1) Defeat at the hands of Southampton today, was the performance a bad one or more down to individual errors?
@ArsenalBillyO - I believe the performance was down to individual errors. I think that Szcznesy is to blame for both goals arguably. If he does not come out for the first the Koscielny never moves away from Mané and moves him to corner flag as he was doing even if he was beat. People can blame Kos and Per, but they are put into no mans land by Szcznesy's actions.
@BilalKabdani - The performance wasn't a great one but the individual errors really put us down today. We were diabolical in defence which shows once more we really need to strengthen in that area this transfer window. Not a lot of chances were created on the other side either, even though I do think both Santi and Alexis should've done better with their chances in the first and second half. Wish we would've started 2015 better but hey, it can only go uphill from here right? Right..?
@mj_afc - I’m not sure where the barrier is between a bad performance or individual error happens to lie but our defence badly let us down today. Koscielny, Mertesacker, Debuchy and worst of all Szczesny really let us down today. We were creating chances it’s just infuriating when we gift goals to the opposition. We’ve just a point or three away today.
2) What was the difference between the 2-1 victory at West Ham and today?
@ArsenalBillyO - the fact we did not really play with an actual striker up top for starters. The fact we were able to create and score chances. To be fair we have looked very offensively minded and attacking but haven't scored as many goals as we should've. Our defense is still missing and it needs to be a more collective effort as a team.
@BilalKabdani - The individual errors and attitude towards the game, Think we showed a bit more character in the game against West Ham - after we went 2-0 down today we never looked as if we were going to make something happen.
@mj_afc - For me it’s the mentality of our team. You fear the worst when we go behind. There just doesn’t seem to be enough leadership to see us through on a consistent basis. Against West Ham we made key tackles, dominated the centre of the park and played nicely on the break. Today, none of that was evident. Wanyama bossed us (although he was lucky not to see red) and this allowed Southampton to manage their way through the game.
3) Calum Chambers had to move into midfield, what did you make of his performance?
@ArsenalBillyO - I think Calum is getting a "baptism by fire" this season and didn't find his performance all that bad. That being sad he looked every bit of 19 out there at times and acted timid. He needs to trust his skills and use his body in a more physical manner. He showed signs of it today but is by no means an immediate answer there.
@BilalKabdani - Personally think he did quite alright today, was a decent performance in a fairly new position for him. It did help having Coquelin next to him, who is surprisingly doing pretty well.
@mj_afc - It took me about 30 minutes to realise he was playing. He was the proverbial square peg in a round hole today. I don’t get the fanfare about him. He’s a young lad who is decent in the air but he seems to lack pace, doesn’t look comfortable in possession and little protection was afforded to our back line.
4) Who was your Arsenal man of the match and why?
@ArsenalBillyO - for me it was Coqulein surprisingly enough. I never thought I would ever write that statement but he played very well for ring thrusted back into the side. I still don't think he is our answer, but he made a strong case today why he is a better option that ones we currently have at that position. Would like to see his offensive skills become more fluent.
@BilalKabdani - Probably Coquelin to be honest. Let's just say he screwed up the least.
@mj_afc - Tough one but i’ll go with Alexis. He was at the heart of the majority of our positive moments. He forced Forster into a couple of good saves and he should have drawn a red card from the ref when he was fouled on the edge of the box. His resulting free kick wasn’t too shabby either. One thing is for sure, he didn’t hide and kept probing but his team mates didn’t do enough to help support him in the striker role.
5) Who in an Arsenal shirt did not perform well today?
@ArsenalBillyO - Szczesny, Per, Koscielny (understand he's playing with an injury). But mostly Szcznesy for me. His reckless decisions cost us in certain games. Still haven't gotten over the league cup in 11'. Well I have but not really, haha.
@BilalKabdani - Per and Wojiech didn't have their best game did they? Think we might want to give Ospina a run (once he's fit)
@mj_afc - Szczesny wins that honour. I had concerns against West Ham when he started flapping in the second half and hoped it was buried in a win but today he showed incredible naivety and lack of focus and this isn’t a new feature to his play. He never seems to learn from these mistakes and he seemed to be like a kid in a park. When these mistakes happen in the same game, well that really does infuriate you further. I might as well throw the rest of the defence in there as well. Mertesacker has mentioned the wind helped Mane’s cross. Well what might have helped is our defence busting a gut to spot the obvious. As soon as Szczesny is in no-mans land Debuchy needs to be on the line (like he did to avoid us going 3-0 down). Again its the defence playing as individuals and not as a unit. Hopefully if this ‘strongest’ back five play together more often then we’ll see a better understanding between them but that feels a long way off at present.
6) If you were/are a betting man, do you think we will make the top 4 this season?
@ArsenalBillyO - I think we do only because we always have but wouldn't be surprised if we did fall short.
@BilalKabdani - It's getting tougher and tougher out there, but I think we'll still nick it. Wishful thinking? Maybe.
@mj_afc - I’d say we’d make it. We have the experience in getting this spot and a lot of sides won’t be able to handle the pressure when we seem to cope better. Admittedly that comment seems ridiculous based on the game this afternoon but there’s still a long way to go in the season. Sadly, i’d hoped we would be able to comfortably finish third this season but that doesn’t seem to happening anytime soon. The one aspect that counts against us at present is the amount of teams going for 4th. Usually it’s just one or two teams but with our inability to string a run of wins together it means we lose touch and have to claw our way back again.
7) What are your expectations this January window?
@ArsenalBillyO - a player near the end of the window that's a minor help but not much. Haven't had any expectations in January since Arshavin arrived. It's a shame really.
@BilalKabdani - Hoping for a CB and DM, but we'll probably end up getting Mateja Kezman on loan and play him LB.
@mj_afc - I literally have no expectations when it comes to transfer windows any more. I hate them and all the histrionics that go with it. One thing is for sure though, this squad is about 6/7 players away from being able to compete at the top and we won’t be buying that many players so whoever we manage to sign, it still won’t be enough.
8) Any other thoughts?
@ArsenalBillyO - I think that the team should be doing much better than we are. It's a shame that we are in the position we are in bc we could've easily won 14 games in the league. I think it's down to a common denominator at The Arsenal and it revolves around one man. I was the biggest AW supporter for years but this year has opened my eyes up to the dated style and lack of planning per game. We can't simply rely on the players being able to just play their way without properly planning for the other teams, especially when we don't have our entire squad. I can't see if we have a fully fit starting XI then we can go out and play "our football," but we very much need tactics when we are missing most of our squad. Other managers do it to us and we open up. No one fears playing us anymore and that's sad.
@BilalKabdani - Awful decision from the ref not to send that So'ton defender off there - could've been a gamechanger. Oh well.
@mj_afc - Today is all to familiar to all of us. Repeated mistakes time after time and this side never learns. In fact the last side of Wenger’s didn’t learn and I’m sick and tired of the same excuses. Apparently we faded at West Ham according to Wenger but i seem to recall us being quite threatening on the counter attack. His reluctance to rotate and utilise his bench costs him on days like today. It’s poor management and I just don’t see how Wenger can return us to his glorious football that he produced earlier in his reign. There seems to be too many holes now and he can’t plug them all. It’s ten years since the invincible side and this current crop are averaging just over 1.5 points per game. That’s not good enough but as we all know, nothing is good to change any time soon.
You can read my match thoughts on the game here