Sunday, January 31, 2010
Almunia, Clichy, Arshavin more guilty than others
By 1970’s Gooner
Once again Arsenal were found wanting when it came down to facing the big guns. First it was Chelsea at the Emirates with that 3-0 drubbing and now it is Manchester United with another three goals conceded.
This was a horrid performance where all Arsenal players were way below par.
Some much more than others.
Firstly Almunia let the team down again, as he did last season, letting in Ronaldo’s free kick at the near post in that home defeat in the Champions League.
He was not positioned right for Nani’s cross and had to back pedal to reach it but was unaware of his positioning and instead of tipping the ball over the bar he tipped in.
Then it was Clichy, again.
He was under a lot of pressure from Nani all afternoon just as he was against Young at Aston Villa.
He seems to need a lot more games to reach match fitness levels and United having seen his performance in Birmingham targeted him.
But Nasri is to blame as well, for he did not give the young full back enough cover all throughout the game. He was more often than not nowhere to be seen when defensive duties beckoned.
And when he did offer assistance it was of the token kind as evidenced by his wrong positioning next to Clichy rather than behind him allowing Nani to dance through them for his goal.
On the other side of the pitch Arshavin was just as guilty but of a different charge: Selfishness
Fabregas had put him in some advantageous positions during the first fifteen minutes and Arshavin did wriggle himself in on goal several times.
But when he needed to just be aware of his team mates in the box, where a short pass would have put them in on goal, he opted to go for goal himself.
Goals change games and as Arshavin failed to score or create one for Arsenal Nani was encouraged to weave some magic and as a result Almunia gifted the opponents one instead!
And then as Gallas and Vermaelen went forward for a set piece United scored from the break.
Rooney was the ONLY Manchester United player to be in Arsenal’s box surrounded by four players!
And this was because Clichy and Denilson who were tracking back failed to realise that an opponent was running free in the box.
And as for their third goal, what a shambles.
Clichy opted to do nothing than attack the player that was running in free on goal. And that is what Park did!
We need to regroup against Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger needs to drop Almunia, bring a focal point in the attack (Bendtner) which was once again desperately missing today and introduce some width.
Rosicky and Nasri, the two wide players, did no really play wide today and disappointed once again. When Walcott and Eboue came on Arsenal became more dangerous on the right hand side and looked threatening.
Something that Arsenal failed to do for the first 75 minutes.
We can beat Chelsea next Sunday. I firmly believe this…