A scintillating result and performance against Southampton in the FA Cup set everything up nicely for a visit from Watford. When Arsenal picks up our spirits and confidence, they ruthlessly take it all back in some astonishing and agonizing ways. That just seems to be the Arsenal way.
With an eight point gap separating them from Conte’s men, Tuesday was a beyond perfect situation for the Gunners to make up some ground. Maybe someone forgot to tell the players that Tuesday’s match was an official match, and not a friendly?!
Seeing Arsene Wenger’s squad selection had already frustrated me prior to kickoff, along with many other Arsenal supporters.
First, why was Danny Welbeck not in the squad? There weren’t any reports that I saw stating that he picked up a knock.
Second, Walcott netted a hattrick, yet, he finds himself on the bench to start.
Third, what else does Lucas Perez need to do? Every time he features, he puts in a shift, just as he did against Southampton. His movement was fantastic, and his linkup play in the final third was something the squad lacks more often than not. Why the hell did he not get the start?
Fourth, I’m thoroughly convinced that Aaron Ramsey won some sort of bet against Wenger, or Le Prof has a secret obsession with him. When will he convince himself that the Welshman is average at best, and he’s a one season wonder?
The first goal was unfortunate, but the second goal giveaway was typical Aaron Ramsey. Kaboul having scored that opener off a deflection already had my blood pressure sky high, but then his reaction was as if to say – what did you expect. Piss off you scum! Had that not deflected off Ramsey, it was going straight at Cech.
Lastly, Bellerin was fit to feature against Southampton, yet, he can’t feature against Watford at home? Gabriel has filled the gap when needed, but this was a no nonsense situation. Three points was a must seeing as Chelsea was away to Liverpool.
Wenger’s team selection deserves some criticism in my opinion, but apart from that, the starting XI that was out there was more than capable of defeating Watford. There really shouldn’t be an excuse, but, it’s tough not to question Wenger’s decisions.
Their opening half was embarrassing, and that’s being nice.
Arsenal couldn’t complete a string of passes in Watford’s half. It was like Watford was wearing Arsenal kits. They looked composed on and off the ball, were first to every challenge, and when given the opportunity, they made their chances count. We can’t say the same for the Gunners.
I’ve rewatched that second goal, and I simply can’t understand how Capoue made it that far without doing any sort of fancy moves. He dropped his shoulder once to delay Coquelin, and then his obvious drag to the left was just as expected as Arsene Wenger struggling to zip his damn coat. How the fu** did he cover about 40 yards without being contested? How did Mustafi let him walk right by him?!
Furthermore, how the hell is Ramsey not aware of who is around him? He’s all alone when Gabriel makes that throw, on a wet surface, dumba** let’s it run across his body as if there wasn’t another team on the pitch. And then to top it all off, have a look at his effort to fix what he fu**ed up! He lightly jogs back as if to say, well, someone else will fix my mistake. He continuously does it. Call it lack of confidence, he’s not 100% fit or whatever else you’d like, he had one great season. Apart from that, he’s lazy off the ball. Sure, when on the ball and with time he is capable of making good decisions, but which professional can’t do that? Give me time and space on the ball, hell, I’ll knock that stupid mouthguard out of Gomes’ mouth. Does the fact that he wears a mouthguard not annoy anyone else? Is it just me?
Watford dominated the first half highlight reel, and frankly, we were fortunate it was only 0-2 at the break.
Whether Steve Bould spoke at the break, or they conferenced in Arsene Wenger on some mobile device, they came out with much more intensity for the second half. But, it was too late.
Although they’ve come from behind before, and Mustafi’s undefeated record was on the line, I just didn’t have that feeling that they could turn it around. Even after Iwobi’s goal, I wasn’t confident they’d be able to at least grab a second, let alone a third.
Had Theo put his chance away in the 49th minute, I think it would have given him a jolt of confidence. He seems to play out of his skin after scoring, but on the flip side, if he misses a good opportunity, more often than not, he disappears. His inability to really get involved hurt as the second half went on, which allowed Watford to focus on Alexis, forcing Theo, Iwobi and Lucas to be the difference makers.
Iwobi had some moments of brilliance, and was robbed of a goal when Gomes pulled a save out of his a**. That shot he saved down to his right was unreal, and I’m convinced he just guessed he was going there and got lucky. He was shielded, how the hell did he pull that off or even see the shot for that matter?!
Lucas again was involved, his movement off the ball was great, and even came close to leveling the match at two, but instead, he rattled the crossbar.
Apart from some absolute sh*t performances in that opening 45 minutes, I think this is the perfect example of looking ahead to the weekend. Arsene Wenger tried to be conservative by resting Welbeck, Theo and even Bellerin as he already had one eye on Saturday’s match at Stamford Bridge. Due to that, and as he said, lack of mental strength, Arsenal will now to go Stamford Bridge with a nine point gap separating them from the top of the table.
If I’m being honest, I honestly fear that we could be looking at a heavy defeat on Saturday. This defeat at home to Watfrod could motivate the players to come out flying on Saturday, and it could also really deflate them, as it has deflated me. Given Arsenal’s ability to constantly shoot themselves in the foot, I’m thinking this defeat will have a negative outcome on the squad, but, I’m hopeful that I’m wrong.
This Chelsea squad isn’t the same as the one Arsenal defeated 3-0 at the Emirates. Whether we like it or not, they are capable of getting results even when they aren’t playing well. That’s something we were able to say for Arsenal at certain point throughout the season, but lately, it seems like they are back to their old ways. Losing at home to Watford on a day where they could have potentially shortened the gap. Are you kidding me!
Let’s hope that Saturday won’t be a match where we’ll have to cover our eyes after, or even before the final whistle.