Sometimes, in football, you lose games. Sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s infuriating, and sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done’ to the opposition. That’s where I find myself today with regards to our match against Wigan last night. I know it’s not the popular opinion, Twitter was awash with people declaring how absolutely shit we were, how we were a disgrace to the name Arsenal, how we had some sort of divine right to turn over a team who had just beaten the Champions elect and are fighting for their Premier League lives.
Quite frankly, some of what was being said was embarrassing.
We got off to an horrendous start, caught perhaps by the surprise that despite the fact Wigan were languishing near the drop zone that they are, at the minute, a really good footballing side. Two down before ten minutes were on the clock and we were shell shocked, but it woke us up. We pulled one back through Vermaelen’s rocket header from a Rosicky cross and then from then on it was frustration after frustration.
World class saves from Al Habsi denied us. Poor finishing was on display again, but what it all comes down to is that Wigan didn’t give us a single second on any ball, they were quicker, faster and stronger in every area and they never stopped for the full 90minutes. Sometimes even the best team in the world can’t get past that sort of dedication. I could name you a dozen so results off the top of my head where this has happened in the world of football, it’s part of the reason we love the game so much.
I’m not excusing what were some poor performances from a few players, but I’m not going to start singling them out either. It wasn’t the worst performance by Arsenal at the Emirates this season, not by the longest stretch imaginable, but it was perhaps the best display by an away side.
You know you’ve seen this before, a team playing above themselves to get a result, it happens. Take it on the chin and move on. Yes, I know it’s not ideal, yes I know it makes things rather more uncomfortable in third place than we’d like and yes I know it now gives the Chelsea game even more importance than it already had. I know all this.
I also know a shit Arsenal performance when I see one, and that wasn’t one of them.
Arsenal fans clapped Wigan off the pitch last night. That should tell you all you need to know.
Possession 64% v 36%
Shots 23 v 15
Shots on target 4 v 7
Shots blocked 10 v 4
Crosses 37 v 6
Corners 9 v 3
Touches (total) 758 v 574
Interceptions 39 v 54
Blocks 12 v 8
Pass accuracy 87% v 77%
Aerials won 57% v 43%
(stats via EPL iPad app and whoscored.com)
*Start of rant*
For those who were sending the most vile abuse to Aaron Ramsey last night shame, shame, shame on you. He has, unfortunately, become the whipping boy for some fans. While his form has not been great, compare his stats to Alex Song’s from last night. It was Ramsey who was being treated as if we was the worst player on the pitch by a mile (not that I’m saying Song was either, I’m just making a point). You should be ashamed of yourselves but I know you won’t be:
Pass accuracy AR 89% AS 82%
Aerials won AR 50% AS 100%
Touches AR 92 AS 88
Fouls AR 0 AS 5
Total shots AR 2 AS 0
Dribbles won 2 AS 0
Tackles AR 1 AS 4
Player rating AR 6.9 AS 5.8
Aaron Ramsey is a young player in his first season back after an horrific leg break which could have ended his career who not long ago lost one of the closest people to him to a tragic death. He is not playing in the side consistently and I will never understand the logic that makes people think that telling him he is shit, crap, needs to die or have his leg broken again will somehow make him snap out of what is a bit of poor form. Is that really how you get the best out of someone? If it is I pity the people who know you in real life.
You are the real disgrace to Arsenal Football Club, not Aaron Ramsey.
I fear for Jack when he finally returns should he need a few months to find his touch again.
*End of rant*
….at least the comments should be lively today from all those people who never have a single thing to say when things are going right and who only ever open their mouths to criticise.