Well, that sucked. I mean really sucked. Arsenal are 11 points from claiming 3rd outright (they were in the same boat before the game started, so nothing has changed). When there were 5 games left, that meant Arsenal could lose one but would have to win the remaining 4 (or win 3 and tie 2). Guess what?
Granted, there are losses by other teams that can factor into the 11 points, but to control their own destiny, Arsenal need to win their remaining 4 games. Not impossible, but would have been nice to have a bit of cushion.
The team really didn’t seem up to the game today (I say the team collectively). They said all the right things this past week, talked about focus, determination and mental strength and how Wigan would come in and play for their survival. And you know, that’s what they did. All credit to Wigan for playing a great game.
Hasn’t Wigan done something like this to Arsenal toward the end of the season the last 2 or 3 seasons running? When I watch Wigan play Arsenal at the end of the season, I’m always surprised they are a team on the verge of relegation.
Why is it so hard for Arsenal to have the same focus and intensity against Wigan that they had against Manchester City? Granted we could have had a couple of goals early on – Benayoun was unlikely twice and their goalie had “one of those games.”
Despite the two goals, Arsenal were actually much better in the first half than the second half. Arteta going off didn’t help matters either. From the sounds of it, he’s out for the season.
Candy comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors, which was a bit of the way Arsenal played today. So here it is – the candy edition of Arsenal player ratings.
Szczesny (Butterfinger) – No one better lay a finger on my Butterfinger. But, really, Szcz should have held the ball that led to the 2nd goal. It was a mad scramble in front of goal, but he’s just that good. For the rest of the game he was great (when called into action), but should have done better on goal 2.
Sagna (Mars) – Because that’s where Sagna played today. He was on another planet. He was eaten alive by Moses. I’ve never seen Sagna get owned like that and be that out of position. Easily one of the worst games of his career from this viewer’s perspective. On the 2nd goal, he got smoked by Moses.
Vermaelen (Lunatic Fringe) – There should be a candy called Lunatic Fringe – and it should be named after Vermaelen’s performance today. Holy shit. It was really hard to watch. For the first goal, Vermaelen sort of jogged back toward his goal when Wigan’s counter was on. Benayoun was the player who tracked back the best. He had a number of mental lapses today. The boy was all over the field – playing a CAM role almost more than anything else. A but unhinged today.
Djouro (Percy Pigs) – If you make pork gelatin look cute and give it a catchy name, does that mean it’s no longer pork gelatin? We dress him up like a CB and call him a CB, but is he really a CB? There’s something hidden beneath the otherwise normal looking surface that just isn’t right. Maybe he’s got some Squillaci gelatin in him somewhere (that doesn’t sound quite right).
Santos (Boston Baked Beans) – You thought they were beans, didn’t you? You didn’t realize they are really candy-coated peanuts. And you really thought Santos was a left back, didn’t you? Even though he was as high up the pitch as Vermaelen and defended about as well as my grandmother. I love the guy, though. He makes some great runs forward. Maybe he should be a winger….
Song (Cotton Candy) – Big, flashy presence but no real substance. It looks like there should be some “there” there but there just isn’t any “there”-ness. Song looked like he had just played about 6 games this past weekend. He just wasn’t tuned in, turned on, ready to go. Forced passes, lack of energy in the midfield and sloppy defending defined Song’s game today – and he wasn’t even the worst.
Rosicky (100 Grand Bar) – Rosicky is the only one that played with any real FOCUSED intensity. He was all over the field, trying to pressure in Wigan’s half of the field. He was extremely frustrated when he’d put pressure on the defensive backs or goalie and turn around to see the midfielders lollygagging around. He was Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. Although the 1-2 with Robin when he stole the ball in Wigan’s half summed up the game for Arsenal.
Ramsey (Tootsie Roll) – What does a Tootsie Roll look like? Or even Almond Roca? That’s right – a big fat turd. Now, I’m not calling for Arsene to sell Ramsey this summer. I think he’ll come good for Arsenal in a couple of years, but can he play any worse than he is playing right now? If ever an Arsenal player wanted a season to end, Ramsey must be ready for a summer break.
Walcott (Milk Duds) – Plain vanilla at best. The name says it all. Walcott seemed lost today. Actually, the whole right side looked completely out of their element today. Why Wenger left Walcott on and brought Benayoun off is beyond me.
Benayoun (M&M’s) – A bit of variety from Benayoun today. He was very industrious at times, faded out of the game at times. I actually thought it was harsh when he was subbed instead of Walcott. I think we would have gotten more production out of him for the rest of the game than Walcott.
Van Persie (Hershey Bar) – Plain chocolate without much pizzazz. RvP had a great shot on goal that was saved by Al Habsi and a great cut back to Santos, but faded in and out of the game. To be fair, nobody really stepped up today (other than Rosicky).