Sunday, October 16, 2011

Arsenal - Sunderland

A much more encouraging performance by Arsenal in a lot of respects, but especially confidence. Throughout the first half they were dominant and looked they'd score with every attack, but then Sunderland scored and the jitters returned. They were much better in the second half mentally and looked assured.
However. There's still a lot of problems. Defending is still not great, the last 15 minutes of the first half when the players got a bit nervous there were a number of mistakes, especially when Jenkinson got caught in possession and the keeper came out of the area.
Jenkinson played pretty well though, and that was actually his only mistake of the game, he was good going forward and his crossing was excellent apart from the one time when, paradoxically, he had time and he scuffed it. On the right particularly he had no help whatsoever from Walcott who for me was poor. Don't if his positioning is something that he's bring instructed to do because he goes up to the striker position and there's a massive gap on the right which means Jenkinson has no one to pass out, and consequently, means he has no protection from Walcott.
The main frustrating aspect for me from Arsenal in position is that there are so many times when the midfielders push too deep too quickly and the defenders have no one to pass to, Arteta and Rosicky have got to come to get the ball and make themselves available.
The only player doing this was Song but the poor guy had to perform defensive midfielder, box to box, wingbacks cover, central defender cover, he was everywhere a fantastic performance.
But of course the name on everyone's lips will of course be the captains' Robin van Persie. The man is Arsenal's best player and it shows, every touch is pure class, his goals on the day superb. It's just a shame that so often he's devoid of support and, let's face it, intelligence around him. What a difference somebody like Mata would be.
A final mention to Gervinho who had a good first half and caused all sorts if problems, disappeared after the break though.
Not much to say about Sunderland, didn't try to win the game and completely abdicated to attack, the only positives were Larsson's free kick, a moment of pure genius you'd be hard put to find a better one all season (that is until RVP in the second half!) and Sessegnon who worked really hard.
A lot still to do at Arsenal but certainly on the ascendancy.

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