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Blankety, Blank – Arsenal Draw Again

Another blank week-end as Arsenal fail to score for the third consecutive league game.  Following Aston Villa’s defeat at the hands of Chelsea, Arsenal failed to take advantage and spurned the opportunity to put pressure on both Chelsea and Aston Villa.

 

The game started with the appearance of Arshavin, every Arsenal fan expected three points and the start was promising.  Arshavin picked the ball in midfield and moved the ball forward to the edge “D” where he unleashed a shot that left the goalkeeper scrambling, but it swerved away from the goal.  Unsurprisingly, this was greeted with a loud cheer as the fans thought we were on our way to victory.  Arshavin was industrious without being spectacular on his debut; he is still short of match fitness and needs a little longer to start to link up with his team-mates.  One thing is for sure, he is not shy of shooting and had three good shots today.

 

We though we took the lead as van Persie ran in behind the Sunderland defence and with only the goalkeeper to beat his shot went high and wide of the goal.  Arsenal pressed in the first half, but too often we over-elaborated, when a simple cross was required, we passed the ball to death.

 

The second half was very frustrating as we thought we had a god-given right to score when we wanted.  The best chance fell to Vela, a second half substitute for Arshavin, as the ball fell to him, he steady himself but his shot went well wide.  Gallas had a chance towards the end, but he too skewed his shot wide.

 

The game ended 0-0, and the final whistle was greeted with boos from the Arsenal fans.   

 

There was little movement from the strikers, this was our major problem.  The lack of movement meant we were too easy to mark.  When there was movement, this resulted in both van Persie and Bendtner both going for the same ball.  Bendtner is our target man, yet he spent too much time on the wing trying to cross the ball for others, instead of staying in the middle.  Van Persie had an indifferent game, if he wants to look at the club’s ambition, ne needs to look at his performances sometimes.

 

Arsenal defence played well, Gallas and Toure kept Jones quiet all afternoon and were rarely troubled.  Almunia had one of his best games for Arsenal, there was no indecision that has plagued him in recent weeks.

 

Alexandre Song, what can we say.  He tackled the opponents as many times as he got in the way of Arsenal attacks.  This player did not do anything today of note, he was caught out too often by simple passes, when he did get the ball he was not sure what to do.  Wenger stated he is not a central midfielder, yet we persist in playing him in that position.  Arsene needs a radical review of the central midfield until Cesc returns.  He has two options, to play Djourou as the holding midfielder alongside Denilson, or to put Nasri in this position.  Our attacks lose momentum in midfield; we need a spark, an inspiration in this position.

 

Whilst the lose of points was disappointing and leaves us trailing Aston Villa by 6 points, we must not give up, but our performances, in particular in front of goal need to improve, otherwise it will be Europa Cup football for us next season.

 

Arshavin to Make Debut

Arsenal go into Saturday’s game with Sunderland on a high after a resounding victory over Cardiff in the FA Cup. The only downside is that the architect of that victory, Eduardo, is out for two-weeks with a hamstring injury. Wenger stated that is occurred minutes before he was taken off, what surprised so many Arsenl fans is that Eduardo was not taken off on the hour.

 

Also missing from the squad is Adebayor who has been the centre of transfer talk again this week and has come in for criticism for his lack of goals this season.

 

The crowd on Saturday will be anxiously waiting to see the debut of Arshavin. The longest running saga in Arsenal transfer history concluded on 3 February, now we have waited long enough, we want to see the Russian, our saviour, our creator. Wenger has stated that he will play some part in the game, but he is not sure how he will use him. There will be a chorus of boos like you have never heard if Eboue starts in his place or if Eboue replaces him.

 

Carlos Vela had a great game on the left. Nobody will mind if the Mexican was the player to replace Arshavin or even to start instead of him. This boy is a box of tricks and has plenty of energy; Arsene needs to start using him more often.

 

Our Achilles heel remains the central midfield, Song blows hot and cold and we cannot afford this if we are to pursue a top four finish. Denilson gets on with his job in a quiet unassuming manner and this perhaps brings him undue criticism.

 

If we play an attacking and flowing game, if Bendtner takes his Cardiff form (except for the glaring misses) into the game against Sunderland and van Persie and Nasri weave their magic, the points should be ours.

 

Arsenal need to be waring of the dangers posed by Kenwyn Jones, to counter his aerial threat Wenger should turn to Johan Djourou, just as he did against Chelsea. Djourou is strong in the air and this is what we will need against Sunderland.

 

All our games are must win games, we cannot afford to have one eye on Tuesday’s clash with Roma, and we need three points at all costs and then worry about the Roma game when it comes around.