Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal – 30/12/06 – (Barclays Premiership) 31 December, 2006Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
Yesterday was one of the worst performances I’ve seen in a long time. I went to Craven Cottage not long ago but this was worse. There were quite a few players missing from the squad so selection was difficult, but for some reason Arsene decided to play Baptista on the left and Aliadiere up front. It did not work. Nothing worked for us. The boggy Brammal Lane pitch was not working in our favour and we couldn’t do any of our slick passing moves. We had two decent shots at goal, one was Rosicky from the end of a good passing move and he shot with the outside of his foot but it was near enough to the Paddy Kenny for him to make the save. The other one was a bit of a scramble when Baptista drove into the box and the ball fell to Van Persie who shot against the ground but Jagielka tipped it over the bar.
Sheffield United scored just before half time when Rosicky lost the ball on the edge of their box. United broke and had us outnumbered at the back. Alan Quinn passed to Nade, Toure was marking him but the ball went straight through his legs and he was through on goal. Something in Lehmann’s mind said run out and he came out to the edge of his box making it easy for Nade to slot it in the net and make it one nil.
I still thought we could win the game but we didn’t create anything. To be honest, we just weren’t good enough to beat Sheffield United. It was the same old story it’s be every game: sloppy football. We gave the ball away more than you could ever imagine, it was ridiculous and you could just tell it was only a matter of seconds before we gave it away again.
Baptista is wasted in midfield; I don’t know why he doesn’t just tell Wenger that he is a fucking striker. Still, he wasn’t amazing anyway when he was put up front. He is no ‘Beast’ he gets pushed off the ball way to easily, young Cesc Fabregas is better at shielding the ball than ‘The Beast’. Baptista needs at least another year to adapt to he English game, he looks lost. There was one time in the area when he was given the ball to shoot but he took a touch. Why the fuck did he control it? Could’ve probably been a goal if he’d just smacked it but no. Anyway, if he does stay then I reckon he’ll come good one day but for now, he still needs time.
Around the 60th minute Paddy Kenny got injured and with no substitute ‘keeper on the bench Phil Jagielka was in goal. Surely you’d think we should shoot at every opportunity to test this new goalie but no. There was just one shot from Van Persie that he had to tip over but nothing else tested the midfielder. It was extremely frustrating to watch.
There was not one player on the pitch who had a good game, I can’t even think of one who had a satisfactory game. We were a waste of space. We’ve got Charlton on Tuesday and you’d think that’s an easy game but I thought yesterday would’ve been a walkover, well it was for Sheffield. We better buck up our ideas before Tuesday. I think we might have a few players back for then. I’m quite worried and I shouldn’t be, sort it out Arsene. That’s all I can stand to write today. Have a good 2007.