Sunday, September 24, 2023

Another two points dropped but no time to panic

A disappointing result yesterday against a Boro team we really should have beaten. They scored first with their only shot on goal for the entire match after William Gallas failed to track James Morrison. 1-0 Boro and just typical.

We dominated the game and although that frustrating tendency to want to walk the ball into the net was apparent again we had plenty of shots on goal. Schwarzer made one fantastic save from Alexander Hleb, he made saves from Cesc and Robin van Persie too and Gilberto and van Persie both had chances which went wide.

Second half we were all over them again but none of Thierry Henry’s flicks worked and you know you’re in for a difficult day when Cesc gives a 10 yard pass straight to the opposition.

We got the goal we deserved through a penalty we didn’t. Emmanuel Eboue went charging into the box, he dived over the defender and the ref pointed to the spot. Henry slotted home the penalty with no problems to make it 1-1. We then made a triple substitution bringing on Baptista, Rosicky and Adebayor for van Persie, Ljungberg and Gilberto. Rosicky apart none of them did anything of note and despite having them under the cosh we couldn’t find the winner.

So, full time 1-1 and we’re still looking for our first win of the season and our first win at the new stadium. The lack of the ‘killer instinct’, for want of a better term, is a worry, and Arsene Wenger spelt it out afterwards, saying:

I am concerned because, with the amount of possession we have, we do not win the games. It may be the worst start we have had in the Premiership, but never have I had the feeling that there was so much potential in the team to do much better.

I agree with him entirely and despite the poor start to the season I’m not too worried. We’re playing pretty well and creating chances but it’s in and around the box where we’re lacking sharpness and that will come with training and games. Remember that the players have been away for the best part of two weeks and I think once we click we’ll be good.

It is frustrating though because we’ve had three very winnable games to kick off our season and we’ve only picked up 2 points out of 9.

Still though, it could be worse. We might have lost three out of four or just gotten tanked by our closest rivals.

Small comfort but comfort nonetheless.

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