Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
So anyway, I opted to give myself a good 24 hours to stew over things before tapping something out tonight.
When the game ended yesterday evening, I was deeply frustrated that we hadn’t been able to give it a better go, particularly in the second half. The form of the players was not something that can be allowed for (and some were mysteriously out of sorts) – but the selection was, and like everyone else I still feel the omission of Arshavin in particular was truly baffling. GilbertoSilver tries to reason why, but like him, the more I look into it, the odder it is. He has the experience that everyone says we are lacking, he offers the attacking nous we need to counteract a raw defence, he is fresh and he is cup-tied in the Champions League. And if it was because he is short – then play it on the ground. Anyway, as Arseblogger says, we cannot dwell on it because we cannot change it.
With the defence we had, it may never have even made a difference. When you have five players who have barely ever played with one another, wobbliness is hardly surprising. And when the keeper goes kamikaze, it’s even less so. Nevertheless, I thought Gibbs was a really bright light and we shouldn’t forget that. He and Walcott were excellent, really.
Interesting how Wenger this evening tipped Fabianski for greatness. You don’t have to read between the lines to see what he’s trying to do here – Fabianski had a rotten game and Wenger is doing what all good bosses do by trying to patch up his confidence.
Put simply, whatever Wenger tried to do yesterday never worked at all and some of the players who have been in excellent or improving form recently – Fabregas, van Persie, Adebayor – could not stamp their authority on the game at all. Denilson and Diaby showed why in the last month they have fallen behind Song in the pecking order.
In addition, Chelsea showed that they are past masters at grinding teams down.
Still, dust off the misery because we’re off again on Tuesday in the next stage of this punishing season. The game means infinitely more to the home team than it does to us – and I hope our performance does not reflect that.
On the back of yesterday’s frustrating loss, let’s have a bit of Wenger’s favourite “handbrake off” and go at them all guns blazing.