Tottenham 0-0 Arsenal
Some weeks back, Wenger was still claiming that Arsenal could claw back some of the deficit at the top of the table, on the grounds that all the top teams would drop points. Sadly, most of the points being dropped are still being dropped by us.
We’ve taken three points from the last nine, and scored just once in the last four games, leaving us five points from fourth.
And the strange thing is, we’ve genuinely begun to improve. Mainly at the back, where the tap has finally been switched off: three goals conceded in eight games attests to that. OK, so we still make the odd error in that department, but there’s no denying we’ve got better defensively.
So the next thing to fix is the painful lack of chances we are creating. Yesterday, aided by Eboue’s latest peculiar effort to rehabilitate himself with the Arsenal crowd, we had just two shots on goal. One was actually a goal – though disallowed, much to Wenger’s fury – and the second, late on, was a Bendtner drive tipped over the bar by the Spuds goalie.
It’s not much to show from 90 minutes of hard graft, though. And there was plenty of the latter; it was a gritty rearguard action and a good result. Some would argue we should be aiming higher than 0-0 at the Spuds, but this season has been all about readjusting our sights lower I’m afraid.
As for Eboue, well words fail me. Even the immediate apology after yesterday’s pathetic red card contained an element of ‘I didn’t deserve it…’ when it was clear to all he why the referee sent him off. It was an accident waiting to happen. The sad thing is, prior to that he had actually played well, making some foraging runs and scoring the goal that never was. More than any player I can recall, he has the remarkable capacity to take one step forward and two back.
Adebayor probably deserves a mention too: where has his confidence and swagger gone? It’s too easy to say it’s a lack of motivation – I don’t think it’s that. It’s sad to see. Perhaps the three weeks out is no bad thing, and I don’t mean for that to sound like I’m having a pop at him.
So overall, a solid defensive performance, but with plenty to work on. A week from now, when we play Cardiff, we ought to see Arshavin, and lord knows we need him to slot in quickly. With his involvement, plus that of Eduardo, and with Fabregas and Walcott not too far off, then the cavalry could be just round the corner.
Man, do we need the cavalry.