Well, by all intents and purposes, that was not the start we were hoping for, In fact it was far from it. It seemed that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong yesterday; A red card for our best defender, two injuries and a defeat. It really was a nightmare start.
Bar the first fifth teen minutes, the entire team looked lethargic and unmotivated. Apart from a goal from six yards, Giroud offered absolutely nothing up front, and after what I said yesterday about having a point to prove, he just proved we do NEED another striker.
Despite having the second best defensive record in the league last season, the entire back four looked shaky throughout, and the ever reliable Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla were giving the ball away left, right and centre. It really was as poor a performance as I have seen in a long time, and fact that it was against a team like Aston Villa, a side battling relegation, really rubs the salt in the wound.
Furthermore, without wishing to sound like Mr Wenger himself, the refereeing performance didn’t help our cause much. Although there is no argument the first penalty decision was correct, the second didn’t leave much to be admired. Despite being a fairly robust challenge, which is perfectly acceptable in a game of football, he clearly not only got a foot on the ball, buy knocked it out of play. Not the greatest decision.
However, despite the referee’s performance, it was a game that highlighted everything that’s wrong with our team. It was a stale, witless performance in which we had plenty of the ball, didn’t really threaten, and ended up losing to a team we should be beating.
And as I write this, having seen Spurs win and Chelsea dominating (so far), it illustrates how we need to spend, and fast.