Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Arsenal underestimated Man Utd

Arsene Wenger's comments about the team's perfomance after the ManUre match were quite scathing and Wright7 has written an interesting article suggesting that maybe Arsene Wenger has had enough with some of the players. If that was the case then I could certainly understand why.

Having had time to reflect on the ManUre match myself, I think the thing which frustrated me the most was that Arsenal just did not perform on the day. On paper you would probably expect this to have been a pretty tight match with very little between the two teams. Yet although I thought several Arsenal players performed well as individual (some may argue with this!), as a team I thought we were naive to the point of recklessness.

It sounds strange, but I think the players may have underestimated ManUre. They seemed to decide collectively that they were going to play an open game in the belief that they would outscore ManUre and give them a good spanking. This was of course unlikely to happen. Both teams had several good chances early on (Arshavin alone should have scored or set up four in the first half), but while ManUre were clinical and took their chances, Arsenal wasted theirs. Even more worryingly, once we went behind we became even more reckless in pursuit of the equaliser resulting in the second and third goals being conceded on the counter. Sagna, Clichy, Song, Vermaelen and Gallas all seemed to appear in attacking positions with alarming regularity leaving us with no cover at the back. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Manuel Almunia going on a mazy run after dribbling out of his box (oo-er!)

The positive side of all this of course is that these are problems that can be solved. We have the personnel at the club in my opinion to win these kinds of matches, but many of them still have a bit of growing up to do. The frustrating thing is that the current squad has been together for two or three years now and I'm still saying this.

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