Arsenal fall flat after weekend highs

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Arsenal FC

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Olympique de Marseille away kit

Olympique de Marseille

Days after having received all sorts of disparagement for allowing 3 goals yet still win by 2, Arsenal is being now castigated for holding a tighter defensive line in a lacklustre 0-0 draw.

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Described as everything from fatigued to atrocious it shows that there is always something to pick apart, you can never please everyone. We did not produce the goals, but we did create a few chances.

Ramsey, who was paying pennence for that last minute winner at the Stade Velodrome, could not capitalise on the chances that fell to him. Park is obviously no Van Persie, Gervinho and Walcott looked sluggish.

I am pleased however. Pleased that we are top of a difficult group, and winning that group a a fate that is entirely in our hands.

A win against Olympiacos and we are in the knockout stages, if we’re lucky and Marsielles drop any points against Dortmund we will be group winners.

I am pleased with the attitude shown by our team. We might have been emotionally tired from the weekend highs. Passes might have gone astray, but I saw players encouraging each other. I saw players protecting their teammates. I saw players putting in the effort.
No one was coasting, they were disappointed in the result, some were disappointed with their own below par performance, but I saw a team out there. To bad we didn’t win.

It’s strange that we are getting such flak from last night, yet I thought we played better than in the away game. It’s one of those cases of the result shaping the analysis.

Marsielles was so much better this time around, and barring a poor touch from Gervinho the Stade Velodrome result would have been the same.

I am pleased for Mertesacker, who was on his game last night. Hardly put a foot wrong and won everything in the air. At least his bad game was one which we managed to win.

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I am pleased that Vermaelen played a full 90 minutes at high intensity without an adverse reaction. Wenger is able to rest him for the weekend, more so if he is called up for Belgium.

We are in a situation where we don’t have to rush back players in desperation. It bodes well for the overall fitness of the squad.

Oh yes, a clean sheet. Something that is not associated with this Arsenal’s defence. Only 5 clean sheets this season says it all. We just don’t do clean sheets, last night was a minor miracle.

Sergeant Jenkinson—who doesn’t look it but really is a glass half full type of guy—looked at the positives. Saying:

“Defensively we were solid and although they did break a few times they did not really have many clear-cut opportunities. So defensively it was a good display by us and I think we will build on that now. I think you have got to take the positives. Obviously, Marseille are a good side and we have not lost – 0-0 is not a bad result. So, in my eyes, the glass is half full. At the end of the day, we have kept our unbeaten run going.”

Wojtek “Cruyff-turn-in-your-box” Szczęsny was also happy with his defence:

We kept a clean sheet, which is all you can ask of a back four. They did well today but I’ve been training with them for a long time and I see the qualities. We looked really solid today; the spirit is really positive in the team. We are very confident going into every single game. There were some tired legs but you expect that. It is hard to play a big game every three days. And at the moment, every game for us is massive.

If you want to whinge about not scoring, go ahead, but I’ll stick with a positive outlook today. Thanks for stopping by, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below or @wengerball on twitter. Until next time… Forward.

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