Norwich 1 Arsenal 0 : The Nightmare at Norfolk
Going into a game like this, the amount of optimism would usually be based on how the team has fared so far. So, Arsenal’s great on-field work ethic so far in the season gave great reason to be optimistic about this season. But right now, I’m asking the question millions are asking throughout the world? Where the hell did that pathetic excuse of a performance come from!!! It is acceptable that teams at times have a bad day at the office, but fans usually try to take positives from the fact that the team tried their best to do something about it. Unfortunately, yesterday, the Gunners did not even offer us that compensation in what was a toothless display, the first one in this season.
It was wrong of me to underestimate Norwich so much. They completely deserved their victory and played brilliantly to their strengths. Grant Holt in particular played well as the target-man and took his goal well. Their wingers and full-backs worked in tandem to keep ours out of the game, Javier Garrido and Wes Hoolahan being the standout performers. Gervinho and Podolski offered nary a threat going forward. Podolski in particular put on his what is probably his first flop performance in an Arsenal shirt. We looked off the pace, constantly pegged back, one-dimensional and woefully lacking in ideas. I felt the back four had a pretty decent outing, with Jenkinson’s performance being really good. Arteta and Cazorla were decent without being spectacular and Chambo got crocked within minutes of entering the pitch. We were let down by our attacking play which was in deep slumber.
Wenger rightly decided to mince no words in the post match press conference. He didn’t play the blame game on the Interlull and slated the team for a lack of desire. I hope it gives the team the kick up their back-sides to pick themselves up. The defeat now leaves us 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and most would say it has the same old, same old feel from an Arsenal side at this point in a season. The statistics would make it hard to disagree. Playing catch-up on a 10 point gap is an extremely difficult proposition and we have condemned ourselves to be dependent on more than just our own performances to climb up the league ladder. I don’t want to give up on this team, but then again, right now they don’t fill me too much optimism.
I guess that’s about it for today. I find words hard to come by when the performance is bad. Let us hope the boys can pull up their socks for the Schalke tie in mid-week. Until next time, Cheerio.