Sunday, 17 April 2011

Arsenal’s title hopes all but gone

Justice was done this afternoon at the Emirates stadium where Arsenal conceded a last second penalty to deny them victory over Liverpool. The home side had huffed and puffed but failed to offer anything convincing until Spearing brought down Fabregas in added time.

The converted penalty by Robin van Persie was their first league goal at the Emirates since 23rd February. It is ironic that as their away form has improved, their home form has fallen to pieces. Currently they lie six points behind Manchester United in the table which is exactly how many points they have dropped at home in the last three games.

Nothing should be taken away from Liverpool though who battled and contested throughout. There was real danger on the break from Dalglish’s team who look full of confidence after their impressive victory over Manchester City last Monday. Their new look striker partnership looks as though it cause defences a lot of problems next season. The impressive Jay Spearing cleaned up everything in central midfield and Lucas, who was highly criticised under Hodgson, was magnificent.

There were too many average performances from the Arsenal side this afternoon. Their captain, Cesc Fabregas had a poor game for someone of his ability. Their central midfield three of Diaby, Fabregas and Wilshire were completely overrun by Liverpool until Wenger put Wilshire at the base of the three. The Frenchman Abou Diaby simply looked terrible; for someone so big and athletic he moves around the pitch too slowly and offers nothing defensively or offensively.

The real let down again was Theo Walcott. Time and again Arsenal fans have said how much better he is this season; I just cannot see it. He was screamed at by van Persie in the first half when he smashed his cross straight at Reina rather than passing to the Dutchman. Being a winger can be tricky on occasions; you are told to put the ball into the area of uncertainty for the defence (between the penalty spot and the six yard box) if there is no obvious ball. Something Walcott has done this season is follow that, but, unfortunately he does it all the time now. I have said before he lacks vision and a basic football brain and unfortunately both of these traits were on display today.

Unless something dramatic happens at Manchester United it is now 6 years since Arsenal won the a trophy, the question is now, what does Stan Kroenke do next??

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