Well lovely Arsenal people. It’s the last minute of the first half and Xhaka gets a yellow. I’m thinking oh my god, not again, please no, both Xhaka and Partey on a booking. Then in the second half Martinelli, out of all people, gets a ridiculous red card.
Can the ref pull this one back? Sure he can, but is Gabi M stupid? You cannot deny that. First of all, why are you pushing him on the throw in? Whenever you put your arms out, you are asking for it, then you make another foul? Ultimately it didn’t cost us, but, just think about it, we’ve gotten 4 red cards in 2022 alone, and it’s February. I guess that special “no more red” kit really irritated our players. The manager even said in a press conference and we still got a player sent off.
I’m just worried about our discipline. With 15 red cards under Arteta I can’t just ignore him. For me those red cards are a result of a team that is not comfortable in controlling the game, as well as a manager setting a bad example. Xhaka cost us in multiple games, yet the manager supports him and allows him to get away with it. What is the example for the youngsters set here?
The points are absolutely massive. Man Utd drawing Burnley and Spurs losing to Southampton meant we just had to win, and somehow we did it as Gabriel pounced on a Laca touch just before their diving keeper from a corner.
But concerns for me remain. Laca missing a 1:1 with their keeper, seriously? We don’t have a striker – period. Imagine if we had someone who could’ve put that in and it’s 2-0. I’m hearing calls for Pepe to be played up front and I feel sorry for him. Arteta doesn’t give him many chances but those red cards are making it even worse.
We’ve scored two goals in 2022. Goals win games and I’m not sure Laca is cutting it. I don’t trust Eddie and the other options are experimenting with Gabi M or Pepe up front. Hopefully we learn something from the Auba situation and don’t offer him a contract.
The Gamble of Edu and Arteta not signing anyone, is hanging on a knife’s edge. It’s just hard to believe we couldn’t find an upgrade on Laca. And it’s not just today. Remember the miss against Liverpool or Burnley? Sadly the last number 9 who actually scored goals for us regularly was Anelka about 20 years ago.
it’s obvious that a champions league spot would probably allow us to sign a better striker, and I’d be amazed if we don’t sign at least 2 with the way both our strikers will leave in the summer. But I’d just like to boost our chances, when none of the other top 4 contending teams is particularly stable in their form.
Remember that games in hand are not points and those fixtures are Spurs, Chelsea and Wolves again, not the easiest of matches. The goal is top 4 for me. There’s no cups, no Europe, no excuses. We play again in 9 days. No excuses for not picking up the points.