Arsenal suffer a collective bad hair day

W.B.A. 2-1 Arsenal

I’m not sure whether ‘a bad day at the office’ does this one justice, though Arsenal clearly did lose the document they were working on, said something inopportune to Dave in accounts by the water cooler, before forgetting to submit their timesheet [this metaphor needs more work – Ed].

It was a classic case of Arsenal coming to the party with a chilled six-pack of their greatest weaknesses [now you’re mixing them – Ed]. Dreadful, switched-off defending, a key injury, his replacement having a mare then getting injured, a glaring miss, possession for possession’s sake and finally a lifeline spurned with a ballooned slip-up of a penalty.

It goes without saying that we should never have lost it – Cazorla’s penalty alone should have guaranteed that – but we shot ourselves in the foot with what Wenger called a “nightmare” performance where we “lost a bit of focus” and compounded it with “very, very poor” defending.

Honestly, we have seen it all before. Thankfully a little less frequently in recent times, so maybe it was at least an uncharacteristically characteristic Arsenal performance.

You could argue, in fact, that it’s been a horrible November (and don’t we know about those) because we’ve not played well since winning in Swansea on 31st October. Better to get a blip in form out the way now rather than in February? Yes.

I say that because the other night Sky Sports reminded me, thanks to a bout of insomnia, how competitive we had been in 2013-14 until the rot set in with that 5-1 trousering at Anfield. Our form has plenty of time to pick up. But with so many players injured – yes I am using it as an excuse, because it really is a massive factor – perhaps a loss of form was unavoidable.

To top it off, we lost Coquelin yesterday for time unknown. Please don’t say it’s a classic three-weeker, because ever since our inactive summer his has been the position most people have fretted most about in terms of depth. As Arteta showed yesterday, he’s simply not a DM, and that he’s at the tail end of his career is plain to see. Flamini is a decent squad player, but no match for Coquelin.

Ozil had a fine game but too many of the others didn’t. Bellerin looked rusty, Gibbs did OK (but is no winger), Alexis looked like a man who’s been overplayed and travelled across hemispheres, Campbell missed his one chance and neither of our central defenders were quite there.

To sum up: poor and a bit dispiriting. Much improvement needed and to say we are desperate for some players to come back is an understatement. It will make a massive difference.

Zagreb on Tuesday. At least we’re back in the saddle quickly, but Tony Colbert’s going to need to soak his magic sponge with some of Getafix’s potion.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. PDDD

    I’m confused eastlower,…i’ve spent 3 years banging the ‘Arteta’s simply not a DM’ drum & i don’t believe you’ve ever once categorically agreed with me. The longest dropping penny ever !

  2. Jim

    It must be osmosis!

  3. PDDD

    Chambers as an option to replace him then Arsene ? Hilarious & utterly predictable nonsense. And the AKBs will lap it up, we’re saved – Chambers the conquering DM hero !

  4. Jim

    Well let’s see – sounds risky but we can’t dismiss it before we’ve even seen him, surely?

  5. PDDD

    But that’s the point surely….there is no evidence (and I mean none at all !) that shows he’s an option there….but you know Arsene said he could be, therefore all logic goes out the window & it’s taken as a given. I just find this cult that’s built up around Arsene depressing. Everything he does is right & anyone who dares to criticise him for anything is an idiot. If he says something, it’s FACT. (amazing how many people feel the need to type that word in capitals)

  6. Jim

    I’m not sure people think that, not in my experience. He is one of the most experienced and most erudite men in football, but few these days nod to his tune without questioning him.

  7. PDDD

    from your subsequent post…….’hindsight is a wonderful thing but perhaps we should have thanked Rosicky and Arteta, and bade them farewell in the summer’……….

    my words may have been harsh but this is exactly what I mean….hindsight ? It was blatantly obvious that they both needed to move on in the summer & that not doing so was just an awful decision. But hey, it was Arsene’s decision so….you know…..let’s try to find a reason why he made it.

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