Report: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

192

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Szczesny, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott

Arsenal were held to a scoreless draw against Sunderland at the Emirates this evening as the visitors got the point they needed to ensure Premier League survival.

Arsene Wenger made two changes from the team that drew with Man Utd, bringing back Kieran Gibbs in place of Nacho Monreal and Jack Wilshere for £40m January signing Francis Coquelin. The England man began the game on the right hand side, at the expense of Theo Walcott who once more began on the bench.

There was early from the visitors when Ospina had to come out smartly to clear a long ball that almost found Danny Graham through on goal, while at the other end a low Hector Bellerin cross was hacked away by Coates.

Wilshere had a sight of goal in the 14th minute after a fine Alexis pass but saw his hesitant effort snuffed out by Pantilimon and, not to be outdone, Ospina smothered the ball as Jermaine Defoe got in behind the Arsenal defence moments later.

Aaron Ramsey picked up a 19th minute yellow card for a foul on Seb Larsson, and Wilshere was involved again when a nice move between Ozil and Ramsey saw the Welshman set him up, but his volley from the edge of the box flew over the bar.

Ozil set up Alexis for a volley which was cleared to Santi Cazorla, but his low shot was left Pantilimon with a routine save. Kieran Gibbs was next to have a pop but once more it was wayward, and when Wilshere set up Ozil with a nice ball over the top the German should have done better than smack it over the bar.

Arsenal’s number 10 was in full creative mode, next time creating a chance for Giroud but under pressure, on the turn and on the volley, his shot drifted wide of the far post. Ozil cracked another one over the bar with his left foot, Alexis shot straight at the keeper, and despite Sunderland’s stubborn resistance the Gunners lacked the imagination to break them down so the teams went in level at the break.

Sunderland made two changes at the break with Rodwell and Fletcher coming on for Wickham and Graham, and the subs made an almost immediate impact when the Scotsman found himself through on goal but Ospina stood tall to make the save. The Arsenal keeper then had to save easily enough from van Arnholt but the Sunderland player’s attempt lacked any real conviction.

At the other end Giroud’s fine flicked attempt from a Bellerin cross drew a good save from Pantilimon before Ramsey curled an effort wide. A Gibbs header also tested the Sunderland stopper as Arsenal looked to crank up the pressure and the game became more open.

When a fine Arsenal move broke down when an Alexis shot was blocked, Sunderland had a great chance to take the lead when Fletcher was sent through one on one. He tried to chip Ospina, it was probably going wide anyway, but the Colombian’s fingertips made sure.

The majority of the game was being played in enemy territory, prompting Arsene Wenger to make his first change as Theo Walcott replaced Wilshere in the 67th minute. Moments later the visitors had probably the best chance of the game. Sunderland worked it down the left, van Arnholt’s shot ended up as a cross for Fletcher and he poked it high and wide from close range.

Ramsey found the substitute with a brilliant pass in the 72nd minute but with the keeper onrushing he could only clip the ball back inside, and there was a stroke of luck for Sunderland when the ball rebounded off Jones and cannoned back off the bar.

As Arsenal continued to play the ball across the Sunderland penalty area, the manager made another change sending on Rosicky for Ozil and the Czech international fashioned a half-chance with Walcott but his left-footed shot went wide.

Pantilimon fumbled a Walcott shot but the defence scrambled it clear before Giroud could follow up, Ramsey saw a shot well saved, and Walcott made space but again saw his shot stopped as the game entered the final minutes.

Arsenal huffed and puffed but just couldn’t find a way through. The draw rules out any chance of second place, and means Arsene Wenger has got to make sure his team get something from the game against West Brom to be absolutely sure of third place.

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D

Feels like a loss

Third Plebeian

After watching Swansea and Sunderland, Tactics Tim has the game plan pretty much written for the FA Cup final. Worried we can’t break down stubborn teams.

Cygan's Magical Left Foot

When you don’t have top striker, it is easy to play against this way. Beside, top four secured that is what the club and manager aiming for CL money. I have said it for the last 5 years, under Arsene Arsenal would never win the league, he qualify for top four with minimum energy why should he push for the league and stress himself. The Yanks happy with the money, the CEO is a puppet who is to question him? 8 million in the bank all happy :). Two more years of this and hopefully we would finish top or… Read more »

CountLeaf

except we’ll be third and might win second trophy in two years.

santori

What is top striker?

Press keeps harping on about this.

I’m sure they felt United made the correct decision as oppose to us when they loaded up with Radamel Falcao. He is ‘World Class”.

Trez

Falcao stats in his previous seasons are stats that giroud wishes he had. He had a bad season true, but he has been world class in his last 4 seasons. I find it laughable you put giroud and falcao in the same bracket. Giroud has done nothing to prove he is world class, falcao has done so for 4 seasons.

Fireman Sam

It’s a valid question. There are clear megastars like Messi etc but beyond that elite “world class” is a pretty fluid concept.

Rather than searching for players that are “better” than Giroud or Welbeck, I’d be looking for attacking players that just bring something different.

Olly has strength and intelligence but isn’t the fastest, Welbz has pace and energy but lacks final product.

To challenge for the big cups next season I don’t think we have enough variety up front, unless maybe Walcott wins back the manager’s trust and regains his old form.

Cygan's Magical Left Foot

If you think our stiker/s top class and we can’t do better, I give up.

Chelsea have a better striker.
ManC have a better striker.
ManU have a better striker.
Liverpool have a better striker (given when fit)
Spuds have a better striker.
Southhampton and Westham the only team that I would say have one equal to ours, big, slow and act as a wall.
should I go down the league and mention Vila?

David Hillier Handled My Luggage

Yeah, 8th will be much better. Most fans in the prem would love to begin our position, achieving at least what we ought to be and possibly a bit more, considering resources etc. Still, some Goonere have got bored of repetitiveness of finishing in the top 4 each year with a secure future for our club…and without the pantomime of changing manager every 2 or 3 years, so much so that some would actually risk finishing 8th just to break the monotony. Wenger’s not perfect but he has given so much to our club, given us a true footballing identity… Read more »

Mootilated

While I like Giroud and feel he brings a lot to the side, it is evident that we need another striker who can really finish when we need him to. The past 2-3 games were calling for a world-class striker to slot some of the chances home. Ozil has created so many chances from open play yet every time we fluff our lines. We need a forward similar to Tevez or Aguero. Clinical and fast.

David Hillier Handled My Luggage

Whilst I agree that we could do with a more clinical striker…… let’s not forget that this year Giroud was banging them in for fun until a few weeks ago….. he’s gone from villain to hero and back to villain again in the space of 5 months. Football fans eh….

La Défense

I liked Ospina tonight!

Third Plebeian

I’m really glad Ospina played well. He didn’t have to do much, but when called upon, he pulled off a couple of great saves. We could easily have lost that game but for him.

Third Plebeian

The other thing that’s worrying is that it’s not inconceivable at all for us to pull an Arsenal and finish fourth. West Brom can score goals against the best of them, and I expect United to destroy Hull (who must now actually attack United). A 0-3 loss for us and a big win for United, and we’re playing that dreaded qualifier.

Strevs

Ridiculous statement. Arsenal will definitely finish 3rd.
We aren’t likely to lose 0-3 to westbrom (I know they beat chelsea like that, but we won’t). And Hull are fighting for their lives, can’t see them getting spanked by 0-4 by united.

Third Plebeian

Look, Strevs, I know it’s highly unlikely. I’m just saying it’s “not inconceivable,” you know, just how it’s “not inconceivable” that WBA could beat Chelsea 3-0.

I say this in the spirit of frustration that we couldn’t have just played the last game of the season without any ‘ifs’ lurking in the background.

In reality, I’m quite certain we’ll at least draw with WBA.

wash_dc_gunner

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

prvhc

It’s Sunderland’s fault,they didn’t come to play football.We have a title winning team.Buying is not the only solution….Blah….Blah….Blah
Rinse Repeat.I thought injuries were the root of all our problems,though recently It’s been Theo Walcott.

Andy Mack

WTF?

prvhc

We started pretty much the same team for seven consecutive games,which include 3 draws and a loss.All the while certain players have looked visibly jaded,but not rotated.Then we blame bad luck if they get injured.Three separate teams used the same(expected)tactics and we couldn’t score against them at home.A player who offers something that no one in the squad can has been frozen out because we didn’t know how to handle him.
Are you getting my drift?

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

I follow and you make a decent point. A lot of backtracking needed here to resolve the Theo issue, but I’d love to keep him. We don’t really play a style well suited for him, same with Poldi, but clearly had a role today. I wish we did rotate the squad more; we’d definitely better understand what we have, even with our top players. Sanchez and Cazorla on there highs looked much different to there current states. Let’s be honest, only 2 subs, one after 80min, hardly makes sense when there are 4 or 5 that are completely out of… Read more »

Fireman Sam

I’ve given up expecting anything from Wengers substitutions. 80th minute subs are a waste of time and somehow a bit insulting to the player coming on.

Runcorn Gooner

AW should have rested Sanchez..He has been awful for the last few games
absolutely nothing has worked for him.

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

He did put in a shift today, but I can’t argue. I would’ve been fine if he came on late, but just the need to show Walcott, who did a quality job, and other squad players that they have a role. Rest and more ready resources off the bench, I can’t stand Wenger subbing only 2 in when Caz, Ozil, Sanchez, and Giroud were all clearly gassed anyways.

gunnanerama

I concur. Love him but he lost the ball so many times today. He has become somewhat predictable. Needs rest…

Stuart Steele (@Stuart_Ten)

No, a loss would feel a LOT worse. Disappointing not to have scored again, but a point effectively gives us 3rd. Chill.

Unnecessarilystupid

the drama in this comments section is weird.

Stuart Steele (@Stuart_ten)

Drama queen Central.

Unnecessarilystupid

we’re a more changeable group than iron maiden.

Third Plebeian

Where’s the drama? Most of what I’m reading is a pretty understandable frustration, but there’s very little over-the-top rants. You really see a lot of drama here?

4rs3n4l

Try feeling that on my timezone.
It’s 5am now in Malaysia.

xxxrob

Woke up @435am in Australia to watch that shite..

And now I’m dying at my desk.

Xxxrob

http://youtu.be/IGiQOCX9UbM

Game felt like this to me

Alexisshorts

It’s not so much tonight’s result. We know a draw all but guarantees us 3rd spot. But it’s our mediocre form that bothers me. The team has looked sluggish and there are no tactical solutions to beating the teams that set out to stifle us. No width. All that passing round the edge of the box. Same old, same old………

dk

This is exactly what I feel. When teams set up like this against us we really struggle. There isn’t a concerted effort to open up play and attack from wide despite the fact that this is where our best opportunities are created. Bellerin comes to mind for a good few opportunities last night. Even Gibbs set up a couple of good opportunities. Despite this we insisted on trying to charge down the front door. It’s no use having 50 attempts that amount to nothing.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Need to start scoring again, preferably before FA Cup final.

Remember the invincibles

Arsene says ‘we can smell goals’. It’s just crying out shame that we can’t fucking score em.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Giro if needs proper competition for his place. He had a rubbish match and we don’t have an alternative.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Welbeck (when healthy)?

PodB

we r saving goals up to smash Villa 6-1 … Alexis hat-trick, Giroud, Ozil, Bellerin … Kos (own goal).

andre santos

utter rubbish !

CB

Too many left foot only players – Wilshere, Giroud and Ozil to an extent.

Crash Fistfight

Getting into a rich vein of form just in time for the cup final 🙁

shitbird

Didn’t Aston Villa just lose 6-1 or something?

CB

Well done Sunderland, though very boring match. Liked Theo, 300th match, hope he stays.
3rd place 99% there.

Edu's Braces

Yes but why not 100 percent? I hate to be so negative but have they ever given us a match off? There is such a worrying compulsion to make life difficult and it really pisses me off because what hope is there if say the league is at stake?

Third Plebeian

Well, the one positive result from today is that there’s a chance now that Newcastle could go down. How I would love to watch Ashley’s self-destruct plan come to fruition.

DialSquareGoon

Designed by Swansea, perfected by Sunderland, and Aston Villa have all they need to win the FA cup final, or at least take it to penalties. Watch West Brom play us the exact same way.

Ger

We have been toothless upfront. If we don’t buy a good striker, we will never win the PL with Giroud as our main striker.

Remember the invincibles

He didn’t do shit, and can we start playing with some wingers again?

Third Plebeian

Actually, he do some shit, which, as far as I could tell, was barge into players and fall down a lot.

Az Ahmed

He’s world class though so we don’t need another striker

Third Plebeian

Well, in Giroud’s defence, Balotelli and Falcao were considered world class at the start of this season, with many Gooners apoplectic we didn’t sign the latter especially.

Az Ahmed

He’s a certain type of striker. We need another type – one who can make clever runs in and around the box, who can play off the shoulder of defences. Giroud is a bit one dimensional, but good at what he does, however ineffective against defences which park the bus

Ex-Priest Tobin

Finally people are thumbing up these observations on Giroud. I’ve been saying it all along and have lost track of the number of thumbs down I have got.

Maniac

Every time Bellerin puts yet another quality ball into the box Giroud is nowhere to be seen. He just doesn’t seem able to get across defenders or even attempt to stick his foot out as the ball whizzes across. Won just 1 aerial duel during the entire match as well. Unfortunately no competition for places makes for lazy players.

Clock-End Mike

Well, actually there is competition for Giroud, but Welbeck is injured unfortunately.

Richie

If Welbeck is Giroud’s competition then we are in big trouble.. 4 league goals.. Giroud must be quaking in his boots

Rozza the samourai

Welbeck and Giroud will compete for frustrating fans, I guess. Giroud is even better in front of goal.

Jagger

Name one clear cut chance that Giroud missed that this so called world class striker would have finished. I cannot recall any. Outside of Messi, Suarez and Aguero there are no other strikers who make their own opportunities.

Clear cut chances were not created, let alone missed, so today was a collective failing of the attacking side. This means the 5 players in midfield and the lone fucker who is the only one in the box when a cross comes in.

Third Plebeian

Yeah, I think that’s also part of the point. He’s not even in positions to get a clear chance, not even headers. To take one example, early in the first half, Bellerin whipped in a juicy cross, for which Giroud was a yard away from. Either he wasn’t fast enough to get there, or he only saw it late and it’s a positional thing. Either way, he hasn’t been very effective for six games now, and it’s a worry.

Third Plebeian

And please understand, I say that in the spirit of WANTING him to better, to score, etc. We need him back. Big time.

Flashmob

Yes, there are not too many strikers out there like them. The problem is: The few number of clubs that have them in their team are the clubs we should overtake to win the EPL or the CL

KingKolo

Waaaaay too harsh on Giroud. The problem with that match was playing 4 players in midfield pretty much doing the same thing as each other over and over again. Plus a knackered and out of form Sanchez.

Third Plebeian

Plus Cazorla is broken.

TTT

buy a great right winger
a mediocre one (Walcott) showed us what we were missing
a great one would have won this one for us

Fin

Bollicks, Walcott did extremely well after coming on, looked our most dangerous player. Giroud was extremely poor tonight as was Sanchez both are having a serious slump.

Remember the invincibles

Sanchez and Ozil need a dropping

TTT

why Ozil?

Remember the invincibles

Also, Cazorla had the most touches without creating anything meaningful. When was the last time he scored from open play? Fuck it…they’re all under performing again. We won’t win the league next year. 4th place trophy for sure though

TTT

extremely well i think should mean scored for us…

TruthHurts

Walcott was unlucky mate, at least he made some chances. Personally Giroud was awful. As our main striker, he should be shooting asap first chance he gets, not looking for a one-two inside the penalty box ffs! We need a Costa/Suarez quality striker.

Rozza the samourai

Costa is below Suarez level though. This week, people were discussing how Fabregas won’t be able to match Henry’s assist record in the PL. Best scorer with the highest number of assists and we used to have that. So you know what we need.

TruthHurts

I definitely know what we need and we certainly dont have it atm. Lacazette is as close to Henry as we will get, even in terms of looks, sorry Giroud – back to modelling.

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

I’d agree with you, but today showed we still need someone with grit to help us in these situations. Not to say Henry lacked it, but there are qualities I’d look for first to help an already very balanced passing team.

Third Plebeian

Walcott actually gave us some spark when he came on and made a couple of great chances for himself.

If he was ‘mediocre’ tonight, I shudder to think what your opinion is of the other attacking players who played tonight.

TTT

he is a mediocre player but he is a winger dropping behind the defense’s line with good movement
a great winger would have scored in one of his chances

neutral

He made a chance that Rosicky should have scored, and at least he tested the keeper. That said Giroud had one great flicked effort, panti was on form tonight and stopped everything. Frustrating but typical against a team fighting to secure survival

AFC

That was all just a bit…Swansea-like

Ex-Priest Tobin

Ozil was bought to give us a cutting edge in games like these. He isn’t doing it. Whether it’s his fault or those in front of him, I don’t know. But it’s not good enough.

John C

Some movement would help

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

We know who he is after two seasons, so quit pretending we don’t. Does he provide an ability to find the unseen pass? Of he gets movement. Does he control the follow of possession? No. Will he contribute to our final 3rd passing? Most definitely. Here’s his story today: he’s been overplayed, but most others have as well, limiting their movement in the final 3rd due to fatigue. Add to that 9 men in the Sunderland box and we have a pretty diminished offense.

UlsterGooner

Or it is the 9 men parked behind the ball.

Maniac

With the FA cup just 10 days away I cannot say I’m filled with much confidence. Third completely unconvincing performance in a row and essentially no goals scored either. Really struggling to create any meaningful chances and the only way I can describe watching Arsenal play at the moment is frustrating. Let’s rest a few more players on the weekend so hopefully they can get their heads straight when the 30th comes around.

TruthHurts

Boy do I hate anti-football. But you gotta do what you gotta do I guess…

Third Plebeian

Yup, and we gotta do what we gotta do, which we can’t do, apparently. Nothing clinical about this Arsenal team right now.

Cracked

Am I the only one who thought we played well? Doff of the hat to Sunderland they fought well

Third Plebeian

I think you are. I lost count of how many passes were overhit, how many shots went ballooning over the bar, how many times Ramsey slipped, how many times Giroud fell into another player, Cazorla passed to thin air, etc.

A very poor game.

Zenithreptile

What a waste of an evening

Third Plebeian

Not really. I got another chance to practice self-restraint around my furniture. I’m getting better.

broken coffee table

fucking finally!!

Coq Au Vin

Wish I stayed home as well. At least could of had a nice dinner.

Mate Kiddleton

We really need to work out how to break stubborn teams down

Danish_goon

Fuck! We Need goals. Walcott to start and Sanchez to get a freakin’ rest!

And why on earth hasn’t rosicky played for 3 months???

tampagunner

I would of liked to see Tomas get more than 10 mins. Would love to know what is going on in AW’s head.

Heroldgoon

How!

LKoscielny6

Well that wasn’t frustrating at all

A Yank

So 5 goals in our last 7 games. One was the OG against United. Three of the remaining 4 were against Hull. I mean it’s not like we didn’t play Hull, but if you take that game out, it’s 1 goal WE scored since back to the match against Burnley.

Lord, that is terrible.

2 bullets in the chamber

Think everyone is overreacting. We didn’t play badly. It’s hard to score when the other team doesn’t want to play. Sunderland needed a draw to avoid relegation. They were defending for their lives. Look at the bright side…Walcott looks like he’s getting his mojo back

Third Plebeian

Well, when you get 30 shots, you expect to score, no matter how stubborn the opposition. The focus has been really poor of late.

Brent

The reaction has less to do with the fact that it happened in this game than how bad the scoring has been since the Liverpool game.

Third Plebeian

That’s absolutely right. The frustration really derives from the context, and that we’re bringing this toothless form into an FA Cup final.

2 bullets in the chamber

Didn’t we destroy Hull away. After that we have only faced teams parking the bus (chelsea swansea sunderland) other than united in which we did score. Maybe the unbeaten run raised or expectations, but these are the closing stages of season where were unlucky enough face teams like Swansea and Sunderland who are fighting for important spots on the table.

Brent

Since Liverpool – Burnley, Reading, Chelsea, Hull, Swansea, ManU, Sunderland. Yes, one excellent half against Hull, but the other performances in the other six? Concerns abound.

2 bullets in the chamber

There’s a reason why parking even exists as a tactic. If it was easy to break down then no one would use it. Its purpose is to be hard to break down. Its good for one thing and one thing only, to avoid conceding. All teams struggle against it(yes even Chelsea). All it takes is a bit of luck to find the breakthrough and that’s when teams like Sunderland today won’t have a plan B and get demolished and that’s the drawback. Managers know this and you could see it on the Sunderland managers face all game. It was a… Read more »

DanJGooner

Well if we play like that in the cup final villa and specificially Benteke will destroy us. Coquelin was missed in an attacking sense today as no one was sure when to attack and when to stay back. Mess.

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

It didn’t seem like anyone looked to defend, though that says more about Sunderland than us really

Dick Law

congrats to sunderland….they deserve a point and the only reason we got 1 point was because sunderland just came to defend…it’s time we stop laughing at chelsea…especially when we have lost to swansea (team with most points per dollar) twice…we will never win league/champions league with such football..at least chalsea’s ‘boring’ football wins them European cups and league..

Crash Fistfight

Not just because Sunderland came to defend – they probably had the 2 best chances in the game and messed them up.

oluwapunkey

it is easier for a camel to enter into the hole of a needle than for arsenal to break into an 11 parked bus.

Third Plebeian

Yes, I think ‘hole’ approximates the poetry of that verse. Definitely.

Dan

Watch James and Andrew somehow find a way to blame Ospina for not scoring….Just like the game against Swansea up there we are not doing anything worth of scoring and yet nobody is sating that. 3 games 2 of those at home and we only have 1 goal to show for. James, Andrew our keeper is not the problem in those 3 games had the forwards scored then we would’ve won the game.

Third Plebeian

Why does it have to be either or? Surely it’s possible to say that we need an upgrade in the goalkeeping department AND another attacking player?

Ospina did well for us tonight, but he was iffy for Swansea and United, and I don’t know many people who think he’s the answer. A great back-up, perhaps, but I expect more from an Arsenal goalkeeper…and from our forwards!

Arsenalman29

3 slightly worrying performances, with the Fa cup final so close. Players need to start geling together again, up the pace of their game, everything is so slow and so predictable. And we are always at risk on the counter attack! Hope we improve a lot for the final. 3rd place, and retaining the cup, is an improvement. Lets do it.

Arsenalman29

And Bellerin was man of the match for me. Brilliant crossing, quality player.

gunnerdk

Wenger likes to talk about balance but where is it? Awful attacking display.

Pls tell me how we have progressed this season? Last season we ended up with 79 points. This season we can get a maximum of 75 points. Thats not progression people.

Different results but same old arsenal.

Arsenalman29

We have progressed in the fact that we are going to finish a position above that we finished last season. Points tally means nothing if you win the league on 82 points but finished 2nd the year before on 84 points would that matter?

Secondly, we have progressed in the fact that we actually won games at Old Trafford and Citys ground. And we have a chance of retaining the cup. Hope this makes you understand our progression this season so far.

Third Plebeian

Spot on, Arsenalman. However, 3rd isn’t quite assured yet. Unlikely we’ll lose it, but still…

Xxxrob

Can’t fucking stand these games when there’s 8-10 opposition players in their 18 yard box. Absolutely infuriating to watch. I know a point isn’t the worst result for us but I just had a feeling that we’d make things hard for ourselves.

They’d better figure out how to overcome the park the bus/counterattack strategy, I’m sure we’re gonna see it in the FA Cup final and Villa have some players scarier than Fletcher/Defoe

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

So, penalties after 120 boring minutes? I know who I’d choose…

1. Arteta (yep, bring him on in the 119th minute)

2. Wilshere (cockiness helps)

3. Ramsey (assuming #1 and #2 score, he’ll bury his)

4. Cazorla (maybe should go first, but recent dip in form worrying)

5. Koscielny (the boss)

Hi-brid

Stereotypical Arsenal. Side to side passing for 90 minutes. No cutting edge. Could have lost. Well played Ospina and Walcott. Rosicky should have been given 30 minutes, not 10.

Heroldgoon

Walcott and Rosicky proving Wenger has been getting it wrong this past few weeks. They were hungrier than most.

Brent

335 straight minutes (plus stoppage time) since Arsenal last scored a goal (own goals from ManU don’t count). 3 straight home games without a goal, with a Tony Pulis team coming up next. Why do you keep a clearly exhausted Alexis starting and playing 90 full minutes?! I’m not going to claim to know what Arsenal should do as I’m not that bright, but whatever they’re doing in training is definitely wrong. Benteke is a better finisher than Fletcher and I think we all know what will happen if Arsenal can’t remember how to score a goal in 10 days.

Dan

Exactly Brent, but yet our keeper is the “problem”. coming into this game the team knew what Sunderland was about to do (who blames them?) but yet we still practice same tactics we used against Chelsea, Swansea, Sunderland. what was the purposed of playing drained players if a change of tactics was not going to be used? how about just resting the players?

John C

As long as Wenger still has favorites we’ll never win the league again.

Wilshere is not and will never be a right winger. Aaron Ramsey showed why he can’t be trusted in central midfield, being caught time after time on the wrong side of the ball. We could have easily lost that game 4-0!

Unnecessarilystupid

Well yes. See as we’re abandoning all rationality though, it could also be suggested that we could easily have won it 15-4.

John C

Not really, they had 4 clear cut chances, we didn’t have 14, in fact I’m not sure we had any like there’s

Kellyboy

Poor attacking display tonight, some may mention the parking of the bus, but we need to learn how to combat that, literally no movement off the ball until theo came on, I like giroud but a target man wasn’t needed tonight, we needed some one to drag sunderlands defence around, maybe theo up top would have been a better option?

Bosscielny

This is happening way too often.

BrooklynGooner

Maybe I’m reading the table wrong, but even if we were to lose against West Brom and United win, wouldn’t they still have to make up +7 goal difference to nick 3rd from us?

Ferngunner

Where have you been? Oh right you are from Brooklyn. We have finish 3rd.

The only way Manu can score 7 is with Giggs wife

Fatgooner

Wrong! Hull are shit: we should have scored seven when we played them a few weeks ago. And with them having to win, United will get plenty of chances on the break. six-nil to United combined with a 2-0 defeat for us against WBA would leave us fourth. THIS IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE!

Clock-End Mike

Let’s see: West Brom beat Chelsea 3-0 last time out. If they can do the same to us, United would have to beat Hull 5-0 or 6-2 to nick 3rd place. It’s not quite impossible.

United need to overtake our goal difference unless they score 5 more goals to catch up our total of goals scored. I’m not sure what happens if teams are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored.

Clock-End Mike

Gosh, for once I find myself echoing Fatgooner! Good man…

Ferngunner

As weezy would say

“motherfucker goddamn!”

Alexstratz

At this point I don’t think the problem is a goal scorer but rather our inability to break down an ultra defensive tactic.

Clock-End Mike

I don’t know — 28 shots, 8 on target, isn’t a very good percentage…

Kellyboy

I’d like to politely disagree, I think we need an additional different option to giroud, who is great static with his back to a CB when we need to hold the ball up, but tonight we needed clever movement and runs which isn’t his strong point, which I think theo showed when he came on all be it out on the right.

Az Ahmed

Rubbish. A good striker with clever movement would be invaluable in situations like this where the defence is a 10 man wall. Also attacking midfielders who can make late surging runs to get on the end of wingers and wing backs overlapping runs to the byline drilling crosses. (So why the hell didn’t Rosicky and Walcott start?) United did it on countless occasions. See Gary Nevilles analysis of the Liverpool Chelsea game last year on how to break down parked bus defences. City did it against QPR couple years back to win the title. We need to be more practical… Read more »

Joakim

Frustrating as it is i think Arsenal is the only team in Europe who can manage somewhat 30+ attempts and play the entire game in the opponents penalty box without scoring or even come close to it..

Arsenalman29

I know what Arsenal are doing! It just came to me, we are saving all the goals for the FA cup final 🙂

Dan

hahaha I hope that’s the case!

Glocken

The fault in this game is totally the managers. A totally idiotic and stupidly self indulgent decision to start Wilshire, Ramsey, Ozil and Carzola in the same team. When has this EVER worked? NEVER. Walcott and Rosicky should have started and were by far our most dangerous players when they came on. It’s no good moaning about the opposition not playing, we know what teams are going to do and yet we still play small slow players and start slowly, it’s baffling and for it to happen three times in ten days reeks of bad management and tactics. Wenger has… Read more »

Flashmob

Agreed…
I think until we are playing with 4-5 midfielders in the team – we will always be drowning in this North London Tiki-Taka fetish. There is only one thing the opponent has to do: Park the Bus.
As the season coming to an end – we slowly became absolutely predictable.
Even if I understand it to some extent (limited number of wingers/strikers at the moment) we will have to be able to change.
And please (Santi, Özil, Alexis…)….. Shoot from the 18 yard line!!!

Unnecessarilystupid

pretty sure they all had a pop or two from the 18 yard box tonight.

it did work too well.

Flashmob

1 or two – yes. But how many times did they try to play quick/short passes? 5-10 each? And how did it work today? And how did it work against Swansea?

Unnecessarilystupid

Considering the amount of chances created, it didn’t work out too bad.

I would suggest our finishing has abandoned us somewhat at the moment, not our build-up play.

Flashmob

But we can’t win matches with “chances created”…
Not to mention that most of those chances were far from the so called – clear cut chances. I think we should have to have a bunch of clear chances to say that it was “finishing – that – has abandoned us somewhat”….

ENJ

Disappointed theo didn’t start. Playing two wrong footed wingers is like suicide, especially when one is actually a CM. Rozza did well, maybe earn’t himself a start. Who am I kidding rosicky never starts 🙁

Alex

Why these bullshit comparisons to Chelsea? Their squad is ridiculous and if you don’t see it you’re delusional:

Costa – better than Giroud
Hazard – player of the year (better than everyone?)
Fabregas – has outperformed Ozil statistically
Terry – like the goddam Terminator
Courtois – top 3 PL goalkeeper

Where is the weakness in their starting 11?

We will show an improvement this season and Wenger will put a good summer together and we will be better again next year.

Le_Dooner

You’ve also forgotten that as much as we loathe him, they have a much better manager.

Simonetta

It’s been quite easy for Fabregas to overperform Özil in statistic, since Fabregas has played some 15 or 20 games more than Özil. And for what concerns Hazard, well, the Uefa jury has put hima as the same place as Özil as best European CAM. For the remaining questions: our best elements look tired and unfocused.Wenger should have rested Alexis and Özil at least since two or three games ago.

Stevo

Poor yet again by us. Sunderland did what they had to do, Fair play to em. What has happened to santi?? Ozil? Don’t get me started!!! Not having him AT ALL.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

Not enough urgency and not enough width.

Until we learn to break down teams that come to defend with two compact banks of for or five, we will never win the league.

palace gunner

How and why do arsenal fc play dominate the goal area attack with all that and the ball won’t hit the back of the net. A draw watch for stats certain players looked tired truth 3rd spot coyg

Paul washika

only thing positive was Walcott. he just showed how important he is, giroud should not play in the final, better welbeck, Sanchez and Walcott front three.

Heavy Pony

Meh. End of season fare. Our boys look tired. Mentally and physically. Make some changes Sunday, give Theo a run, Danny if fit. S’all good. 3rd place pretty much sown up. FA cup final to come, no need to overreact.

Paul

What happened to the “Jack” that keeps the ball too long, runs into people and falls over (my words in the past)….fair play Jack keep it up PLEASE!

David

Inb4 rating for Ospina: 5/10, didnt scored a goal.
Walcott: 5/10 didnt run fast enough or something like that

Fatgooner

Another underwhelming performance… we look utterly toothless right now – one goal in four games… we will lose the Cup final if we play like this… Sunderland could have easily won it: luckily Fletcher was shit… Walcott did well when he came on… Gibbs dreadful with no attacking threat… At least we got the point, but now Wenger won’t be able to rest players before the cup final – us losing to WBA and United hitting Hull for six is NOT impossible… Pathetic ending to a season which was looking very good since Christmas… congratulations to a plucky Sunderland –… Read more »

Paul

I thought Gibbs was good!

I AM ARSENAL

Positive reaction: We did everything we could, Sunderland where fighting for their lives while our players don’t really have anything to play for except the FA.cup. We will most likely finish 3rd behind the two oil clubs so we are essentially were we should be. We were very unlucky, had loads of opportunities and we kept trying until the end. Walcott and Wilshere especially continue to make progress after their injuries, WIlshere i thought, like Ramsey kept drifting when asked to play wide, but all his trademark abilities are still there and Bellerin was providing more than enough width. Walcott… Read more »