Does a win paper over the fault line sized cracks in our performance? Match Review

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There is an elephant in the room and Arsenal fans only want to talk about little bits of it.

‘There’s not much space in here?’

‘It smells a bit funny?’

‘Who keeps on eating the fruit?’

I’ll tell you who Grovers… it’s that massive elephant planted in the corner of the living room hogging the remote drinking a large bottle of your Peroni!

Ok, Geoff’s headline last night was a touch strong, but it’s difficult to argue with the content.

  • Squillaci and Koscielny are a poor partnership
  • Song and Denilson are a bad idea in the same team
  • Arshavin had a stinker
  • There weren’t 59,000

You see, we can keep ignoring the problems we’re having on pitch and we can pretend we’re in all these competitions based on great play, but the simple fact is, we’re in the last stages of the Champions League because we had an easy draw… that I might mention, we nearly cocked up. We’ve had a great run in the Carling Cup and in the League, we’ve benefitted from everyone else being as bad as we normally are.

That hurts to write, but face up to facts, we’ve only been good enough this year because those above have dropped down to our level. I said last season we had a chance to improve and be better than everyone else, but the cheaper option is to just hope everyone else gets a bit worse. We’ve lost 2 Champions League games and 4 in the Premiership and the year isn’t even out.

Last night was a very poor performance against probably the worst team I’ve seen at the Emirates in the Champions League. They’ve only scored one goal this round… against who? Oh yeah… us.

We started off the game in tepid fashion, like we believed we were too good for them. We lacked directness and hardly created a chance. Robin Van Persie went closest after Samir Nasri worked some magic out wide and slipped a tantalising ball into the box that the Dutchman could only slip wide of the near post.

I think by this point we’d already lost Gibbs. Not really news these days, I expect it like I expect us to concede a goal.

Robin managed to win a penalty when { insert }avic clipped him as we were crabbing around inside the penalty area. RVP hit a thunderbolt past the keeper and we went into half time 1-0 up. I don’t know about anyone else, but I winced when he celebrated… I was sure I heard the sound of glass shattering… no more flying knee dives Robin.

A very flat first half that I was hoping we’d improve on.

Well, it didn’t take long for the typical Arsenal script to play out. Denilson was day dreaming in the middle of the park, someone dropped into the gap between the defence and midfield, that player pulled Kozzer out who missed the ball, Squillaci backed off his man, Cleo ripped a shot that went in off the Frenchman’s leg.

1-1… how very predictable. 2 defensive midfielders and still no one protecting the back four.

Our game went down the pan after that, no one took the lead and it all started to look a bit shambolic. Lucky for us, Belgrade were so bad, they gave us confidence and opportunities. We brought on Theo Walcott, he was first to a failed Belgrade clearance, he chested it and power drove a volley into the bottom corner. An incredible instinctive finish, Micheal Owen like…

There was still time for one more goal, Song intercepted in the middle, he played a neat one two with Nik B, took it round two defenders, slipped Super Samir in who turned and buried it.

A rather special goal if you ask me! The guy is unplayable at the moment!

Our night still wasn’t over though, Sagna didn’t track his runner well enough, {insert}avic went past him, the Frenchman clipped him… red card. One of our stand out performers of the night and our best defender is now not with us for our next game which could be Barcelona, Real Madrid, Schalke or Bayern Munich.

Now, this is where the worry comes for me. How can we change fundamental issues in our squad before then? How does this team become a defensive unit in two months? How do we stop Fabianski palming freekicks back into the danger area and shanking kicks up the pitch? How do we get two Frenchman to speak the same language to each other on the pitch? How do we instruct our defensive midfielders to do their job and sit in front of the back four?

We can keep avoiding the elephant in the room, but the fact of the matter is he’s sitting there and my guess is people won’t be ignoring him if our next 4 games don’t go as planned. People won’t be ignoring him if we get spanked by Madrid in the next round of the Champions League. Arsenal have not been good enough this year and the frustration from my perspective is that Wenger has no interest in addressing any of the clear problems we have because they’re being masked by false positions in the league and Cups.

The shame of it is, we have the makings of a fantastic team. Samir Nasri has been unbelievable this year, Cesc Fabragas is the best creative midfielder in the world, Chamakh and Robin are top strikers, Arshavin is a genius when he wants to be, Rosicky and Wilshere slot in perfectly, Sagna is an incredible right back, Vermaelen is a beast… the trouble is, we’re not giving those guys the tools they need to succeed.

We can play any team off the park on our day, but we’re not going to score 3 past the big boys of the Premiership, we’re not going to knock 4 past Barca or Madrid. That people, is where the problem lies and that is what Arsene Wenger is going to have to sort out ASAP… because we’re not going to luck out all season.

Does a win against a team as weak as Belgrade mask what everyone is secretly thinking to themselves?

I’ll let you discuss that in the comments!

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795 Responses to “Does a win paper over the fault line sized cracks in our performance? Match Review”

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  1. Gooby

    Dale you are a bit lost on Enyema.

    few saves against messi doesn’t make him good enough, in fact if he was any good someone he would have moved to any second rate league.

    He never played in a half decent league, not in Europe, not in south america.

  2. SUGA3


    2 years ago, I would probably be a bit happier with that idea, but at the moment, if Szczesny lifts the CC and has a good run in the FA Cup, he may be our no.1 sooner than you think!

    think Casillas…

    as for Almunia being no.1, he is not – I can bet that he is fit, but is obviously being given a cold shoulder: I would not be surprised if he was a goner in January…

  3. DaleDaGooner

    Anyway, Almunia may be off to Malaga if everything goes right. I’m not lost on Vince Gooby, I’ve watched more than a few saves by Messi 😉 I know what i’m talking about.

  4. Gooby


    mate i watched the world cup too, all games to be honest.

    and yes i found him amazing in that game nut he plays for hapoel for god’s sake! don’t you think he should attract more interest from scouts if he was any good?? even from the french, dutch, portuguese, greek, turkish, socttish, belgian leagues???

    i am not pretending to watch him play often, i have no time to watch hapoel playing 😀 he isn’t arsenal standard, we are a top club.

  5. Gooby

    i can’t understand why the fuck evra is obsessed with arsenal.

    my best wish is nasri giving him a proper spanking on monday

  6. BigRed1

    Arsene doesnt want a good keeper,

    he wants a crap keeper so he can prove how brilliant he is by again producing another world class keeper like he did with er, er ,er,

    oh well Chesney gets my vote then…..

  7. ritesh

    Our defence is not very good.

    Denilson was never a DM, use him as a box to box or sell him. It would be justice both to him and to Arsenal.

    Squillaci is not a bad defender, after all he has a lot of CL experience where he did very well against top players. But he needs the team to defend more as a block.

    Our problem is that we have to kill early chances so that we can defend as a block after.

    Put the best defender of the world in our line up and he will look like a clown.

  8. Gooby

    i heared on radio a journalist talking about arsenal, he met chamakh and nasri and saying they are fired up for the game

  9. Confidentgoner

    Diaby is not that slow. Our first goal against Barca was due to his interception and run. Sometimes he is overplayed. The guy does not have stamina beyond 70 mins of football. AW simply does not understand this

  10. SUGA3

    I have never said he was slow, he is just tends to slow us down for other reasons, like overplaying…

    he is very good playing behind the strikers, but we have so many of these, we need to play them all, mostly out of position, hence they are not as effective as they could be IMO…

  11. JJ

    I think we can all agree on one thing – we need a defensive coach/revised tactics more than any single signing.

    It really doesn’t matter who we buy/play, if we don’t change the way we approach the game defensively, we are always going to leave the gate open at the back.

  12. DaleDaGooner

    Vince being at Hapoel still is like someone wondering why David Luiz is still at Benefica or why is Suarez at Ajax. Just cos one does not take particular interest in the Isreali league does not mean there aren’t gems their.

    Speaking of Ajax, I recall a lot of Arsenal fans wanted Huntelaar as he was the best thing in strike boots…The great Real Madrid bought him for top money and AC Milan bought him, he’s in Schakle trying to prove he is a top striker…..knee jerk reaction can cost you real life money, especially when you think what you have is not good enough and there is top quality every where else. Surely we’ll win a trophy or 2 this season and it still won’t be anything to praise.

  13. DaleDaGooner

    JJ, absolutely correct, instead of saying this player is shit or that player is cack, we can all aree that the defensive plan is shit.

  14. SUGA3


    ‘big’ fish in a small pond springs to mind…

    I mean, have you ever watched Dutch league? it’s complete wank, he would get exposed in the Prem, IMO…

    as for Huntelaar, he is pretty slow and his link up play leaves a bit to be desired, but man, he can score!

  15. Gooby

    the cunt evra said, arsenal aren’t a club it’s accademy, he thinks we are fun to watch but will never win and we’ll collapse in 10 years time. He said no one will talk about us by then. that he and his manc team mates only take note of the chavs results…

    i may have forgotten some but he said all that tonight. he’s a fucking little cuntish bastard, hope nasri tear him a new arsehole on monday

  16. Gooby

    yeah lol

    FA would suspect something especially is a lady grover choses to become mrs silva a week after the special visa was rejected 😀

  17. pantsR2long

    Morning/Evening Grovers!

    Evra has shown again what a complete and utter cunt he is, he lacks class and respect and I hope one of our players breaks his leg on Monday and it causes an all in brawl in which Nasri stomps on Shreks head and Sagna piledrives that cunt Fletcher (all this has to happen after we’ve won the game 3-0 though).

    In all honesty I’m expecting the match to be a draw or a loss for us, just can’t see us coming away with three points, though I’d love it if we did.

  18. sixx pac

    Arsenal won’t be remembered in 10 years? That’s ridiculous thing to say,even by his standard. Granted you’ll have some on here tomorrow justifying what he said. Smh

  19. DaleDaGooner

    Evra at it again, funny enough, some of our fans may actually agree with the little cunt. No wonder the French team under his leadership was shambles on International TV. I hope Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin, Song, Sagna, Clichy, Squillaci, Fabregas are reading an talking this personal. It’s a message to them, if they care about Arsenal. Clearly his brainless to think Arsenal won’t be remembered in 10 years, when Man U has to deal with a massive debt. Arsene, he disses you again, what is your response?

  20. SUGA3

    I consider Evra talking crap BEFORE the game a good omen – every time our players came out with these kind of statements (like Cesc’s talk of fielding the Arse ladies against Spuds) it always backfired…

    as for the ManYoo’s debt, it really means nothing, they are too bog a brand to go down, there will always be some ‘poor’ sucker who will want to bail’em out, no?

  21. BigRed1

    Why Geoff? We`ve had 2 poor performances against less than average teams, what drastic changes are you privy to that are going to be made for Monday night?