Arsenal vs Newcastle, 0-1: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on November 7, 2010 20:30
So here we are, for the second time this season, losing a game on a day which saw Chelsea drop points as a way to maybe demonstrate how we don’t deserve to be up there, closer to the top of the table.
It is sad, really. We have reached a stage where even newly-promoted teams know what is required to beat Arsenal: sit back, counter attack and if you’re lucky you will get a gift from one of the back four.
What worries me is that if against West Bromwich Albion our players didn’t care about playing, about winning, today they did, but it wasn’t enough. Without any shame and without any problem, I have to admit that Newcastle – away from home – were a better team: more hungry, more strong and more focused and they fully deserved to take all three points from the Emirates.
In a way, we also saw how poor we are when Cesc Fabregas is missing because let’s face it, it was as if he didn’t even play today: too slow, poor passes and very nervous(some will say he deserved a red).
As for Lukasz Fabianski’s mistake, this week I was telling a friend how Lukasz reached a stage where his next mistake should simply go down as a mistake rather than one of the many for which he should be crucified but I am finding it hard to archive today’s error as a one-off.
Arsene Wenger believes we were unlucky to lose stating as one of the reasons the fact that the Mapgies scored from the only chance they created. Now seriously, how can you say this is down to luck? It’s down to the fact that for the last two, three seasons we drew and lost way too many games because of defensive errors and let’s not forget how today’s defeat comes days after the equally disappointing one in the Champions League.
Changes were done earlier than usual today. Samir – who I believe had a very good first half – had to be replaced for what seemed to be an ankle injury which was bandaged before the knock. Andrey tried, but just like Walcott on the other wing he struggled to deliver a good ball for the strikers. Robin made his long-awaited comeback but I think he needs at least a month to be back at his best.
So, what’s next for Arsenal? To be honest I don’t know, but Arsene was saying last week how the most important thing is to finish in the top four because that is “vital for the Club” so I’m afraid that is what we have to set as our objective for the season.
What is sad – to conclude – is that many believe we will be a major force in English and European football in let’s say two-three years but do you honestly believe that anymore? I mean, I would expect a group of players who are tipped to be the next big thing in football to at least be able to beat the likes of West Brom and Newcastle so honestly, I don’t know what to believe anymore at this stage.
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Match Video Highlights
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Fabianski: 4 – A virtual spectator for the whole game, called into action only once. And he failed.
Squillaci: 6 – Made some very good interceptions and made himself available for set-pieces.
Koscielny: 5 – El Hadji Diouf reloaded. Made some very good tackles but twice mistimed a header in the first half and the ease with which he is turned by players on the wing is worrying, very worrying.
Clichy: 6 – Wanted to prove a point from the first second of the game with his runs and energy which however backfired, getting a yellow for a very bad tackle.
Sagna: 4,5 – Very, very disappointed with Bacary’s game. Uncomfortable against Jonas Gutierrez from the start and never managed to recover as he was beaten way too many times.
Wilshere: 6,5 – Not shy to tackle the big boys in midfield and played some nice one-twos in the offensive department. One of the few who can be happy with his performance.
Song: 6 – Produced some very good passes, especially in the first half, but I believe he should have done more in the defensive department.
Fabregas: 3,5 – Worst game in an Arsenal jersey? Too busy arguing with the referee and with the exception of the free-kick – deflected – which hit the bar, Cesc failed in everything he tried, including easy passes.
Nasri: 6,5 – I think Samir had a very, very good game. He is usually one of the first to go to sleep when the team is not clicking but in the first half he was maybe the only one to do something worth mentioning.
Walcott: 5,5 – Only once he managed to use his pace and skill in the Newcastle penalty area and was unlucky not to score. But still, not enough.
Chamakh: 3 – When you play as a striker, shooting and awareness are a must. Marouane failed in this today and was promptly substituted after a very disappointing game.
Arshavin: 5 – Tried but his final ball was very disappointing.
Bendtner: No Vote – No impact at all.
van Persie: 5 – Made his comeback after months on the sidelines with some sublime footwork but like Nicklas, failed to make an impact.