Yesterday`s game was very painful to watch, but can we really make up for it next week?
Written by Chris on April 30, 2009 16:40
We all know the Champions League. When you play at home your first game, winning 1-0 means having one foot in the next round, winning 2-0 means placing both feet in there. Luckily, we only conceded one goal but the side’s display was very, very disapponting, with everyone admitting we should have conceding more. One particular headline made me think a lot as it compared the two sides with boxers, a heavyweight one against one of a lower category, pretty sad of course.
Just what went wrong?
With Eduardo not having enough games under his belt to start, Vela out after the flu scare and others injured, you may think Arsene Wenger had very little options to choose from yesterday but if you look at the bench, you could see a certain Aaron Ramsey who if I ask Arsenal supporters how good he is, many would say we need to see more to judge. I don’t know if he is or can be better than Diaby, unfortunately that is something we can’t know as yet since the boss utilised him very, very little this season, automatically reducing our options in midfield. When you see the likes of Denilson and Diaby getting their chances you do wonder why Aaron doesn’t.
For sure is that Nasri playing in such a deep role didn’t work out. Both he and Fabregas looked very uncomfortable out there, as if they couldn’t wait for the final whistle to blow to end one of their most frustrating nights in an Arsenal jersey. What also didn’t work out is of course Adebayor up front, all alone, with no support at all. The Togo man didn’t help his cause as he spent most of the time walking rather than backtracking to help the midfield. When we played United at the Emirates, it was Bendtner who started in this role and did it to perfection I remember. Some food for thought ahead of Tuesday.
Why experiment so late in the season?
Going back to Samir’s position in central midfield, well, regular readers of my space will know I kept on asking for that over and over again, enough to become annoying, but again, that was months and months ago. I never expected Wenger to actually do it so late into the season and in such a crucial game. Fair enough, he tried it against Boro and worked out, but something like that requires one full month of testing before making sure it can work out. We all know Cesc has to come short off the centre backs to produce those beautiful long balls just as he did in the first two games after the injury. So why change?
We are in a stage where one incorrect formation makes you lose all the work of a whole season. Such a mistake happened against Chelsea and maybe happened again yesterday. Let’s just hope our boss doesn’t complete a hat-trick of incorrect line-ups on Tuesday.
Scoring two, conceding none. It’s mighty tough if you ask me, but not impossible. Hopefully, Robin will be back by then, together with a fully-fit Eduardo in order to provide what we lack up front. But before that, we have to pay a visit to Portsmouth, a game where I believe Eduardo will feature from the first minute to properly assess his fitness level and where – as foolish as it may sound – I would not use Arshavin. The Russian will NOT play a part in Tuesday’s return game against the Red Devils so Wenger should be using this weekend’s game to try Tuesday’s formation out, which again, will unfortunately not include Andrei.
EDIT: Just read Eduardo will not travel to Portsmouth. I immediately had a bad feeling after that Rio Ferdinand challenge, damnit.