What did we just witness? All my finger nails are destroyed and my blood pressure is certainly through the roof. Why must Arsenal put us through this time after time? The matches that we should be winning, we completely bottle. A meeting away to Bournemouth wasn’t a given, but, if you want to say you have the championship mentality, you can’t have this happen. From a health perspective, this is simply not sustainable.
Arsenal started the match in decent fashion. They were able to move the ball, and although Bournemouth were able to get forward, it all seemed controlled for the Gunners.
My fear of Ramsey playing out wide somewhat went away as the match kicked off. He looked to have lined up behind Giroud, and Iwobi was out on the right side. So, basically we had one useless player in the center of the park, and then Iwobi on the right, who doesn’t believe in defending all that much. And would you know, the first goal came from that side.
It all started from a throw-in just over the halfway line. Iwobi pressed the ball, and then Giroud did his part as Bournemouth worked it across. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey was jogging around the midfield, looking completely lost. As soon as the ball got played out to our left side, Ramsey looked over at Bellerin two times. Not once, but twice! He then made a hand gesture as if to say, damn, that guy is alone, and I should probably be the one covering him.
Instead, Bellerin got sucked out, had to track back, and although his attempt wasn’t the greatest, all of this happened while Ramsey again, jogged back towards the play. Are you freaken kidding me!! I’ve watched the damn replay about 10 times now. If he even made a half-hearted attempt to get back, when Daniels took down the ball and cut it back, Ramsey would have been there in time to help out Bellerin. But why would Ramsey make any sort of effort. He clearly thinks he’s much better than he really is. I’ve never been his biggest fan, and today were the final cherries on top of the cake for me.
One goal down, not too much to be concerned about. We’ve been here before. Then came the second.
This play started from a set piece for Arsenal in the final third. Must be said, a poor delivery from Xhaka, which he struggled with all night. Whether it was a free-kick or a corner, he just couldn’t get it right.
Anyway, after a few bounces back and fourth, Mustafi plays a stupid short pass to Coquelin who was about one foot away from him. The Frenchman didn’t even get a chance to control the ball because he had a Bournemouth player on his back. The counter-attack was on, and Arsenal were in shambles at the back.
Bellerin pressured the ball, and Xhaka covered behind him.
People are giving Xhaka a hard time because of giving away the penalty. First off, I think it was soft, but thankfully Mike Dean wasn’t the official. Xhaka would have been issued two red cards. Second, he nearly ran the length of the pitch to get back into position. I think that foul doesn’t get called 9 out of 10 times. But, I think the blame begins with Mustafi putting Coquelin in a tough spot when we were far up the pitch. If you watch the replay, when Mustafi gets the ball, he has some time. He could have either turned on the ball and looked to play it back, or, he had useless Ramsey out on the right side in loads of space.
Two goals down after 20 minutes had me on the edge.
As if I wasn’t annoyed already, all my anti-Arsenal friends were letting me have it on our group text message. I thought my phone would catch fire at one point. Those messages were coming in thick and fast.
All I could think of was the match against Ludogorets, but the problem was that time was ticking away, and there were no goals in sight. I was more concerned that we’d concede sooner than we’d score. Just as I had imagined it.
Bellerin gets clearly fouled from behind by Fraser, who then tucks it between Cech’s legs making it 3-0. So Xhaka gets called for that foul in the first half, yet, Fraser does it against Bellerin and it’s not a foul? The Spaniard was far from his best today, but he got to that ball before Fraser, and got pushed from behind. He’s a long shot from being at fault for that one. There’s one person at fault here, and that’s the man in the blue outfit and a whistle in hand.
If you want to point the finger at anyone dressed in yellow for that goal, no one pressured the ball that was played out from Boruc. He rolled it out to the center of the park, under no pressure, the ball was played wide, just about to midfield. Long ball down the line, and there you have it. All too freaken easy. Down 2-0, where is the urgency? Where is the mentality they always talk about?
Down three goals, I feared the absolute worst. Twitter was having a meltdown, and Alexis Sanchez looked more annoyed than ever. Could you blame him?!
One thing I would like to point out before carrying on is the fact that as I’ve mentioned in the past, Laurent Koscielny is not vocal enough on the pitch. He may be a great player, and he may be able to command the back-four, but he isn’t willing to lay into his teammates when needed. When the team is struggling and making careless mistakes, someone needs to be able give the team an earful when needed. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do that.
With twenty minutes remaining and patience running thin, Arsenal decided they were going to show up to the party.
A proper cross into the box from Ox, Giroud flicks it on, and who else but Alexis to push it home. The team grew in confidence, but I was still annoyed at the fact that Fraser’s goal was not called back. It could have been 2-1 at that point. Instead, it was still a two goal difference.
Lucas was getting into space, and Bournemouth was struggling to get out of their half. We were all already in disbelief of what was happening, and then we had to endure an image of Jack Wilshere in the 74th minute looking completely lost. He had that facial expression of what the hell is going on. No worries Jack, we all felt the same.
Moments later, Lucas Perez pulled another one back with a scintillating strike.
The play started with Mustafi, Giroud held it up and played a pass behind Alexis who wasn’t happy he had to drop back to retrieve the ball. Next came two one-touch passes involving Xhaka and Giroud, which ultimately found the left foot of Lucas.
Things started to get real quiet in the group chat, as they feared the worst. I was happy they were fighting back, and the Francis red card certainly helped, but back to that third goal. Had it not been allowed, it could have been 2-2 at this point. But, Arsenal were still chasing the result.
Even down a man, I still had that feeling that they’d come up short, or concede a fourth on the counter-attack. I was wrong, again!
Patient buildup, a perfectly weighted cross from Xhaka, and Giroud guides it home with his beautiful head of hair. People gave him stick on social media throughout the entire match, but once again, he proves that he’s in great form. He scored the third goal, and assisted the first two goals. But, something must be said about the celebration. You just leveled the match in the 91st minute after being down 3-0 and you’re up a man. There are at least four minutes remaining in stoppage time, grab the damn ball and get back to the center circle. Stop with the stupid celebrations. Score a fourth goal and then you can celebrate all you want! But, I still love you Oli. You came to the rescue AGAIN!
Although it could have been worse, Arsenal left it way too late. Had they performed the entire match as they did in the final 20 minutes, things could have been very different.
Being complacent when it matters worst seems to be a common theme for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s team selection may have contributed to that, most specifically, including Aaron Ramsey in the starting XI.
I can understand the move seeing as he wanted to rotate the squad and Ramsey clearly has fresh legs since he hasn’t played, but, how does he not get annoyed watching Rambo? He’s incredibly lazy off the ball, and even if his preferred position is behind the striker, when was the last time he impressed there? Why not keep Iwobi down the middle since he looked great against Palace, and bring in Ox on the wing, or even Lucas Perez.
The Spaniard deserves a run in, and his goal may well have proved that.
Having lost ground to City, and not gaining on Liverpool, Arsenal supporters are now stuck in a dilemma. Spu*s host Chelsea on Wednesday, and although I hate to admit it, if there’s to be a winner at Sh*t Hart Lane, we have to hope it’s our North London neighbors. But, a draw would be preferred. A Chelsea victory is certainly Arsenal’s goodbye to any title hopes that may still exist.
For those of you looking for a positive, Arsenal are still undefeated when Mustafi is involved.