As we all know Arsenal are making a habit of taking some some games for granted and thinking they just have to turn up to win the game. They did that against Bournemouth and had to go three goals down before they decided to take the game seriously. But they obviously didn’t learn from that as they did exactly the same thing against the mid-table Championship side Preston North End yesterday.
They allowed Preston to completely dominate the first half, and Aaron Ramsey, who finally got the opening goal for Arsenal early in the second half, says that the Gunners were “surprised” by Preston’s play. “I’ve played in the Championship and I know how difficult every game is.” the Welsman said. “They proved that in the first half and it took us by surprise. The level of commitment and effort, we didn’t match that. Second half we needed to have a different attitude out there and I think we showed that. Obviously it was nice to score, to get on the scoresheet finally. That gave us a bit of momentum to go forward and win the game from then on.”
So I have to ask why they were surprised by Preston; why didn’t we put in the effort; why did we need to change our attitude in the second half? Did they just expect Preston to roll over and let Arsenal score as many as they wanted? This is what annoys me about watching Arsenal!
In his summary, Ramsey pointed out the obvious, which is what we seem to hear after every single game lately. He said: “We definitely need to start the games better to give ourselves a bit of an easier job to do. We’ve shown good character to come back from losing positions but it’d be nice now if we could turn that around and start off by leading the game.”
Aaron, it does NOT show good character when you don’t start playing until half-time. It is quite the opposite! It shows complacency, overconfidence, no respect for your opponents, and a bad attitude from the team.
Is it the players fault for being too cocky, or does Arsene Wenger not drill the players enough to make them start playing from the opening whistle? Can they not play with passion and intensity for the full 90 minutes? This needs fixing, and quickly.