By Steve Kessel
Since we have been spoiled of late with Arsenal results, I was left with unfamiliar feelings after Monday night’s game… frustration and disappointment. For me, the most frustrating part was that somehow we let Swansea score the EXACT same goal that beat us in the also highly frustrating opposite fixture. It was like the bloody twilight zone. That, my friends, is the height of naivety, and something we most definitely could have addressed.
At the time of the goal, everyone watching in the pub, including myself, was confused. It didn’t look like it had gone in, and without goal-line technology, I am almost certain it would not have been given, as even the ref (Kevin Friend) look surprised by the alert his clown sized watch had given him. We can’t feel hard done by, however, a goal is a goal, and we lost fair and square.
Fabianski’s faultless man of the match performance was also a source of frustration for me. As far as I am concerned, he owes us at least one blunder for all those spectacular whiffs we witnessed from him in and Arsenal shirt over the years. I have particularly bad memories of Drogba rounding a stranded Fabianski way outside the box back in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final. Even in the last FA cup final, which it has to be said he did well to get us to, he still managed to nearly stop my heart by tearing out of the box in the dying minutes of extra time, nearly resulting in a Hull equalizer. Did he make any similar decisions in this game? Did he f**k, staying firmly between the sticks with assured hands for all nine shots on target. To be fair, most were right at him, but still, I would have appreciated one touch of the ‘Fabianski’s’ during the game.
Our performance wasn’t particularly bad, we just lacked the finishing touch. Giroud looked tired and could maybe benefit from a rest. He was bullied in the first half and never really seemed to assert himself after that. The subs didn’t really provide an answer. For some reason, of late, we keep waiting until Giroud is off the pitch, and has been replace by one of our many midgets, to start beating the fullbacks and putting in dangerous crosses. Maybe we are missing Welbeck, who I hope will be fit for another conflicted trip back to Old Trafford, it seemed to work out last time and it would afford Giroud that rest.
Swansea are firmly cementing their status as our bogie team. I just hope that this result will serve as a warning for the Villa final. I very much doubt that Villa will sit back as much as the Swans did, but without a defeat in the final games there would be a danger of over confidence going into the final. I would also trade this result for a win at Old Trafford on Sunday, so finger crossed we get to make that exchange. Beating Man U would all but secure us third and also put us in the driving seat for second. I will be content if we finishing this season with a good seeding for the Champion’s League and the FA Cup.
Up the Arsenal!!!