Sunday, 18 April 2010


Wigan Athletic 3 Arsenal 2
After the midweek defeat at White Hart Lane had all but destroyed any slim hope of Arsenal pressuring Chelsea for the Premiership title, certainly no doubts remained after the visitors self-destructed at the DW Stadium this afternoon. Arsenal's injury torn side included 19-year old Craig Eastmond, a player not even officially listed as a member of the first team squad. The youngster defended well although Van Persie, was surprisingly left on the bench. When this season ends with the Arsenal trophy cabinet empty once more, some of Wenger's team selections are likely to be called into question. The Arsenal faithful who followed their team to Lancashire will be wondering why the Dutchman was not introduced until the closing minutes after he had contributed so much in so little time against Spurs. By then it was too late and Arsenal had cheaply thrown away a two goal lead to a resilient home side that was fighting for survival in the top flight. 

The flowing nature of the game promised to produce plenty of goals as both teams capitalised on the other's poor defensive work and misplaced passes. Wigan should have capitalised early after Fabrianski failed to intercept a ball that flew dangerously across his six yard box. The Pole, called in to replace Almunia who Arsenal claimed has a knee injury, lacked confidence and looked poor.This merely highlighted Wenger's need to buy a reliable 'keeper. Moments later Arsenal were awarded a free kick just beyond the Wigan penalty area. Clichy, who has scored only once, was an unlikely candidate to take the kick and the defender's effort went lifelessly into Kirkland's hands. The visitors had a worthy call for a penalty after a Wigan defender appeared to strike the ball with his hand but referee Lee Mason failed to react and Bendtner should have done better with a strange half volley that Kirkland and a defender jointly scrambled away.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Arsenal went to White Hart Lane full of hope last night for the famous north London derby and should have been favourites to take all three points to dislodge Manchester United from second slot in the Premiership. But, the fixture failed to live up to expectations and Arsenal were sluggish and second rate to a Spurs side who were out to impress. Spurs had not beaten Arsenal for 10 years in a league fixture but they earned their just desert by robbing the visitors of any slim snippet of a chance to pressure Chelsea for the title. But Arsenal could have taken the lead in the opening minutes when Campbell, returning to the expected boos from the home supporters at his former hunting ground, had his effort blocked on the line by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. This was the closest Arsenal came to hitting the target during a first half that witnessed their usual precision passing falling short of the mark and by losing most of 50-50 challenges to a Spurs team that looked far more prepared for the challenge.