A late equaliser by Zat Knight has ended our hopes of winning the Premier League this season, in my opinion. I am up there with the most optimistic of the lot, constantly defending our title hopes and reputation to friends and family but, now I have to concede.
10 points behind 1st place, lying in 5th, half way through the season, we are in no way mathematically out of the running, but with a number of long-term injuries and a lack of experience, I do not feel we have the resources to claw ourselves back into contention.
The new addition to the injury list is captain Fabregas, who picked up an injury in last weeks draw at Liverpool which will keep him in the stands until April. In previous seasons we would have plenty of back-up such as Gilberto Silva or Flamini, but now we are struggling for somebody to directly replace him. Denilson and Song appears to be the obvious central midfield partnership but both lack strength in tackles, defensive covering ability and experience. I also feel Song, although versatile, does not yet have the skill to be in the starting eleven. Aaron Ramsey would also fit the bill but again lacks the experience to partake in a title push.
The Villa game started quite shakely for the Gunners with Villa hitting the woodwork three times in the first half, t Arsenal went in ahead at the break after Denilson pounced on a defensive error just 5 minutes before the interval. Abou Diaby then doubled our lead four minutes after the restart after some excellent wing play by Emmanuel Eboue. However Gabi Agbonlahor then won a controversial penalty which Gareth Barry converted. This almost brought the managers to blows with Wenger incensed by the decision. 4 minutes were added on after the ninety, again dubiously, which i when regular bench-warmer Zat Knight scored a late equaliser on a rare start. This was a goal which I feel has not only been the story of our season, but has shown other clubs where our weaknesses are.
I do not think our season is over, we are still in the Champions League, have an relatively good draw in the FA Cup and still have a chance of getting a decent Premier League position. I simply feel our chances of winning. All we need to do is step back and look at previous games to see mistakes, work on defence, and hope we have no more injuries. With Eduardo’s return immanent, it may not be long before our season picks up.