Arsenal lack world class finisher | A point isn’t a knock out blow for Arsenal

by & filed under Match report.

Minute Silence for Hillsborough / Boston Marathon victims (so I was told)

I don’t know why I’m not hugely deflated after yesterday’s result. I thought I would be, but I guess maybe you’re slightly influenced by the people around you and everyone had similar conclusions… we’re not quite good enough and pound for pound and Everton are a really good side.

In the end, the game was split equally because we lacked a world class finisher up front. I’m not saying Giroud can’t become that world class finisher next year, because he could, everyone thought Drogba was donkey after his first season. However, right now, he’s just not up to the job. His two skewed chances… the first in the first half when Aaron Ramsey whipped a ball into the box that Giroud rifled wide… the second in the second half when he crafted himself some space by blazed over… defined the game for me.

Last season, we had a player who didn’t just convert the chances, he’d convert the half chances. That’s what makes the difference in the games where quality wise, there’s not a whole lot in it.

Game wise, the first half was fairly even split. Everton controlled proceedings for the opening 20 minutes. Pienaar timed a perfect run through the heart of our defence and fired over when it seemed easier to hit the target. The game turned into a bit of a midfield choke-a-thon after that. Everton tried to bully us. Fellaini the main culprit. He seemed to bulldoze anyone who stepped near his turning zone (which is about a two mile radius). The referee was more interested in letting the play carry on, which I’m fine with… I just wish there was some sort of consistency with them. Gibson was the first to pick up a booking, he then made another clumsy foul minutes later and avoided a red.

Say what you want about football being a mans game… simple fact is it’s not in the Premier League… and Moyes can seriously do one on the ‘it’s how we do it up norf nonsense’. It’s how we do it over Hackney Marshes. Being a thug isn’t the preserve of the north my friend. Have you not seen a Danny Dyer film?

Everton had a promising chance when Anichebe burst through on goal, the ball was blocked and nearly found it’s way past our keeper but he pounced to snuff out the danger. Barkley, the impressive England under 21 also let off a solid shoot that Szecseny did well to get down to.

We had a couple of good chances, the Giroud miss I spoke  about earlier, then later on, Cazorla found himself bearing down on goal after some good work from Jack, but his shot was well blocked.

Jack Wilshere looked heavy legged to me. I have no idea why the manager, after suggesting he’d brought Jack too early opted to play him in a tough game. Can you imagine if he’d picked up an injury? Half time saw some handbags over some sprayed water. If I’d had WIFI I’d have found that out. As I didn’t, I’m just learning this morning of the half time horrors.

The second half was mostly ours. We kicked our game up into a different gear pretty early on. We just lacked the finish.

We brought off Theo Walcott who was poor again and we took off Jack Wilshere. The replacements were Chamberlain who moved into the middle and Podolski who slipped out wide. They made a difference. There was a renewed energy, but not the break through we hoped for. Chamberlain had a chance to blast home when on goal, he opted for cutting it across goal, giving Coleman the chance to clear. Giroud blasted over after being given a chance by Cazorla. The final miss came from Arteta who found himself in nose bleed territory… instead of shooting, he cut back and killed his chance.

The final score was 0-0. It was an intense battle, we just lacked the quality to take the match. It’s not a knock out blow by any means. It just means that the United game now plays even greater significance on our season. We have to beat them. We have to win the rest of our games. It’s going to be a tough run in and it’s going to require better finishing. The point of yesterday was it was a must not lose. We didn’t lose. We maintain our unbeaten run, we’ve just got to really pull something out the bag for our run in.

Conclusions from the game were that we defended really well as a team. I thought the keeper had a solid performance. His kicking was up to scratch and he did all the basics well. The two centre backs dealt with the aerial onslaught well. Koscielny found himself wedged between Fellaini and Anichebe for an aerial ball that he won. Amazing how slight he was in comparison.

I thought Aaron Ramsey had a good game. He covered lots of ground, he kept going until the end. If there was a trophy for running, he’d have won it for last night. It seems there is more appreciation for Ramsey outside Arsenal. Sure, he makes some bad passes, but so did Gilberto. I’m not saying they’re the same player,  but people need to recognise the job he’s doing in midfield. They need to recognise that he’s not a Cesc Fabregas. He’s more of a Flamini in the making.

Jack Wilshere looked tired to me. I think we should have started with Rosicky. As for Theo, well, everyone wanted him back in the side… and he created nothing all game. At least you can always count on Gervinho to miss 3-5 sitters again because he gets himself into the mixing pot. Theo was anonymous all game. He has a touch of the post-contract-adebayors.

I think if anything was apparent from last night, it’s that you need powerhouse players in your team. We don’t have them. We were roughed up in the first half and we became introverted. No one showed for the ball. No one stood up for themselves. We need more battlers in games like that. We have a habit of static play when things don’t go our way and it happens quite a lot. We need our very own Fellaini. Or Vieira. Or Cabaye. We need someone who can lift the side. Jack is too young to do that on his own.

In the end, we didn’t have the quality to win. It’s as simple as that. A point against Everton isn’t a bad result. They beat City two weeks ago. They’re a good side. We can’t take the ‘this isn’t good enough for Arsenal’ high ground at the moment… because with the team we have out at the moment… it probably is.

We’ve just got to hope there’s a winning reaction at the weekend.

320 Responses to “Arsenal lack world class finisher | A point isn’t a knock out blow for Arsenal”

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    The funny thing is, Theo has had 6 years,to prove his worth…

    6 fornicating years….& is now on £100k..

    Oxo-has had almost 2 years in the team,being on the periphery(not a main starter)..& shown more in his locker,than Theo over his time at AFC..

    & yet you have Walcott’s love juices(smeared all over your face), banging about Theo’s stats & how he is the overwhelming choice to be an ever present in the team…

    Dear me…what a caged tail less baboon,you are..!!

  2. gazzap

    Beat Fulham and Spurs lose to City and I cannot see us not finishing 4th. Beating Fulham will not be easy despite how easy the Chavs are making it look. By all accounts Fulham deserved to be leading before chavs scored. Hopefully this big defeat will affect Fulham’s confidence.

  3. Arsenal 1886-2006

    I think that Jack has some talent, albeit not the world beater the media seem to think, but does he have the right manager to bring him through?
    remember Walcott was the second coming when he signed and he has certainly not lived up to the hype.

  4. Toli83

    If jack wasnt surrounded by a team with little cohesion and a lumbering centre forward been played out of formation, and also if he didn’t get run into the ground, despite us ‘having two players in every position’ then he could be a game changer.

    If he was alongside a Capoue or someone of that ilk then he wouldn’t be riding as many tackles as he does.

    Top talent who should be fighting for his place alongside other quality centre mids, been taught under great management protecting him.

    Unfortunately none of those things are happening .

  5. kwik fit

    Arsenal 1886-2006

    Yeah Jack’s career would be better under the tutor-age of Fergie. Wenger’s statement about taking him back too soon and then playing him next game proves he’s not the right man to take Jack to the next level.

  6. Dannyboy

    WENGER DOES IT AGAIN! 4th place is achieved!

    ‘So Arsene, defeat here at St James condemns you to 5th place, and Europa League football next season. What are your thoughts’

    ‘Well I sink zat you are wrong, I have zee beleeeef zat we are 4th no? Behind only Madrid, Man United and Barcelona? What iz zis 5th place zat you talk about?’

  7. kwik fit

    Wouldn’t read too much into the valuation cos its only based on current market price. The price is high because of potential takeover bid by ‘the big one’. The ‘true’ asset value fixed assets, players, cash verus debt is a completely different figure all together. On this basis were probably no 1


  8. Thomas

    4th richest club and we’re not close to winning any trophies. Yep we fans are getting fucked alright.

    Wenger Out


    ThomasApril 18, 2013 00:37:13
    4th richest club and we’re not close to winning any trophies. Yep we fans are getting fucked alright.Wenger Out
    Trying telling that to “MarxistDrone”,who thinks Theo”The Shirker”,is the answer to our woes,with his so-called stat-pack…

  10. Giroud is a Championship player

    Quite simple really. Jack and Santi are the same players. They over-shadow each other. They both might work but they need alot of understanding, intelligence and technique especially if they want to emulate Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Villa. It also helps if you have a great striker up front. Because you know that all the good work you put into midfield will never be realised up front. Giroud is a Championship player at best. How many times have Arsenal scored from a cross from Clichy, Sagna, Gibbs, Jenkinson? Never! Why? Because AW wants 10 midfielders in his squad. Take Giroud off at half time. Move Theo to the striking position and bring on AOC. That match was there to be won. If only players were moved around. Yes I agree that AW has a system and a system prevails over tactics. But this only works when you have the players to play that system. Half of the team are incapable of playing the system so you need tactical changes. This is where AW is wrong and this is why this team fails. Even our good players are crap. Would you not expect a Santi, Jack, AOC triangle of passes to beat a parked defence to score a goal? I have seen no creativity in our midfield for years. When was the last one-two that Jack and Santi played to unlock a defence and score a goal?

  11. Fadihon

    Anyone else think that Santi is the best choice to play in the central playmaking position? He’s too good of a player to be restricted to one side! Even when jack is fit, his best position is not that playmaking one because he cannot shoot and thread a pass like Santi can.

    And podolski on the left deserves to start again (if Arsene is to continue his policy of earning their starts)