An unlucky first goal leads to a huge setback for Arsenal

On form, talent and squad strength, there was absolutely no way that anyone could have predicted that Arsenal would have suffered there first home defeat to Watford since 1988, but somehow Arsenal always manage to do this once or twice a season, and almost always when it is in a must-win game.

All our stars were fresh having not played for ten days, but they started off weakly and didn’t even have one shot on goal in the first half, despite Wenger’s assertion earlier this week that his present strikers were better than the Invincibles. Petr Cech admitted that we were the worst team in the first half, although he thought that the first goal after ten minutes was a very lucky deflection. “We had a very bad start,” Cech said.

“We were unlucky with the first goal when it takes a big deflection and it goes in. Obviously it gave a lot of hope and motivation to Watford’s side because this was something that lifted them up. But then I think we didn’t play well at all.

“We were second best in the first half. We made so many bad passes, we lost every challenge, we were simply second best, as I said. In the second half we improved, we had a lot of chances. I thought we were brilliant second half, but obviously we only scored one goal.

“We had chances but the keeper made some very good saves, we hit the bar and we could say we were unlucky in that way. But for the first-half performance, we actually didn’t deserve a little bit of luck.

“I always say that at this level you cannot play 80 minutes, or 85. You have to play 90 minutes with full concentration and everybody on top of their game.

“It was too much for us to take in the first half and it’s very hard to say why because we were prepared, we were on back-to-back wins, important wins, we had the momentum after the Burnley game and obviously the Southampton game went completely our way, exactly the way we wanted.

“This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win and we wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend.”

“Huge setback” doesn’t really cover the depth of despair this result has given to Arsenal fans. Even if we somehow beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge we will still be six points behind them, but if we lose, which seems 100 times more likely, we will have an unsurmountable 12 point gap on the leaders.

It looks like a tough fight for Fourth Place this time around…



  1. JAmerican says:

    Cech has his moments but Chelsea honestly had the best of him. No saves from the penalty spot and always beaten at his near post.

    I’m baffled how Columbia’s #1 goalie could be content to only feature in cup matches at his age.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but generally shots from outside the box can beat every keeper once it’s inside the post and it has pace on it. Yes Cech is not the keeper he was at Che, sure we knew that when we were signing him, they wouldn’t have sold him otherwise. He’s still a damn fine keeper with tremendous experience, I’d liken it to how Seaman wasn’t the same keeper in his later years, but still a damn fine keeper none the less. Ospina is an excellent shot stopper, with agility to burn. He just doesn’t have the intelligence I’m afraid, nor the nerve for dealing with crossing, and in this league, that’s a pretty large handicap.

  2. Onochie says:

    You are right about Cech, but the truth is that we have had so many poor games already this season which shows that something is wrong. I think that Wenger can’t even motivate his players anymore,that’s the reason why we would be so poor at home. It seems like the team and management haven’t learnt anything since last year. Maybe Wenger and his team should step down at the end of the season.

  3. Jansen says:

    Well the result against Watford, in reality, didn’t change much. Most of us knew that we are not in the PL race. We have not won 3 games in a row since a long time ago.

    We are fighting for 4th and luckily Liverpool and Spurs only grabbed 1 point. We still have a chance to finish in the top 4, although I would not put a wager on it this season. It is going to be close for the nr 2-6 teams. I would be surprised if there is more than 2 points between 4th and 5th.

  4. dboy says:

    Let this be the last season please???? Can someone please save us from this delusion that is destroying the once mighty Gunners. May AW please do the honourable thing and resign.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    The fans seem to have the same attitude that the team has when we face the lowly teams. Everyone but a few believed this was a mere formality. I’m gonna be honest here, I started to get more concerned about this game when Arsene compared our current strike options more favorably than the Invincibles. These players don’t need their ego stroked like that, because it’s just not true. I don’t think I need to point out how the Invincible strikers would have approached last nights game.

    I’ve been saying for ages put Alexis back in the middle, but because Giroud was scoring it didn’t happen. Alexis is not only our best striker, but he does Ozils defensive work while there, he should never have been taken from the middle until proven that we needed an aerial threat.

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