Quite difficult to stomach losing a game as relatively straight forward as Norwich. Why? Norwich didn’t turn up. I’m not here celebrating a top notch ‘outshining’ here, we’re instead staring down the barrel of a ‘how can we be called contenders with a showing like that’ type performance.
I don’t mean to go over old ground here, but the simple fact is our third choice goalkeeper is not of Premiership quality. He’s barely good enough for the Championship. So why is he drawing a salary?! The goal we conceded was a technical failure you’d wince at in Sunday league. You never palm a ball back into the dangerzone… sure Santos played Holt onside. Sure Mertesacker should have been quicker to the ball… but the simple fact of the matter is top keepers don’t make consistent mistakes like that.
Time for Martinez? Surely he can’t be any worse than someone we know isn’t good enough?
Elsewhere on the pitch things weren’t much better. Players falling over seemed to be the hot theme of the afternoon. Aaron Ramsey slipped back into his usual ways of ceding possession at the sight of an opposition shirt. Gervinho wasn’t much better with a wretched wing performance.
The big trouble we seem to have is Cazorla. If he’s not ticking,the side doesn’t tick. We created hardly anything all afternoon. No one really took the bull by the horns. No one seemed capable of lifting the spirit of the side. We looked flat out of ideas and that’s not helpful if you have top three aspirations. It’s late October and we’re 9th in the league. The best clubs are pulling away and we’re losing touch.
Why is that? Well, as I said after the financials dropped, we don’t have a squad even though we boast the resource. We’re bringing on teenagers to rescue us. I mean honestly, Gnabry? Sure he might be a prospect, but he’s a kid! Chamberlain? Again, he’s a prospect, but not quite the saviour of the universe so many promised me when we snapped him up two summers ago.
We needed a striker to replace Robin, we needed a back up keeper and we needed another midfield body to replace Alex Song. Right now we look vulnerable.
QPR are up next, they shouldn’t be a big test but now they are. How do we cope with a shock defeat? How does Wenger get the attack ticking? How do we reduce dependency on Cazorla through a collective appetite to create chances?
My biggest disappointment is the lack of effort out there. People failing to mark, players not making the runs… complacent mistakes. I thought that side of our game was dead an buried? Seems there is still work to do…
If yesterday’s game proved anything, it’s that you can’t patch a squad up with a bunch of players you hope will bed in straight away. You need top notch now players if that’s what you’re selling.
Wenger is going to need to think fast because black November is drawing in close… we need a great month if we’re going to make an impact on that table.
P.S. Arsenal apparently flew up to Norwich… seriously… and we talk about financial prudence.