Samir Nasri’s agent, Alain Migliaccio, has confirmed that Nasri is going to hold further talks with Arsène Wenger over his future at the club and rubbished rumours that previous contract talks had broken down.
Nasri is out of contract with the club next summer and is yet to sign a contract extension. Reports over the past few weeks suggested that Nasri is refusing to sign a new contract until satisfied that the squad can mount a serious title challenge next season, but Migliaccio claims negotiations with the club are ongoing.
He told calciomercatoweb (an online Italian football website):
“I want to clarify that there has been no break with the Gunners over the contract’s renewal and we should meet again soon with Arsène Wenger
“There are a few clubs interested in Samir, but it is useless to name them.
“Before listening to other teams, we need and we want to talk with Arsenal.”
Photo from Ronnie Macdonald on Flickr
The rumours have clearly been getting to Nasri, with one Arsenal fan behaving aggressively towards him last week on Twitter over rumours that he was in talks with Manchester United. Nasri has since made it clear that fans should not believe everything that they read in the press.
“I just want tell you dont listen the newspaper and the rumours. i will let you know if something happen.”
At this stage it is impossible to know whether Nasri is going to stay or go. I really hope that he stays because he is one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League. He holds the team together brilliantly when Cesc Fabregas is injured and is a constantly threatens the opponents defence. We need him if we want to challenge for major trophies next season.
Another disjointed display, which typified a very lacklustre few weeks for the Gunners, ended in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. Arsenal went behind twice, but goals from two of this season’s stars – RvP and Walcott – gave the Gunners a point.
Although not enough to put City under any pressure for third place (their victory leaves them 3 points ahead of Arsenal, level with Chelsea on 71), the draw does mean that Arsenal don’t finish this campaign with three loses on the trot. What a demoralising end to the season that would’ve been.
As it was, Gooners have really struggled to watch the team over the last few months. Apart from a superb performance against Man Utd, Arsenal have been lacking attacking ideas. But more than that, defensive lapses in concentration and some very unlucky decisions have left Arsenal languishing in fourth place, having been fighting for the title in March (and still in April).
Today, Arsenal actually looked better than they had done in recent weeks. Instead of starting like they did against Villa (possibly the most inane first 20 minutes by Arsenal in the last few years), Arsenal were brighter and sharper. Djourou and Sagna did make some poor defensive choices, which meant that Fulham had a few chances to run at our defence in the first 20 minutes.
The best early chance came from Nasri, who had started the game brilliantly. He had made some fantastic runs and was controlling Arsenal’s moves whenever we attacked. A floated cross was glided into Nasri, who was in acres of space. He had time to control it but chose to take the header, which was weak and flew straight into Schwarzer’s arms.
However, it wasn’t long until Fulham caught our defence unawares. Gibbs had moved far too central, leaving Zamora with plenty of room out wide. When he received the ball, he ran straight towards goal before cutting the ball back to Sidwell for a simple side-footed finish.
Only three minutes later, and Diaby made a lovely one-two before playing a first-time ball into RVP’s path. The Dutchman took a touch and finished the ball with aplomb.
The first half petered out, but the second half started with much more pace. Arsenal looked threatening, with our best chance coming from a Nasri free kick which took a great save out of Schwarzer.
Unfortunately, as Arsenal were piling on the pressure, Fulham scored their second. Poor defending by Sagna allowed Greening to cross, and Zamora rose above everyone to head home.
A late flurry from the Gunners, including a positive substitution from Wenger (Eboue, Walcott and Arshavin came on – plenty of speed), meant that Arsenal had chances to draw level. A brilliant run from Theo gifted him with an opening, and he placed the ball in the far corner to score his 13th of the season.
Szczesny 6 Could have done better for both goals, especially the first. Didn’t seem to have great communication with the defence from set plays…as if we didn’t already know that…
Sagna 5.5 Quite a quiet game from Bacary, but he gave the ball away far too many times. Also let Greening get a cross in for the second, which really shouldn’t have happened.
Vermaelen 7 Looked relatively solid, but possibly at fault for not out-jumping Zamora for the second. However, Bobby is a decent header of the ball, so you can’t place all the blame on our defender.
Djourou 4.5 Another poor game from Johan. Generally looked over-awed by the pace and strength of Fulham’s strikers. Gave the ball away too many times and didn’t win many tackles. He’s had a good season, but has fallen away in recent weeks.
Gibbs 5.5 A lack of game time can’t have helped Gibbs, but his recent performances have been lacking sharpness. He should’ve been far more aware for the first goal.
Diaby 7 Very hit and miss as usual, but did brilliantly for the first goal.
Wilshere 7 Kept the team ticking but was relatively quiet.
Ramsey 6 Like Wilshere, he didn’t get too involved. Stuck on the right and couldn’t impose himself.
Nasri 7 Started the game well but wasn’t up to his high performance levels from earlier in the season. Made some great runs.
RVP 7.5 MOTM Took his goal well and kept coming deep and opening up the defence.
Chamakh 6.5 Held up the ball well, but did miss some good chances.
Walcott 7 Brought some much needed pace, and his goal was brilliant.
Eboue 6 Brought little to the game, but made one or two good runs.
Arshavin 6.5 Had a couple self-made chances which he should have done better from.
Our manager may be off his rocker, but this rumour is completely crazy. When Wenger signed Silvestre from Man Utd in 2008, that was weird enough. To sign an experienced player from our arch rivals is unusual, but even more so when he is merely a fringe player in their squad. Hargreaves is just another example of such a player – experienced but not a key member of Sir Alex‘s side. The 30 year old has played only 39 games in four seasons at Utd, mainly due to a set of injuries that even Robin van Persie would be proud of.
Song has had very little competition for his defensive midfield spot. He has been accused of failing to put in his shift at times during the season, perhaps this is due to the fact that Wenger has no other option. Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas and Wilshere have all slotted into Song’s position at times in the last year, but none of them have been particularly impressive. Denilson can sit back and control the game with his fantastic sideways passing, although you may remember that our Brazilian failed to do this against the might that is…Leyton Orient. Diaby is not a defensive midfielder – plain and simple. Fabregas and Wilshere become inhibited when they are placed in the holding role. Their attacking prowess should be harnessed, and this position can stifle their talents.
So it seems that a defensive midfield back-up would be a good way of bolstering the squad. Hargreaves would be able to transfer to Arsenal on a Bosman – meaning that the only cost would be his wages. It is rumoured that the Englishman is on around £70,000 a week – in Arsenal’s wage structure, this is apparently quite high. Then again, it would probably place him below most of the Gunners’ top earners.
It has been reported that Fabregas will not play for Arsenal again this season after he was ruled out of the final game against Fulham. It was hoped that he would be able to play in the last home game today against Aston Villa. However, he has suffered a setback with his thigh injury and is out for three to four weeks. Wenger said:
“He had a setback on his thigh and he will not play for us anymore this season and not for Spain because he is out for three or four weeks.”
He has not played for the last three games after picking up his injury in training before the win over Manchester United. It is inevitable that rumours will resurface about the future of our captain. Following their failure to gain his signature last season, Barcelona will undoubtedly try again this summer. Last year, they were bound by financial constraints and were only willing to offer a reported £30 million for Fabregas- what a joke. However, this season, they should have more money to spend, and this could see Le Prof accepting defeat, if the right figures are offered. It would be a shame for Fabregas to leave Arsenal without having a winners medal to his name.
Nasri and Djourou
Nasri and Djourou, who were also expected to play against Villa, both have a chance to play next week. Wenger said:
“Djourou has a little chance and Nasri has a very little chance.”
It is also worth noting that this could indeed be Nasri’s last game for the club due to the fact that his future is not certain. His agent seems to be suggesting that he will stay and that transfer talks will go ahead in the summer as planned. That said, it has been reported that Bayern Munich are looking to offer £30 million for Nasri as they look for a replacement for Ribery.
I hope that we will be seeing both of these world class players step out onto the pitch in Arsenal kits next season.
With Arsène Wenger looking to reinforce our defence, FC Istres‘s young centre-back Florian Lejeune is just one of the players who has been linked with a move to the club in the summer. Hailed as the “New Laurent Blanc“, and touted as one of the best players in Ligue 2 (not that this says much about his ability), Lejeune has attracted the attention of several major European clubs this season. It is understood that he is not only being monitored by Arsenal, but also by Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Yesterday the players chief representative told sport.co.uk that a move to a top European club is almost agreed, but refused to give any particular details.
“We will sign a contract in three of four days with a very big team.
“The club asked to remain anonymous until after the weekend. It is a very big club, in the top five. I think the contract will be tied up by the end of Saturday or Sunday. We have offers from five or six clubs and I think the player has decided who he will join.”
The chances are that the aforementioned “big club” is Arsenal. Of all the world-class European managers, Arsène Wenger is the most likely to sign a random defender that nobody has heard of from Ligue 2 – a player with no experience whatsoever of playing in one of the top leagues in the world. No doubt he will join Gilles Sunu and Francis Coquelin (our other two unused French starlets) on loan next season.
Manchester United look to have secured a record-breaking 19th league title after they beat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford. The Gunners lost 3-1 to Stoke, having beaten United at the Emirates last week. There have been many highs this season (such as beating Barcelona in the first leg of our Champions League tie), but losses to West Brom, Newcastle, Bolton and Stoke prove that we are the most fantastically inconsistent team ever.
The scoreline today just shows that the team lack the physical presence and aggression needed to win when we are not playing well. Lower-placed teams are no longer scared of us. They have developed a way to beat us – letting us keep the ball and soaking up all the pressure. It is unlikely that we will shoot from outside the box, with the players content to pass around the area. This is all very well until we lose the ball and are hit on the break.
A mixed end to a spectacularly average season proves that changes are needed. The team now have 2 games to fight for second place. Most Arsenal fans would admit that we wouldn’t have deserved to win the Premier League this season anyway.
The ever increasing rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United is mostly due to the perceived hostility between Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Fergurson. Yesterday – the 45th game between the two managers – saw Le Boss outsmart Fergie for the first time since November 2008.
Although it remains mathematically possible, most Arsenal fans heading towards the Emirates Stadium yesterday afternoon knew that we are unlikely to win the league this season. A loss would have been extremely frustrating, but almost insignificant in the grand scheme of things. However, on a day when our season was all but over, Arsenal gave one of their strongest performances and showed the “mental strength” that we had been lacking in recent weeks. Although scant consolation for yet another season without silverware, we have potentially stopped united from gaining a new record 19th league title – albeit gifting Chelsea with a chance to win the league in this topsy turvy Premier League season.
Cesc Fabregas missed out due to an injury picked up during training on Saturday, so Aaron Ramsey was brought in to support Jack Wilshere and Alex Song in midfield. The performances of Wilshere and Ramsey showed us that they are the future of Arsenal.
Chris Foy had a dreadful game, and his performance could have a hugely significant outcome on the league title. His positioning was extremely poor, so much so that Robin Van Persie ran into him while dribbling towards goal and the ball hit him on two other occasions.
As usual, the match looked to be going Manchester United’s way. One fan sitting behind me shouted at the referee “For f**ks sake ref! Why don’t you just give Fergie the whistle?” The match became disjointed at times, due to Foy stopping play for every single incident, no matter how small.
The main talking point in the first half came when Vidic was not penalised for his blatant handball in the penalty box in an attempt to stop Robin Van Persie getting to the ball. Not only would Arsenal have had a penalty, but United would have been down to 10 men (as Vidic had denied a goal-scoring opportunity). Having escaped a red card, Vidic, named in the PFA team of the season, is available to play against Chelsea next week.
Wayne Roony’s opportunities were relatively limited and, bar a free kick that forced Szczesny into a two-handed diving save, he was quite ineffective. Alex Song dealt with Roony relatively well, forcing him to drop deeper into midfield in order to pick up the ball.
Samir Nasri was substituted for Andrey Arshavin at half time. At the time this looked to be a tactical move, but it has since emerged that Nasri was withdrawn as he was suffering from a tight hamstring. The second half saw Arshavin put in one of his best performances of the season. Far from his usual lazy self, he tracked back well, made some unbelievable tackles, and slid through the occasional passes that opened up United’s defence.
Arsenal broke the deadlock about 10 minutes after the break. Aaron Ramsey, who was not properly tracked by Ji Sung-Park, held his run and slotted home Van Persie’s cutback. This was Ramsey’s first goal for the club since his return from the horrific injury that kept him out for just over 9 months.
With half an hour left, Sebastian Squillaci replaced the injured Djourou, and from then on I thought that it was only a matter of time before we watched the team concede two late goals. Emannuel Eboué then replaced Theo Walcott, and received a relatively warm applause considering his last contribution at the Emirates 2 weeks ago.
As Michael Owen went down in the last minute, my heart sank. We had done it again. We had given away another penalty and another three points. However, to my surprise, the ref waved for the players to play on. 4 minutes of injury time ensued, and the last 30 seconds were filled with jeers from all the home supporters. The referee seemed to take an eternity to blow the whistle, keen to let Wayne Rooney have yet another free kick. Even so, the team held out for the 3 points that they deserved.
Sir Alex was quick to spout his usual rubbish in the press conference, arguing that United deserved to win:
“[Gael Clichy’s foul on Michael Owen was a] clear penalty kick as far as I’m concerned. He’s definitely brought down but we’re not going to get decisions in big games I’m afraid.
“I think we were unlucky bearing in mind I don’t think Edwin van der Sar made a save. Arsenal play lovely, nice football but never looked like scoring to be honest.”
Arguably, Fergie was right to criticise the referee, but he does this so often that people have stopped listening. Clichy looked to have fouled Owen, but the penalty wasn’t given and for once a major decision did not go United’s way. I think that “Red Nose” should just count himself lucky that he isn’t missing Vidic for next week. How he was able to say that we never looked like scoring is beyond me. Clearly he is unable to accept that he was simply outplayed at the most crucial part of the season.
Wenger’s Injury Updates:
“Cesc has got a kick on his thigh that has disrupted some fibres. We’ll know on Tuesday if he can practice again. He had a test yesterday that he couldn’t get through. He has a chance to play on Sunday.”
“Samir has a hamstring problem, a small one I think.”
Neither team wanted a draw. Both sides attacked with speed and skill, and three goals had gone in after only 12 minutes. Naturally, this fiercely contested North London derby ended with a point apiece, leaving both clubs in a difficult situation regarding their league targets.
Where did we go wrong? Every player had decent moments (bar the substitutes), so how did we not come away with three points? In my opinion, the main issue was Wenger‘s tactics. And these tactics have lost Arsenal points too many times over the last few seasons, leaving the squad mentally drained of any winning mentality.
We started with a 4-2-3-1, Diaby and Song were holding and RVP was up front.
The first goal came from Walcott playing straight down the middle. This is where Theo needs to play. He isn’t quite Henry, but he could turn out a very similar player. He is wasted on the wing.
Diaby and Song don’t seem to like defending. Although they were capable at times, and their attacking passes were sharp, they left our frail defence with little back-up. Modric and Van der Vaart controlled the midfield in the second half, because Song and Diaby played too high up the pitch. And with Cesc playing in the hole between them and RVP, we couldn’t get our captain in the game for long periods of the second half.
Again, Wenger didn’t react to substitutions. At the Emirates against Tottenham, Harry brought on Defoe and he out-jumped Clichy to allow Spurs a route back into the match. Last night, Lennon was introduced and Wenger did nothing. He didn’t get Song to stick on him, he didn’t get Sagna to stay back. This was a mistake, and it cost us dearly for the penalty incident.
Wenger’s substitutions were poor. Bendtner and Arshavin were lazy. You cannot be lazy in a derby. Bendtner was stuck on the wing. Why didn’t Wenger bring on Chamakh and/or Bendtner and stick them up top in a 4-4-2? He seems to think RVP must play alone, but our Dutchman enjoys coming deep. Let him play in an attacking midfield role and stick a tall striker up front. That way, we could have lobbed it upfield and kept the ball. Instead, we hoofed the ball into their half, and lost possession.
Twice against Spurs, last weekend at home vs Liverpool, away to Wigan, Newcastle, Leyton Orient, Shakhtar Donetsk and Sunderland. We keep losing leads. This list of teams is hardly the guide to the best clubs in the world, yet we failed to win any of these after being ahead.
People say that there is no Plan B. Arsenal attack, and if it doesn’t work, we are stuffed. To an extent, this is correct. These results were due to a lack of leadership. Man Utd and Chelsea would never consistently lose leads like this. Last night, at 1-3 to Arsenal, I said we would need a five goal lead to win the match. It was completely tongue and cheek, and yet I wasn’t entirely wrong. We need our captain to be barking orders at his teammates. We need every player to be bursting with pride in a derby, busting a gut to get to every 50/50 challenge. Mistakes cannot be made in a game that could’ve given Arsenal another shot at the title. And yet, Arshavin and Bendtner strolled onto the pitch like it was a training game. Diaby and Song tried, but couldn’t do the simple things right. When you are leading by two goals, you need to keep the ball, make simple passes and tire the opposition. We didn’t do that.
I might as well mention that Arsenal had a perfectly good goal disallowed at 2-3 to the Gunners. RVP was certainly onside, but it wasn’t given. That is now twice in the last few games that Arsenal could’ve got three points, but ended up with one thanks to a poor decision by the linesman (the other being Arshavin’s goal vs Sunderland). This is no excuse for our failure to win, but it does pose the obvious question (once again) – why can’t we have video replays and goal line technology. Barcelona had a goal ruled out for offside against Real Madrid last night. It was very close, but probably just onside. They went on to lose the Copa del Rey.
Szczesny 6.5 Had a very mixed game. Produced some wonderful saves but could’ve done better for Van der Vaart’s goal and gave away a penalty when he should’ve stayed on his feet.
Sagna 7 Contained Bale well but awful defending for the penalty incident.
Djourou 6.5 Made a terrible challenge on Modric and was often beaten too easily to allow Spurs to get shots away.
Koscielny 7 Not a bad game from the Frenchman. Composed and covered well for Clichy.
Clichy 6.5 Lots of crosses came in from Gael’s side, from Corluka, Kaboul and Van der Vaart – he couldn’t deal with them.
Song 6.5 Made a few rash challenges and failed to contain Modric and Van der Vaart at all.
Diaby 6 Decent in possession but poor in defence. Didn’t stay tight enough to Van der Vaart for their first.
Fabregas 7 Several magnificent passes such as those for Theo’s goal and RVP’s ‘goal’. Needs to lead the team better but took some great long range shots.
Nasri 7 A great strike for the goal – shows that we should take more shots from outside the box! Didn’t get involved much in the second half.
Walcott 8 MOTM Very dangerous in the first half. Great run and finish for the first, composed chip for the third. Had plenty of chances and always looks better when he was central.
RVP 7 Involved in plenty of good moves and took the goal well. Should’ve had a second, but ruled out for offside.
Overall, this was a great result for Manchester. The title is Utd’s to lose and City can cement a Champions League spot if they beat Spurs. If Chelsea and Arsenal beat Sir Alex’s side, then the race is back on, but can we really expect that to happen? Arsenal have won only three of the last 21 matches in all competitions against Man Utd, so it doesn’t seem likely.
Man Utd don’t often do it, but they gave us a lifeline yesterday. Their draw with Newcastle means that we can go within 4 points of the leaders, who still have to come to the Emirates. There is, however, the small matter of beating Tottenham. In recent weeks we have looked below par. Passing has not been as crisp as usual and we have been very wasteful in front of goal. Are we still feeling sorry for ourselves after not winning the Carling Cup? Whatever is stopping us play our usual game, we have to put it behind us and realise that the league is there for the taking. If we can grind out a couple of wins before the Utd game, who knows what could happen.
Last season, we went to White Hart Lane in a similar position. We had a chance to win the league, but we bottled it. Last year we said we had injuries which cost us points. This year, we really do not have any excuse. Apart from Vermaelen, we should be able to field our strongest team. I need not remind you that the last two league games we have played against Spurs have ended badly for Arsenal. Perhaps the most painful was the 3-2 loss earlier this season, at the Emirates. But we have to put all of this behind us and focus on what needs to be done. I honestly believe that if we win out next 6 games, we will win the league; the question is, can we do it?
Arsenal – WDDDWD (7th in the EPL form table)
Tottenham – WLDDDW (9th in the EPL form table)
It is perhaps quickly worth noting that Chelsea currently sit top of this form table, with 16 out of a possible 18 from their last 6 games. If we are not careful, we may not even finish second.
Wenger has said that “It is down to me to use Jack well and that’s what I will try to do.” However, I think he sees this as a very important game for us and will perhaps choose to rest Jack at a later stage, perhaps before the Utd game.
2-1 victory for Arsenal
Matches against Tottenham rarely fail to deliver in terms of excitement and an array of emotions will undoubtedly be on show later tonight – from fans and players alike. Tottenham know that if they can stop us getting three points, we can pretty much say goodbye to the title. With that in mind, they may be inclined to simply contain us and go for the draw. However, I think they will be more attacking due to the fact that they themselves are fighting for a top four finish. Furthermore, there is the added belief among the Tottenham fans that they are now equal to us. The game will not be an easy one, and the atmosphere at White Heart Lane will be very hostile. However, nothing would please me more than seeing Arsenal take all three points back to Ashburton Grove.
Let’s get it straight, I am no fan of Eboue. He has not got the skills to be an Arsenal player, and certainly shouldn’t be playing at right back. His performances this season have always been suspect, and today was no different. No, not because of his ridiculous and game-defining push, but because his defensive positioning and awareness was appalling. Time and time again, Suarez, Kuyt and Meireles got round him. We were lucky that Liverpool didn’t have much of the ball, because Eboue’s ineptitude would have been much more damaging.
Furthermore, Eboue gave away a last minute penalty, gifting Liverpool a point and giving Man Utd ample breathing space at the top of the table. However, I don’t believe Eboue is the only villain. Our players lacked the drive, and failed to take opportunities when we sliced open Liverpool’s defence. By the 100th minute, when Kuyt scored the equaliser, it should have been 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 to the Gunners. Profligacy cost us dear, like it did against Sunderland and Blackburn. Teams have learned how to play us at home – sit deep and soak up the pressure. Arsenal will always create chances, but we will also miss the majority of them.
The first half was exciting, with Arsenal completely outplaying their opponents. Our midfield trio of Wilshere, Diaby and Fabregas kept Liverpool on the backfoot, but the final touch to every delicate move was missing. Koscielny hit the bar with a decent header, and RVP scored a goal which was given for offside, but the Arsenal pressure was mounting. However, that elusive goal failed to come, leaving the game at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
Arsenal started the second half brightly, but injuries to Carroll and Carragher slowed the game down considerably. Their captain went down for over 5 minutes, and was stretchered off. I hope that the injury isn’t too serious, because Carragher looked in a lot of pain.
As the game became more stretched, both sides missed glorious opporunities. Suarez forced several saves out of Szczesny, while Walcott, RVP and Bendtner missed some great chances for Arsenal. The possession was all from the home team, but they kept passing the ball around Liverpool’s box. Why didn’t they shoot?! One-two’s and chipped through balls worked occasionally but not enough, leaving Reina with little to do after a busy first half.
With the game coming to a close, Fabregas won a penalty after some neat footwork in the box. RVP smashed in the resulting spot kick, leaving Gooners ecstatic.
Liverpool decided to stop their time wasting tactics, which had been in use for over 30 minutes (inciting jeers from the home supporters). They hoofed the ball upfield, and Arsenal had 2 or 3 chances to clear. They failed to do so, and a scramble on the edge of the box led to a free kick for Liverpool in a very dangerous position. Suarez’s shot was blocked and the ball fell to the side of the box, where Eboue inexplicably pushed over a Liverpool player. Their player was going nowhere and would have been unable to get a shot on target, but Eboue shoved him over. What an idiot.
The penalty was scored by Kuyt, and it was the last kick of the game. The Liverpool players ran to their fans in hysterics, while the Arsenal players walked off without waving to their fans – a first this season, if I am not mistaken. Eboue stayed on the field to plead to the referee – obviously he thought he could change the ref’s mind and the penalty would be taken away. What an idiot.
Szczesny 7.5 Made some vital catches and good saves against Suarez. Went the right way but failed to save a good penalty from Kuyt. Clichy 7 Attacked and defended admirably, but needs to improve his crossing. Djourou 8 Impressive return, keeping Carroll very quiet. Koscielny 7.5 Defended with confidence, but should’ve scored with the header that hit the bar. Suarez got the better of him from time to time. Eboue 5 Would have got a 6 for his poor defensive display, despite the odd attacking run, but THAT push knocks him down to a 5. His crossing wasn’t great, despite plenty of opportunities. Diaby 7 Hit and miss, as usual. Some great runs but his passing was generally square and lacked innovation. Wilshere 8 MOTM Great tackling and passing, kept the game ticking and won every 50/50 ball. Fabregas 7.5 Tried to lead the team, but his passing was poor in the first half. He improved in the second half and created most of our chances, and got the penalty. Nasri 7 Passing was accurate but not effective enough. Walcott 6 Seemed too scared to use his pace on their young left back. He could have caused a lot of damage, but seemed to prefer to pass the ball backwards. Won a few corners. RVP 6.5 Scored his 21st goal in his last 22 league starts, but his first touch was poor. Failed to hold the ball up and missed some great chances.
I have seen a few replays of the penalty incident. Lucas dived but took advantage of a stupid push. Video replays anyone? How many times will games be decided on poor decisions until video replays are introduced? I thought Lampard’s ‘goal’ against Germany at the World Cup would be enough to encourage such a scheme.
As a last thought, Wenger never should have had a go at Dalglish. He should have had a word with the referee at the end, to vent his anger at the extra injury time. The penalty was given after over 10 minutes despite only 8 minutes of injury time. Seems slightly unfair. But had Wenger said ‘piss off’ to Dalglish, everyone would be angry at Arsenal and their manager. The media would jump on ‘sour Wenger’ and use it as a weapon to talk badly about Arsenal. I hope Dalglish (and Wenger, if what he said to Liverpool’s manager was inflammatory/rude) gets some kind of punishment (because the FA can’t have double standards after penalising Rooney… or can they?).