How disappointing was that? Made all the worse by the frenzy of expectation that we whipped ourselves into. I’m more stunned than angry, maybe anger will come later but right now I am walking around in a daze.
I reckon no matter what combination of player you hoped to see yesterday, you were catered for: if you were one of those that wanted Nasri in place of Diaby, you got it; if you wanted to see Ramsey given more game time than Denilson, you got it; if you thought that the combination of Fabregas, Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky would be unstoppable, you got it, if you thought Vela and Walcott would make the difference, you got it; if you thought Song was too important to rest, you got it and if you thought that Silvestre shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team, you got that as well. Which doesn’t leave a lot to moan about making things even more confusing.
There were, of course, moments in the first half when the quality of Wengerball was so high that you, like me, must have thought that it is only a matter of time before this clicks and it starts raining goals – but as we know all too well that was not to be.
The biggest disappointments for me were Rosicky and Nasri; Ramsey should also be in this category but he is young enough to be excused. Rosicky flounced about; there were flicks, mostly with his hair, but no tricks. Nasri was so ineffectual that I found myself wishing Diaby were out there, need I say more. Players of their quality should have added something magical but they played with the a level of intensity and commitment that we would expect of them in an exhibition game.
The inclusion of Vela and Walcott gave us width and hope but who was going to finish?
The back line showed their usual commitment, nothing wrong with the attitude. I don’t blame Almunia for the goal. We learnt that Gibbs is a better choice than Traore and that Sagna’s crossing is embarrassing, but then again we already knew that. Why he was trying to send over high crosses to the shortest attack in Europe can only lead us to the conclusion that he is definitely a strawberry short of a punnet.
Cesc showed the urgency that we have come to expect of him but he missed RVP more that anyone. Our captain just hasn’t had enough time to work out how to play with Eduardo, this will happen, I mean, if Modric can find a way to play with him to the tune of seventy goals for their former club and country then I am sure Fabregas will be able to. But do we have enough time? Our title hopes have been severely wounded by Sunderland and I fear that if we lose against Chelsea that it wound be mortal.
Time to pick ourselves up, that combination of talent can’t be kept down for too long can it? I expect them to learn from this cruel lesson and come out with a determination that was sadly lacking yesterday and crucify Standard Liege, putting us in the right frame of mind for next Sunday – I hope.