Sunday, September 30, 2012

Infuriating Frustration

By William McMenemy.

All the talk before our trip to the Etihad was of ‘tests’. Well after the result at the Etihad and yesterday’s defeat to Chelsea, we’re no smarter to what this team could do. One top performance followed by what is no doubt our most annoying and frustrating since Milan away last season.

To go from being so assured of ourselves one week to being lost, without purpose the next is annoying. And it was all made worse by the fact it was against Chelsea, who are not a level above us in my opinion nor are they the better candidates to finish 3rd but that’s an argument for another day.

The performance was very disappointing, the kind of disappointing like finding out a family member supports Tottenham (I have many of those). There was no real penetration or incisive passing today. How much of that being down to Diaby having to come off is open to debate but it’s foolish of Wenger to invest so much importance in a player with an injury record like Diaby’s.

Both goals were a result of rash tackles from our leader. To quote resident Chelsea ballhead Ray Wilkins, stay on your feet. He lunged in for the first tackle and it’s something I want to see. Quite a few of our players were lunging into tackles and being left for dead. It’s suicidal.

The second came about from Vermaelen rampaging up the pitch and getting caught out of position. I know it looks like I’m trying to find a scapegoat but why is our defender charging forward at 1-1 in the 57th minute? It’s that type of foolishness that always hurts us. Yes Arteta gave the ball away and put us under pressure but at least be there to do what you get paid for and defend Thomas.

So Vermaelen was at fault for giving away both free-kicks and Koscielny had an absolute nightmare when trying to defend them. He, much last the collective, went from one end of the scale to other in the space of 6 days in terms of his performance. I’m big fan of Koscielny but sometimes you have to accept the player has had a ‘mare.

Another so called talking point is Giroud’s miss. Again, some portions of the fan base are unfairly getting on the back of this man. He’s constantly getting brought on as a sub and one chance happens to fall to him. I don’t care how good you are or how awesome your conversion rate is, no striker can get into a run of form playing like this. He needs more starts and more chances being created for him when he starts.

We play Olympiakos next at home followed by a trip to Upton Park.Every team suffers bumps along the way, what filters out the quality sides is how they react to the bumps and that’s what we need to do now.

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