1. Where did it all (not) go wrong?
There has been lots of takes on our poor first half, from needing a new defensive midfielder, to needing two upfront to allow us to bypass the midfield. For me, it was all about the fact that once in position we simply didn’t break with any pace or conviction. Arsene’s famous handbrake was surely on.
In our best moments it is all about a blistering flurry of passing and movement. Last night it was about no one really taking the responsibility to inject any pace into our breaks. Flamster or Arteta get the ball, pass to Cazorla in the middle, possibly Ozil but there is no one really taking the break on. Giroud can hold the ball up but who does he release to? Have to say I think we miss Gibbs in this respect.
Whilst I am actually a supporter of an old skool defensive midfielder, I’m not sure it would have made much difference last night.
In short I think it was a bit of a perfect storm of tiredness, lack of effort, no Gibbs, and the Flamteta pairing in the middle. Gnabry could provide an outlet but as is to be expected he isn’t really imposing himself on games yet.
2. Crisis, what crisis?
It’s great that an away draw to a promising team – albeit one in a poorish run lately – has invoked the wrath of Twitter. Yes we were poor, but we dug out a point. After a year of fantastic results it will take a lot more than that to make me despondent. Furthermore, I have a powerful feeling that only a fool can have, that Sp*rs will beat City tomorrow, so even if Chelsea win, we will be equal top.
So keep your hair on, fellow Gooners all is fine. If we really have reverted to old, bad, type, I will be the first to freak out, believe me.
3. Just a minute, Ray
I’m not normally one to get upset about bias but for anyone else watching on Premier Pass - Ray Houghton on the commentary really got on my t*ts with his schoolboy excitement at our poor first half performance. He’s really never forgiven us for 1989 has he?