Apologies for my absence over the past couple of days. Various technical issues hampered my ability to blog – normal service has now resumed.
There is, I feel, so little to say about yesterday’s game. It’s not that nothing happened. If I was feeling generous, I could even describe the first-half as “eventful”. But almost all those events can be attributed to Cardiff’s endeavour, and their subsequent exposure to counter-attack. When Cardiff tired, and the initiative fell to us to dictate the game, we failed to sparkle, and a draw, in the end, was probably about right.
In the first twenty minutes, our makeshift midfield was not even second best. Booed throughout his return to his former club, Aaron Ramsey looked far from his best, and he received little support from the hapless Alexandre Song. Song has been absent from the team in recent games, and it’s fair to say I had forgotten just how bad he can be.
However, he was made to look good by a terrible performance from Emmanuel Eboue. The Ivorian’s display was dragged further into the mire by a dreadful dive and a head-shaking, shoulder-shrugging reaction to his inevitable substitution.
In the first-half, Cardiff had three or four presentable chances, but failed to significantly test Lukasz Fabianski. At the other end, Nicklas Bendtner and Samir Nasri failed to capitalise on the gaps Cardiff occasionally left at the back.
One sensed that once the Welsh side failed to score in their good spell, the game could only go one way, and the second half was almost one-way traffic. However, despite the introduction of Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Adebayor, we failed to break down a sturdy Cardiff defence, with our only significant chance being miscued by the Togolese striker. The Championship team could even have nicked it when a fantastic free kick struck the crossbar in the dying minutes.
It wasn’t a stellar game, and whilst results have improved, we’re steadily becoming rather dull to watch. I know Denilson was rested yesterday, but our midfield still looks painfully weak, and I really hope Arsene uses what remains of the transfer window to bolster that area of the field.
Inevitably, we arrive at the subject of Andrei Arshavin. Arsenal reportedly told Zenit that today was the deadline for any potential deal, and it’s therefore unsurprising that the Russian club are still trying to get Arsenal to coalesce with their demands. Maybe there’ll be something definite today one way or the other, but I now have a nasty feeling this one might run all the way until January 2nd.
Meanwhile, Charles N’Zogbia would rather join Aston Villa. That’s funny, because I’d rather he joined Aston Villa too.
Anyway, we’re still in the Cup at least, and victory over Cardiff in the replay would see us in a winnable home tie against West Brom or Burnley.