Sunday, April 17, 2011

Matter of Pride

Yay, Robin scores and we're out of jail...oh wait, free kick at the edge of our box, booya straight in the wall, oh wait...WTF, pelanty!!! Kuyt scores and we're doomed...nooooooo!

I know that most of the seasoned Gooners were not jumping out of their seats after we scored the penalty in the 98th minute. They were thinking that could we defend the lead for the remaining two minutes and as it turned out, we couldn't. It was a typical performance at the Emirates where we kept most of the ball (68% possession) but were not able to create enough chances to score a field goal. Blackpool was a lesser opposition and with their open play and defensive frailties we were able to penetrate their back four. But Liverpool is a better side and a team which is on the up. In spite of that fact, we were pretty impressive and played most of the game in their half. Diaby (Jack was a little off) was able to keep the ball all the time and we pressed hard in the midfield which didn't allow them to complete their passes accurately.

Where we lacked was in the final third. It's now a familiar pattern and harping more on it will not improve the current predicament of our team. For once I would like to see our players be more direct in front of the goal, something which Bendtner is good at (but then he's bad at keeping the ball...). There was no plan B for us and we always missed that final intricate pass which could have annihilated their defense. I thought Shava would be our savior but by the time he came on, the team was disoriented and had lost the formation. His impressive nippy runs inside the box ended up vaguely.

But the fate had decided something else for us and we were awarded a very late pelanty when Cesc was brought down by orc-looking Spearing. RvP duly scored and it was like a sweet redemption for the team. But then we are Arsenal and we like to complicate things. As soon as the game started we found ourselves defending an edge-of-the-box free kick. It should have been the last action in the game but somehow the referee decided to extend the game. After getting smashed against our defensive wall, the ball was half-cleared in the box and the slightest of touch from Eboue was enough for Lucas to dive. Liverpool was awarded the pelanty which Kuyt converted to nullify the game.

Eboue in happier times (source: BleacherReport)

It would be worthless to blame only Eboue for the mistake and I will blame the entire team. I agree that Eboue lost his concentration for that last minute which costed us the game. But he was not the only one, there were players who should have cleared the ball properly but they didn't. It was once again a collective defensive shamble from us which gifted a point to the opposition. We have come up short defensively umpteenth time this season. It's heart-aching to recall but Spuds, Newcastle, Birmingham games have left a dark botch on my memory. 

I think we should just forget about where we're in the league and where we will finish. Let's just play for the Arsenal pride now. Let's play to show all the suckers out there what we're capable of. Each of our player should now feel like a warrior whose kingdom has been duped away from him and all he has got left is his pride. We should play for our honor and beat those cock-on-the-ball Yids and those uncivilized yokels from Old Trafford. I will now take 2nd, or 3rd or 4th in the league but for once play like the real Arsenal.

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