Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0: Same ol’ Shit, Different Year
Oh oh to be a Gooner…
To be an Arsenal fan at this point in time requires a lot from the individual. You’ll have to gear yourself up for pleasure that goes hand in hand with a lot of pain.
Arsene Wenger assembled a squad that he felt was good enough to challenge for honors on all fronts. He lost three great players in the form of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy and replaced them with players he felt were good enough in his eyes.
Arsenal has been out of contention for Premier League a long while ago, unfortunately ousted by Manchester City in the Carling Cup, a foot away from the Champions League and had only the FA Cup to fight for.
Arsene Wenger made three changes to the team that was spanked by AC Milan with “Cup keeper” Lukasz Fabianski replacing Wojciech Szczesny in goal while Francis Coquelin and Gervinho got the nod ahead of Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott.
Robin van Persie won a free kick early on but Mikel Arteta’s effort curled away from goal. With just seven minutes gone, Coquelin waltzed forward from the left hand side and twanged his hammy. Every Arsenal fan’s worst nightmare came through as Freddy Krueger in the form of Seb Squillaci came into the pitch to replace the injured Coquelin.
Van Persie showed off his intelligence by slotting an amazing through ball for Gervinho in behind the defense but the Ivorian’s effort was fisted to safety by Mignolet in goal.
Alex Song sent in another through ball that put the Sunderland defense on the back foot but John O’ Shea did enough to nick the ball past van Persie. Claims for a penalty fell on deaf Howard Webb ears.
With halftime looming, it became a familiar story as Arsenal became the plotters of their own downfall. Thomas Vermaelen gave a back pass to Johan Djourou but the Swiss defender panicked when he was closed down then he committed a clumsy foul.
Seb Larsson sent the free kick into Arsenal’s danger area but it wasn’t cleared to safety as Kieran Richardson blasted the ball sweetly into Arsenal’s net with Fabianski rooted to the spot. For those that didn’t know, the ball deflated off yours truly…Seb Squillaci.
James McClean had the chance to put Sunderland two up but his effort hit the side netting.
Everyone expected Arsenal to come out stronger in the second half but the Gunners were on the back foot again when Bacary Sagna committed a blatant foul but Larsson sent his effort over.
Wenger brought on Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott to replace the ineffectual Aaron Ramsey and the Squisha who picked up another injury to add to Arsenal’s defensive woes. Vermaelen got on the end of an Arteta cross but it was aimed straight at the goalie.
With the way the game was going, the next goal was certainly going to be of utmost importance to the team that scores it. Unfortunately, it came after another schoolboy error but it wasn’t from the regular suspects like Andrey Arshavin, Djourou or Squillaci. It came from Arsenal’s recent “sweetheart” Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Ox dallied on the ball and it was taken off him. A counter attack was launched and Stephane Sessegnon showed good stamina to shove off Mikel Arteta before teeing up Larsson. The Swede’s first timed effort hit the post but the Ox suffered the ignominy of an own goal as he bundled the ball past the goal line.
And that was pretty much Arsenal’s season. Another capitulation in grand style.
Fabianski (6.5) dominated his area well as he dealt with crosses well.
Sagna (6.5) was one of Arsenal’s better players but he could have done better in closing Richardson down.
Vermaelen (6.0) was half bad as a left back.
Djourou (5.5) committed the clumsy challenge that led to the first goal.
Squillaci (5.5) was shite again and showed how low Arsenal’s standard has been in recent times
Song (6.5) tried his best in a midfield that was crowded with number.
Arteta (6.5) made himself available for passes and did okay.
Ramsey (5.5) was an aberration.
The Ox (6.0) was quite disappointing and compounded his misery by conceding an own goal.
Gervinho (5.5) could get past his man and offered no threat down the left.
Van Persie (6.0) lacked service and was toothless in attack.
Rosicky (6.5) added some verve to the attack to no great effect though.
Walcott’s (5.0) only telling contribution was getting offside and he became peripheral all game long.
The only puzzling thing about this present crop of players is that they were assembled by the same manager that produced one of the greatest Premier League teams of all time, the Invincibles.
The only players in this team that could challenge for a first team place in the 2003/04 Arsenal squad are Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere and van Persie.
I’m pretty sure that the captain’s days are numbered except he wants to prove everybody wrong by showing his loyalty to the club. If not, I’m pretty sure that Wenger would sell him for £70m to Real Madrid then take a space shuttle trip to buy an unknown striker from Jupiter.
The quote of the day goes to @etyro:
“@etyro: Arsenal’s season ends today like it has for the past 3 seasons.. We can’t build castles with straws.”
Success isn’t permanent but failure isn’t fatal.
I am and will always be…
A Gooner for Life
Lest I forget,
The Arsenal Trophy-less Chronicles Season 7 is out in stores now. I also heard that it’s available on HD.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button