Right. Since I last wrote on here, a string of victories propelled us into the coveted 3rd spot, overtaking Spurs. Everything seemed to be coming together; the players were fighting for the team, the manager, and the fans. We were spoiled with last minute winners, and even provided with a clean sheet at Goodison Park! A win against QPR would have made it eight league wins on the bounce; a feat last achieved by our Invincibles. Instead, however, it was a story of 'same old Arsenal'. I'm not going to give a match report, or a rant for that matter, but just share my positives and negatives about the game and its potential consequences.
Many people have voiced their, ahem, discontent, shall we say, towards Wenger's decision to start Ramsey on the left. Not what I would have done, but hey, what do I know? I will not bemoan this decision, as on another day Ramsey could have had an absolute stormer, like against Chelsea in the 5-3 victory. My main criticism is how long it took for him to be subbed. It was clear he was not having the desired effect or influence on proceedings, and was brushed off the ball by his more physical opponents on numerous occasions. Why wait till the 70th minute to make the change? An early introduction of Oxlade-Chamberlain could have supplied some much needed impetus. Anyway, Gervinho replaced Ramsey, and hardly put in a MOTM performance himself.
In fact, The Ox's introduction was stalled until the 80th minute. I for one wasn't expecting a man of his age to come on and produce with such little time remaining, against a resilient QPR side.
I felt this result was bound to happen. I thought to myself the night before, 'It would be so typical for us to lose this game'. And it was. The club website was sharing how wonderful things were and the platitudes of how everyone wanted to keep this run of form going. This only meant one thing. A disappointing performance and a consequent defeat!
Indeed, the performance today was nothing other than poor. We lacked any real penetration, and even with our first choice back four, were defensively abject at times. The fact we gave possession away 166 times tells a story on its own. However, all is not lost, and there is no need to act as if the world is about to implode. Third place is still in our hands, and a win next weekend against Manchester City would be a cracking way to respond, and hopefully, RvP can seek to end his, ahem, goal drought. If not, I think it'll be time to unleash the beast that is Park Chu-Young. Defences would quake at the very prospect.
Anyway, it was not to be, and was what one would describe as 'a bad day at the office'. Perhaps this was just a way to raise the hopes of that lot down the road, only to crush them mercilessly later on. Well, that's what I'm hoping.