Not sure what it is at the moment, I know we are a bit short in midfield, without Xhaka, Cazorla, Ramsey, Elneny and no longer have Wilshere, but we just seem to roll over in these big games. The first half wasn’t too bad, and without the goal, I’d have said things were pretty even, however, gone are the days where we looked dangerous every time we went forward, Chelsea however did.
As always with these away games at Stamford Bridge these days, there’s a script which pretty much always gets followed…
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Lots of injuries/suspensions for us ahead of the game – check. A decent start and some early pressure – check. Looks like we’re doing ok, holding on well – check. Then, boom, a controversial ref decision, and a loss of one of our key players – there it is, game over. I lost count of the amount of times Gabriel was missing and out of position, and it was only wasteful passing and wrong decisions which meant we held on to ‘only’ go in 1-0 down. That said Gabriel himself could have given us the confidence we needed to get something out of the game, and almost levelled after the break, only for Courtois to make a save from his header.
So, sadly, at 1-0 down, gone are the days of Tony Adams, and Martin Keown rallying the troops, bent over, hands on hips, huffing and puffing, pulling players into position and starting the fightback. We have no Vieira who would be controlling the middle of the park, somehow who definitely wouldn’t have let Hazard dance around us for their second.
We have players who play week in week out, who sometimes don’t deserve a start, where was Lucas Perez, who hasn’t put a foot wrong each time he’s been asked to do a job?
So frustrating, and once we go 2-0 down, then we start playing, exactly the same happened against Watford in the week. Then late on, Cech made a silly mistake meaning Fabregas of all people gets their third, before the standard Olivier Giroud last minute bullet header. So poor, and when you think what could have been, had their goal been chalked off and Hector Bellerin not gone off for us it really wasn’t our day once again.
The rest of the weekend’s results, bar Liverpool losing, didn’t go our way either as you’ve some to expect these days. Spurs won, courtesy of another dodgy penalty at home (surprise surprise), City won with a last minute goal, and United blew Leicester away, so we are really not in a strong position ahead of, what will be a nervous home game against an in form Hull side who took a point off Mourinho at Old Trafford, and then beat Liverpool.
Another two defeats in another week, and we are now right in the chasing pack and in real danger on missing out on Champions League unless we can stop the rot, and quickly. We could have been 2,3 or 6 points behind, but we are now 12 points behind, so top four once again is the target and not the league title (ZZZzzzz).
This season has the look of another standard season at Arsenal, with Bayern Munich in the Champions League coming up, it is going to take a huge effort to progress beyond the first knockout stage, and with our league position getting worse every week, something needs to change and very soon.
In positive news, Bellerin is ok, thank God, and Elneny should return this week after scoring in the African Cup of Nations final, only to lose 2-1. Anyone have any news on Santi, no news is good news right?
As I said after the Watford game – SORT IT OUT.
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