West Brom 1 Arsenal 1: A good point against flying opposition
YESTERDAY was one of those unfortunate days that you kind of hope the fixture list gods will throw the way of Chelsea or Man City or anyone else other than us. West Brom are a decent side, but there will be good times to play them this season and there will be bad times.
Yesterday was a bad time. Buoyed by the previous week’s victory at Old Trafford, I thought they were outstanding and that the point we left with was not a bad point at all.
Whereas on Tuesday our midfield without a winger worked a treat, yesterday we looked slow, narrow and sluggish going forward. If you saw the game, you won’t need me to tell you that for a long while, Jack Wilshere struggled massively. He looks, if we’re honest, way, way, way off his best at the moment, though of course as the Ramsey situation has taught us, injuries can take a long while to recover fully from.
Yesterday’s refereeing seemed at times curious to say the least, though I’m not sure either side were particularly more sinned against. Penalties wise (and I write this not having sat through any multi-angle analysis in the TV studios), I thought the only one that was definitely a foul was the push by Gibbs on their winger as he ran through, though whether it was in the box was another issue. Almost all the others could have been given but equally not giving them was acceptable too. The one that really good refereeing would have given would have been the first Wilshere one: the reason his shot wasn’t frankly very good was that his legs had been taken away from him as he went to shoot. It was a penalty, though you could easily see why it wasn’t given.
Chances wise, we had a couple, though we’d be naive to think that we were anything other than lucky not to go 2-0 down early in the second half. After that, we deserve credit for fighting back and getting the draw. The finish for the goal itself was more Ramsey than Wilshere. It wasn’t the most brilliant shot in the world, but it was taken early and it was low and it certainly wouldn’t have gone in had we just tippy tappied around the edge of the box for a little while longer.
In a sense if our winning run had to end, drawing away to a team in brilliant form was probably the way for it to go. Certainly better than losing 3-0 at home to West Ham.