2) Arsenal’s failure to hold a lead and vulnerability
It’s not even okay if you put it into context. Lining up in the Champions League with a un-proven 19 year old, make-shift, back-up left back at centre back and two quality players despite one being past it. It’s a recipe for defensive downfall and prone to conceding goals, so it was a fair surprise not to for 60 minutes. Of course when we did concede it was ugly, just like normal. The failure to hold a lead rings a bell. Newcastle 4-4 at St James’ Park? Well surely we would have learnt by now. When playing free-flowing, confident football around a beaten Anderlecht team at 3-0 it’s time to bring on the returning Theo Walcott to inject more pace and kill them off. A tactic completely ignored by Wenger, he waited until we went 1-0 down to start thinking. A dubious offside goal and an embarrassment to the European officials once more, Arsenal let a goal slip but it shouldn’t have been a problem. Now, an idealist would then say to line up two banks of four, leave two up front to counter an attacking Anderlecht, and keep disciplined in positioning. Nope, not this team. Constantly pouring forward in numbers, Ramsey hungry to get on the scoresheet to turn his upside down form around, we were bound to get caught. The lack of discipline was worrying, as were the instructions from Wenger. 2-0 down. A silly penalty conceded by our fourth choice centre-back and calmly slotted away. Open as always and inviting pressure we gave ourselves a nail-biting finale. Target Mertesacker’s pace and inability to get goal-side I’m sure was the plan. And with Rosicky and Podolski shoved on, god knows why when you’re trying to defend a lead, a ball gets knocked into the box on 90 minutes. Mertesacker, getting it all wrong is beaten, as is Szczesny. 3-3 and a woeful defensive display rang boos around the Emirates. It sure showed that we are capable of a beating from any side who knows how to line up against us properly. Predicable.