There are some important reasons why Arsenal lost last night. Lets hope they are corrected. AW now has the time to do this and use the remainder of the fixtures to prepare without pressure for next season.
Players were out of position
Toure was fine at right back but to play Silva at centre back was not a good idea. It weakened the midfield because Denilson is not yet as good as Silva, not enough experience nor cunniness. Silva is also dangerous as a goalscorer. All this was sacrificed by AW for some reason we cannot yet fathom! But the really important loss was the fact that Cesc did not have someone experienced near him to provide the security and the springboard so that he could play his beautiful game. He looked more nervous than normal. AW could have played Djourou at centre back and kept Silva in midfield.
Inadequate players at key positions
Ljumberg looks like he is past it. He cannot get passed his man and he tries to get free kicks instead. This is not good enough. He should be part of a clear up in the summer.
The same goes for Baptista. He has not convinced that he is an Arsenal player. He did not provide enough of a threat last night. Adebayor did but he needs support. Hleb is so shot shy that when he thinks about shooting he is like a 16 year old trying to ask a girl out for the first time!
So if you dont have enough goalscorers and your goal success rate is about 20 shots on goal then you are in trouble.
The substitutions and their timing were again wrong
The team was on the up. They scored an unlikely goal and began to open PSV's defence up as their heads inevitably dropped after conceding. The substitutions broke that momentum up and was never recovered. Add to that the fact that the subs did not add anything new. In fact taking out a winger and adding a midfielder (Diaby for Ljumberg) reduced the team's
penetration capabilities whatever they were - better to have introduced Walcott instead. And introducing a clearly unfit Henry for Baptista proved very costly since a fit Baptista had clearly more of a chance to score. Even Aliadier could have come on. Henry is now out possibly for the rest of the season!
Comedy of Errors! Naivety from Clichy, Fabregas, Hleb, Diaby and Lehmann!
Apart from the bigger picture and issues that affect the outcomes of matches, games are also decided on small details. Small mistakes that can cost you big. And usually it is a combination of errors that result in goals. Very efficient opponents only need one mistake. And Arsenal conceded the goal having made the following errors:
1. Instead of choosing the safe option of throwing the ball down the touch line Clichy makes a throw sideways towards the middle of the pitch to an imaginary player!
2. Fabregas panics and instead of folowing the ball decides to make an overhead kick to another imaginary player!
3. The ball is finally picked up by a PSV player who is chased to the corner flag by Hleb and the ball becomes stationary on the arc of the corner flag with the PSV player the last player to touch it. Hleb proceeds to foul him!
4.The ball is not placed where the foul is commited. It is placed a few important feet inwards and to the left thus allowing the taker to send it in from a more advantageous position. The referee shoul have ordered a retake. Diaby jumps for the ball but is ineffective.
5. Lehmann comes for it and then goes back. He is left in no man's land.Again!
So there you have it. Four errors from the Arsenal players and one from the officials.
Reasons to be cheerful
There are a lot.
But this will be the subject of future issues!