April 28, 2011
24/04/2011 Bolton Comment

Bolton 2 Arsenal 1

We can't defend leads. Why hasn't this been addressed?

Some people claim that we should be outscoring opponents and while this should be true when we play teams of Bolton's calibre ......we spent thirty minutes camped in their half (without having too many shots), it is not the only weapon that we should have in our armoury. We let Bolton have the lead, and then managed to fight our way back to 1-1 only to throw it all away by conceding yet another goal from a set-piece. Back in the days when the club used to win trophies, we would sprint into a 3-0 half-time lead and then shut up shop. This was a combination of the Arsenal sprint-relay team and a back five who knew what they were about. It ain't rocket science. Defenders can be coached. If that doesn't succeed, then new defenders will have to be found. If that also fails, then a new coach will have to be found. It has always been this way and will continue to be so. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. I keep hearing people using the phrase "total football" in connection with Arsenal. Without mastering the art of defence, we only have partial football.

Quod erat demonstrandum baby (apologies to Thomas Dolby)

April 22, 2011
22/04/2011 Tottenham Comment

Tottenham 3 Arsenal 3

Slightly better than the Liverpool match in many respects. Szczesny had a very good game despite conceding 3 goals. I think he will get better and better. He made some great saves, and could not really be faulted for any of the goals. There was some suspect defending, but again the result of the game was determined by some very one-sided decisions. Again, Arsenal players made challenges which resulted in bookings. When similar challenges were made by Totts, no cards were forthcoming. Van Persie scored a beautiful goal in the second half, but the referee disallowed it for offside. He was at least a yard onside when the ball was played. Playing 11 (sometimes 10) vs. 12 week-in, week-out is taking its toll on the team. Yes, we could do with replacing some dead wood, but if the refereeing had been fair this season, we would already have sewn up the Premiership with weeks to spare.

April 17, 2011
17/04/2011 Liverpool comment

Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Not a bad performance, but not a good one. We dominated in terms of possession and created the better chances, but were unable to put the ball in the net. Diaby had another fairly good game although it seems to me that he tires easily and his performance drops off after about 60 minutes.

I was expecting a major defensive error, but it was disappointing that I had to wait until the 101st minute for it to happen.

11:47 of extra time after 8 minutes were added! By that token the game should have lasted 130 minutes, or even longer considering the time-wasting tactics adopted by Liverpool prior to the Arseanl goal. Do the officials make up the rules as they go along? Surely not. To round off a perfect afternoon, there was Jamie Redknapp. At half-time he was claiming a Liverpool penalty after one of their players tripped over a team mate. After the game, as justification for the Liverpool penalty, we were informed by Mr Redknapp that 90 seconds should be added on when a goal is scored. If that is the case, why wasn't 90 seconds added on after Liverpool scored? Why wasn't 12 minutes of time added during the 4-4 draw with Newcastle? It is painful listening to his excuses for his ex-clubs. Do I detect an anti-Arsenal-agenda?

April 14, 2011
14/04/2011 Blackpool Comment

Blackpool 1 Arsenal 3

   After a shaky start, we took control of the game and went in at half-time with a 2-0 lead. It should have been more, but chances were wasted. Diaby got a yellow card for kicking the ball away in an act of petulance. RVP was apparently less than happy with this. Are lessons being learned at last? After the inevitable loss of a goal early in the second half and the ensuing defensive panic, nerves were calmed and we took control again in the second half before scoring a third goal. Did Squillachi have his best performance in an Arsenal shirt? The tackle he made which led to the third goal was impressive. Clichy made yet another error running towards his own goal, and Eboue gave the ball away in dangerous areas a couple of times. When is a defensive coach going to be appointed.?

   Make no mistake. If the defense switches off like this against Suarez and Carroll on Sunday we could be chasing the game.