Sunday, September 28, 2008
Complacent Arsenal think that by just turning up at the Emirates victory is guaranteed
By 1970’s Gooner
Nonchalant, arrogant and naïve. These are the words that a lot of fans are using at the moment.
This is indeed how best this Arsenal and a lot of past Arsene Wenger sides, can be characterised.
All these negative attributes arise from the youthfulness of the players and indeed of any youngsters that you may come upon in everyday life.
The Arsenal youngsters got carried away with the emphatic recent successes at traditionally very traumatic away venues in Blackburn and Bolton, the eulogies from the press and fans alike that followed these results and the fact that a youth team put six past a second tier league team midweek.
So you could see it as soon as the game against Hull started that the player’s attitude was not right. I was getting incensed at their lack of urgency, their almost lethargic pace and the wastefulness in front of goal in again trying to score the perfect goal.
This latter attitude comes from the obviously wrongly held belief that “if we miss this chance we will score the next that we our bound to create. It is Hull after all, they are going to lie down and succumb to our obvious superiority and invulnerability”.
All this attitude was artificially reinforced by the lucky own goal that admittedly Walcott helped create. Now that Arsenal was ahead all the above arrogance and naivety was unfortunately allowed to continue.
The result was that Fabregas, the maestro who usually dictates the momentum and style of play for Arsenal continued to make mistakes with his passing and allowed the slow pace to continue.
But at least this did not necessarily result in punishment so much because Fabregas is usually more involved in the attacking and creative side of Arsenal’s game.
The complacent attitude showed its ugly head in the defensive side of the midfield and in the defence.
Denilson was nowhere to be found when Geovanni picked up the ball after some inept Arsenal defending which first started from Clichy’s uncharacteristic inability to clear.
Geovanni was allowed time and space to move with the ball, pick his spot and unleash an unstoppable shot.
From then on it was quite difficult for the Arsenal players to switch into a different mode from the one they were in prior to the 62nd minute equaliser.
And once again, eight minutes later, we failed at a set piece; we have conceded three of our four goals so far from corners.
On this occasion Gallas was guilty of looking away behind him just as when the corner was being taken. Cousin was thus able to steal a march on him and rise almost unchallenged to back head the ball into the net.
There is every chance that Arsenal will route Porto. This is because the players will now get a kick up the back side and they will respond by being professional, ruthless and pursue a result to prove the doubters wrong.
Because that is what gifted but inconsistent youngsters are prone to do.
Eboue comes of age