Well it’s getting a bit ridiculous. Besides the Cardiff game, we haven’t scored a goal from open play since Everton, a month ago. We scored in 1 out of our last 5 games from open play. Today we didn’t have a problem with creating chances, and our defending, albeit shaky at times, was still decent, and kept a clean sheet against two experienced, strong and respectable strikers. What bothered me was our awful finishing and lack of urgency, especially in the last few minutes. van Persie, a great player yes, is not a player to be relied upon for goals every week. Players like Eduardo and I dare say Adebayor, are, which is why, in the one game that we scored in from open play, Eduardo was the man of the match, picking up two goals.
This season, our defense has not been a problem, in fact, our defense has been quite good, save the set piece trouble at the beginning of the season that made every corner seem like a penalty. Our midfield, despite our injuries, has still done its job, maybe there were times when we didn’t create enough, but despite the disappointment of Song, Eboue and at times Denilson and even Nasri, the midfield did its job for the most part. If we had Cesc and Theo in there we’d be fighting for the title, not struggling for a Champions League spot.
This season our problem has been our strikers. Yes, RvP has been better than he’s ever been, Vela has stunned us all with his hat tricks and skill, but besides that we’ve been mainly disappointed, especially by Adebayor and Bendtner. When we have needed our strikers (the past 5 or 6 matches) they have let us down, and only Eduardo has been able to keep our hopes up.
The problem is that we have the two main types of strikers: the “#10” and the “#9”. #10s being van Persie, Bendtner (yes, he is a not a number 9), Arshavin and #9s being Vela, Adebayor and Eduardo. Eduardo has been out, Vela has impressed in the Carling Cup, but he can’t be depended on for goals every week, however, one day we will depend on him for that, and Adebayor has disappointed for the most part, and for the rest he’s been injured. Right now he’s got 8 goals and 4 assists after 22 Premiership appearances. After 22 appearances last season he had 18 goals. He’s become too cocky just because he scored 30 goals and Milan wanted him. Guess what Ade? We’re better than Milan, that’s why we beat them last year, and we are in the Champions League and they are not.
So because of Adebayor’s disappointment, all the goal scoring responsiblities have been placed on the shoulders of Robin van Persie, who has done the best he can, but he needs a good partner who will help him shoulder the burden of the goals, and that partner is Eduardo. We know Eduardo won’t disappoint because he already came back and scored twice, and he never disappointed when he played in Croatia. Playing for Monaco, Adebayor scored about a goal every 4 games, Eduardo scored a goal every game and a half for Dinamo Zagreb. We know Eduardo can bring the goods, especially next to players who can create chances like van Persie, Cesc, Arshavin and Nasri.
So that is my conclusion, Adebayor’s head has gone to the sky, and he is one of the main reasons of our disappointments this season.
Anyways back to Fulham, yeah we created loads of chances, but we had no poacher up front, and our two #10 strikers that we had both had very off days for finishing. But whatever, we drew 0-0 once again, and now we have to depend on Villa losing even more than before. We really need Cesc, Theo and Eduardo back.
- Almunia: Sometimes suspect on crosses, but again kept the clean sheet, so well done to him. 7
- Sagna: He did alright in defense, but his crossing was very off. 6
- Gallas: He had some good moments but Johnson won the battle between the two. 6.5
- Toure: Another good display, came up against the strong Zamora, and won the ball more often than not. 7.5
- Clichy: Davies was up and down the left side and Clichy could do nothing about it. He linked up with Arshavin and Vela nicely though, and crossing looked a tad bit better, but not much. 6.5
- Vela: He did well, his passing was good, and had some twinkletoes moments, but he had a few chances that he definitely should have put away. Good first start in the Premiership though. 7
- Diaby: He won the ball countless times very well, and his dribbling was good, but his passing was very off sometimes. Also, he failed to give the Fulham central midfielders any pressure. He’ll want to take the positives from this one. 6.5/7
- Denilson: Was his invisible little self, kept things calm, but again he was muscled out of things way to often, he needs to strength, and improve the intensity of his game. 6.5
- Arshavin: Best Arsenal player. Brilliant Bergkamp style passing. He must be a joy to play with. 8
- Nasri: Very disappointing, his passing was weak and mistimed for the most part. Very pedestrian display. Probably the worst I’ve seen him play to be honest. 5.5
- van Persie: He just seems very tired, but he still tried hard and worked for the team. He had a few good chances that maybe he should have scored but at least he tried to take them unlike some others. 7
- Bendtner: He tried hard, but in the end a mixed cameo for our young Dane. 6.5
- Eboue: He actually had a positive effect on the game, and I was happy with what he did. Kept up his good work from Tuesday. 7
We really, really need Eduardo and hopefully Theo to be back for Sunday against Burnley, and we can’t go out of the FA Cup, its the only realistic thing left.
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