Six quick observations on the Newcastle game
Written by Chris on February 6, 2011 22:05
Phil Dowd cost us the game, but we are to blame as well
Joey Barton’s tackle, from behind, on Andrey Arshavin in the 47th minute of the game was a foul. Phil Dowd waved played on, Abou Diaby went for revenge and that was the start of Abou’s self-destruction. Had the referee imposed himself firmly on the game from the start, I doubt the result would have been the same, but it would be foolish to start and stop with the referee. As we said yesterday, when you’re leading by FOUR goals, not winning the game is no joke.
How do our players prepare themselves to face football criminals like Joey Barton?
Even if we won the game against Everton, one can’t deny the fact that Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere all looked nervous at some stage during the game because of the high line and Everton’s intensive pressure. Days later, one of our players lost his head and was sent off. All this leads to one question: Do our players watch videos and analyse the players they are about to face before the game to avoid getting frustrated by certain individuals?
I may have no idea how our players prepare for games and maybe I’m not in a position to question their approach but please help me understand why a player with a long injury record who clearly was not ready to face one of the most controversial and provocative football player in England was sent out there and was still out there after he reacted in the first half.
When Denilson’s words were lost in translation, with many believing he was saying how Cesc Fabregas is no leader, it didn’t take long for Arsene to say Cesc is a leader and how actually all players are. Yet I saw no-one, yesterday, asking his colleagues to take a long breath, calm down, let the Bartons and the Nolans do the fouls and to only focus on keeping the lead.
Our captain was anonymous in the second half, Robin as well, we only saw him when he made a nasty tackle late in the game and Tomas Rosicky and Sebastien Squillaci, the oldest players in the team were too busy chasing shadows. In other words, no-one stepped up to take charge.
The Koscielny-Squillaci partnership
It’s hilarious how many blame Sebastien for Laurent’s below-par performances when these two play together but no-one takes the opposite route. How many games have Sebastien and Johan played together? Have we actually lost a game when these two played together? I remember they were pretty solid away at Partizan, played a very good game at Goodison Park and kept a clean sheet away at Wolves in a game where we were under heavy pressure in the second half.
Now I’m not saying Laurent is the problem, this is not my point, I’m just trying to understand for how long we will keep saying that player A is not doing well enough because he has player B alongside him, or vice-versa? We have three fit and healthy centre backs at the moment, they train together and play together, if there’s still a communication problem after six months from the season kick-off, it should be solved before it’s too late.
The Club should control Twitter accounts after all
I remember when in school we used to draw funny pictures of our teacher only to throw them away as soon as we heard his footsteps. That was when I was four. Call me old fashioned, but what I expect from professional footballers at the end of the game is to sit down and analyse what went right and/or wrong, surely not to run to their smart phones to criticise the referee on one of internet’s most popular public channel.
Players should understand that bored individuals and paid journalists are stuck on their Twitter accounts waiting for controversy to publish on their websites. Deleting tweets seconds after they are published will not help and the sooner they understand this, the sooner they will stop getting in trouble.
The “fun” starts now
We will soon find out how serious Johan Djourou’s injury is. If it’s one week we shut up and move on, if it’s for weeks then Arsene Wenger has to answer questions on why he – yet again – opted not to bring a defender in the January transfer window. This season is our golden opportunity to win something, and I’m not talking about the League Cup, I’m talking about the Premier League and/or Champions League. If we fail, Arsene should either be man enough to change his stubborn mentality or else consider his future as manager of the Club.