Yesterday was painful. Frustrating. It highlighted every little problem with the Arsenal team this season.
When the 4-2-3-1 formation isnt working (i.e. in the absence of Fabregas) we need to do one of two things, switch to 4-4-2 and put two strikers up front to pressurise the opposition defence or what I’d prefer move Wilshire forward into Fab’s role and put Rosicky behind in the deep playmaker role.
Contrary to a lot of frustrated reviews including my own to a point, I thought Rosicky did ok, our midfield was let down badly yesterday by Song who was rarely in the game and when he was he wasn’t effective. Rosicky is a shadow of the player he was, but he still is excellent at receiving and distributing the ball forwards with pace and accuracy. He is the master of one-touch football and he did ok yesterday. He didn’t set the game alight, but he did help keep it smouldering and allowed Wilshire space and time to perform.
Arshavin and Nasri both did well in bursts but as a whole, collectively our attack did not produce enough.
Defensively, much is being made of our inability to deal with Zigic. Its not a problem that is solely ours, he’s a difficult player to play against because he is a man-mountain. Could we have dealt with him better, of course but he is more than a handful and that must be recognised.
I think we were a bit naive at times, we allowed him to position himself in front of Sczcesny and the chaos that caused left Szczesny with a bad starting position for the first goal and subsequent corners, Szczesny needs to boss his defence more and tell them he doesn’t want that.
Substitutions, oh the frustration. Arsene did the right thing, he put on his two striking options in Bendtner and Chamakh when the injury to RvP was apparent and when Arshavin needed to come off. At the time I thought it was the right decision and it certainly put us back in the game and we enjoyed a strong period of possession and put pressure on the Brum defence, neither striker was provided with a gilt-edged chance and Bendtner tried to tee-up Rosicky but Foster was sharp and saved well.
I still think it was the right decision.
It just wasn’t our day. If it was we’d have done better in the first half and been 2:1 up.