Shakhtar Donetsk 2 – 1 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Before the game I’d said that a draw will be a good result and a win excellent. As it turned out Shakhtar were far too good for a makeshift Arsenal team that was neither here nor there.

The reason I didn’t share the optimism of some fans regarding a win in this game was down to two factors; the personnel available to Arsene and tactical problems that we’ve come to expect.

Expecting the midfield duo of Wilshere and Eastmond to dominate the ball in such a difficult European tie is ridiculous. The problem was we didn’t really have much choice and I’m not sure Lansbury or Nasri would have done much better because of their tendency to rush forward.

This issue was exacerbated by some tactical mistakes and an astonishing lack of composure. Arsenal almost had a 4-2-4 formation with Rosicky far too high up the pitch. I was really disappointed with Rosicky as he should have dropped deep when we were under pressure. What’s the point of experience if you can’t read a situation and take charge?!

Our biggest strength in this game was the pace of Theo and we got an early goal thanks to that. Wilshere got onto a loose ball from a set-piece and hoofed it forward. Walcott was halfway inside the Arsenal half but was able to blitz past the defender without breaking sweat. His finish was that of a man in form.

The sad part was that we rarely used this strength to our advantage. With the personnel we had on the pitch, I’d have asked the midfield and Nasri to play much closer to the defence and to release Walcott at every opportunity.

Instead what we saw was Rosicky and Nasri dwelling on the ball far too long, Eastmond and Eboue making too many mistakes, and Wilshere struggling to do everything on his own. Bendtner’s first touch and inability to hold the ball under pressure didn’t help either.

It took the hosts 15-20 minute to realize this Arsenal side was there for the taking. After that they mounted attack after attack, pressurising Arsenal deep in their own half. At the end of the first half, Shakhtar had 11 shots with 7 on target while Arsenal had 3 with 2 on target.

Fabianski made some good saves and the post kept the hosts out once but they managed to score two good goals to turn the game around before half time.

The first came from a set-piece when Chygrynski glanced the ball towards the goal and it went in off the hapless Eastmond. The big mistake for this goal came from Eboue who conceded the free kick with a daft foul. The Ivorian had the chance to make a clean tackle earlier but failed and then had to play catch-up, ending with a lunge that created the chance and earned him a booking.

The winner came from a bad mistake by Clichy as he was dispossessed on the wing. Quite what he was thinking, I do not know. Having said that, I was really disappointed Eduardo was completely unmarked in the box. What was Eastmond doing? For a kid with limited abilities he should at least make sure he is physically present in the right defensive areas.

I know many fans will again go ballistic over Clichy but I don’t agree with that. Yes, he made a bad mistake but so did many other players and the hosts could have scored from any other move. Point is, the problem was with the way Arsenal were playing – defence exposed far too often, senior players not taking charge, too many individual mistakes, absolutely no composure in any part of the pitch.

If the ball keeps coming at the defence every few seconds they are bound to make some mistakes.

To be fair, the second half was much better and more even. Arsenal didn’t play that much better but Shakhtar took their foot off the pedal. This allowed Arsenal to bring the ball out more easily and that in turn lead to some openings. In the second half, Arsenal had 9 shots with 6 on target while the hosts had 8 with 3 on target.

Even then, there were very few clear chances created by Wenger’s team. Squillaci had a good chance with a free header when Clichy put in a brilliant ball but the Frenchman didn’t generate enough pace on his header. Walcott had a couple of half chances and hit the target but it was always within the Keeper’s range. Wilshere hit the woodwork when he got a free strike on the goal but I thought it was a foul that led to the chance.

Shakhtar were defensively much better organized and their midfielders worked hard in support of the defence. Once again Arsenal couldn’t make a set-piece count.

I’m not that disappointed with the result. My concern is with the repetition of mistakes that we’ve seen in the past – tactical naivety, lack of composure, experienced players controlling the game, and too many individual mistakes.

Normally we see these problems intermittently but the team is strong enough to survive them and get a result. But when we see them all together and for almost the duration of the game, more often than not we end up losing.

I’m not sure what the injury situation is but starting with Sagna would have made a huge difference. Clear instructions to Rosicky to drop closer to the defence would also have made it easier.

Now Arsenal will have to focus on the remaining two games in order to top the group.

Individual Performances

Fabianski: Probably the only player who didn’t make mistakes and I can’t describe how thankful I’m for that. Made some good saves but couldn’t do much about either goal.

Eboue: Casual, indifferent, and lackadaisical. Extremely poor for an experienced player. Didn’t read the danger well enough, movement on the right was poor, passing was ordinary.

Squillaci: worked hard to keep the hosts at bay. I thought he got away with one or two things in this game as he was a bit physical. Can’t really fault him for either of the goals or the chances that were created by Shakhtar.

Djourou: Made some important interceptions. Read the danger well on most occasions. Another one who shouldn’t be blamed for the result.

Clichy: bad mistake for the second goal. Worked really hard on the left as the midfield often left him exposed. Should have done better in attacking areas.

Eastmond: I’ve no idea how he even gets into the squad. I don’t want to blame him for this result but he oozes nervousness and it spreads to the rest of the team as well.

Wilshere: Best player from either side. My MotM. It was as if he was alone in the Arsenal midfield and had to do virtually everything.

Rosicky: Very disappointing for such an experienced player. Stayed too far up the pitch for most of the game. Did well in attacking areas and created  some chances but that’s not enough in such a game. I’d love to know the instructions he got from the manager.

Walcott: Classy finish, looked threatening. Had five shots all on target but should have done better with some of them. Lacked understanding with Bendtner and Eboue. Didn’t get enough chances to run at the defence.

Bendtner: His touch and work rate let him down but I can’t say that’s a surprise. Showed good close control at times and created a good chance for Theo that was well defended by Srna.

Nasri: did a decent job on the left but should have been involved more. Like with Rosicky, I wanted to see him drop deep and demand the ball. Good running with the ball, decent defensive contribution (could have been better), hit the post with a good shot, could have done better in attack.

Subs: Vela tried hard and had some good moments, Chamakh’s touch was clearly better but he didn’t get enough time, JET looked physically strong but didn’t get a chance to run at the defence.

Before I end I must say we should not read too much into this result. I hope this write-up hasn’t come across as too negative because that’s not my intention. Shakhtar are a very goo team with some tricky, intelligent players and I don’t expect any top team to get a result there with their five of the six midfielders missing. Let’s not forget Barcelona didn’t win at Copenhagen even with a full strength side.

Time to focus on some tricky games in the Premiership and to hope our key players are back soon.


69 Responses to Shakhtar Donetsk 2 – 1 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. bjohnson says:

    MAYBE IF WILSHIRE AND ROSICKY SWAPPED NATIONALITIES YOU WOULD GIVE ROSICKY A BETTER RATING!

    • 7masters says:

      Well Wiltshere would only win something with Arsenal not England. To think English are good footballer is an insult to football. They are mostly overrated and crap except for Walcott, Wiltshire,Jet to name few who are good cause they got to play with best players day in day out. Sorry to point these out but football has no colours or nationality it universal whoever is good is good etc Bobby Moore, George Best to name few. English claiming to be special sound hollow to me and only when we realise we are way back the queue then we can play without the pressure of ‘golden generation’ tag haha the Media always shoot itself in boot and it sad to see normal Arsenal fans believing such lies.

    • Aniruddh says:

      and the author isn’t even english, so what’s your point?

      • 7masters says:

        Read Back what he saying ‘MAYBE IF WILSHIRE AND ROSICKY SWAPPED NATIONALITIES YOU WOULD GIVE ROSICKY A BETTER RATING!’

        Then tell me what he means by comparing Rosicky and Wilshire to swap nationality. It does not matter but it seem he saying Rosicky is crap by not being English or he would given him better rating. Easy dude

  2. geoff reid says:

    crap midfield bedtner and eastmond and eboue should never have started–another selection balls up–also never subs earlier enough bad management.

    • 7masters says:

      I have to sorry for Nick he had shocker, Arsenal Midfield was over crowded and they played us tight making sure we never get the space. It okay anyway no big deal let save our energy for Premiership on Sunday. Good to see Eduardo score by the way.

  3. Tim says:

    Shakhtar were always going to be tough – what is it now, 49 unbeaten at home? A draw, particularly with a depleted team, would have been a great result. And if not for the flat-footed Eboue and the casual Clichy, we would probably have got a draw. We weren’t at our best, and Shakhtar played well, but both full backs were liabilities tonight.

    I’m not too gutted, though. Anyone who thought we were going to walk away with an easy win tonight was being optimistic in the extreme.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/11/03/shakhtar-make-arsenal-pay-for-defensive-errors/

  4. chengiskhan says:

    Good, reasoned analysis, Desi. We were pretty incoherent all around both tactically and in terms of individual performances.

    I agree about Eastmond. You don’t want to slate the guy too much b/c he is a very young player, but he has seemed very unconfident in all his matches to date. As soon as he receives the ball he tends to go into a panic and pass the ball backward, missing otherwise good forward passing opportunities. His appearances so far remind me of Denilson’s in his early early days, so I have hope for him after all.

    Bendtner, Eboue, and Rosicky were all very disappointing for me.

    • desigunner says:

      I think he gets overawed. Technically he is not bad but without confidence his game doesn’t look good at all. He needs to play in the Championship.

  5. arsenalist says:

    i would like that bentdner closes his big mouth…..chamakh is miles better than him…..eastmond not ready for such games….clichy as always…bad mistakes in the important games….wilshere very good game…walcott very good player in conter attack….wenger….i dont know how much time we will learn…hope that we will win the magpies…the game tonight to forget

  6. JP says:

    to many changes to think we could get a result. One minute the injury situation is good the next we are decimated. Thats Arsenal, I’ve come to expect it now.

  7. JP says:

    After watching that world class performance by Bale yesterday it was hard watching this game.

    • 7masters says:

      Bale remember was a three way fight between Spurs, Arsenal and United. Also Modric changed his mind at last minute to join Spurs and Van De Vart was long time target until scout report found him lacked fitness, So Spurs must have spy inside Arsenal or are they copying us? Hard to tell but they played good last night.

  8. am says:

    I saw the Clichy non clearence in slow motion.

    I had a vision of the Spurs game where he never kicked the ball out.

  9. stressed gooner says:

    Well Desi as usual good and bad points:-
    Bad rosicky/Nasri/Bendtner/Eboue Rosicky hiding from the ball. never made the angles and demanded the ball.
    Nasri, not like him but average to off-paced performance. Often in the past he has trried to drag the tam through with his own performance but not tonight.
    Bendtner- still coming back to fitness, but well off pace.
    Eboue- been playing great lately and i am normally in your camp but too shy and not progressive enough tonight
    Good:- Wilshere looking for ball more than any other player, but he is not cesc ability yet and cant demand every ball. No support from Rosicky/Nasri in that role.
    Djouru- best form i’ve seen him have and more games will only help this. good reading strong and brave. Hopefully arsenal fans will see the best of him.
    Fabianski- keep it up, 3 games do not make you No1 but well played tonight.
    Eastmond- asked to do a massive job that got no support from your more experienced players. If Rosicky and Nasri would have showed feet more often it would have made his night easier. still
    unlucky for their goal as why was he marking the EX-BARCA defender who stood at over 6ft????? in a team of small strikers.
    Would like to finish by saying Theo played well. Keep away from the Henry questions and you’ll do fine on your own. Who would have thought of somenone being better than Wrighty?? then Thierry came along…
    Vela- would like to find out how Wenger wants to play him. Think if we are not careful, his contract will run out and we will lose a striker who could be great given a decent run in a position he can play. He worked hard tonight, but got to say ‘i am probably more frustrated thn he is cos he has no place at the moment.
    Desi give me feedback!!

    • desigunner says:

      Firstly, don’t stress my friend we didn’t do that badly considering how many midfielders were missing.

      Agree with you. Fabianski, Djourou, Wilshere, and Walcott were good positives.

      I’m guessing Nasri struggled a bit because he has been moved to different positions too often.

      It seems Vela will keep getting 15-20 mins this season and he will have to make them count.

  10. Boop says:

    It puts a few players in the place, so there are positives! Also, Eduardo can hold his head up that he went to a team that’s at least good enough to beat an underperforming Arsenal at home, rather than thinking that we see him having lost a lot of ground.

  11. Arsenalforever says:

    This 19 years old eastmond is clearly useless.. He will never be a good central midfielder.. His physical presence zero his technical skill poor mental ability none .. He is weak and nervous. There is no point of wasting time on him.. Instead lansbary is clearly miles better than him in terms of physical ability and strength and he can clearly do a netter job than eastmond.. So he should have more game time instead. Clichy is totally useless.. He is always the weakest link in our defence. How many goals he cost us this season? The ones I remember are Sunderland equalizer, Blackburn equalizer, westbrom game, this shakhtar game. I also seen him doing exact howlers to French national team with an exact similar mistake to the one he did tonight. We should get rid of clichy if we want to do well this season. We have Gibbs who is strong compsed and skilfull left back and have much to offer going forward. If Gibbs is injured we can play varmeleen left back and the 2 French centre backs can slot in to centre defence no problems. We should also bring vermaleen ex partner in Ijax central defence to arsenal so he can play left back if Gibbs and TV are both injured or central midfield if song get injured.
    Positive note on our keepers .. We don’t need to buy new keepers. If Fabianiski mess up we have his country man schezny who is absolutely superb and with no doubt will become the world greater keeper ever.
    Theo Walcott should play everygame. He is our plan B. He can outpace defenders and score goals from counter attacks. When RVP is back he should play up front with shamakh playing where arshaven is playing now. On the left because he track back he can score lots of goals from that positon where he will be coming to his right foot inside,, people from the right can cross balls to him on the far post where he will be less marked. MF will be fabregas Nasri and song with song soley central defensive midfield.

    • slugboy says:

      can’t let this go.

      Firstly, whilst eastmond had a poor game, he has hardly played for the first team so needs time to compose himself. i dunno if he will make it, but last night wasn’t his fault.

      Clichy isn’t useless, but he is limited and refuses to play it simple when in a dangerous spot. he provides virtually no attacking threat – his crossing last night was woeful. he is generally good defensively

      I thought Bendtner had a poor game last night. Didn’t hold the ball up and allowed pressure back on the rest of the team. his touch was awful. Give him a few games before he will be properly back.

      The whole midfield was poor last night, including Theo. He was anonymous for most of the game last night.

      I think when opposition teams put pressure on and press us, our midfield loses composure and hence control of the game.

      I thought central defence and Goalkeeper were the only positive from last night. Didn’t think I’d be saying that last year.

  12. HexyDre says:

    Hard game to watch, I thought (and still think) we had enough quality in the squad to win the match. The only positive I could take from the game is Wilshere, I’ll desist from making conclusive comments now till I get to watch it again on ATVO.
    Sad evening over here.

    BTW, is there a way to get our wingers (full backs) to improve their crossing abilities? Bleh.

    • desigunner says:

      I’ve covered the crossing issue in the past year or so. My theory is that it’s a co-ordinated effort. The man crossing the ball should know the run and the runner should know where the cross will come. The others have to attack and look for the loose ball or knock down. All that needs a lot of training and I’m not sure we spend enough time on it.

  13. arsenalist says:

    i agree….no crosses at all…..last game against west ham we had chamakh and bentdner on the pitch and no crosses….the way how spurs use crouch…chamakh till now is used in 40%….what a waste

  14. santori says:

    Thank goodness I was at a meeting today and missed the match!

    I did mention before that I thought we were going to drop points for this match.

    Yet again we have underestimated our opponents.

    BUT the crucial problem I believe is (As I have mentioned before) Wenger’s tactics.

    Having not seen the match, judging from Desi’s report (which is often of the highest quality, we have yet again been set up wrong.

    1)Positionally we needed to enforce strict discipline in a 4-2-3-1, particularly away and against a quality team with a point (or two) to prove. I think the team composition did not help our set up whatsoever.

    2)I am miffed by the selection of Eastmond pairing with Wilshire, especially since he was not entirely convincing against Spurs.

    3)I would have preferred Rosicky next to Wilshire anchoring the middle.

    Rosicky playing out right (and as it seems too far forward) simply does not afford any form of cover for Clichy.

    4)From what it sounds (Desi mentions Nasri doing a decent job out left), Wenger may have confused Walcott’s effectiveness out right for an ability to operate through the middle. True he got the goal 10 minutes in but I would think Nasri in the hole would add better penetration and competitiveness in midfield with his finesse work where Walcott is poor with technical judgment.

    Had Wenger wanted to play Walcott as second striker, we would have been better off with 4-4-2 but bearing in mind we did not have Song, this was not the game to toy with that concept.

    5)LW. I would have preferred to see Vela (admittedly lacking in urgency and ambition against Spurs)or JET given a start out wide. They would have offered slightly more direct penetration than Rosicky, particularly if the RW had opened up because of Walcott’s activity out left.

    6)Subs. Yet again, Wenger takes far too long to switch things around. bringing on Chamakh for the ineffective Bendtner @73mins is simply too long.

    Again, I really feel that we could go someways in improving if Wenger adopts a better tactician/asst coach other than Pat Rice (no offense to him). That of course would hinge on the ability of the boss to see his own limitations in this area.

    I can’t say I’m disappointed because I did think we would have an issue with this one. Hopefully we get back with a massive win on Tyneside on the weekend.

    • santori says:

      Just like to add that we could have also worked Bendtner out left and Chamakh up top as an option to Vela/JET on left wing duty.

      Either way, Wilshere, Rosicky and Nasri in the middle (triangle) would have given us a far better shape and control.

    • jcloud says:

      I cancelled things to watch the game… The pace of the game was to slow. I had never been a fan of Bendtner but today he killed the game!

    • desigunner says:

      Walcott played on the right most of the time. Rosicky was the advanced midfielder and Nasri on the left. I guess you saw the highlights where they showed Walcott through the middle but that was wrong.

  15. Goonerman says:

    Totally agree with ur take on the game! As much as I don’t like to rule out youngsters but eastbound Is not and will not be arsenal quality he gets the ball and he kicks it anywhere when he see’ s a player coming at him, I suppose if he hadn’t of got injured that would of been frimpong so we still have him to look forward to! It really was a carling cup team so let’s forget the result it is unlikely to cause huge damage in the long run and if resting a few key players means a win v Newcastle then so be it!!

    • desigunner says:

      Frimpong’s injury was a real shame. I’m not too concerned by this result but we need to get back on track in the next game. Hopefully the players who were left behind weren’t seriously injured.

      • LondonGunner says:

        Hi desi too much noise about this game. Arsene wanted to give chance to few players but it didn’t work. B52 as someone mentioned here is no where near chamach eastmond is still Young over all we didn’t play well I wouldn’t put too much worries into it.

  16. E9 Gunner says:

    “Wilshere latched onto a loose ball from a set piece and hoofted it up to Walcott”???
    The game I watched it was Walcott who latched onto the loose ball from a set piece and played a one-two with wilshere.

    Apart from that it was a fair player analysis.

  17. Hi guys, bit sad with the result but Walcott inspires me a lot for the whole match.

    Much more being influence by Eduardo professional attitude and such high quality disciplined personality kept him still in my heart and fellow Gooners.

    Not to worry much, we will bounce back n back on track in next match.

  18. Zgunner says:

    Eastmond will be fine in a year or two…. you’ll see.

  19. Nischit says:

    Desi, I think you’re being a bit too harsh on eastmond. I think he was exposed by a poor performance defensively from walcott, eboue, bendtner and rosicky. Eboue in particular was woeful. Reminiscent of the days that saw him booed. I agree Eastmond wasn’t great in possesion of the ball, but he didn’t exactly have a lot of support. I thought eastmond had to work extra hard to cover, which then nasri and wilshere had to do. I thought it was poor team performance all in all. Some players clearly didn’t think they anything to prove when clearly, they do.

    • Furovich says:

      Desi, you say “I don’t even know how he (Eastmond) gets into the squad”. Have you seen him play in anything other than the 4 or so first team games he’s had? Because he’s done reasonably well in those. He was also a key player of the FA Youth Cup winning side of a couple of years ago and is rated by others quite well.

    • desigunner says:

      Well I’ve never liked Eastmond from the first game that I saw him. He is a player who hides on the pitch and others don’t pass to him when he is under pressure just to protect him. The team can carry him when the others are experienced and doing well but he is exposed in such games.

      I liked Song from the first time I saw him. He was clumsy and made mistakes but you could see he was not afraid of getting the ball. Can’t say the same for Eastmond.

      I’m not saying he won’t develop. Maybe he will gain confidence over a couple of seasons. I’m not sure he should do that at Arsenal. A loan would be a good idea and it will show us if he is good enough to get into a Championship starting eleven or not.

  20. Gurkhaligunner says:

    I’ll tell u what injuries to key players in these kinds of tricky matches will keep arsenal away from winning any trophies this season 🙂

    • desigunner says:

      Arsenal cannot afford injuries, especially not in key games. Thankfully this one was not that important but title hopes will depend on big players staying fit. That is true for all top teams.

  21. IndianGunner says:

    Great analysis as usual Desi. I was just thinking whether it would have been better to push Djourou to the holding midfield role and start with Koscienly at the back. That way we would have had more experience at back. I think starting with Eastmond alone was a little bit of a gamble since we knew Shakthar were going to throw the kitchen sink at us and it would be an uphill battle to retain possession in midfield.
    Anyways we just have to keep focus for the next game which would be easier since we are at home. It’s really surprising that when Eboue starts a game he really seems to mess up a lot.

    • desigunner says:

      I did think of Djourou in midfield and Nasri and Lansbury but over the last season or two I’ve realized Arsene tends to pick Eastmond when Denilson/Song are unavailable. I don’t know why and I don’t like it one bit but Le Boss would have his reasons.

      Eboue seems to have lost his focus and plays as if it’s just for fun and doesn’t really matter.

  22. santori says:

    Just watched the highlights. Impossible to judge the team’s game from it so I’ll have to stick to desi’s excerpts.

    Have to say though Clichy was culpable for that mistake. He tried to be too clever.

    Eastmond is out of his debt. I think it was quite apparent from the match against (sorry quoted the wrong game earlier) Newcastle Reserves.

    I hope Wenger realises this. He only has himself to blame for fielding the youngster because (as I said before) there were better tactical options available.

    BUT didn’t Walcott take his goal well! Good release from Rosicky.

    • desigunner says:

      I think he was released by Wilshere. And yes Walcott took his goal really well. He also mentioned post match that he has been practicing taking it early because the keeper isn’t really ready/ expecting it at that point.

  23. Raghugovind says:

    I am not much disappointed with the result . I am happy that most of our key players got rest . It would have been interesting if JET had come on instead of Chamakh. That way even he could have got a well deserved rest . JET was quite good and I liked the way he played .He used his strength and height to place the ball for Vela in the box and also got a shot on goal in just 10 mins of play .

  24. Furovich says:

    Realistically, I dont think it was that bad a performance. Possession was about 50/50 and Arsenal created some decent chances. Shakhtar won the game but they played very well in front of a passionate crowd. They’re undefeated there for 50 games or something ridiculous like that so it’s not surprising they played so well. That Shakhtar performance would of given most big clubs problems.

    Yea the Arsenal midfield didn’t dominate the game like they often do but due to injury Wenger was pretty much forced to play a 4-4-2 like formation with 3 out of those 4 midfileders being more inclined to push forward than do much defencesive work. Yea Eastmond wasn’t brilliant but I’m not going to judge him on his Champions League debut away at Ukraine.

    • desigunner says:

      I was really disappointed because with a little better focus and tactical awareness this team with so many youngsters could have won at such a daunting venue.

  25. Filip says:

    Positives: we didn’t concede a third even though we gave them a lot of space.JET.Theo`s shooting abilities.Some promising signs from Vela.Surprisingly good Djourou.Jack.Eastmond wont play for us again.Fabianski.Wenger has (hopefully) finally realized that Clichy is the weakest link.

  26. critic says:

    against city wenger said we are now matured, against shakthar he said we showed immaturity….lolz…matured to immature then mature and then immature…we keep oscillating…. 😀

    • desigunner says:

      In this game we had an 18 and a 19 year old closest to our defence. Obviously there will be an issue with maturity. One could question Arsene for not knowing this was going to happen but I’m not sure if he had much choice.

  27. IndianGunner says:

    Just have a question which i would like some insights into:
    We keep making defensive mistakes in almost each game (Most of them go unpunished but we do concede if i may say some soft goals)
    I was wondering is it because of the changing defense n almost each game? We do have injury problems but we do keep rotating players as well. The point i was trying to make is we seem to make some mistakes which a well-drilled side should not and end up conceding goals
    Now i am not a doom-gloomer and i am certainly not making this point in view of our loss but whenever i see the game at time i have a feeling we might concede with some defensive mistake
    If we have a stable defense and a like for like rotation, for at least 4-5 games in a row i believe we should be able to iron out these errors
    I would like to see the defending that we did against Sunderland day in day out (Except for the last minute goal conceded of course)

    What are you thoughts desi?

    • desigunner says:

      I feel it’s a problem with our formation and the way our midfielders/attackers defend. It is far too easy to beat an Arsenal player in a one-v-one on the flank or to play a one-two around them. It can be said about almost all our players and that makes us collectively weak.

      Against Sunderland the defenders did a good job but collective defending was woeful as I’d analyzed post game.

  28. DjBarney says:

    Bendtner sucked, big mouthed fool !

  29. Arun says:

    Midfield lost the battle. Too much of teen blood in that part of the field with the experienced players nowhere near them. No offense to Wilshere, he was battling it all alone in midfield. Or I should say Nasri and Wilshere were battling separately in midfield. Had these two combined their efforts, it could have given us some hope.
    Rosicky failed to read the game. No matter what instructions he received from the manager, with his experience, should have understood the lack of fight in midfield and contributed there. BTW he was captaining the side last night – correct me if i’m wrong.

    Walcott in his form was all enough to mount to an attack last night but was never really used.

    Overall I would say, the team selection was a gamble from Wenger. He should have expected it before he put out such a team in such a difficult away fixture albeit not a vital one. But where I was disappointed was when Wenger took so long to take out Eastmond & Bendtner.
    Only heartening thing last night was Walcott’s goal. He looks like only last week he scored the Blackpool hatrick.

    The things I would take from this game are Walcott’s fine form, Good work from Wilshere, Center backs and Fabianski. And NO INJURIES ..

  30. Metalhead says:

    Just because others committed mistakes, it would be unfair to overlook Clichy’s mistake. There is a huge difference in Eastmond committing a mistake and Clichy committing a mistake. For a seasoned campaigner like Gael committing an an amateur mistake like that does not board well. Of course it doesn’t mean we drop him but Arsenal seriously cannot afford such mistakes in big games.

    • desigunner says:

      My point is not to ignore his mistake but to look at the bigger more fundamental issues. This is similar to what I used to say all of last season about our Keepers.

  31. vitus says:

    Arshavin is to blame for this defeat, cause he is always to blame on, Arsh critics, where are you?

  32. russell says:

    Your article is for the most part on the money and you need not fear being too harsh.
    I said it before the game and here we are hearing “it was down to immaturity.” No more excuses please. Injuries, Eastmond, Eboue, Leaders, what ever we find to point at.
    Truth is we were not good enough.
    We have a strange weakness in our team and watch our games to see my point. If there are 2 or 3 players having an off day then we simply disintegrate hopelessly.
    We lack the resolve that comes from winning, winning, and winning. Yes, I say it again, we need more winners. As good as our players are, as beautiful as they express themselves, do the math – how many chances that we create so wonderfully are actually converted to goals. Goals win matches and winners score goals. We need that hunger, urge, belief, even when there are weaknesses.
    I love my team. Gunners forever.

    • LondonGunner says:

      Another doom monger what are you on , bad news for you we won’t buy any players last night was an exception get behind the team and stop this negativity.
      We are second in the league and top of our group.

      • russell says:

        Doom Monger? Realist. Second with 2 defeats. Top of one of the easier groups with another away defeat.
        Come on,,,,get real,,,,,,,,,,,No negativity from me just harsh daylight. Read my post again.

    • desigunner says:

      I think it’s still a matter of expectations. I’m surprised people actually expected Arsenal to win this game easily. That just shows a lack of understanding of the game, quite like the pundits.

      Barca have drawn with full strength sides in both their away games. How is that acceptable while Arsenal’s loss with such a weakened side not acceptable?

      Before we talk about winners, Arsenal need fans who are a little more positive and can transfer the belief to the players.

  33. LondonGunner says:

    Rusell the reality is that you are coming here saying that’s it s easy group maybe you right Shaktar at home is no easy nor is Rubin as barca would tell u. If you can’t see how much we have improved since last year then doom monger is your full name 🙂

    • desigunner says:

      LG let’s not resort to labeling someone who is a bit angry/disappointed. We have plenty of doom mongers who use extremely abusive language and stupid arguments.

      I think we should accept a different opinion as long as it is put forward in a respectful manner, as was done by russell.

      I’m not trying to preach, I just feel that we should not show the same behaviour that the misery brigade do.

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