The Hull City Defeat: One Day Later

Arsenal (1) – (2) Hull City
Paul McShane OG (49′)
The Emirates Stadium, London

Arsene Wenger’s sobering interview after the game summed up how I felt after the match.

He was hugely disappointed with the commitment shown on the pitch, as was every Arsenal fan watching. We all hoped the Fulham game was a one off and the team would have learnt that substandard performances aren’t good enough to win games in the Premier League. But yesterday there was no desire yet again.

While it was a result that has shocked the Premier League, watching the game you knew that our lacklustre performance might cause us a problem. After all, we became unstuck at Fulham only weeks ago. All it takes is one piece of brilliance or a mistake to let the opposition back into the game and unfortunately for us both of those happened.

We saw Geovanni do it on the opening day of the season against Fulham, and he scored another fantastic strike to equalise last night. Then a mistake from William Gallas (yet again from a set-piece) gave Hull their winner.

The wonder strike coupled with amateurish defending was a trend which cursed The Emirates Stadium when we first moved in.

Teams would visit our new ground and sucker punch us with the opening goal. Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Everton, Newcastle and Hamburg all did it, thanks to a combination of poor defending and a moment of brilliance.

So you weren’t shocked when Hull scored the winner.

Maybe the players just thought it would never happen. Our record at home is fantastic so what’s the likelihood Hull could actually nick a winner?

Usually though after seeing a performance like that I would be angry, but for some strange reason I wasn’t.

Everyone point is vital if you want to win the Premier League, and maybe that’s exactly why I wasn’t too upset. Maybe I don’t truly believe we can win the league this season.

People will say that it’s just a bad day at the office but you can see performances against Fulham and Hull happening time and time again this season. Put this result in perspective – Hull are only the second team to beat us at The Emirates in 3 seasons. And apparently Hull were 20-1 to win yesterday. You couldn’t get longer odds!

The problem is we’re far too hot and cold. We put in excellent performances against teams like Blackburn, Newcastle, FC Twente and Bolton Wanderers but stutter against Fulham and Hull City.

Arsene Wenger must be completely baffled, and I feel for him.

But what’s the problem? Is it inexperience, or is it misplaced faith in players like Adebayor – who was shockingly bad yesterday. Or maybe the squad isn’t good enough. I’m sure the debate will go on for months about what’s missing from this current Arsenal side.

I think the main problem this season now is that teams will face us knowing that while they may not have the talent to compete with us, as long as they put in 100% they will have a chance of getting something. We’ve given opposing teams belief that they can take us on and that’s bad news.

All teams like Fulham and Hull City have to do is be organised, committed and take the few chances when they come along. And Arsenal just don’t have any answers to that.

The worrying thing is that if a manager like Phil Brown (no disrespect, but he is hardly hugely experience in the Premier League) can work us out and execute a game plan with Hull City then God help us all.

The only saving grace is that even with their game in hand, Arsenal will still be above United in the table. But how long is that going to last I wonder?

Turmoil At Arsenal Football Club?

Well, what a difference a few weeks make.

Only 3 weeks ago Arsenal lost away at Fulham. It was a gutless, pathetic performance from a team that showed no desire whatsoever. Things looked bleak since we had already lost a game with the Premier League season barely a week old.

Yet amazingly after 4 games we are 3rd in the table, only a solitary point behind leaders Chelsea and Liverpool.

Champions Manchester United currently sit 14th, albeit it with a game in hand. And the funny thing is that Team Manchester have to play Chelsea away on Sunday which could put a real dent in United’s title challenge if they lose. 2 defeats in 4 games could really make things interesting this early on in the season, psychologically if nothing else.

And our lovely neighbours have played 4 games and have only 1 point after Aston Villa beat them at home on Monday night. Sp*rs currently sit bottom of the league, without a win and have only succeeded in achieving their worst ever season in the Premier League.

Don’t you just love football? I do.

And just to make things that little bit sweeter this weekend saw Arsenal demolish Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Emmanuel Adebayor scored a perfect hattrick (left foot, right foot and head) despite not playing at the top of his game, Van Persie is showing the quality player he is with his scoring run and Theo Walcott finally looks like he’s got the confidence in his game Arsene Wenger has been waiting for.

The hattrick from Trio Walcott in midweek has done the kid the world of good, and it’s great to see he’s a typical Arsene player who is keeping his feet on the ground. When you watched him in games before you felt he lacked that killer instinct but that run for Van Persie’s goal was exceptional. Direct, powerful and deadly. We all knew he was capable of that and the early signs are that he could be a real player for us this season.

Best of luck to the lad.

I do have to say thought I almost threw up at the sight of c*nts like Ferdinand, Lampard and Terry hugging Walcott after he scored in midweek. They were retarded enough to really criticise a young, promising player a few years ago despite Theo not doing a single thing wrong. Did I mention they are c*nts?

And while things on the pitch are rosy, other clubs are in turmoil off it.

Alan Curbishley left West Ham United, KK departed Newcastle United and now it seems, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has put the club up for sale.

He released an emotional statement, which said:

“My plan and my strategy for Newcastle is different. It has to be. Arsenal is the shining example in England of a sustainable business model. It takes time. It can’t be done overnight. Newcastle has therefore set up an extensive scouting system. We look for young players, for players in foreign leagues who everyone does not know about.

“We try and stay ahead of the competition. We search high and low looking for value, for potential that we can bring on and for players who will allow Newcastle to compete at the very highest level but who don’t cost the earth.”

Sad for Newcastle obviously but a nice compliment to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal and how we run our club.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the Newcastle situation but it’s amazing to see a football club in this position. And I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of Mike Ashley or what his background is, but for me to see fans protest against someone who paid over £250 million of his own money in only a year is strange. From his statement it’s clear he had the best interests of the club at heart but I suppose that’s not enough?

Most, if not all Arsenal fans understand Arsene’s whole philosophy at the club and what he wants to achieve, and it’s easy to take it for granted, especially in a league where money buys success.

I’ve already written numerous times what I think of Arsene and what he’s done for our club. You can read one of the pieces here.

So it seems like I need to sit down and eat some humble pie.