What a terrible result eh? That certainly ruined my weekend.
But overall it was a crazy weekend in the Barclay’s Premier League. Chelsea lost to Manchester City, Manchester United dropped points against Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool drew, Tottenham lost and of course, probably the biggest shock of the weekend was Arsenal’s home defeat to recently-promoted West Bromich Albion.
And what can you say about it?
Views are split to whether it should be Manual Almunia or Arsene Wenger that takes the blame for the defeat. We all know that we need a top-class goalkeeper to really challenge at the top of the table but for whatever reason Arsene didn’t bring someone in. So you’re setting yourself up for possible shocks like yesterday.
The whole performance from everyone (besides Nasri, who has put in two stunning performances in the space of a week) was shambolic and however well West Brom played losing 3 goals without reply is something that should never happen at The Emirates.
And it really does say a lot when Almunia, who made some glaring mistakes was possibly one of our better players. His mistakes weren’t from a lack of effort, they came from the fact that he’s just not good enough.
If anger was the overriding feeling from yesterday, surely frustration is the biggest emotion from most Arsenal fans today.
As we look at the Premier League table today, we still sit in third place, one point behind a stuttering Manchester United and 4 points behind Chelsea. If we didn’t concede that last minute Darren Bent goal last week and actually tried against West Bromich Albion yesterday then we could have been top of the league on 16 points.
But one month into the new season we’re already playing catch up.
But it’s the same old story with Arsenal, we’re always talking about ifs and buts. If the last 5 seasons were about the ifs and buts then we’d have a Champions League and a couple of Premier League Titles, but the fact is it’s not. We don’t have the mental strength to seize an opportunity when it comes our way. We get so far but then hit a mental block.
I have mentioned this over the last few seasons and I’ll mention it again – Arsenal doesn’t have any winners, with the exception of Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie. We don’t have players who know what it’s like to win, or get over the line. We have some players of exceptional quality and ability, but no winners.
That’s why Manchester United and Chelsea will always be there or thereabouts. They know what it’s like to grind out results over an entire season and push right till the end. That’s why mediocre players like Darren Fletcher, John Obi Mikel and Gary Neville are so vital to those teams – they know what it takes to win, see out games like Sunderland and get results.
Which begs the question why does Arsene persist in shipping out proven winners like Gilberto, Pires and Freddie so quickly once they hit their 30’s?
Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have proven their worth over the last few seasons despite all touching 36 years of age. It doesn’t matter if they only play 15/20 games collectively their influence on the training ground and dressing room is far more important than the number of games they play.