Arsenal Miss Rosicky as Birmingham Suckerpunch Squares it all up

After our luck and not much else saw us through against Spurs in the cup, Arsenal got a taste of their own medicine against Birmingham in a match we at first looked like we would win 3-0.

Instead, Wenger has to get his head around the fact it was little more than a 1-1 draw, when O’Connor leveled the scores almost immediately at the start of the second-half, scrambling in a Seb Larsson corner. The Gunners failed to retake the lead for 46 minutes after, pulling out the old chestnut of a heavily dominant display without any end-product.

-{Perhaps it was just one of those nights where nothing clicked…}-

Affairs started brightly enough when Eduardo thumped a header inexplicably straight at Maik Taylor when it looked easier to score, but Arsenal soon settled on the idea that it was better to keep 90% of possession rather than fashion out clear cut chances.

The opening goal did come, however, after an exquisite move was ended by a Birmingham defender unfairly being ‘rewarded’ with a penalty for a rather brilliant tackle on Eduardo. The Croatian national recieved the ball after a brilliant cross-field run from Hleb. The striker turned towards goal, but dallied on the ball, with the defender sliding and stealing the ball from between  Eduardo’s legs. The ref had other ideas in favour of the home side, and Adebayor put one of those heavy sidefooters through to put Arsenal up 1-0.

Yet, that’s all it stayed going into the second half, and while it felt that we might work our way up to a more winnable margin, Birmingham hit us with an out-of-nowhere goal that sent a sick feeling all over.

Bendtner came on to try and change things with Walcott off, but no forays upfield were bearing fruit tonight. Perhaps it was just one of those nights where nothing clicked, but with Manchester United winning and equalising the lead at the top of the table, it is time to reallign all those energy-centers and start again.

Rosicky was called out of the squad before the match with flu – and while one can auger about how van Persie might change things – Walcott’s performance showed how much Tomas was missed tonight. While Walcott has first touch and seering pace, at this stage in his career he just does not have the keep-ball skills needed to make the possession play this team tried to pull off last night work.

-{Senderos had a very composed game today…}-

Had Rosicky played last night, it may have been a different story. You cannot pin the hopes of a team on one man’s health, and Rosicky is certainly not a man fans usually do pin such hopes on. All in all, there was just a rhythm missing from the team’s beat last night that is a little hard to totally identify.

The players who did stand out, for me, were Senderos, Hleb and Eduardo. Senderos had a very composed game today, even though The Guardian saw fit to blame him for the corner we conceded off even though he was assigned to Kapo, but his passing was much better than in other matches, and made no mistakes to really speak of.

Hleb was a constant danger in his diagonal dribbling runs, and his pickoff to Eduardo in the first half was what we needed more of throughout the match. Eduardo did well up front without setting the world alight, but I particularly enjoyed how, when Bendtner came on, he slotted well in the left pocket and became quite dangerous. A big improvement over that awful game he had at Seville.

So two points dropped, and it’s back to the drawing board. The result is very dissapointing, but not the end of the world. We’re still topping the table (ignoring goal difference), and for now, that will do just fine.

Picking up momentum is what we are in need of now. The training ground will be the busiest part of the club for the next few days.

Keeping it short for persistent health reasons, unfortunately. More news tomorrow when it comes.

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13 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, English Premier League, Match Reports

13 responses to “Arsenal Miss Rosicky as Birmingham Suckerpunch Squares it all up

  1. robin where are you

    robin? wheres thomas???? idk

  2. robin where are you

    i have to equal this game with last season’s match against west ham which nothing went in our way.

  3. why didn't we win?

    i am frustrated now! why isn’t Wenger talking straight to the fans after the game>?????

  4. jack

    we weren’t firing all our cylinders dude. disappointment. i think WEnger should chase Berba.

  5. stevooooo

    1-1? doh! we will bounce back!!!!

  6. goooooner

    well…….i wanted us t beat em.

  7. Jim brown

    All I know is this a replay of some of the matches last season huffing and puffing with no end result.
    If we we want to win any trophy,something has to be done with regard to putting the ball in the net.I know in AW we trust but sometimes this can be taken to mean I am monarch of all I survey akin to an ostrich in the sand.
    This a wake up call that teams are not going to lie down and watch the gunners pass in intricate circles which sometimes even confuses the gunner supposed to receive the pass.

  8. nzekwe , joburg, south africa

    Just a wake up call. Wenger should recognize the presence of opponents like manu and cheski, they have millions to spend, he should stop gambling with players who are not fit to play for arsenal. I love arsenal, but i doubt if we can get any trophy this season with the way he takes teams for granted. Go and buy players, arsenal millions is meant to make fans happy and win trophies. He is not under pressure like other managers, he can afford to be complacent. The football world is changing, let the youth policy be mixed with experience period.

  9. Owebugerere

    We shall bounce back if we analyse the game and learn from the mistakes that we made moreover we need to remind ourselves that there are no easy games anymore the remaining 16 games are cup final games which we need to win at all cost. We need to play as a team to finnish off teams and if we did it in the first half we would have bagged the 3 points. Sagna learn that Walcott is still learning his trade therefore if he is infront of you play with caustion bse anything can happen he isn’t Eboue. With so many short players defending setpieces is a nightmare, one should analyse how many goals we have conceded in setpieces. Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, Birmingham, spurs, Boro (penalty) its a long list.
    People who played like it was a cup final yesterday were Clichy, Sendoros, Gallas. Passing the ball into the net doesn’t work all the times sometimes we need to shoot. The day Hleb will learn to shoot i will be great.

  10. PV4

    The reason Arsenal miss Rosicky is because he is injury prone.

    I wold love to know exactly how many matches he has played the full ninety and how many times he has been on the bench or unavailable.

    We cannot afford these lightweight players.

    I am starting to think the same of Hleb and Van Persie.

  11. davidwesson

    Sydney arsenal gooner in exile here-No excuses we should of won this game with or without Rosicky and cannot afford to slip up like this again

    Whilst senderos had a composed game can he do this against the likes of AC Milan ?

    I bloody hope so

  12. Senderos was solid, that was the major positive to take from the game. On the other hand, Walcott was a major disappointment. We cant say Wenger hasnt given him enough opportunities, he just needs to handle these opportunities better.

  13. Rosicky has been playing consistently for the longest period since he came to Arsenal. He was playing before Hleb and Cesc got injured and continued through and after their injuries. (I hope i’m not jinxing him by saying this now) A flu is not an ‘injury’ and while he is usually no match winner, we missed him!

    A RvP.. I really dont know. So far it has been as disappointing for him as it has been for us all. fingers crossed! I’m still optimistic!