When the third goal went at the Emirates on Saturday evening the biggest groan came from a set of fans now fed up with what they are seeing in front of them. It’s been eight years now since Arsenal won a trophy and the fans seen nothing on the pitch to suggest that that was about to change.
Although a lot can be blamed on the referee for what happened in the game. The first big call of the season came when Szczesny brought down Agbonlahor in the box. An easy decision for the ref to give but what left both sets of fans and players perplexed was the colour of the card that followed. A yellow.
In the second have the ref continued on his path of strange decisions when he awarded a second penalty for a foul on Agbonlahor even when replays and a clear line of sight suggest that Koscielny did get a touch on the ball. It wasn’t long after that the ref showed Koscielny a second yellow for leaving a late foot out. Again it was barely even a free.
However Arsenal can only blame the referee for so much and have only themselves to blame for the way in which they played. All seemed well when Giroud got the gunners on the score sheet just six minutes in but after that they lacked any sort of conviction or presence in the game. In the second half the only had two chances if real note when Carzola, who came on as a sun hit the crossbar and Rosicky, thought a neat little bit of footwork on the edge if the box found his way though only for the oncoming keeper to block his effort.
Everything else seemed tame from Arsenal. A few crosses found their way to Giroud in the box only for him to head most wide or not at all and turn his back with a look of “oh so close” on his face.
Jack Wilshire was the only one who seemed to try a bit in midfeild as Walcott and Ramsey just seemed to disappear out of the game. But it was all to easy at times for Villa who were comfortable at the back for most of the game.
Villa finally killed the game off as a competition in the 85 min much to the groans and boos of the home faithful. Groans that spoke a thousand words. Groans that they had seen this exact same team underachieve last year and boos that they didn’t want to see another season of silly results and cutting it fine to qualify for the Champions League.
The reality is that two teams went to this first game of the season, one had improved its team and the other had not. And it showed. The Premier League is becoming more and more competitive every year for title challenges, European places and relegation. Every team knows that failing to improve means the next team goes past you very quickly.
Alston Villa had a good summer coming into this game. They kept their star player which was vital to them and added a few new ones to improve. And one game already gone they are a different team that struggled in a relegation battle last year.
Arsene Wenger should know by now that not improving the team will see them struggle to finish in the top four. All summer long we have heard of a large transfer fund that they were more than prepared to spend and big names been linked to the club.
Now Arsenal have found themselves in bigger trouble than the wanted with the champions league qualifiers coming up in mid week. Firstly they lost a few players through injury in the Villa game and no signings made to cover. On top of that they have realised or sold 17 players during the summer, although a lot weren’t first choice players anyway. The biggest problem Arsenal find themselves in now is that if Wenger dies try to sign any player, they may well want to wait and see if they can qualify for the group stages.
It’s double jeopardy that Arsenal now find themselves in at the moment. Short of players for the game midweek and they may find themselves not in the Champions League thus losing out on big name players or any player for that matter when the window closes . It’s a massive week for Wenger.