Boxing day stumble: An old failing dogs Arsenal

Too many passes and too few to pull the trigger. Unless you count Tomas Rosicky who can’t buy a goal.
Arsenal looked jaded in the first half against Portsmouth. This is the third game in a row where a lot of their passes just went adrift. Adebayor was all dinks and deflections which look pretty but prove useless when there is no one to meet the ball. They improved in the second half but never really looked threatening. The final ball into goal let Arsenal down. Cesc was short with his corners and passes all evening long. Hleb and Eboue’s crosses were either mis-hit or found no one. Portsmouth bottled up the middle when Arsenal decided to attack down the pipe. It was not until Nicklas Bendtner’s late introduction that the attack looked like it was going to accomplish something. I think Bendtner simplifies the game a lot providing a big target. For a big lad he moves very swiftly and proved dangerous in the goal area. Gallas got close and Roiscky even closer with the ball hooking away from goal.
A real pity because Pompey looked innocuous throughout the match apart from one heart stopping moment when Benjani beat the offside trap and raced towards goal. Almunia and then Clichy did enough to avert disaster. It was a very good result for Redknapp considering his team was creamed by Liverpool this weekend.
This was a wasted opportunity. With Man Utd going for the jugular, Arsenal can ill afford to take their foot off. I know Arsene has again mentioned that he does not want to go for any transfers, seemingly content to rejigger available players but the title is now on the line. RVP is not fully fit, Eduardo has disappeared, and Adebayor is carrying a full load. Even that would not be a big problem if goals were being scored by the likes of Hleb, Flamini, and Fabregas who have proven so wonderfully assertive in front of goal so far. But their production has worryingly dropped off.
So we lose the lead to Man U and now have to go to Everton who are in amazingly good nick at home. Today they demolished Bolton as they cranked in about 15 shots on goal.

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4 comments on “Boxing day stumble: An old failing dogs Arsenal
  1. WHY, or why is Arsene persisting with Adebayor, the worst striker in the Premier League. He makes Arsenals beautiful game look very ugly up front!

  2. By now Arsenal /AW shd know playing beautiful soccer gets you nowhere unless you win.It’s useless to criticizr Rednapp for his tactics.There were far too many passes and opponents know they will have time to marshall their defence.
    Yes this is just a blip but it could be the foreunner of things to come.
    Next stop Everton by no means a pushover.Let’s see what AW does.I know in AW we trust but the trust shd not be taken for granted.
    Mu bt Pool because they did not set out to play pretty soccer but winning soccer.Of course if you play pretty soccer and win it’s good but it;s difficult.Ask any gunner fan and they will want winning team.

  3. Norman, I think you shouldn’t be so harsh on Adebayor. He’s your top scorer, and sometimes pulls goals out of nothing. Heh, he certainly isn’t the worst striker in the Premiership. I think that award goes to Claudio Pizzaro.
    Arsenal are really hitting a tough part of the season, and I think the inexperience has reared it’s ugly head. This does not mean they won’t win the league, they are only a point back, but they had a 6 point lead and a game in hand not too long ago. I suppose after the extremely easy start to the season they had, some of the hard matches they avoided are all bunched up around now.
    Still, they shouldn’t be too upset. I know United drew at Pompey, and the top four teams rarely win there.
    A long way to go yet.

  4. I think we need to see RvP and Bendtner (give Ade a rest!) up front with Hleb just behind them. Then Fab and Flam can boss the midfield with A.N.Other from Eboue, Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby or Gilerto in front of the back four. 4-3-1-2 is the way…

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