An absolute shambles is all I can say about that. It really seemed like the players didn’t follow any sort of instruction against Monaco. Coquelin was particularly frustrating to watch as he drove forward ahead of play far too often and left us exposed on every goal we conceded. In addition his want to try and beat people and pick out killer passes was very annoying. That’s not his job. His job is to sit back and stop any sort of counter attacking move. In a way when you play the first game at home it’s almost like an away game in the league, the first goal is key and will dictate where the game goes. A 0-0 is even commendable as an away goal then becomes doubly valuable but we went gung-ho when we got a little unlucky with the first goal. We panicked in the same way we did against Utd at home and that is quite simply not good enough.
The tactics seemed correct with the personnel selected and they worked to a degree but when you have 4/5 guilt edged chances you cannot afford to miss all of them. I think we had 3 good chances before their goal and that is why we found ourselves panicking. The responsibility did not want to be taken by anyone and it’s just not good enough. It’s not about motivation, it’s not about the manager being naive. It’s 100% about the players this time. We’ve been through the mill many a time to keep on singing the same crappy tune over and over. I for one am disgusted that I paid £92 to watch a desire-less, passionless and weak performance. Either lower the prices or provide the quality we are paying for.
Onto the goals we conceded. The first one was, as I mentioned Coquelin out of position, leaving Mertesacker to close the ball down. Obviously something that is never going to happen. He then half turned to half block the ball leading to a deflection which wrong footed Ospina. Ospina let the ball whizz by his ear without moving, when he had a fair bit of time to move. A catalogue of absolutely unacceptable defending.
The second goal is summed up by this picture:
http://bit.ly/1zgNnPh It’s the 53rd minute for crying out loud! I have no idea why we panic so damn much that it causes us to bomb forward with such carelessness. One player in our own half with almost 40 minutes to play is purely an under 12’s manoeuvre.
The third goal is beyond ridiculous. That was a time where should have consolidated and kept a disciplined shape to give ourselves a small chance. But no. We played like petulant children who’s toys had been taken away again and suffered the consequences of it. Our squad seems to lack the coolness and killer instinct required to know when to pounce. We are like a lion cub that needs teaching, except we have learnt this lesson over and over again without rectifying the problem. Coquelin will have to do for the rest of this season but if we are to really make some progress as a team then some world class talent in that department needs to be added.
One last point to make before I go and scream into an empty room to relieve the stress, is on Giroud. He was diabolical. His finishing was poor and his reactions made it worse. But for fans to cheer his departure is in no way going to help him score goals again. Like him or not, he is our focal point and without him we didn’t create too much. We don’t have another viable option without changing our style so when ridiculing a player in that way becomes an option, decline it. Choose another. It’s just not conducive to any kind of improvement from a player if he’s treated that way.
I really hope we’re now not overly cautious against Everton and play out a bore draw. We need to rectify the performance immediately. That doesn’t mean to not lose. That means to win and win well.
Here we go with the pick ourselves up routine again, but this time lets hope we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s too expensive for fans to have to wait for a win.
Come on you Gunners!