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Arshavin and Djourou not solely to blame, criticism has to go where it’s merited.

by on January 24, 2012

Good afternoon everyone, how are we doing today?

As depressing as it, I’m afraid that much of today’s post will be about Sunday’s match. We’ve done a match report with a twist, Brendan and Cookie getting together to write it. Hopefully we’ll see more of these in the future. Give it a read.

There were certainly positives to take from the match. The performances of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Laurent Koscielny and Tomas Rosicky were obviously the highlights of the match and luckily I’ve been able to link each of their names to a compilation of the respective player’s performance. Nico Yennaris got a lot of plaudits as well and definitely looked more natural at full-back than Johan Djourou but also the team worked to protect him a lot more. Djourou and Vermaelen both made mistakes defensively and were clearly out of position, defensively they were way too narrow and that showed with the goals. Djourou offered too much space on the left and Vermaelen seemed to have lost Valencia when he came in to head it home. With the second goal Vermaelen left Arshavin wide on his own and was again too narrow in my opinion and was caught out too easily by the 1-2.

Andrei Arshavin was sold too easily on the second goal. It says a lot about the mindset of the modern football fan that Andrei Arshavin has been seen taking almost all of the blame for the second goal, much like Johan Djourou for the first goal. Never mind mistakes by Thomas Vermaelen and Alexandre Song. Robin Van Persie missed a golden opportunity, but rather than criticising him for that we see Aaron Ramsey get all of the criticism for profligacy. I don’t want to be having a go at players, but if you’re going to have a go then at least be fair and give players the criticism they merit. For the record, I’m not a big fan of players being asked to play out of position as they can struggle to adapt as Johan Djourou and Andrei Arshavin have shown.

A lot has been made of the substitution of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain for Andrei Arshavin. Firstly, I thought the booing was classless. Secondly, I don’t blame RVP for asking why the youngster was going off, but it’s taking things a bit too far when the captain has to release a statement about it. I’ve seen people say they think that Arsene Wenger is lying about Oxlade-Chamberlain being fatigued. It astounds me.  He has barely played top-level football, so it’s hardly surprising that the boss didn’t want him to play the ninety minutes in such an intense game. It’s strange that there was no praise for actually playing him in the first place. I wonder how much praise the boss would have got if he had kept Oxlade-Chamberlain on and the youngster picked up an injury? We have a lot of matches coming up, we need to keep our players fresh. Not to mention all those people out there who describe Wenger as ‘stubborn’. If he’s so stubborn, he would have said it was a tactical change and would have told everyone that he was definitely right. Finally, remember the amount of stick he got for buying Oxlade-Chamberlain in the first place?

Enough moaning though. Here’s the lowlights. The post-match reactions as well: Wenger’s post-match interview and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s were the only ones I could find. There’s the post-match presser as well. Wojciech Szczesny seems pretty confident that we can still finish in the top four and actually, I agree. Chelsea have Swansea away and Manchester United at home in their next two matches. We have Bolton and Blackburn. I’m not saying it will be easy, but there’s so long left to go in this season that the fact some people seem to have given up already is pretty astonishing. No wonder there’s such an apathetic feeling around the club sometimes. As always, Arsenal Column’s and Arsenal Report’s pieces are definitely worth a read to the more tactically inclined. WearetheNorthBank’s match report is worth a read as well.

In other news, here’s a piece from VitalArsenal on why Arsene Wenger shouldn’t be sacked, even if we don’t get Champions League football.

A little bit of ‘alternative’ news now. The Reserves are playing Fulham this evening. Expect Lukasz Fabianski between the posts and the promising Serge Gnabry to feature as well. Emmanuel Frimpong’s facial injury doesn’t seem too bad at all and he’s set to start training with his Wolves team-mates soon. Nicklas Bendtner’s injury is still a bit of a mystery after being kicked in the eyes. Early reports suggested it could be a fractured cheek bone or a broken nose.

Right, well that’s it for today. I’m sure you all have some abuse to fire at me for sticking up for Andrei Arshavin and Johan Djourou and daring to suggest that Thomas Vermaelen and Robin Van Persie are capable of mistakes so feel free to use the comments section for that. In the meantime, you can follow me on twitter @SavageGooner and ‘like’ the blog’s page on facebook.

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes Through Harmony

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4 Comments
  1. Manas permalink

    I am surprised that in the above article most of our players are criticised excepting the most consistently worst player for the last several years i.e. Theo Walcott. Why Theo remains in the team is a mystery to me. He can not score, can not make assist, can never help his defender, always breaks the momentum but still he is in the team because probably one reason i.e. he is a man from England. Theo should have been in the athletic ground as a short distance runner instead of in the football ground with no basic skill.

    • In fairness, the part of the article about criticising players was about some players being scapegoats and others being perfect in the eyes of some fans. I think Walcott gets his fair share of criticism. Indeed when one goes to the Emirates it’s often Theo Walcott rather than Arshavin or Chamakh who one hears being abused. I’ve always liked Walcott, but there’s no doubt that he’s failed to build on what was promising potential when he was a youngster. That’s not to say he has no chance of making it, but he’s looking petulant at the moment and will need to improve his attitude if he hopes to make it at The Arsenal.

  2. This article is spot on. Arshavin got beat to the inside sure, but after that a give and go was played in our box for the goal. Where was the defensive marking by the CB’s ffs?! Djourou has no business playing at right back ever. It’s not his fault, he’s just not overly coordinated.

  3. this 2players are not good to play for arsenal they should have been sold by now

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