By Avenell Dave
Does the pain get any better 40 hours after a crushing defeat against a bunch of Ch*vs who thoroughly deserved their win? Sadly not.
Running over the game again, I think about the half-openings Eduardo had where miscontrol or a nanosecond too long to react spoilt a possible opportunity.
I think about how Bacary Sagna continues to show his vulnerability – he allowed C*shley C&le two crosses which resulted in two goals and he could also have been sent off for a lunge on Nic Anelka (and no, he wasn’t offside).
I think about Manuel Almunia positioning a wall and then showing his lack of ability by taking a step the wrong way and then getting nowhere near a free kick. And the less said about his failure to command his box, his woeful distribution or pathetic shot-stopping, the better.
I wonder why Alex Song was taken off when Arséne Wenger made the unusual decision to change the formation, when he has been playing so well. Denilson was misplacing his passes, is lightweight and only just back from a long term injury which certainly affected his sharpness.
I wonder why Andrey Arshavin has turned into such a mediocre player in the past few weeks, lacking the magic we all thought he would provide to lead us to glory this season.
There’s been plenty of talk about Sunday’s game being men against boys and there is an element of truth to that, and it’s not just down to age...
Wenger created the modern blueprint for success – a commanding goalkeeper, a solid defence, protective midfielders and roving wingers linking with one striker and a playmaker.
The defenders were drilled, the full-backs were speedy and full of enough running to get in quality crosses from both flanks, link well with the wingers and still prevent their opponents from getting in crosses of any note.
The midfield protected the defence, first and foremost, creating a wall that few sides could get through, before playing the ball out with authority and accuracy.
The playmaker pulled the strings and linked with a single striker who could both hold the ball up and race through to take chances that were created before the opposition could blink.
The very size of the team was intimidating. These were athletes who could play football. Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Manu Petit, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Gilberto supported by strikers such as Anelka and Thierry Henry.
What irony then that while they may not pass the ball around as well as we do, Ch*vski beat as at our own game in many respects.
They had so many players who you simply cannot get round with ease while Anelka pulled our defence this way and that, making space for his partner and Gunners Nemesis Didier Dr*gba.
While C*shley C&le did to us what he did for us for many years and even the sometimes lumbering Ivanovic on the other flank created problems, we pranced around and made nothing so much as a dent on Petr Cech’s goal.
The world of football continues to evolve, boss.
We need a solid defence and that means a new goalkeeper and a decent centre-half who scares the sh*t out of opponents an complements Thomas Vermaelen.
We need a giant in midfield who chokes the life out of the very best of opponents. And we need a 30 goal a season striker with pace and height who won’t spend half of every season on the treatment table (Edin Dzeko anyone?).
Mr Wenger, you created the modern style of football. Remember why your old sides were so successful and get back to those basics before we start to seriously go backwards.