A lot of talk (link1, link2, link3) in the football blogosphere is pitching that Arsenal came out on top (theoritically) in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea over the weekend. I seem to be among the few that think they blew two of the three points that were rightfully theirs. Going up 1-0 at Stamford Bridge with 10 minutes to spare is a luxury no club can afford and we were good and lucky enough to be there. So why the Freddie Ljunberg for Robin van Persie substitution happened is unexplainable seeing how van Persie was playing excellent as a holding forward and was causing headaches for Chelsea throughout the afternoon. Suprising also was the non-reaction by Wenger to the introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Arjen Robben, the latter coming close to scoring twice soon after coming in. Is Jens Lehmann to be held responsible for letting in a goal in from 35 yards of which he had a clear view? It’s easy to ignore these points when the prevalent attitude seems to be one of joy over a measly point being earned while we’re more than a dozen back from the league leaders, Manchester United.
The Arsenal don’t settle for a 1-1 draw, regardless of opponent or venue. Yes, we are young and are plagued by injury but when the opportunity to earn three points is there, one has to snatch it at all costs. Arsenal were not expected to win this game but could have done so with a little more care. Or perhaps I’m expecting too much of the current squad and should rather pat them on their back for a point well earned. No, Arsenal were not expected to win but they had the opportunity to and lost it because after going up 1-0, a sense of complacency set in and in the end we were lucky to escape with a point.
Dave Gilbert is bang-on in his analysis of the squad:
Until Wenger/Hill-Wood spend some serious duckets on someone that weighs more than 25lbs wet for our midfield, and gets a serious partner up front for TH-14 we will be playing the “spoiler” role in the EPL for seasons too come, meaning at best we will be giving the title to either MAN U or Chelski by beating one or the other.
That sums it up. Bad game against Fulham, good game against Chelsea. Nobody knows what’s next.