Let us go straight to the point. The Arsenal team lacked balance. The strange choice of dropping Hleb and starting with Denilson and Diaby in the wide midfield positions congested the midfield. Denilson ended up crowding Fabregas out at times. The same applies to Diaby. The result was that there was no width and a congested midfield. This is why the game was boring until the last half hour when Chelsea got the goal.
This imbalance was corrected by Wenger late in the game when he took Diaby off pushed Ebuoe on the wing by bringing Hoyte at right back. As we have suggested on this site in our preview of the game this is how Arsenal should have lined up!
Baptista kept loosing control of the ball. He did win the penalty though. He takes up good positions, got the goal against Fulham and now the penalty against Chelsea. Otherwise he was anonymous as always. But Wenger keeps playing him as he has no other goal scorer. Surely he is leaving Arsenal.
Conceded again! This is unacceptable. Will it stop next season? We are not sure it will. Ok you would expect Clichy and Ebuoe to have improved enough for their experience gained this season. But will it be enough? And Gallas will play better next season as he has been hampered by his injuries. So there is room for improvement certainly. Lets hope they get more defensive coaching next season!
Arsenal will therefore have to rely more on the attack to get more goals than they might concede. They will certainly be able to do that when the injured players return along with the two additions we have been calling for a long time now in this site ( a pacy winger and another forward- not Baptista of course).
But the attack can not keep doing it week in week out! They will have an off game or come up against a tenacious defence. So if Arsenal are to win the league next season (for they will certainly challenge for it) the defense will have to be tightened up. If this is not done then forget it; for some narrow wins will turn into draws. And as we have seen this season the difference between failure and success is indeed very narrow.
Arsenal will also have to learn to win ugly. When the team is not playing well when things are not going for you. We are not that worried about this because we believe that this is something that comes with desire, determination and also with players that can get you goals from nowhere; and all three can be there next season.They were not there today!