ref, & anybody wonder hw d penalty wud’a turned out if it was Almunia in goal? Maybe, just maybe!! but only 4 d spot kick!! (He sud remain injured 4 d rest of his life 4 all i care).. 3rd goal cud happen 2 anybody & did i 4get 2 mention AW’s subs was like d ‘wackest’ i ever saw him make,RVP was out of sorts, rosicky was nowhere 2 b found, walcott was taking shots like dere was no connection btw his brain & foot… Overall , lets jus hope dis’s one of ’em ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ shit, dust our whooped behind & move on… like we had any oda choice u’d say…but tink about it, if dey sit on their asses feeling sorry 4 demselves.. & ‘along came a ”braga”.. We gon get crushed!

  9. Avnt gotten over it yet. Let’s hope 4 a good game tonight.