Thoughts on Arsenal’s Disappointing Defeat against Norwich

This is certainly not the Monday morning I had envisaged after seeing Chelsea and both Manchester clubs win their games on Saturday. I’d thought to myself that another late Saturday fixture would end like the last, where Olivier Giroud,  Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla scored the goals that gave Arsenal maximum points on the night.

We all know how Arsenal fared in the game and I’m in no mood to open up old wounds. However, Arsene Wenger’s defense of his team with the “lacking sharpness” line isn’t good enough in my honest opinion. This is a team that had not won a Premier League game in seven tries and they had also been shipping in a lot of goals.

In the wake of this disappointing defeat that left me with a very sour taste in my mouth, here are my humble thoughts. Feel free to share yours in the comments box.

WE CAN’T BLAME THE INTERLULL

Like every other “big” team in the Premier League, Arsenal had a large contingent of players that travelled to their respective nations to take place in several 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Norwich on the other hand, had probably a player or two that represented their nations, but the international break is no excuse for such an appalling display by Arsenal – at least the manager, Arsene Wenger, admitted that,

“Losing players on the international break is not an excuse. We have to deal with that. You could say we have better players but there is only one way to show that – on the football pitch.”

Theo Walcott was the only casualty suffered during the interlull, and it was clear to see that his quality was lacked on the bench. When things seemed a bit hard in Upton Park, it took a decisive Walcott finish to swing the pendulum in Arsenal’s favor.

It’s also worth noting that Arsenal’s title rivals, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs, had a large outlay of players that represented their nations as well, but they all came out from their respective fixtures in flying colors. Chelsea are in pole position and are followed closely by both Manchester outfits – while Arsenal is languishing in 9th place. Shame.

HAVING MORE BALL POSSESSION ISN’T ENOUGH AFTER ALL

At Arsenal, we pass, pass and pass till we find that space in the final third to execute a through ball or a cross, and the rest they say is history. Against Norwich, the Gunners had a staggering 62% of ball possession but how did they fare? Had Grant Holt put on his favorite scoring boots, an embarrassing scoreline would have been on the cards and in my honest opinion, this 1-0 scoreline is very flattering to Arsenal.

So what happened, you may ask?

Why didn’t the midfield triumvirate of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey pull up the strings to put Norwich to the sword?

Here’s what happened, Ramsey was piss poor in his box-to-box role, making Arteta worked harder than he needed to and Cazorla was smothered all game long by the Norwich rearguard.

To top it all off, the attacking trio picked the right game to be collective shite, as there was no real fluid movement from them, with Olivier Giroud culpable for being the most static player in the attack. Gervinho on the other hand, was an aberration as he kept dallying with the ball when a simple pass would have been a better option. People want Le Forehead to be drafted back to the centre forward position, but trust me, he’s better where he is on the wings.

However, even the best players have a bad day in the office, so we’ll have to put that into consideration.

VITO MANNONE CAN NOT BE ARSENAL’S NO. 1 FOR THE LONG TERM

I know I’ve reiterated this line times without number and I won’t hold back on it – Vito Mannone isn’t good enough to be Arsenal’s goalie for the long term.

true reflexes of a cat

This is not the picture of Joe Hart against West Brom I had in mind to display but after searching hard on Google, I had to make do with this. Those that watched the West Brom vs. Manchester City game can vividly remember a defining moment in the game when Chelsea’s loanee, Romelu Lukaku, executed a brilliant overhead kick in the 90th minute that was goal-bound.

Guess who was there to add another collection to his instalment of breathtaking saves? Joe Hart.

Shortly afterwards, the Citizens launched a counter attack and Edin Dzeko was on hand to finish off Sergio Kun Aguero’s assist.

Joe Hart has certainly had his nervy moments like his shenanigans for England against Poland but the Manchester City No. 1 has done so much good than harm for his club side. Vito Mannone on the other hand is usually a passenger in most games with Arsenal dominating possession and all, but when he’s called upon to deliver, in most cases, he’s found wanting.

I wouldn’t want to start singling out different games this season but Arsenal fans can bear me witness that Wojciech Szczesny wouldn’t have parried Alexander Tettey’s shot straight to an onrushing Grant Holt that finished aplomb. I still don’t understand how “two to three weeks” can take this long but we need Szczesny sooner rather than later.

I also feel sorry for Lukasz Fabianski, as he would have gotten another shot at staking his claim for the No. 1 had he been fit. Prior to his shoulder injury in the 2010/11 campaign, Fabianski had really matured as a player and those games did wonders to his confidence.

THE WILSHERE STUNT WASN’T NECESSARY

After 14 months out of the game, it was only normal for Arsenal to introduce Jack Wilshere slowly before considering him to be fit enough for first team action. With Abou Diaby suffering from Diabytes and Aaron Ramsey playing like shite once again, Wilshere is badly needed in Arsenal’s midfield but as Wenger had stated, he isn’t ready yet,

“We have to be conscious he (Wilshere) has not played for 14 months. I would have brought him on if the game had allowed it today but it was too intense. He will play on Monday with the Reserves and then we will see where we go from there. He needs games.”

My question remains; if Wilshere wasn’t ready yet as the manager had put it, why did he make the bench?

The youngster was tipped to make a comeback against Reading in the Capitol One cup after a couple of more Under-21 games and that would have made a lot of sense, but in my opinion, putting him on the bench wasn’t really necessary though.

LUKAS PODOLSKI DESERVES TO BE ON THE PITCH FOR 90 MINUTES

Yes, the game needed a change and the Ox would have been the perfect player to come into the pitch but considering how poor Gervinho played, my jaws dropped to the ground when I saw Lukas Podolski leave the pitch for the Ox. In truth, Podolski was a bit subdued but he had more in the tank and worked in tandem with Andre Santos down the left.

When Le Forehead was drafted to the left wing, he continued holding unto the ball as if he was Diaby’s long lost clone. We all know that Podolski will give you 110% when he plays and the fact that he has been substituted in every Premier League game he has played has become a cause for concern to me.

He’s very good in timing his runs to perfection as well as having a lethal finishing ability and in a game when Arsenal needed people to stand up and counted, it was disheartening seeing Podolski walk to the dugout. To make things worse, his replacement, the Ox got injured shortly afterwards and was replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

That’s enough ranting for one day.

Work beckons.

Happy Birthday Arsene Wenger and Bobby “dKingpin” Agulanna

Sayonara.

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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on October 22, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Santos, Ramsy, Giroud not good enough. Almost all d players put up below average show. International break is another problem of my dear team over time. Wenga should do something. Ox and walcot out. Problem! We still need good striker. Get me and make cool cash at profitclickinghome.blogspot.com

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  2. Lol, pele!

    I do think Mannone can be number one for the long term. Admittedly, Sz1’s still better than Vito. Besides, both are still quite young, being goalkeepers. They’ll come good with a good number of games played per season… yea, I’m also saying we should let Fabianski go.

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  3. Wasif A. Choudhury(@alwaysgooner_10)

    I support Wenger’s decision of not bringing Jack on. Obviously Arsene was planning to bring him on with 10 minutes to go when we were comfortably winning and in the driving seat. But things did not go according to his plan, and had Arsene brought Jack on when we were losing 1-0, being a passionate player that he is, Jack would have strained himself trying to produce that bit of spark the team needed at that time. That would not have been the case if we were winning, and he would’ve played with no pressure and with no need to push himself beyond his limits.

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  4. I feel Wenger needs to put his hand up for this game along with the Captain. Firstly, we were not just poor but poorly motivated. Even after half time our attitude did not change.
    Secondly, Mannone is a number 3 keeper, we all can see it but you can’t blame him alone for the loss. There were so many good priced and free experienced keepers available to be number 2.
    Ramsey has never been a box to box mid and never plays well in that role, we all see and know that except Wenger.
    Finally, our teams dead ball kicks and crossing is pathetic. What’s the use of having a great headerer in Giroud but no balls ever come to him. If you see, that’s how Man and Chelsea beat 10 men behind the ball, plenty crosses.

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  5. Wasif A. Choudhury(@alwaysgooner_10)

    I absolutely understand and support Arsene’s decision of not bringing Jack on during the last stages of the game.
    Obviously, Arsene had included Jack in his squad planning to bring him on with maybe 10 minutes to go when we are comfortably winning and firmly in the driving seat. But things did not exactly go according to the boss’ plans, and bringing Jack on when we were losing would have been very very risky because being a passionate player that he is, he would have strained himself to produce that bit of magic the team needed. It could’ve easily resulted in him being injured again. But if we were leading Norwich by, say, 2 goals, Jack would’ve come on to play the last few minutes with no real pressure.
    There is a difference between playing for a losing side and a winning side, you see, and the situation you’re in will affect how you have to play.

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  6. Arsenal must buy a quality striker like Lorente or any quality spanish striker then a quality defensive midfielder and right winger like Navas and a quality centre half to switch poor Vermalin to left side and finally a new manager who can challenge to trophies.

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  7. I can’t remember when arsenal scored from a corner! can arsene device another way of taking corner kicks because they simple don’t count for us. If it means passing corners like barcelona then so be it. Am yet to understand why wenger is not using Coquolin often enough in holding midfield! Subbing podolski is becoming a routine which i don’t really like. Finally wenger should know that he must not waste time but start getting the points for finishing top 3 otherwise we may bid CL goodbye before January.

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  8. LET WENGER GO, HE IS NOW A DECORATE ON THE PITCH. HE PUTS A PLAYER (JACK) ON THE BENCH. WHATEVER HE WAS DOING ON THE BENCH (NUMBERS OR WHAT?)
    WENGER HAS NO FEELING FOR ARSENAL FC FANS AFTER ALL HE MAKES HIS MONEY FROM THE SALES OF PLAYERS. HE LOOSES NOTHING. IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THE END OF THE SEASON HE WOULD HAVE SOLD WALCOTT. HE HAS WON THE GAMES ALREADY.

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  9. Yes possession football is not enough. We need to be more attacking. I say maybe its time to play a different style. One thing I am not a fan of is Podolski’s role on the left. He’s good yes but he is more effective as a central striker. You can even tell in Germany when he is played on the left he struggles a bit to get in and get clear chances. Only the colossal winger hybrid striker that is CR7 can do this effectively. I think it would be interesting to if Giroud with his intelligent movement and physical presence and Podolski with his finishing technique and pace both started up front with one acting as a shadow striker. It would surely mix things up because lone striker systems barely work in the EPL. Heck do 4-3-3 of sorts with Theo up there also. Arsenal are too predictable and too easy to shut down nowadays.

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  10. Arsene Wenger ate the taste of his own medicine.wenger is stubborn he don’t want to listen from the fans becs we told him to replace Song and Van Perssie but is waiting for injured players to come back. We want quality for quantity. How can a normal Coach bought seven players in hours b4 the closing window? Squalach, Chamack’ Djoru, asharvin, Park and Daniliso must go and replace them with quality spanish players not French players who are useless and boring. Wenger and Gladis must go now and they are paid lot of money for doing nothing.

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