After a six game winning run, Arsenal are halted by Lowly Middlesbrough, a tough game to watch after what we have been used to. Arsenal seem to be a Jekyll and Hyde football club, one minute showing form that could win silverware, then failing miserably to score one goal, against a side struggling in the relegation places.
Its common Knowledge that our players are very well paid, most supporters couldn’t care less how much they earn, as Arsenal can afford it, but they would like to see some of the clubs players at least trying to look as if they care about the result, Middlesbrough came calling, and the bookies had us odds on favourites, playing at home, but held to a frustrating goalless draw.
Arsenal coming off a six goal win in midweek in champions League, only to fail to impress against a side at the bottom of the Premier. It was Arsene Wengers 67th birthday, but sadly ended his day struggling to understand his overpaid super stars. Granit Xhakha missed his first game of three due to suspension, while Santi Cazorla missed this game due to injury that he picked up in midweek against Ludogretts, but that seemed to upset the smooth running of camp Arsenal.
Arsenal spluttered and stuttered to half time without ever looking to penetrate Middlebrough’s stringent defence, The red hot Arsenal machine we witnessed in mid week, were having their Jekyll and Hyde performance which seemingly comes round a little to often for my liking.
I would normally talk about the game in question, but on this occasion, and the seemingly ground hog day performance, has me wandering back to my old conspiracy theories. I can remember my old playing days, and if i am honest, i would say that i was a very competitive player. I hated losing and i have to say i look for reasons when a team of highly talented players all have a bad day at the office together. In my day, i would have an off day, and i felt it stood out against the rest of the teams performances, many players lose form during a season but very seldom do they all lose form in the same game.
I look back to the first game Elneney played for us, and i remember reading a stat that said he had 20 shots, whether that fact was actually right, i can not say for sure, but i can say that his shots have dried up since, and not just his, the whole team seem to suffer on the same days.
Mesut Ozil, King of the assists, one minute pinging excorcet accurate balls through, to passing straight to a defenders legs, I have to wonder why. Theo Walcott a player tagged with having a talent for finishing off, and yesterday i saw fumbles at least three or four in area’s he would usually finish off from. Alexis Sanchez, a maestro going forward, yesterday saw him stuttering forward only to twist and turn till he was offloaded, in fact our back line were at times left wide open, by advancing way to far up the pitch, it seems that heroics from Koscielney and Petr Cech who couldn’t have been told of ground hog day, or is that just instinct.
Belerin and Monreal two very good players failed to find any reasonable crosses caught out of position and both on the same day, Iwobi a young man with oodles of trickery reduced to an early substitute for bringing nothing to the game at all. I could of course go right through the players but i am sure you can see where i am coming from, and i have to say that when the whole side seem to be having a bad day, is to me suspicious.
When a side has 70 percent possession, but only produce 3 shots on target, and they happen to look like pass-backs i start to wonder the worse. What would be the reason, i ask myself, and i have to remember Wenger’s thousandth game as Arsenal boss, and remember the performance put in by the players that day, and click we had the same attitude. Is this just a coincidence, or am i just imagining a pattern. When a resolute defender with a turn of pace resorts to rugby type tackles, and not another defender anywhere near, i ask myself why, and sadly i cannot answer that question, all i do know is, this Jekyll and Hyde day will certainly come back again, and it is starting to come under question.
Written by a doubting Steve Palmer.