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West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Arsenal - Premier League review

Not the best of performances tonight.

And a certain Mr. Dean did rob us.

But in honesty, that’s not what’s bothering me.

What IS bothering is another sideways shuffle and impotent performance in the final third.

We had more than enough, in terms of personnel, to win that game. It’s just we didn’t look to try.

The story over both halves was that it was a poor attacking display, with more of the same. Same old Arsenal, in many ways.

The free-kick by Sanchez was well-executed. However, the penalty by Gibbs (no less, nice way to pay back his old club…) hitting Chambers on the arm was harsh. Wenger, Jack, Cech, and many others in our team were rightly incensed. Even Pardew said it was not a penalty. Yes, he will welcome the point, but there are clear infringements and others are merely not.

However, the performance here was dire, and we lacked the attacking impetus to create any real chances or scoring opportunities.

It’s not a good way to end 2017, and for some the calendar year ended in individual awards only. For us at the least, we won an actual trophy.

Impressions/player ratings

Despite the non-penalty, we just didn’t offer much here.

We played more of the same sideways pass football, and lacked penetration, and drive.

As usual, we dominated possession. But possession for me is a nonsense stat. It cannot ever translate into who warrants a victory, and we didn’t here. If anything, by watching us all the time, this has shaped my view on the utility of possession stats.

Chambers was harshly penalised for the penalty, and I don’t see how that infringed the laws of football. It was not intentional. Did he moved his arm towards the ball? Maybe in a split second. But he could not have done much else in that position. It was a classic case of “ball to hand” and not “hand to ball”.

Arsenal is just stuck in a rut, and we can only progress by moving from it. My views on how we should have not changed. We had the players and ability to win this game, but we didn’t, and this is highly annoying. We are mismanaged on every level, and we can only progress with a “catalyst for change” (sorry…..)

Cech 6, Chambers 5, Bellerin 5, Mustafi 5, Koscielny 5, Wilshere 5, Xhaka 5, Kolasinac 5, Sanchez 5, Lacazette 5, Iwobi 3, Welbeck 5, Maitland-Niles 5.

Wenger

Look, I’ve critiqued him a lot. But he should be given his due. I doubt this record will be beaten again, at least not any time soon. He warrants the praise/respect for his longevity, but then he needs to go despite this latest of numerous records.

Had Palace scored their penalty today, another record would be surely intact, though there’s still much football to be played this season.

This has been pretty much morose. But then there wasn’t much positive to cite today.

That said, enjoy your New Year.