Arsenal were uninspiring at best, cocky at worst, against Marseille in a 0-0 draw at the Emirates tonight.
It was disappointing to see the players unable to build on the fantastic win at Chelsea. Overall, the team lacked urgency, Walcott reverted to type, and Park was invisible.
Szczesny nearly cost us a stupid goal after trying to beat a striker in the box with a trick – after being very lucky to avoid a red card at Stamford Bridge, someone needs to have a word with the cocky Pole about calming down a bit and being more sensible with his decisions. Like Jens Lehmann, he is a match-winner, but he also has that ability to lose his head at times.
Right at the end of our last attack, Carl Jenkinson got into a decent position to whip a final cross into the box, but chose to pass it back instead. As a result, the referee saw it fit to blow the final whistle. It’s little things like this that really get to me about this Arsenal team.
Why were the players not up for it? Did Wenger resting van Persie send the message that this game isn’t AS important as the West Brom game this weekend? It shouldn’t. The Dutchman has a terrible record with injuries and you can understand the boss wanting to be careful with him, and he should be able to rely on Walcott and Gervinho after both were so impressive at the weekend.
Having said all this, looking at the bigger picture things are certainly not that bad. We still lead the group, but will need a better display at home to Borussia Dortmund next time round. We don’t want to be going to Olympiakos with qualification still uncertain, and of course we don’t want to end up facing Barca or Real in the first knockout round and kissing goodbye to another Champions League campaign early.
Hopefully we will see an improvement this weekend.The win at Chelsea won’t be as fondly remembered if it is followed by results that more or less confirm it was something of a fluke. I don’t believe it was a fluke, but the team need to prove it.