Three points. That was all that mattered on an evening where Arsenal couldn’t create chances against a 10-man Newcastle! Shocking. The only goal of the game came when Ox’s powerful shot got deflected into the far corner of Tim Krul’s goal by Coloccini.
All that matters is that we’ve won the game when it would’ve been embarrassing to not get anything other than the 3 points against a team reduced to ten men. Although the defensive performance of the home team deserves praise, it is a worrying trend that our attack has not been performing at it’s usual cohesive best since the beginning of this season.
The pace of our passing, the trademark of our style of football is nowhere to be seen and we seem to be lacking ideas when in possession of the ball in the final third. All we try to do is to penetrate the opposing defence from either wings. If that’s not working, we slowly shift our efforts to the central areas and then proceed to the opposite wing before ultimately losing the ball. Our attack has become too predictable and I’m really worried as to what the reason behind this might be.
I was hoping we’d address this issue at Newcastle, but making several changes to our squad too didn’t seem to do the trick. I don’t think the addition of a new and flashy striker would serve as a panacea to all our problems. There is something off with our overall approach play and Wenger will be worried that in 4 games, OG (own goal, not to be confused with the handsome french bloke) is Arsenal’s top scorer in the league.
Let’s hope The Professor can sort out the problem before we find ourselves ten points behind Manchester City. Today’s win was all the more sweeter after Liverpool had lost 3-0 at Anfield to West Ham, and with Chelsea losing 1-2 at home to Crystal Palace. We’re not off to such a bad start as many would have you believe. But it is important for us to fix our attack as soon as possible before we start to dream.
Cech: 6.5 – Didn’t have anything to do all game, except for saving an already offside Thauvin’s shot at goal.
Bellerin: 6.5 – His exceptional pace saved us the blushes on one occasion. Needs to be more involved in the attacks down the right flank. Has the potential to be a devastating right back. Almost already is!
Koscielny: 7 – Largely untested throughout the match. Glad to have him back in the team. One of the few world class players in our starting eleven.
Gabriel: 7 – Follwed up his strong performance against Liverpool with another dominant display. The all action duo of Koscielny and Gabriel came across as a formidable partnership today. Mertesacker, beware!
Monreal: 7.5 – Constantly trying to get involved on the left wing. Defensively solid once again. Getting to read more and more on my twitter TL that he’s severely underrated. Love it!
Coquelin: 7 – Did what he’s supposed to do. The question remains to be answered as to who should partner him in midfield.
Cazorla: 7 – Always trying to distribute the ball. If I’m not wrong, he made 120+ passes today with 92.9% pass accuracy.
Ramsey: 6.5 – Wenger seems to prefer to partner Cazorla alongside Coquelin at the base of the Gunner’s midfield. Where is Ramsey’s best position at Arsenal? Didn’t have enough effect on the game for me, playing from his favorable central areas.
Sanchez: 6.5 – As always, he was the only one willing to take shots at goal. I fear we’ll burn him out if we don’t rest him. But that’s an entirely different case.
The Ox: 6.5 – Today was his chance to show why he deserves a regular starting berth, but he couldn’t put in a performance he would’ve ideally wanted to. Took the shot which got the fortuitous deflection effectively handing us the victory in the game.
Walcott: 6 – Missed a sitter when Sanchez’s shot was palmed away unconvincingly by Krul in Newcastle’s goal. He ended up striking the ball with his shin sending which sent the ball over the bar. Not a display befitting of a striker against a ten man opposition.
Arteta came on to shore up the defence and he did precisely that with some composed passes. Giroud came on but was only marginally better than Walcott in the role both are fiercely competing for. Should’ve slotted the ball past Krul when he was played in on goal in the penultimate seconds of the game.
Least clinical side of the league is not a nice title to behold. I’m confident we’ll turn it around, but how quickly we’ll manage to do the same? That I’m not sure of. Comment, or tweet to us. Hope you have a great weekend. Keep smiling!