This season can be summed up in only a few sentences, but listening to the game yesterday the feeling of deja vu was more apparent than ever. At half time, the Radio Five summarisers were talking over the opening 45 minutes, about how ‘much of a surprise it was’ that Arsenal were losing despite having so many clear cut chances.
A surprise? What season have they been watching? The only surprise is that the onslaught didn’t produce the traditional 1-1.
Let’s look at the facts. Arsenal have one striker who will play again this season and has scored a league goal in 2007. Julio Baptista. And that was a clumsy goal and toe poke against Reading. Adebayor hasn’t since December, Aliadiere hasn’t in five years and doesn’t look like improving that abysmal record.
In midfield, Cesc has taken on the mantle of goalscoring from midfield, regularly having impressive efforts, but still hasn’t scored in the league. Yesterday he came closer than anyone. Rosicky can only shoot from 25 yards – he’s useless from five, and Hleb won’t even try. Even Gilberto’s picked up the unfortunate habit of missing sitters, although you cannot at least criticise his contribution this season.
I always like to look at the positives but it is getting harder. Those that arose from yesterday were that chances were created, players were willing to shoot, and on another day it would’ve been a comfortable victory even without Henry and Van Persie. But the trouble is, we say that every week – ‘on another day’. Once again we’ve been denied by post, crossbar, and fantastic saves, but Green shouldn’t have had a chance on at least four efforts. You can’t help but think that the current top three would’ve put at least three away.
‘On another day’ Cesc’s effort would’ve been an inch lower, ‘on another day’ Gilberto would’ve struck the inside of the post rather than the outside or headed his sitter in, ‘on another day’ Green wouldn’t have had a blinder.
What price ‘on another day’ being tomorrow’s trip to Newcastle? With Bolton winning yesterday and coming to the Emirates next weekend, fourth is far from sealed.
Roll on ‘another day’. Please.