November 28, 2010
Arsenal bounced back from their defeats against Spurs and Braga to claim a vital away victory at Villa Park yesterday. It was a match that they largely dominated and yet they still seemed to make hard work of dispatching a very average-looking Aston Villa side.
It seems a little ridiculous that the Gunners had to score four goals to truly put this match to bed when, again, leading 2-0 at the break, the game should have been shut down in the second half with Villa never getting anywhere near any sort of result.
Samir Nasri Celebrates His Goal©Getty Images
November 24, 2010
The theory, (or was it just a hope?), that Arsenal had finally found some collective resilience was blown to pieces by back-to-back defeats at the hands of Spurs in the North London Derby on Saturday and Braga last night in the Champions League. As weeks go, this one couldn’t have been much worse.
Saturday’s capitulation to Spurs was the first home league loss to our North London enemies since 1993. And anyone who was at that match 17 years ago will remember that it was a game staged a week before Arsenal’s appearance in the FA Cup Final and George Graham fielded a very much weakened team in the days when “squad rotation” didn’t happen and the FA routinely fined anyone who didn’t put out what was perceived to be their strongest team. The Spurs victory that night was a hollow one - Arsenal fans mocked their visitors for the length of time it took them to break down a near youth team.
How Did We Lose That Game?©Getty Images
November 15, 2010
Two very big away wins at Wolves and Everton, coupled with Chelsea being stunned at home by Sunderland yesterday, has seen Arsenal jump to second place in the Premier League sitting just two points behind the leaders.
On the back of the home defeat to Newcastle, those two matches were a real tests of resolve and the Gunners passed them with flying colours showing the sort of grit and determination that has so often been lacking in recent times away from home.
Bacary Sagna Celebrates a Rare Goal©PA Photos
November 8, 2010
Lessons that were learned from the home game against Newcastle on Sunday:
- Lucasz Fabianski is still an accident waiting to happen the moment he is asked to make an actual decision rather than be called upon to make an instinctive save.
- Cesc Fabregas is badly out of form at the moment. Every player suffers dips in form; but if it is a player whom the team rely on heavily, then it is harder to paper over the cracks.
- When Theo Walcott comes up against a full-back who is at least as quick as him, he doesn’t have much in the way of a Plan B up his sleeve.
- On the evidence of his appearance yesterday, Robin Van Persie is not ready to be “rushed back”. He looked miles off the pace.
Poor Decision-Making by Fabianski Leads to Newcastle Goal©Getty Images
November 4, 2010
Lessons. They are apparently what Arsenal learn after every defeat they suffer these days. The thing about lessons though is that, assuming the pupils who receive them are not total imbeciles, they need not be repeated more than once or twice. And occasionally we all get "a lesson we'll never forget" which doesn’t need teaching more than once.
After last night’s Champions League defeat at the hands of Shakhtar Donestsk, Arsene Wenger stated that the lesson to be taken from the match was one about the dangers of complacency and lack of focus. You would have thought that particular class was amply taught during the home defeat to West Brom earlier in the season.
Theo Walcott Celebrates His Goal Last Night©Getty Images