1) Ouch! That wasn't much fun. Where do you think that went wrong?
@FormidableTH14 - Lack of change, really. After news of crisis talks and players being dropped I thought we'd see a rejuvenated side - much like that of Swansea (A) last season - which really was the turning point of that season. You can't account for that horrific own goal (unless you were to suggest that a defensive substitution should have been made rather than Sanogo coming on when we had the lead) but you can say we lacked so much up front; Arteta, Gibbs and Giroud were once again abysmal today.
@GrooverBlog - I think we clearly lack pace, despite a good start. Swansea was not a real threat and we seemed to control the game, but without enough conviction. And as usual, we were punished on their first shot on goal, with a defensive mistake. Lack of pace, lack of focus. And even if our second half was better, we were too easily pushed on our toes
@SweGoon - I think the problem was a lack of leadership and accountability. The players were just waiting for other to do it rather than doing it themselves. It's partially explained by the fact that they are used to others actually doing it, but they are injured now so those out there must step it up. That said it did look better after the goals and I feel the equalizer stemmed more from bad luck than us being shit.
@thedanielcowan - What can you say? We got ourselves back in it and then there was a calamitous error at the back. It's hard to point fingers at Flamini when there was little he could do. If I had to say something "went wrong" I would say the midfield were weak once again in giving decent service to Giroud who will once again take the bulk of the blame for this result.
2) Our attacking game looks a little lacking at the moment. Do you agree and if so why do you think this is?
@FormidableTH14 - Some German lad called Mesut something. Rosicky is a tremendous servant to the club but there is only so far he can go - especially when he is having to account for Giroud's ever-increasing staticness (for which Özil did a hugely underrated job). Cazorla's having a frustrating season and I thought Gnabry and Sanogo deserved more of a chance today. Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a poor couple of games and only now can you see how much he's been carrying our attack for the last month or two.
@GrooverBlog - Giroud is not the best striker in the world, but he's let alone to fight with an entire back-four. Rosicky, Chamberlain, should play behind him. Too many of his deflections were on a good space, but never used by his teammates. Overall, we lack the run of a Theo Walcott and we're too predictable for the moment.
@SweGoon - It does. There are no runs in behind no runs in behind or from deep. Everyone is just laying it off to the next one. As we saw tonight, when we manage to create chances we'll put a few away. It's the creation that worries me the most. In any case it has shown any doubters the importance of Özil.
@thedanielcowan - I think we have struggled to replicate what Walcott and Ramsey brought to the team. The midfield and wide players aren't supporting Giroud like they did. The team hasn't adapted to the loss of those players and Giroud looks almost lost without them. A better striker would of course make a difference but in the long term they'd struggle too with the lack of service. The midfield looks bereft of creativity and are struggling to keep hold of the ball.
3) Which player disappointed you the most from this display?
@FormidableTH14 - Arteta. I have always been a huge fan of him but I think he's trying to do too much - trying to make heroic tackles which look more kamikaze than anything. I'm convinced a new partner for Ramsey in the "pivot" is on Arsène's summer shopping list after some of Mikel's performances this year.
@GrooverBlog - Mertesacker wasn't on his better day. On the first goal, he doesn't even try to jump. On the second goal, he's too far from the ball and useless. He's supposed to be a leader, he must prove it, especially when Koscielny is not on the pitch
@SweGoon - Arteta. Couldn't defend or attack.
@thedanielcowan - I don't like to point fingers but I think Arteta is past it now. He looks shattered and sloppy. Between him and Sagna there was a world of space for Taylor to whip in the ball for Bony's goal.
4) Were there any bright spots from the game?
@FormidableTH14 - Clutching at straws maybe but some good tactical proactivity from Wenger bringing on Podolski who helped with both goals shortly after.
@GrooverBlog - We are still unbeaten at home in 2014 (yes, I know, but it's the only thing I can see for the moment). Podolski made a good display. He's definitely a joker, and proved it again today. One goal and an assist, he can provide a good performance in the money time
@SweGoon - Kongo-Kim. I thought he would struggle with his lack of pace but he didn't, in fact he looked to have the most fight in him of all tonight.
@thedanielcowan - Podolski. When put in the right positions he makes things happen. His ball to Giroud was superb but was equalled by the run Olly made. Källström was also a nice surprise. He should do well for us until the end of the season and I wouldn't be against signing him permanently - alongside a long term replacement for Arteta like Bender for example.
5) Do you think the team will get out of this funk before it is too late?
@FormidableTH14 - The title's over for sure. Top 4? Definitely. Top 3? Not unless Liverpool perform an Arsenal-esque nosedive. FA cup? Surely. As long as we make it to the summer without Özil handing in a thousand and one transfer requests we're set to challenge again next season - maybe with a striker, too.
@GrooverBlog - I'm still confident we will find a way to reach a top 3. We have a lot of game in hand, and we will see Aaron Ramsey, our best player, be back very soon. He will brought the energy this team needs
@SweGoon - If we didn't have City up next I'd say yes. Now I am not so sure. Still, even if we lose that game the ultimate decider will be the game at Goodison. Get a draw there and I think we're safe for top four, which is really the most important thing aside from the FA Cup now that the League is gone.
@thedanielcowan - The title is probably beyond us now so in that sense it is too late but hopefully they snap out of it soon because a FA Cup win (hopefully) and a one game swing (5 points or less) within the eventual winners will really set us up for next season.
6) Any other thoughts?
@FormidableTH14 - I think today's display was final confirmation that it's the end of the road for Vermaelen at Arsenal. An admirable professional but a disastrous defender at the best of times. And, by the way, how screwed are we for City on Saturday without Koscielny?
@GrooverBlog - I'm still convinced Arsene Wenger is the man of the situation. He will put this team back on track and lead it to the FA Cup glory again
@SweGoon - Winning the FA Cup will be crucial for this team. Given the huge defeats against the top sides failing to win it, with the teams left in it, could leave mental scars the size of a small island.
@thedanielcowan - Don't lose the faith. Don't slate the players. Anything from this season was always going to be a Brucey. Next season was always going to be the one.