I guess it has been a Saturday lunch-time tradition this season. We visit one of the title rivals and get drummed by them looking like a school-boy team without any knowledge of defending. We were shameful, embarrassing, poor, pathetic, bloodless, Spuds-alike bunch of clueless, slow, jaded, lackluster players. Every single Gunner should have been embarrassed of himself, they should all connect to their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts and leave a message which contains the following:
I apologize for being a member of the team that played against Chelsea on Saturday lunch-time. I am aware of the fact that I betrayed every proud Gooner in the world and dishonoured the shirt I was wearing with my performance and attitude. In order to show my remorse, I won’t be posting anything on my Facebook and Twitter account until the season ends.
Please, forgive me for my poor performance. I promise I will never do it again as long as I wear a shirt that was once worn by champions like Brady, Rocastle, Thomas, Smith, Hartson, Adams, Wright, Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, Campbell and Seaman.
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Here are key pointers from today’s farce.
1.We haven’t been up to big matches this season away from home…
Manchester City-Arsenal 6:3, Liverpool-Arsenal 5:1, Chelsea-Arsenal 6:0. Three title contenders scored 17 goals against us at their respective venues. It’s simply not good enough and the manager should take more than just a verbal responsibility.
2….and it’s our midfield that was the main reason for that.
At first sight, everyone will blame the defence. However, those who watched all three matches might have noticed that our midfielders had been responsible for most of those goals – sloppy passing, lost possession and, mostly, inability to cope with opponents’ pace. Our defenders are usually left on their own as they have no protection from our midfielders. The only way you can survive all those mistakes is to have a world-class striker to bail you out but…
2….time to say “Adieu!” to Olivier Giroud.
Apart from our midfield problems, there is always the “Olivier-Giroud-as-a-main-striker”-factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Whenever we’ve been beaten by a top-drawer-team in the Premiership this season, Giroud missed at least one good chance to change the shape of the game. He missed a hat-trick of sitters against Manchester City, he missed two great chances against Chelsea in the reverse fixture, he missed our only chance between two Škrtel’s goals at Anfield and today he missed a sitter to give us an early lead. Had he scored a goal at the beginning of the match, it would have had a different turn, that’s for sure. But it’s Giroud and we shouldn’t expect him to do so in big matches. “But” and “Giroud” can go well in France – “but” is French for “goal” – but both “but” and “Giroud” have different meanings in England.
We should think about a new striker right now. Mandžukić, Cavani, Lavezzi, Higuain, Benzema, Griezmann, Huntelaar, Balotelli, Pedro…every single one of them would be a better option than Giroud is. Hell, I’d even send a hefty offer for Agüero! We have a lot of money in the bank just waiting for Arsene (or some ambitious manager on the Arsenal bench) to spend it.
3.Ramsey can’t return soon enough.
We have been without Aaron Ramsey since The Boxing Day and it is unlikely we will have him back for the next match against Swansea. Our midfield has lacked his engine and ability to drive forward even if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done rather well lately.
4.Battle for the fourth-place-trophy is still on.
Everton narrowed our lead to eight points and they have a game in hand. If we make another slip or lose at Goodison Park, we might have another last-moment-battle for the fourth-place trophy.
5.Andre Marriner proved once more that English referees are terrible.
It takes a lot of incompetence to make a mess like Marriner did today. He should have been sent to League Two by now!
6.Will we get massacred by Manchester City?
Next week we will host Swansea and Manchester City with questionable levels of self-confidence. Our players are in shambles right now and scars won’t heal just like that. Given how strong Manchester City are, how pathetic we have been in the matches against top sides and that we won’t have Wilshere, Özil and, probably, Ramsey for that match, there is a possibility that we will be brutally beaten by the Citizens. It’s like we have an Idiocy-competition with the Spuds – whatever they can do miserable, we can at least repeat and Spuds conceded eleven goals in two games against City.
It would be great to forget this defeat and the best way for that is to beat our next opponents. It will be a tough game against Swansea but it’s a must-win for us in order to keep the gap between us and Everton.