Chelsea defeat is devastating but are Arsenal in crisis?

By Avenell Dave

The answer, is of course not, but then you knew that.

But judging by some of the comments on Twitter over the weekend, you'd have thought we were spiralling down into oblivion.

No one likes to see us lose, espcially not against our London rivals who are now seven points ahead of us.

What was most devastating for me was the weak manner in which we conceded both goals, something that in early games looked to have been eradicated.

We can point the finger at Vito Mannone for sure, but for both goals, no one else took the initiative to attack the ball, so the fault is collective. Both goals were soft, that is indisputable.

But however disappointing the result, we have to look at what lessons we can learn.

I said before the game that I thought Laurent Koscielny should play ahead of Per Mertesacker because the Ch*vs had no aerial threat. I was so wrong.

Fernando Torres won everything in the air against Thomas Vermaelen and Koscielny looked rusty and on a different wavelength to his captain.

They're too similar to each other, it seems, which is all well and god against middling opposition, but against the top top teams, it just doesn't work.

I've always said that Per Mertesacker's lack of pace and mobility isn't a problem - there have been many many great defenders for whom positioning was far more effective than pace, and he proved in his absence how important he is.

Abou Diaby looked laboured and lost the ball a few times before his early withdrawal and while I thought Aaron Ramsey did well in the centre, we lacked something, particularly in the second half after going behind again.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain loooked fine out wide but showed taht he is not yet ready to play in the centre and Theo Walcott made no impression, particularly when compared to Victor Moses who fulfilled a similar role for the visitors.

Lukas Podolski looked tired as did Santi Cazorla and anyone who blames Olivier Giroud who shot just wide late on has the sort of impatience that would have seen the likes of Henry and Bergkamp lambasted as they adjusted to a new club and style of football.

A real bright spot was the performance of the two full backs.

Although Jenkinson faded slightly towards the end, he and Kieran Gibbs were mostly superb and caused so many problems for their opponents that they showed why both could be mainstays in the team in years to come.

Ch*vski were good but they weren't great.

The difference on the day was our inability to focus at key moments while Ch*vski had a slice of luck and maintained their defensive discipline.

The first rule for the team should be a clean sheet and everything else, while important, should be seen as a bonus. Steve Bould needs to remind all the players that and refocus them to regain that defensive steel they showed early on in the campaign.

It would be easy to be down-hearted, frustrated that we gifted a rival a win that means more than just three points.

Wednesday can't come soon enough - let's hope lessons really have been learnt.