The funny thing is, the players did OK. By their recent standards, this was by no means a poor performance – we were certainly better than at Goodison Park just a few days earlier. On that night, we grabbed a goal we didn’t neccessarily deserve. Fortune was less kind to us yesterday, and we got exactly what was coming to us. The simple fact is that these players do not have enough quality for a decent performance from them to guarantee a win.
I don’t think I ever envisaged seeing an Arsene Wenger side struggle to score goals. Even at the start of this season, whilst we were poor at the lack we still had imagination and guile going forward. Now, shorn of Fabregas and Walcott, aswell as long-term absentees Eduardo and Rosicky, we are reliant almost entirely on Robin van Persie for inspiration – the decision to rest him yesterday is one that is increasingly hard to understand in light of the result. RotorGoat from East Lower yesterday pointed out that since the win over Man U, we’ve only scored four goals at home in the league. Four. We might be on an unbeaten run, but we’re not creating enough chances to win games and convert one pointers to the threes we need to catch Aston Villa.
Emmanuel Adebayor has come in for a lot of criticism of late, and he is undoubtedly looking unmotivated and out of form. There were two half chances that, last season, would probably have found the back of the net. However, the key problem remains the midfield unit. The deterioration from Rosicky-Fabregas-Flamini-Hleb to Nasri-Denilson-Diaby-Eboue is painful. The manager was fairly blasé about the possibility of signing Arshavin after the game, but a schemer of his quality would be a hugely significant addition.
We lack quality. We have about 27 hours to add some.
For those that are interested, the latest on Arshavin is that the player is in St. Petersburg with a private jet on standby to fly to Moscow if a deal can be agreed. Zenit say they are still waiting for an official response from Arsenal to their compromise offer of £15m in two installments. Arsenal, meanwhile, are playing a very dangerous waiting game, trying to negotiate the price even further towards their initial £12m offer.
If anything does happen, it’ll be tomorrow, and you’ll be able to follow the frantic final day of the transfer window both here on Gunnerblog and on twitter. I’m taking the day off to endure the torment of us inevitably signing no-one. Join me. At least the blind panic will enable us to forget about the West Ham match.