After the loss to Tottenham with no chance of a response again this season, I will honestly admit I’m enraged! It means that we have failed to beat them this year that is always damaging to our pride as the far superior club.
It’s hard to pinpoint where we went wrong but being the world class analyser that I am I will break it down for you guys.
The team selection wasn’t exactly the worse. Danny Welbeck came in for Theo Walcott and pretty much justified the decision as he was one of our few better players on the day.
What was annoying though is we seemed to play a 4-1-4-1 rather than the 4-2-3-1 that brought us great joy of late.
This means that Santi Cazorla was more withdrawn, and Aaron Ramsey was pushed further forward which made our midfield more or less non-evident in the game. Francis Coquelin was holding the middle together all by himself. Aaron Ramsey gave him a lot to do. Ramsey is much better from deep but when he’s pushed up he seems to vacate all his responsibilities as a box-to-box midfielder.
We lacked pace in our attack with an attack-minded quintuple of Santi, Ramsey, Giroud, Ozil & Welbeck, the latter is the only player with direct pace who could stretch Tottenham’s defence. This allowed them to push up and pressurise us in our half.
Let’s face it we could have ended up like Chelsea in their game against them and got humbled convincingly, they were all over us at certain points in the match.
If we were going to start with the team we did then Theo Walcott should have been brought on a lot earlier when we were under the cosh just to worry Spurs a bit and provide an outlet for us on the break as they pressed.
By the time, he was ready to make an impact Spurs could sit deep and nullify his threat completely with no space in behind. We were very naive and showed Tottenham no respect like we did City and just threw everyone forward like we did in the first half of the season even when we were a goal up!
Olivier Giroud was shocking and although he’s improved this season he’s never going to be the CF that will elevate us to the level we should strive to be at. He’s developed his big game goalscoring record but never have I felt like he was unplayable in any of those games. Even a handful, but it would’ve been unfair to point to weaknesses when a striker is doing what he’s paid to do…. score goals. Overall his lack of pace and ability to produce the spectacular is found out in the tighter games. It felt like the frustrating Giroud of old.
Looking at how far Harry Kane has come this season it gives me confidence that Chuba Akpom could actually thrive off opportunity.
It could seem like a reactionary statement, but those that have read my latest articles will be aware that I’m a huge fan of his and a great believer in his talent. I’m sure that he has the highest potential ceiling among all our main forwards such as Welbeck & Giroud.
A team like ours needs pace and skill in attack and Akpom is the only player that can potentially provide both in abundance. Yes he’s raw and I wouldn’t expect him to hit the ground running straight away but sooner or later we will need to start affording him the same opportunity that has seen Hector Bellerin shine in the team.
Bringing in a top quality CF in the summer is a given but for now there are certain games where we should start young Chuba. I’m sure he’ll surprise us all, his style and swagger is reminiscent of Daniel Sturridge that is nothing to be ashamed of.
I did mention how unsure I was of David Ospina a couple of weeks back, but his strong form alongside Woijech Sczesney’s massive dip made selection easy, but the Derby exposed him. He made some decent dramatic saves but seemed to calm everything into the path of a Tottenham player ready to poach. Kane’s header was great, but Ospina was incredibly flat-footed, and his lack of urgency at 1-1 was very frustrating to watch.
It would be harsh to claim he deserves to be dropped, but one does hope that Sczesney can start improving quickly. Otherwise, I’m unsure we have good enough options between the sticks, to be more precise I’m talking world-class options that even Spurs have one of.
We were outplayed, outfought, and the boss was outthought by Mauricio Pochettino. He seized the chance to change the game in their favour at 1-1, and nothing more can be said other than the fact that it was a day to forget.
We should let the potatoes have their fun gloating for this week at least because funnily we’ll still end up finishing them. Second spot seemed achievable but now a lot of focus turns to the Domestic Cup and European competition to bring some satisfactory feel to our season.
A second coming birthday for me and another big game loss Arsenal should really stop being drawn into big games around my birthday I’ll beg the FA…. last year it was the Anfield drubbing and now this. I can’t decide what’s worse, but I am not grateful to the club for this lack of consideration!
Onwards & Upwards. #Arsenal