Archive for October 26th, 2009

WHU 1 – 1 Arsenal: I hate it when we prove them right

36 comments October 26th, 2009

West Ham 2 – 2 Arsenal (Van Persie 16, Gallas 37, Cole 74, Diamanti 80 (pen))
Highlights | Arsene’s reaction

However well this Arsenal team do, however many games we win, however many goals we score, there will be those in the press who will insist that we do not have the requisite character to challenge for major honours – that we lack defensive organisation and concentration, and are unable to hold leads or sneak winners when not playing at our best.

I loathe it when our players prove those critics right.

Yesterday we were absolutely coasting against West Ham after being gifted a 2-0 lead.  The Hammers’ confidence was at a real low, and their defending comical.  First of all a Sagna cross evaded Robert Green permitting Van Persie to tap in his sixth of the season, and then the Dutchman’s corner found William Gallas, who nodded in his fourth – meaning our centre-backs now have a tally of nine for the season.

At half-time, the game looked dead.  West Ham offered no threat going forward, and looked liable to concede more.

That’s perhaps where it went wrong.  We became complacent and offered West Ham a route back into the game.

The goalkeeping situation at the club has become extremely problematic.  With Manuel Almunia plainly out of favour and Lukasz Fabianski not yet fully recovered from injury, Vito Mannone has been thrust into the spotlight and hasn’t always survived.  Yesterday was a case in point: a long-range free-kick ought to have been palmed routinely round the post, but instead it was knocked back into the centre of the goal where Carlton Cole was in hand to nod in what ought to have been a consolation.

Ought to have been.  With any other team, it would have been.  But this side had shown it’s potential to lapse in Holland in midweek, and they weren’t about to buck the trend.

Scott Parker had a penalty appeal denied, and it sparked the crowd and the team into action.  When Alex Song clipped the heels of Carlton Cole, the referee blew and a spot kick was awarded.  Two nearly penalties makes a penalty, apparently.

Diamanti tucked it away, and suddenly it was level.  Scott Parker was dismissed shortly after the goal, but we weren’t able to capitalise, despite throwing Bendtner and Eduardo into the fray.

It’s super-frustrating.  Hopefully I’ll be able to be more eloquent about it (and explain where I’ve been these past few days) tomorrow.

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