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?