Missed chances, dropped points

Birmingham City 1-1 Arsenal

At the risk of repeating myself, a draw yesterday did indeed end up feeling like a ‘hammer blow’. Wenger merely called it a ‘big blow’, but if you squinted you could read the word ‘hammer’ in the furrows of his brow during the post-match interview.

The nature of the draw made it that bit worse too. Had we been the team that equalised in the last minute having been 1-0 down then it would have felt like something had been plucked from the embers. As it was, an avoidable last minute equaliser made it feel almost like a defeat. It was two points dropped with bells on. Twitter was a gloomy place to be at 5pm last night.

We’re now three points behind, but with the goal differences of our rivals disappearing over the horizon, it feels more like four.

Still, I’ve made the mistake of writing us off on more than one occasion this season and I won’t be so stupid as to do it again now. With Utd and the Russians playing next weekend, there is a guarantee of dropped points from at least one, and maybe both of them. The picture changes so fast, even if the room for wiggling is diminishing.

Almunia is the one getting the negative headlines this morning. Despite improved recent form, including that excellent penalty save against West Ham, he retains the ability to take backwards steps right after taking forwards ones. Goodplaya doesn’t blame him for the goal but I think he’s being a bit generous. The Spaniard should have done better.

Almunia’s a lucky boy though, unlike Lehmann before him, because there’s nobody else good enough to give him a run for his money. Someone with more experience and fewer nervous tics than Fabianski would might well have displaced him by now.

Not that his late intervention was the only crack in our armoury. To blame him entirely for the dropped points is too simplistic.

Walcott did very little. Far too little. City were tough opponents – their home record is there for all to see – and they disrupted our rhythm to good effect. But even taking that into account, we did not get going until the second half – not until Walcott and Rosicky were replaced with Nasri and Arshavin in fact – and had we taken one of our two very good late chances, then this morning we’d still be moaning about Almunia but in the context of a win.

It wasn’t to be of course.

Positives? Of course there were. The spirit is there for all to see. Nasri and Diaby are in the form of their Arsenal careers. We didn’t lose against a decent, committed side.

The great thing of course is there’s no time to dwell, as it’s Barcelona on Wednesday.

Is Iniesta really out? I’ll believe it when I see it.


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

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. indgunner

    yup iniesta is out..hamstring injury vs mallorca..i hope we dont look back at this game sayin if we won it we could ve won the title.but heads up, keep the faith!!

  2. Alexander Tovey

    Arsenal plus goalkeeper equals winning the league
    Arsenal including Almunia equals third spot

    Maths are simple

  3. joni goonah

    in the end..trying to win the league with barndoor bendtner and the spanish waiter.. is juz not going to happen! fact!

    blame rest solely on Arsene Wenger… good job Le Boss

  4. SolsaGooner

    xavis out aswell…hmm destiny i fink,all we need now is messi to have a stinker and its in the bag!! COYG!!

  5. PD

    ‘Almunia’s a lucky boy though, unlike Lehmann before him, because there’s nobody else good enough to give him a run for his money.’

    Really ? Jens had Almunia. Who was never as good as him.Still isn’t & never will be. As soon as Wenger decided Jens was done we needed to buy. It was true in May 08,was still true last summer & was even more true in Jan. For the sake of a few million quid in Jan we’ve (almost certainly) lost the title.
    Sorry Arsene but there’s no excuse.

  6. 433

    Iniesta is a key player for them. It’ll be a boost if he doesn’t play.

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