Sometimes, football has a habit of kicking you in the teeth. Tonight, Arsenal thoroughly kicked themselves and their supporters in the teeth by allowing Tottenham to score 2 goals in the last 5 minutes to earn a draw in a game where they were thoroughly outplayed and should have been thrashed.
For the first 20 minutes, Spurs dominated the midfield and were good value for their 1-0 lead when David Bentley scored a superb goal. But once we’d settled down and Denilson in particular had taken control of the middle of the pitch, Spurs crumbled. A superb equalising header from Silvestre got the place rocking and the confidence came flooding back. For the rest of the game, almost, we knocked the ball about with a swagger and 4-2 looked like a fair result. In all honesty, 5-2 would have been a even fairer, the way it was at that time. But somehow, the defence contrived to throw it all away and make some nice Harry Houdini headlines for the papers which are totally undeserved.
Our problems have been there for all to see for a very long time now and Arsene needs to sort them out in double quick time if we are to secure 4th spot by the end of this season which is the best we can do, in my opinion. The defence looks ready to concede at any moment against anyone. Spurs scored from almost every effort they had on goal tonight and, in truth, if Fenerbahce had been a touch more composed in front of goal last week, then the result in Turkey could have been the other way round and the talk would be of crisis, not superb performances. Football is about more than just scoring goals – it is also about defending and stopping the opposition scoring goals. At the moment, we don’t look like a team that could stop anyone from scoring against us.
We have a run of league games coming up which strikes fear into me – Stoke away, United at home, Villa at home, City away then Chelsea away. With the defence and midfield playing like it did at times tonight, we are going to struggle in all of those games. No-one plays the kind of football we thrive against any more and Mister Wenger needs to accept that and buy some defenders who can defend, rather than ball playing lightweights who shrink to nowhere at the first sign of pressure.
Yes, tonights result was a joke – yes, Tottenham were poor and deserved to be beaten – yes, we were superb going forward at times. But we failed to win the game and that’s the only important thing when we’re all on the tube home. The final score.