Post Match View – Sunderland A.F.C.

It’s going to sound like I haven’t got much new to say but it’s true; champions win games that they are supposed to win. Sunderland is not better than we are. No matter what the permutation of player combinations from the respective squads, we should beat Sunderland every time.

The English media like to hype up a new gate-crasher every chance they get. Sunderland is this year’s choice. I’m not the least bit impressed by a team with Kieran Richardson playing in the hole behind Darren Bent, Steed Malbranque, and Andy Reid running midfield, and some unknown 19 year old local in a holding role.

We did not make any kind of statement at any point in the game. We allowed an inferior team to stifle us and disrupt our flow. They waited until we got to midfield and then closed us down quickly. They counter-attacked, trying to nick a goal. We just kicked the ball about without any real drive. There was no urgency.

We had a few good moments – a few nicely worked combinations at the top of their box, dangerous crosses across their goal late – but we did little to show our superiority. Some say it is the post-internationals hangover. I’m inclined to agree with that but if we’re going to win the league, we can’t lose to Sunderland for any reason.

The lineup was a bit strange to be honest. I will never second guess Wenger’s decisions because he sees the players in training, I don’t. I just wonder why Arshavin sat for most of the match yet Gallas, who’s been playing an enormous amount off high pressure fooball, played the entire game. Why didn’t Arshavin start? He would have enabled Eduardo to be a bigger threat on an off the ball. Nasri is good around the box but rarely threatens from close in. That somewhat nullified the Eduardo as loan strike bit.

It’s all water under the bridge now. We lost. Tuesday is very important.

A few notes:

At times, it was apparent why Ramsey is still not a regular starter. He lost the ball carelessly, allowing for counter-attacks on more than one occasion.

Armand Traore was better than I’ve ever seen him. He looked more composed and trustworthy. With a healthy Gibbs, Clichy could be expendable if he doesn’t fix himself.

On 89, Song chased down Kieron Richardson where Sagna would normally be. Alex came from deep inside Sunderland territory to win back the ball. I was impressed by that so late in the game.

On the penalty that wasn’t; get used to it. It’s going to be that way for a long, long time. I’ve seen penalties given for less. We shouldn’t expect them at all any more unless it’s an axe assault leaving a pool of Arsenal red in the penalty area.

We’ve made things very difficult for ourselves now with United winning against Everton and Chelsea of course having beaten Wolves. We’ve lost ground. DAMN!!!

I’m going to get f***** up now.

Later!

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