A terrible week crowned by a loss to Manchester City. Now the Gunners face Dynamo Kiev and they cannot falter, otherwise their Champions League season could be over. Perhaps that’s why Wenger chose to rest Adebayor, preferring him to play Kiev rested.
The difference in the game yesterday was the Arsenal midfield not taking control of the game. Denilson was unable to run the midfield, being physically overwhelmed by City and his passing not being sharp enough. Diaby was particularly disappointing. Too often he was caught in possession or he would squander a good move by doing something rash. Nasri drifted in and out of the game, but never able to create the decisive opening that Arsenal needed. Song played okay, but his passing was erratic and he looked a little slow sometimes. Ramsey added a little energy and a few good passes, but he wasn’t able to make a big difference.
Defensively I thought we weren’t too bad until injury time when Clichy and Silvestre flubbed clearing the ball. In the second we looked far more vulnerable, especially as the game opened up. Djourou, I thought, played reasonably well and was harshly penalized late in the game. Hoyte was adequate, but Arsenal need something better than that.
Bendtner and Van Persie were both disappointing. Bendtner was let down by his poor first touch and thus squandered a couple of good chances. Van Persie failed to put his stamp on the game either and wasn’t able to work in tandem with Bendtner. Vela was disappointing off the bench, making no real impact on the game.
It was particularly disappointing that Arsenal couldn’t open up the City defence as the game opened up in the second half. After City scored their second goal the Gunners seemed to sag. They created few clearcut chances the entire game and this is what worries me the most. They get to the edge of the opponent’s box and cannot penetrate or put a good shot on goal.
Can the Gunners pull it together now? Gallas “might” be gone now, which might be a good thing. Cesc will be back, Adebayor will replace Bendtner, but we don’t know about Eboue, Sagna, and Toure. Things are so bad that I’m hoping Eboue returns. Eduardo cannot return soon enough either.
Can the Gunners pull it together over the next month? I don’t know. Will a new captain make a difference? It can’t hurt. Right now they need to focus on one game at a time as Wenger said. In the meantime Wenger needs to start searching for a new holding midfielder and he needs to buy one on January the first, not January the 31st.