Saturday, August 26, 2006
Cheeky. That’s pretty much all you could say about Arsenal’s recent lack of form on the ovensive end of the pitch. From Thierry Henry’s quickly taken free kick to the entire team’s lack of finishing in the Premiership season so far.
A bashing of Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of their qualifying for the Champions League and a lucky win in the return leg meant the Gunners would go through on 5-1 aggregate, but the grumbling could be heard about Arsenal’s poor form of late, and their performance against Manchester City in their second Premiership game confirmed this.
And that’s the most frustrating thing, they dominated large chunks of games, possessing and moving the ball around in only the way Wenger’s teams do, but lacked that resulting goal. It's as if nobody wants to take the responsibility for scoring on this team, much the opposite of the goalfest that’s going on with Manchester United.
I know the team is dealing with fitness, and there are serious holes in defense, but Arsenal have been competent in this department, with the exception of Justin Hoyte. But to lose to Man City for lack of goals, the same Man City team that completely lost the plot at the end of last season, is pretty much disgraceful, (this wasMan City's 2nd win in 13 league games). City had to win sometime, but against a team that has owned them in their home ground is even more of an achievement for Stuart Pearce's team.
At times, this group looks like a relaxed Sunday five-a-side team, deftly flicking and one-touching at the edge of their opponent’s box, only to shoot wide or have the attack disintegrate into dispossession.
After their opening game draw with Aston Villa at the Emirates, we heard talk of how they were looking for the perfect goal, to exemplify the type of game they strived to play. This game showed more of a reluctance to score.
Chalk it up to a lack of preparation, as Wenger said, but whatever the case, it’s the North London club’s worst start to a campaign in 14 years. When you think of Watford, Sheffield United you think of struggling promoted clubs, and now you can think of Arsenal along with them (and Blackburn), as these are the only teams that hold a point total of one.
Worst of all, I watched this shite instead of the Italian Supercup (see below)?