Miserable 0-0 draw at West Ham leaves Gunners closer to relegation than the title

December 14, 2017

 

 

West Ham United 0 Arsenal 0, more frustration:

 

 

Nineteen points behind before Christmas. After this dismal draw we’re now closer, points-wise, to the relegation zone than we are to the top.

 

If you don't want to concede the title after this, Arsene, I tell you what, I’ll do it for you. 

 

This was yet another game that was there for the taking. We started both halves well - the second in particular - but the arrogance of far too many players who, game after game, just seem to believe all they need to do is turn up to win, once again proved our downfall.

 

Not for the first time there were some strange selection choices from the boss. 

 

Why no Kolasinac, who has proved himself one of the best summer buys in the whole league so far - and a player whose type we have been crying out for for a decade?

 

Why no Lacazette? OK, give Giroud a game after his goal at the weekend, but hey, Arsene, here’s something revolutionary, you can play two strikers on the pitch at the same time, you know.

 

And Monreal centre-half? Please.

 

Jack was a bright spot and looks back to his best - one beautiful move half-way through the first half suggested as much, when he dropped his left shoulder and picked out Alexis with a fantastic piece of skill. Few others on that pitch would have thought of that, let alone been capable of it.

 

In the end we were lucky that Chicharito’s shot against the the bar in the dying seconds did not drop the other side of the goal-line after one of Lauren Koscielny’s lazy balls across the centre of defence which he is all too capable of a few times a season. 

 

I've switched off tonight, before I hear Arsene’s excuses. I can't be doing it. It's Christmas. I want to be happy. Whatever he says, I've heard it before.

 

There are just far too many players in this side who are coasting - too comfortable in the knowledge that they will get another game next week and are still picking up their pay cheque, thank you very much. 

 

It's hard to know quite where we go from here, really. What realistically can we achieve this season? Looking at the quality of the side on paper, then fourth place is a possibility. 

 

City are clearly the best team in the league, but then there's not really that much between the rest. United are boring us all, but look most likely at the moment to finish second, then for me it's two between us, Chelsea the Spuds and Liverpool - all decent enough sides almost equally capable of ballsing things up on their day.

 

However our unpredictability is increasingly making me think we may miss out once again. 

 

Whether you're Wenger in or out, we've got him at the helm for another year-and-a-half at least - we know that - and sadly silent Stan won't be selling up to Uzmanov any time soon.

 

So all we can hope for is some sort of consistency in the New Year. Two of the next three home games are against Liverpool and Chelsea. This will give us some indication of whether we’ll be able to compete for top four. 

 

Win those and us fickle Gooners may well start believing again. Lose them and things could be looking bleak quite quickly.

 

One thing’s for sure, what Arsene must do is start taking the Europa League - and the FA Cup - seriously in February.  Not just because winning it gives us a pathway into that competition which everyone seems totally obsessed with, but more because it is - wait for it - a trophy. And trophies are what players play the game to win, don't they? And what us fans watch in the hope of.

 

Top four or a piece of silverware? As ever, I know what I'd prefer. 

 

Keep the faith. 

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