Sunderland 1 – 0 Arsenal: Dark Night at the Stadium of Light

What can you say after such a performance? I don’t remember the last time we looked so impotent. There were only two shots that hit the target and the second of those was in the 38th minute. Effectively, we couldn’t hit the target in the final 52 minutes plus added time in each half!

I thought bulk of the blame falls on Rosicky and Eduardo. Both of them had a very poor game. Even Nasri drifted in too often but at least he can’t be faulted for effort.

Arsenal need incisive movement up front and if that fails all our possession is rendered meaningless. Fabregas and Ramsey worked hard and I thought both of them played well without any support from the front players. The midfield ensured that we had enough possession but we just didn’t get into any scoring positions.

After a woeful first half, I expected Arsene to motivate the team and raise the standard in the second. I don’t know what he said to the players but our performance was much worse in the second. Sunderland grew in confidence and it was no surprise to see them grab the lead with a little luck.

Arsenal didn’t have any cohesion going forward and even after the introduction of Vela and Walcott we didn’t get a single shot on target. There were two half chances for Vermaelen and Arshavin that went wide. There were a couple of balls played across the six yard box but didn’t find any attacking player. It almost seemed like our players didn’t have any desire to change the result.

We also failed tactically. Arshavin should have come on in place of Rosicky. Ramsey was having a good game and had an influence on defence as well. The ten minute period after his departure was when Sunderland dominated the most.

Arsene also left it too late to bring on Walcott and Vela. Eduardo was having a very poor game and he should have been substituted around the hour mark. In the few minutes that he had, Vela showed the difference good movement can make. Both these strikers are not the big and strong variety. They really need to use their intelligence and movement if they have to succeed in this league.

We also failed to get our shape right. All top teams would lay siege on the opposition penalty box if they are a goal down in the last quarter of the game. If United or Chelsea were in that position, you would expect crosses fizzing in, people attacking the ball in the box and chances being created every minute. Arsenal, on the other hand, didn’t get bodies into the box and also failed to sustain any pressure.

Too many players starting today had seen very little action in the league. Bulk of it is down to injuries but it also shows the importance of rotation. Eduardo, Traore, Nasri, Ramsey and Rosicky had only six league starts between them before this game. Arsenal rely on players understanding each others movements. When we have too many changes in the starting line up, especially after an interlull which also interrupts training, we struggle to get our game flowing. Tactical decisions are all the more important in such situations.

On the plus side, Traore and Ramsey put in decent performances and it does give some confidence about the depth of the squad in those areas. The Chelsea game has now become a must win game. Can these players get their focus right!?

24 Responses to Sunderland 1 – 0 Arsenal: Dark Night at the Stadium of Light

  1. Simon says:

    Blame Wenger. This result was always going to happen sooner or later with tight-ass Wenger not replacing Adebayor. Sooner or later our top strikers were gonna get injured and we were only gonna have Eduardo and midgets to carry the attack. With no RVP and no Bendtner as a big man for the midfield to target, of course we were impotent in attack. That’s what happens when you sell and never buy, relying on kids and unconfident players out injured for long periods to cope in winter battles like this. So predictable. 4th place for us at best this season with such a fragile squad that can only play at home.

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t think buying is a solution. Even Chelsea and United don’t have any backups if two strikers get injured. How many can you buy? What if the striker you buy also gets injured!

      We lost because some players didn’t work hard and didn’t want it as much as the other team.

    • Diceman1984 says:

      it’s so funny how people like you think that if that cunt is with us we will be better off while it clearly shows otherwise.

      Be pissed, show anger, but stop saying we will finish 4th. Conceding at this stage is not an act of a realist, it’s an act of a loser.

      We have 4 international strikers, that’s a fact.

      Please don’t sum up and judge where my team will be.

      Good times bad times I’m always behind my team and my players.

  2. anup says:

    i think i won’t see arsenal lifting any trophy in my lifetime…..

    • anup says:

      n oh yes, i don’t plan to suicide and i am only 21 years old..that means a very long time..

    • anup says:

      except for emirates cup…

      • Diceman1984 says:

        The biggest problem for me is that you, like some others, gave too much credit to the team that we don’t support and are full of cunts.

        If you didn’t see the Henry’s era then I will tell you this: Arsene Wenger is the only person who could produce such team(s).

        Don’t forget that nothing is certain in football, saying those 2 teams will win this tie foe sure is exactly the same thing as me saying we will win the league – it’s a prediction and opinion.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is this: as gunners, is it not better to support and say positive things that are TRUE. I mean why say chelski will win when we are clearly having a good chance this year. Let’s take it slow you know, if we lose this Sunday then I’d say our chance is much much much lower, I’ll admit it I’m not stupid.

        But what if we win? As an Arsenal supporter all I can do is support and hope my team will win.

        Be pround of your team, we have always won our own way. You chose the right team to support. Don’t be down if trophies do not come yet, be patient cause Wenger will deliver as impossible as people may think.

    • Diceman1984 says:

      you’re welcomed to go support other teams mate of you’re so sure they will win more.

      That’s all I have to say to you.

      • anup says:

        oh!! mr diceman i think u shud run a blog advising people whom to support…its frustrating coz i haven’t seen henry era…ok…so when u don’t see ur team winning title for last 5 years…and only empty words- believe, keep the faith etc etc…its frustrating..if u r not then u shud go to doctor for ur brain checkup…..
        why wenger didn’t buy loric cana for 2 mil, 2 mil wud have strengethened our midfield in the absence of song…forget that..
        whr was the team spirit whn west ham levelled the score..whr was the concentration when we went 1-0 up against Man u, and equalised against man city…i didn’t watch sundreland match, but iam sure Man u and chelsea wud have won the game or drew it only with their spirit forget any skills…
        thats what champions are made up of, thats the kind of team who wins tiltes…
        i don’t see any match winners when nothing is going our way, one who can turn the tide who can inspire the whole team when down….i only see band of chokers who just choke under pressure away from home and fans like u blaming refrees,internationals, injuries team selection etc etc…

      • Diceman1984 says:

        One more thing:

        I only told u to go support other teams because of the way you said Arsenal is doomed for all your life time.

        You know why people like me get angry at comments such as yours? It’s because Arsenal is something that I love. And when I love something I will never give up in it nor give up fighting for it.

        We should be arguing with Manu and chelski fans not against eachother…we all want the same thing but when it doesn’t happen it’s up to us to stay positive and lift OUR players up. Gilles Grimandi was never a great player but to me he beats that cunt drogba anytime..why?

        Cause he’s a gooner…that’s why I will cheer Eboue and Diaby, they are gunners whether you like it or not..

      • desigunner says:

        anup, your observations are valid. But after these observations the choice is yours. We are still level with united in second. if they can think they are in the race why should our fans think any diff.

        As Arsene says doubt can be a killer. Once fans and players start doubting its a negative spiral. After a loss or draw even I am very frustrated and I can understand your comments. But after a day or so always keep AW’s words in mind. Do you want doubt to win the psychological game!?

    • desigunner says:

      anup, I can understand the frustration you feel but such a negative thought doesn’t help anyone… I guess its more of a momentary emotional outburst and not a lack of faith on your part.

      We have made life difficult for ourselves in the league but there is a long way to go and cup ties are always played on the day, we just need a little luck in that.

      • anup says:

        but don’t u guys think wenger shud add solidarity to its midfield to force things add physicality…just bcoz of 10-12 millions we are not winning titles…he’s making most fans doubtful about his youth policy just bcoz he doesn’t want to buy or he’s just too stubborn…winning breeds winning…and sometime u have to buy (10%) to save ur rest of the plans(youth policy 90%)..

      • desigunner says:

        Do you think we lost against Sunderland because we lack solidity? (I am assuming u mean solidity) We are a fantastic attacking team and our attack failed. We only had one shot against us. Who can we buy who would change this?

        The game we play depends a lot on movement and intelligence. So players have to play together for a long time. That is why you see Cesc and RvP have such a good understanding. Once the whole squad stays united it will keep on improving. Remember AW saying most imp thing is to keep the squad together?

      • anup says:

        ok, but what about hunger, motivation, why can’t team keep it for whole season??

      • desigunner says:

        do you think buying one or two players is a solution to that? Arshavin is a big signing, but he is one of the worst in terms of commitment and focus for 90 minutes, isn’t he?

  3. RedOak says:

    spot on with the points Desi. can’t blame wenger.
    there was no hunger, determination or even desire from the players to win the match especially by Rosicky and eduardo who are experience professionals. can’t blame the international break that much either cause we are a big team and the Chavs and Manure showed how it is done even though they themselves have players on international duty.
    i’m just disappointed at how they played and not by the result. even if we lose, like against Manure or citeh, we still put up a fight to the end. this is not the way to show your fans or even themselves that they meant what they say about winning something or even any cup this season.
    hope they wake up and start to realize that they just can’t show up and expect to win games playing like that.

  4. gooner ji says:

    The lineup looked capable of beating Sunderland, but unfortunately most of the attacking players had an off day.
    It was very much similar to the Fulham defeat last year. Eduardo was poor and Rosicky looked tired in the second half. For me Traore had a solid game but Ramsey should do better.
    The introduction of Vela and Walcott should have happened at the hour’s mark. Vela added spark to the game and was denied a definite penalty in the end. I wonder whether we will get any penalty this season.
    I still feel that we can win the league this season as other big teams will also have such games this season.

    • desigunner says:

      yeah i never got to see a replay of that penalty incident. they didn’t show it here. I don’t know what the broadcast was in other countries and if you got a chance to see the replay or not. It looked a pen in real time

  5. Jazbo says:

    So Ramsey is better than Diaby?, do me a favor. this was the perfect match for all those Diaby haters to see just what life is like without the big man, yesterday he could have been used as the focal point of the attack along side Eduardo with Ramsey linking from the midfield.
    But chin up gunners it’s not all doom and gloom.

  6. mayank says:

    We are gonna be back. This season the championship is gonna be decided on less points than ususl because teams like Tiny tots, Man Arabs, Toffees et al will surprise the ‘BIG 4’ more than usual.
    So don’t worry fellow gooners. This is the time when our team is down that we get behind out team and support them through this low.
    Up the Arsenal..

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  8. Fly Society says:

    Have you heard that new Curren$y and Nate Dogg track on itunes called “Lets Get It Crackin?”

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