Rubbish Display, Rubbish Finishing, Rubbish Pitch…

Wigan Athletic (0) – (0) Arsenal
JJB Staduim, Wigan

Everyone was always going to wonder if Arsenal could take 3 points from Wigan this weekend, especially when Manchester United and Chelsea surprisingly lost against Portsmouth and Barnsley in the FA Cup. And whatever disappointment those teams felt yesterday, today’s draw against Wigan would have raised their spirits.

And the problem we have now is that two of our closest rivals don’t have the distraction of the FA Cup, and we’ve dropped two vital points when we could have extended the lead to four.

The fact was the pitch was absolute shite. It really was.

You can argue that both sides have to play on the atrocious surface but the point is who is going to suffer more with a bumpy pitch? Arsenal try to play football and win matches and Wigan are near the bottom of the league and would regard a point against the league leaders a massive bonus.

So if you have a team playing for a point and a crap pitch to fight against then it’s always going to be an uphill battle.

But the performance from the boys wasn’t fantastic either.

Almunia and the back four had decent games, with Gallas and Senderos defending well and the fullbacks pushing on at every opportunity but the midfield really struggled.

Gilberto again was a lost passenger and gave the ball away on too many occasions. And when the tempo of the game needed to be faster inevitably it slowed down through him. Fabregas and Flamini did well but couldn’t really get to grips with the system, where they both switched from the middle to wide right throughout the game.

And I love Alexander Hleb, but he had one of the worst games I have seen for a long time.

The pitch didn’t help, but far too many times he had the ball in decent positions on the left high up the pitch and failed to pick out a half decent pass to a teammate. Too many passes went astray and in the game where chances were going to be limited his final ball needed to be far better. The game broke down too many times at his feet.

Adebayor was okay but missed the games clearest chances.

In the first minute a fantastic through pass from Fabregas set him free but he shot straight at Kirkland. He also had another chance early in the second half when Kirkland had a mix up with Boyce at the back but shot straight at him again when the goalkeeper was in no-mans land. I’m not sure if he’s lacking confidence or what but Adebayor just doesn’t look like scoring unless it’s from 3 yards out.

Bendtner did well and probably coped the best from the attacking outfield players with the shocking pitch, passing the ball well and showing some good touches and ball control. His days at Birmingham had obviously helped.

The majority of the game was at a pedestrian pace because Arsenal couldn’t play their football which was a massive shame. If this game was at the Emirates, Arsenal would have won easily.

Kolo and Van Persie came on with 25 minutes left but couldn’t really make any impact. Van Persie did well to make space for himself with 10 minutes left but his left-foot shot flew into Row Z. The ball bobbled just before he struck the ball and that really summed up the afternoon.

And the problem is that one a dreadful pitch it’s much easier to defend for a point than to take all three. So Wigan always had a massive advantage.

I guess with 3 draws in the last 3 league games people (and certainly the press) will say Arsenal have blown the title challenge. I didn’t know you could do that in March but hey, what do I know?

I’m sure the majority (if not all of the media) will forget the injury problems we’ve had to contend with this season. Today alone, we had Rosicky, Eduardo, Diaby and Walcott all out, and Kolo Toure and Robin Van Persie have just come back from injury. And Emmanuel Eboue was still suspended from his stupid red card at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

But the bottom line is that the performance today wasn’t good enough to win. Adebayor, Fabregas, Hleb and others looked a little jaded – whether that was because of a so-called ‘hangover’ from midweek or just fatigue from the season so far is debatable, but we just weren’t at our best.


20 thoughts on “Rubbish Display, Rubbish Finishing, Rubbish Pitch…

  1. what world were you in adebayor was crap as a centre foward everytime the ball went up to him he gave it away or miscontroled it you see if you want your midfield to support you you need to be strong and hold it up he was rubbish and all he did was throw his hands in the air every time he lost it bendtner was far better even van persie when he came on. you will not win the league with a centre foward that has a shit touch and he has the worst ive seen.

  2. The whole season is over the seasons, Ice, snow , sun & rain. WTF? what’s the point of training on billiard tables if our opponants are used to these shit-kicker, rugby mauled turfs.?? Get your asses down the Hackney Marshes (or similar) and adapt. Saying that and lets take the pitch out of the equation for a bit Wigan are up for it (as per there position in the league) They will fight for survival no question about it. The media hyped us up again and we fell over (as per our expectations) We were dire and I for one never expected a result after the 1st 20 mins.

  3. I believe on the lad to lift the PL trophy. They are going to take the points which need it at The FartTraford & the Bridge. We like to do it the Arsenal way, the hard way. Come on Arsenal.

  4. What I really had a problem today with was Gilberto,how many times did he give the ball away?? I mean I have nothing but respect for Gilberto,all the stuff he has done,I have the highest respect for him,but I think his time has come where he needs to mvoe on,there were quite a few times he had tha ball jogging along and a Wigan player came from behind and snatched the ball away from him,I wish though that some of the Arsenal players would have shouted “MAN OOOONNN!!!!” but a lot of times he lost the ball way too many times. Another thing I have a problem with is our shooting…or the LACK OF SHOOTING! So many positions where they could’ve had a nice long range,and shit you never know what happens,like with Fabregas in Milan,I don’t think many people would’ve expected that to go in! But time after time passing inside the Wigan box,wasting too much time getting closed down when he finally shoot it’s always blocked or goes astray! Van The Man looked quite good,of course it’s going to take him some time to get back too 100% but the runs and dribbles he has on the ball were good. I hope Rosicky can come back soon,because he is one of the few that doesn’t mind to fire the fucking ball!

  5. We had our chance during the early part of the game, but ade hit the ball straight at the keeper, he should have just chipped the ball over the keeper considering the state of the pitch. Anyway, let get over it and focus on our performances in the upcoming games. I strongly believe that we are going to lift the premier league come may. This boy are doing their very best. They are human! so Gooners lets get over it and move on with our title race.

  6. when i saw Gilberto on the team sheet i knew it would be a negative performance.if he does mange to pass to a teamate its usally sideways or back.and to play Cesc wide right.Ade was useless after missing a great chance that TH ronaldo and other strikers that are not as good as him well in his mind he then kept trying the flick passes that never came off.
    i thought the pitch was the worst i have seen since the Pl started but you can’t put total blame on that.
    the great man got in wrong today and i just hope our big time charlie ADE starts putting the ball away prove how great you are overseasons not

  7. Christ…
    What a anti-climax, hey lads?
    Anyways, FUCK IT!!

    Shite pitch! We needed about 3 touches to control the ball, everytime!
    I think it’s a disgrace that clubs can be allowed to play rugby, on a football pitch these days!
    Yeah… 40 years ago that might have been seen as a good pitch, blah, blah, blah… but this is modern football! All about science, passing movement, quickness & pace… HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU DO ALL THAT, WHEN THE BALL LOOKS LIKE IT’S BOUNCING OFF THE SURFACE OF THE MOON, WITH EVERY FUCKING PASS?

    Still… could be worse hey?
    You could have just lost at home to Pompey?
    Or lost away at Barnsley? ha ha

    Chin up Gooners! This was just one of those games! Roll on Boro’, next sat!

  8. Adebayor was crap in fact he is overated he only scores goals because he has more chances than any other striker in the prem
    Arsen please buy a world class striker in the summer Eto will do
    Adebayor is a confidance man if things go his way he will make an effort if things dont he just does not bother should have been bought off at half time
    Song should have been on for the slow Bert cant blame pitch we new what is was like
    Adebayor should have scored a world class striker would have done

  9. Wigan fan here. “If this game was at the Emirates, Arsenal would have won easily.” Seems you want 2 home games against everyone oh and no-one should be allowed to tackle you. Get real, it is called home advantage the pitch wasn’t perfect but there was plenty of football played on it. The weather up north isn’t as dry as done south!

    Do you expect a team struggling to stay in the EPL to just roll over and let you tickle our tummys?

    P.S. Fabregas what a girl why exactly was he holding his face – did he get a bit of mascara in his eye?

  10. Its sad to see this result and the ones at Birmingham and Aston Villa. We worked ourselves to the lead but now have nothing to show , no sparkle in the team as they are tired and need a replacing but we have no cover to give them a break. We need to have quality cover to replace players when injured and that means having a few extra players to cover for injuries. I hate to criticize adebayor as he works hard but his first touch and finishing is not up to it. We need to buy a quality striker to play upfront . At the moment Adebayor and Bendner are not quality strikers as one works very hard but cant finish whilst the other can finish but doesnt work hard. I was surprised with the formation today as I wouldnt have Gilberto there. Cesc should have played through the middle. We need another two creative midfield players to give cover here as Rosiky and Diaby as injured every other game. The same cover should also be there at the back as clichy is tired. Wigan should have been fined for the state of the pitch and the game transfered to Arsenal. In this day and age a pitch such as wigan should not be allowed in the premiership.We did not play or competite as we let wigan play and we sat back until the last twenty minutes. A performance that has lost us the title only a miracle may save us. How many miracles do we need as we do it time after time. Not many winners in the team

  11. Adebayor was the worst player in an Arsenal shirt, so arguably on the pitch.

    How did he have an ok game? Besides the first 10 minutes (where even in that he failed to score a 1v1) he did barely anything right all day. Every time he touched the ball we lost it. Hleb was pretty bad too, but he was considerably better than Ade this time.

  12. “A performance that has lost us the title only a miracle may save us. How many miracles do we need as we do it time after time? Not many winners in the team”


    It was a bad performance, but at least we didn’t fucking lose! We’re still top (Yeah, Man Yoo have a game in hand… but they still have to win that!), we’re in the draw for the Q.F. of Champions League, we’ve still got players to come back… RVP to regain fitness!

    We haven’t gone shite overnight! It’s just a rough patch!

  13. A delight to find this ‘site’ tonight…little coarse or foul vernacular except for a few of the Responses. After yet another match disappointment, it was gratifying to find that my frustrations and views were largely held by others. Gilberto has long been beyond sell-by-date, and Ade is not the star that he thinks he is….and both proved it again today. If only Mr Wenger could also get this right. Bendtner again showed more life and should not have been the one replaced. Pity also that Song was not given the midfield vacancy today.

    We desparately need a quality left-side midfielder for when Rosicky is unavailable…and hopefully Eboue will have played his last game.

    With so many ‘problems’ the team has survived and achieved so well…let’s hope that with the returning players we can maintain the challenge for both PL & CL.

  14. I think we gooners are BLIND! I didnt hear any other team complain about the pitch before. And, we drew NINE games compared to 4 by the mancs who lost 4 to our solitory one! If Wenger, who I love, believe in the stats, then tell me about: Brum, Geordies away, Pompey away, ‘Boro, and thats 11 fuc*ing points DROPPED

  15. Yes the pitch is the worst in the Premier League, and its impossible to play quality entertaining football on a pitch like that…..and yes Wigan were not interested in winning the game, just stopping us playing. We have to accept that teams like Wigan are never going to attract quality players, because their pitch, facilities and club persona are Championship standard. They can only play the way they did against us, because that is their limit. They are always going to spoil games they can’t win, that’s the mentality of clubs that are run by ex-Manure and some greater Manchester teams ex-players…..hoof the ball around, foul, cheat, interrupt play, stall for time and any other gamesmanship they can think of…they learnt it from Old Trafford, ex Manure players don’t tend to have any class…if you can’t win, then cheat and then shout about everyone else cheating to deflect attention. We all know it goes on.
    The point is if we want to win the league we have to grind out one nil wins at these places. Manure manage it and have done for well over a decade.
    Yes, Arsene Wenger’s teams and philosophy are purer and exude quality that other teams can’t match, we are always going to have to expect lower standards from all other teams, and cheating from a great many. Its a sign of respect that they do this, they fear us. We have to harden up even more and bludgeon our way to wins if we can’t outplay them.
    Having said all that, I think that just as there is an official standard that clubs must reach regarding facilities, when they become a league club, it is about time that if the FA wish the Premiership to carry on attracting interest from outside the UK, because of the class of players here, and the standard of football played, then they should also insist on a standard of pitch. Otherwise they ain’t going to see the quality. Shit pitches and poor players are going to become more common, particularly with teams outside the top eight. I think it inevitable that a breakaway league or European Superleague will occur, because of these issues. The FA need to act now to stop it.

  16. After United and Chelsea lost in games against teams they should have beaten, it would have been brilliant to heap the misery on them by going 4 points clear. This weekend could have been a decisive one over the season. As it stands we’ve given ManUre a boost!

    We have only lost once in the league (which Wenger always goes on about) but we’ve drawn many more games than United. The point is that United are more likely to have more wins than we are (and defeats in the process) while we are more likely to draw games. The problem is while Wenger thinks draws aren’t a bad result they’re closer to defeats than a win because you only get a single point! I’d rather lose a few more games if it meant we’d win more instead of being the bloody draw specialists!

  17. we have a LEAN squad! no options in the middle and in front! Mr WENGER IMPROVE YOUR POLICY ON BUYING PLAYERS. it would be a miracle if this squad takes us to the promised land. the young gunners are exhausted and under so much pressure from a long season.
    Gunners lets be truthful our weak links are gilberto, senderos and additional strikers in front.


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