Our late kickoff on Saturday was away at Watford this time, this was a game where could have closed the gap on teams above us but being Arsenal we failed to capitalise on it. It was a bad performance where team didn’t have much drive & it didn’t work out from team selection to the final whistle. Our starting lineup had some surprise inclusions mainly in Elneny considering Wilshere was on the bench. Sanchez & Ramsey didn’t even make the squad because they were reportedly not in right frame of mind due to their respective nations who couldn’t qualify for world cup finals. We started the game well & then it all went stale after some 10 minutes, we then deservedly lead after Our captain scored 6 minutes before half-time & then we looked comfortable until Deeney started causing us problems after coming on as a sub. Watford looked tactically better than us in the second half where all of their changes seem to work & our failed badly as we lost the game we clearly should have won if we are serious even for top 4. This performance was plagued by injury to our best defender Koscielny & attacker welbeck who was coming back from injury. There was lack of creativity & desire in the team where we should have put the game to bed when we had the chances and should have created more. This was a game where we hardly created a chance for Lacazette & when we created for others, we failed to score. Then watford got a penalty which was a very poor decision by the referee where bellerin hardly touched richarlison & he went to the ground. This penalty gave them the confidence to go on and win this game but that is also due to poor play & lack of decisiveness in our team. Our substitutions & tactics were negative.
Everyone is rightly disappointed as we can only blame ourselves for this bad result because on the balance of the play Watford clearly deserved a draw. We really need to up our play if we need to improve on this poor result.
FIRST TEAM :
Cech – 6.5
Didn’t really had much to do in the game & was good at times but now its time to finally save a penalty for us.
Koscielny – 7
We look a better unit when he is playing and it showed when he went off injured as we lost the game afterwards due to some very poor defending. He was good but his achilles problem is worrying, i hope he’s fine soon.
Mertesacker – 7.5 (MOTM)
Looked quite solid today, passing was good and was always available. Scored a very good goal but could have done better for the winner.
Monreal – 7
Was his usual self & looked good at times. Nothing much troubled him & mostly covered for kolasinac.
Bellerin – 5.5
Had a bad game, was out of position many times & couldn’t deal with richarlison. Penalty he conceded was a wrong decision but he certainly would like to forget this performance.
He was very poor, just keeps running & is mostly out of position. He doesn’t support his partner & doesn’t even defend much. I hope doesn’t start in PL from now on.
Xhaka – 6.5
He was ok & was the only creative spark in our team at times. Assisted the first goal but sometimes was guilty for not tracking his runners.
Kolasinac – 5
Looked sloppy defensively & was mostly out of position in the game. His worst game in an Arsenal shirt, but he looked tired because of international duty.
Iwobi – 6
Worked very hard & had a good first half. Went a little stale in 2nd half but created a sitter for ozil which he missed and missed a chance himself too.
Lacazette – 6.5
Really had zero service & was sharp for most of the times but didn’t trouble watford with his movement. He certainly would like to get more involved in the game.
Welbeck – 6
Worked very hard as usual but lacked that creativity & decisiveness. It was visible that he is coming back from injury & we shouldn’t have risked him. Went off injured again which is very unlucky for us & him. I hope he returns soon.
Giroud – 6
Ozil – 5
Holding – 6
Substitutes didn’t really had much to do but Ozil missed a sitter by being too clever & it costed us the game as it would have put the game to bed.
Thats all from my review & ratings.Thank you for reading & feel free to interact with us on your views. All the comments are welcome.
Tejasvi Bhandari ( @SaviAfc on Twitter )