Disappointing, Frustrating And Yet Encouraging…

Newcastle United (1) – (1) Arsenal
Adebayor 3′
St James’ Park, Newcastle

Last night I was frustrated.

Arsenal took a stunning lead when a perfect cross from Eboue found Adebayor in the centre, who chested the ball and emphatically smashed the ball into the net. It was a beautiful goal and came after only 3 minutes.

But after that Arsenal only threatened to score another, with Shay Given only making one save all night after the opening goal.

Without Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini and Van Persie in particular of the current absentees, Arsenal lack creativity and Rosicky was left to try and make things single-handedly.

So for me anyway, what followed was a frustrating and nervous game which was partly due to Arsenal’s lack of cohesion in the final third and Newcastle’s rough house tactics spearheaded by the direct Joey Barton and Alan Smith, two of England’s finest.

Credit to Newcastle, they took the game to Arsenal after the goal and at times Arsenal held on. Without any sort of imagination or creativity from the Geordies they resorted to the direct approach, something Allardyce is much more comfortable with from his days at Bolton.

I wonder how the home crowd will respond to seeing that game after game.

We had to defend cross after cross, and set-piece after set-piece.

But in the end, Arsenal held on for a point.

So what do I think a day after?

Well the fact was Arsenal had an off day, which is understandable after the amount of injuries we’ve had as well as our fixture schedule. And Arsenal have blessed us with some awesome football this season so they’re allowed to put in a poor performance or two.

Gilberto in particular looked rusty, and Eboue, Adebayor and Rosicky looked out of sorts without the influence of Fabregas’ passing and Hleb’s ball retention.

But the defence was resolute as ever, with Gallas, Toure, Sagna and Clichy digging deep for the cause. Almunia made a good save from a corner in the second half, and was exposed for the equaliser which he couldn’t really do much about.

So in the end, to be 4 points clear of Manchester United in December is an excellent position to be in.

It’s a sign of how far this squad have moved forward, when we’re disappointed with a point which puts us clear of the reigning champions.

If we played Newcastle a few weeks ago, when Liverpool and Portsmouth did last night’s starting eleven would have beaten them – easily. Unfortunately for us, the pressure was on the Geordies and they were always going to be hard to play against. I’ve seen Newcastle a few times this earlier this season and yesterday was one of the most impressive performances they’ve had this campaign. Which obviously doesn’t bode well if THAT was the best they can produce. For them it will be a long, long season with an extremely overrated manager.

I’d be surprised if he’s still there at the end of the season.

For Arsenal, they have a chance to put that performance behind them and kick on in December to fight for the top of the Premier League.

5 thoughts on “Disappointing, Frustrating And Yet Encouraging…

  1. peepee, quiet please dont let the clueless clubs queing up to take our brazilian captain what we have always known. hopefully the flamster will line up next to diarra against boro. what about ade, scores the spectacular but is clearly not on the same wavelenth as the first eleven.

  2. (Well the fact was Arsenal had an off day, which is understandable after the amount of injuries we’ve had as well as our fixture schedule. And Arsenal have blessed us with some awesome football this season so they’re allowed to put in a poor performance or two.)

    Brilliant blog – I’ve been scanning through all the blogs and websites as I usually do after a game and I’ve been really disappointed at the doom and gloom by some so-called supporters. You’d think we’d just lost three in a row or the players weren’t trying or something – in fact, I almost thought I was logging on to the spuds’ web page!!

    Our boys have been magnificent this season so far and they are producing the best football I have seen from the Arse in the 36 years that I’ve been in a relationship with them. To be fair, they’ve given me more joy in the first four months of this season than I would normally expect to get in a whole season. In saying that, even if we lost every game from now until the end of the season (only joking Mr Fate!!! touch wood and cross fingers etc.) I’d still be wearing the colours next season and I think therein lies the difference.

    As I stood freezing in the North Bank during the 80s, with empty spaces and crap football, I still supported the club. Suddenly, we became famous and fashionable and with the success came the fair-weather supporters and the prawn sandwich eaters as the Irish thug called them.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is – GET BEHIND THE TEAM – They’re trying their best and everyone is allowed a bad day now and again. To suddenly want to sell half the team based on one or two poor performances is ridiculous, especially when you look at the league table.

    Gooners for ever – Up the Arse!!!!

  3. I cannot claim to be a veteran arsenal fan since I support them only since almost 10 years. Well, lets say Arsène made me love arsenal. As a french, I’ve always thought that no one could ever exploit a french youngster’s potential better than Arsène. He’s been bringing players from “ligue 1″ (which is definitly not the most attractive leaugue in europe), and was getting tem to be some of the best in PL (which is definitly the most attractive leaugue in EU). The best part of it is that he can do that with any player, regardless his passport!

    I don’t really care if they did not show us their best football since a few weeks. They’ve already showed us more than we ever expected since TH14′s departure.

    Guys! 15 games, 11 Wins, no loss. What can we ask more? THis is not your master League on PES2008!

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