What a strange game it was against Udinese! I bought my Theo shirt before kick off and that was vindicated when he opened the scoring with a sidefoot volley from Rambo’s right foot cross.
My fears about falling behind were unfounded and the crowd were in a forgiving mood, anyway, as mistakes multiplied and Arsenal proceeded to look less threatening than their opponents in front of goal.
How Wenger can feel confident about this team is beyond me, as ‘sloppy’ is the word that most aptly describes this performance. The match was riddled with sloppy passes and better and luckier opponents would have equalised.
Another frightening aspect was the lack of movement upfront. I felt sorry for the midfield when the forwards failed to make the right runs and make space for others. It was static except when Theo briefly played in the middle and ended up one-on-one with the keeper. Theo’s finish was uncharacteristically poor though.
Another thought came to me as I watched this lifeless performance. Wenger needs a ‘new voice’ in the dressing room. It could be a player with captain-like qualities, or a coach who actually helps the players focus. As well as a general lack of concentration, there was a lack of urgency, belief and tactical nous. Will that be addressed? If not it’s going to be, then a long hard season lies ahead, with qualification to the Champions League group stages far from guaranteed.
Szczeny 8 – made a number of good saves, unlike his counterpart who made just one.
Sagna 8 – solid as ever.
Koscielny 7 – came forward like Franz Beckenbauer but lost the ball sometimes as a consequence.
Vermaelen 8 – made some excellent last ditch tackles
Gibbs 7 – looking more reliable than Clichy so far, shame he damaged his hamstring.
Song 7 – didn’t do much wrong but should have got involved more.
Rosicky 6 – not quite sure why he got a standing ovation as made quite a few misplaced passes.
Ramsey 6 – set up the goal and was excellent in the opponents’ half…lacks concentration when passing deep so Wenger should play him further forward.
Gervinho 6 – tried hard but not much worked for him.
Walcott 7 – a bright spark who trouble Udinese with his pace.
Chamakh 5 – he needs a goal desperately to restore his confidence.
Djourou 5 – looked a bit jittery. Got subbed for injury presumably.
Jenkinson 6 – like Djourou, struggled initially but had more time on the field to adjust.
Frimpong 8 surprisingly composed for a youngster and made quite an impact as a sub.