Norwich v. Arsenal Recap & Player RatingsBy: Felegy | October 21st, 2012
Well that sucked. I said I was going to do the recap and since I am a man of my word I am sitting here Sunday morning at my computer trying to figure out what to say about yesterday’s game against Norwich. Sundays are incredibly valuable to me as they seem to be the only day of the week where I cannot be made to work. That being said; I usually reserve it for important activities like yardwork (damn you leaves!), going to the grocery, taking my dog to the park, laundry, and basically whatever else I am too busy to do during the work week. Because I plan on doing all of these things and more today, I am not going to be dedicating much time or effort into this recap and ratings. Arsenal didn’t show up yesterday to play, why should I show up today to write about it!?
We were completely outplayed by Norwich, despite having possession over 70% . How does one have possession of the ball for over 70% of the game and only manage a handful of shots on goal, none of which looked all that threatening!? It was as poor of a performance as we have seen out of this team so far this year. One can blame the international break and the number of players that we had involved. You can also look at Chelsea, ManU, and ManCity who faced the same thing and managed to get wins on Saturday.
Arsenal went behind 20 minutes in. Norwich’s midfielder Tettey fired a hard low shot from about 25 yards out. Mannone showed why he is not our number one keeper and parried the shot right back into the six yard box; Holt reacted quickest to the rebound and pushed the eventual winner into the back of the net. Yeah, it was a decent shot from distance. Yeah, either Arteta or Vermaelen should have denied Tettey the space to shoot. Yeah, Mannone should have done way better. Ultimately the blame goes to the keeper for not parrying the shot out of harm’s way. 1-0 to Norwich with only 70+ minutes of time to kill before earning their first win, impossible right?
Not impossible at all. Throughout the entire game the team lacked any kind of cutting edge in the final third of the pitch. Giroud was as ineffective as we have seen, Cazorla seemed to have nowhere to go or play the ball to, Podolski and Gervinho were limited chances being played out wide (again), and Ramsey and Arteta provided little to no creativity from a deeper midfield role. We needed some inspiration to come from somewhere but had nowhere to pull it from.
Ox was brought in with about 25 minutes to go for Podolski. He made one strong run down the sideline and pulled up with what looked like a hip or back problem. He tried to run it off but had to be subbed just minutes later for Arshavin. Yes, Arshavin. I really don’t think Ox is an impact, game changing sub like Theo can be anyway but his energy would have been nice to try a grab an equalizer late on. Okay, so who could we bring on to change this game and save a point!? How about Serge Gnabry!!?? Yeah, that basically sums up our day today.
The game ended 1-0. We were held scoreless by a winless relegation bound Norwich side that had one of the worst goal differentials in the league coming into this game. Our biggest rivals for the league all get wins and we fall further behind in the race for the EPL. We now sit 10 points behind Chelsea and 6 points behind the Manchester teams. At this rate, we could be conceding that the league is out of our reach by Thanksgiving.
As I said earlier this week, we need maximum points against teams like Norwich. We have dropped points in fixtures like this in years past and it cost us dearly. It looks as if it could happen again. We have a lot of games to play in the coming weeks so let’s hope the added experience that we have in this squad can help us to bounce back.
As for player ratings; I’m not even going to waste my valuable Sunday time going through them one by one. Feel free to blast me in the comments section for this and come up with your own ratings but Mannone gets a 4.5—everyone else gets a generous 5. Pathetic performance from a team that was looking like they were heading towards great things a few weeks back. What a difference and interlull can make (for some teams).