Mar 012009

Arsenal 0 Fulham 0

Where to begin today? A disheartening performance from Arsenal yesterday led to yet another 0-0 draw, our fourth in succession, and left us vulnerable to Villa going eight points clear with a seemingly simple game at home to Stoke today. The final moments saw Fulham mockingly pass the ball around us in the way we are used to seeing our players close out a game.

What is worse is that Fulham, so hopeless on the road, didn’t even shut up shop. They went for goals, could have got them, and still we didn’t look all that threatening. Sure, we had chances, Van Persie spurning the best couple of them, but no more than our opponents, and for once the draw was fair rather than the result of opponents parking the bus and riding their luck.

The effort that we saw against Roma wasn’t there, a point even Wenger, normally so defensive of his players, noticed in his post-match interview:

“There is a lot of mental investment in the Champions League and we are not mature enough to prepare well and get the priorities right.”

One of the more damning indictments he has given of his players in recent times. Let’s hope it was coupled with a rocket in the dressing room, because whilst no-one is blaming Song, Denilson and Diaby for not being world beaters, no-one can accept a lack of effort. It isn’t like this is a one time thing, our performances in the league have been lacklustre for ages, and that is not acceptable.

All in all, it was a gloomy picture. With Villa 2-0 up with three minutes to play today, it was set to get worse, but then Stoke, who have the worst away record in the league (yes, even worse than Fulham’s), managed two goals from nowhere to steal a point.

And so we’re back to where we were before the weekend started. Both us and Villa were playing sides without an away win all season, and both of us failed to beat them. Arguably, it is Villa who will be more frustrated after throwing the win away so late, but it was still a chance for us to close the gap.

All season I’ve felt that it would all come good in the end. Perhaps that is just because I’m an optimist, but I look at the individuals in our team (even with injuries) and, central midfield apart, they are superb players, so I finding myself just waiting for them to show it. Yesterday the first doubts crept into my head – eight points is a huge margin, and I was pretty convinced Villa would secure that lead. Fortunately, they did not.

We have been thrown a lifeline today. We won’t get many more.

  9 Responses to “Another goalless draw frustrates before Stoke do us a massive favour”

  1. Maybe the crowd can help matters more, the boos and the jeering is not acceptable, this plays like a 12th man in favour of the opposition.

  2. We keep handing 4th place to Villa and they keep dropping it. If they find it too hot to handle should we take if back?

  3. don,t boo cheer,
    get over there for burnley next week, tickets on general sale now

  4. This a signal that AW’s policy ie signing kids,etc aint working. As to the goal drought and spurning of chances, it had happened during henry’s time.Needlss to say it could be due to AW’s insistence on pretty soccer with passing all day.
    He must know all epl repeat all epl teams are wise to his game.I F HE DOESNT’ HAVE PLAN B FORGET IT.

  5. Agree that the booing does the team no favours, and does anything but give the boys that so-called ‘psychological advantage’ one usually enjoys at home.
    We’ve seen Eboue and Bendtner both succumb to the boo boys this term, and its only a matter of time before Song, Clichy and even Kolo get it dished at them if they produce any more sub-standard performances.
    WBA is crucial on Tuesday – if we win we’re back within three points of Villa. We must put pressure on them over the coming games if we are going to have any hope of clinching that CL spot this year.

  6. Denilson and DIaby just aint good enough time for Wiltshire and Ramsey

  7. Beg to differ with Keith.The epl is a tough league.During the 2004-2006, Arsenal had players average height of 178cm.There were few players 175 and below.
    Wilshire is 170cm and lightweight and could easily thrown off his stride although he has bags of skill.

  8. I’ve got to agree with Louis. I’m a proud Potter regardless and don’t stop cheering the lads on till then final whistle. I appreciate the our respective players have different priorities but I’m convinced our undying support results in 2 goals in 4 mins as it did today. We were still cheering at 88 when the boys scored.. The boys never stop running and doing whatever they can to get the ball in the net because of this. Not being funny but could of done worse than signing Beattie? 4 in 5 boys. What’s bentner? Good luck, watching you the last few years has been a pleasure for me!!!

  9. I don’t like the booing at our own team. But I think last weekend should be an exception. It is a feedback that the football being played is rubbish. We are far from exciting. In fact, we are playing boring football all season, except for a game or two. This should wake the management and players that they are not pulling their weight. If you watch the other Stoke, Hull they play their heart out and their fans appreciate the sweat. Our guys seems to be hardly breaking into a sweat, pushing the ball around like a hot potato. Adebayor smiling like he is making friends on the pitch rather than playing. I rather we loose 3-0 but playing their heart out than tapping the ball to another; like in the practice
    Hopefully they realise after last weekend they have to pull up their socks.

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