Good afternoon Positives,
I shall make it brief and, I hope, to the point. I admit the positives of the game today, though not impossible to find, are a little thin.
Let me however get the brutal bit out of the way.
We played today as a team lacking or short in probably two essential elements.
First, we lacked confidence that when we have the ball and we are in the final third of the field, with the white painted oblong things in sight, we are actually able to ‘do’ something with the football. We look so hesitant in our approach play as we move towards the opposition box we don’t seem to believe we will score.
I do not blame individual players and as individuals we have very good players. Jack for example for long periods was very effective in controlling midfield and winning us the ball. It is a collective failure to transform possession, and often good field position, into serious scoring efforts and to test the keeper. Begovic had bugger all to do today, and even that he messed up with Hector’s shot.
To what extent that loss of collective purpose is a consequence of missing ” star” players, through injury in Mesut and Santi’s case and by reason of the transfer shenanigans in the case of Alexis I shall let others decide.
Giroud’s absence is a gap that probably few Arsenal fans, me included, thought would be so significant. We have only young Eddie on the bench to change our attacking options, and that ain’t enough. Even so the players out there today should have coped far better with the Bournemouth challenge.
Second, the quality of our passing from open play and from the occasional dead ball we gained today was poor. Pass after pass went astray. I saw maybe one incisive, accurate ball ( for Hector’s goal). Add that to our tentative, nervy approach play and where the next goal is coming from I do not know.
And well done the Cherries. A deserved result in which what you had, as a team, you used better than what we had.
Right that is the sack cloth and ashes done.
Luckily, probably very luckily, our next two games are at home. Our record in front of the Emirates faithful remains impressive. Let us put our travel woes behind us.
Of our players today Jack, as I said above, I thought played well. He looks fit, and more important he looks as though his brain is back up to full PL speed. Subject to his physical condition remaining intact I think we can expect him to have a Summer in Russia. Another good effort from AMN. Very good going forward and the only AFC player to open up the home defence on his own, before clipping the bar. He was a little off it in defence first half but more solid in the second.
Off you go then – this is not Anfield.