It was yet another pulsating encounter at Loftus Road. With Tottenham’s last gasp winner over Southampton, Arsenal knew they had to claim all 3 points or kiss top 4 finish goodbye. They did win but not in the most convincing of ways. In fact, we were lucky to claim all three points against a relegated QPR side that had nothing more to loose other than a little self image. One stands to wonder what would have been our fate if QPR still had a mathematical chance of escape.
While we celebrate the scrappy 3 points, there are some things to note and I will be sharing them with you all.
For the 2nd game running in the absence of suspended Giroud, Podolski was called to lead the line and how poorly he led it. I won’t be overtly critical of him owing to the niggling ankle injury he is carrying that needs surgery ( I know Wenger denied it but I know what I believe here ) but the fact there remains that Podolski is not good enough to play as a lone striker. He lacks the height and physical strength to battle as a lone forward. With the exception of Giroud, we lack a striker that can do a yeoman’s job through the center.
Walcott = Early strike king
Walcot is the king of fast strikes and our best attacking outlet at the moment. With his strike at Loftus Road, Walcott proved he was the king of early strikes. Against Manchester United at the Emirates last weekend, he scored under 2 minutes but today, he made it even better by scoring under 30 seconds. Walcott also proved
that he has improved as a striker. He was our only genuine threat today. Safe for Greene’s heroics, the English star would have bagged a hatrick. 20 goals so far this season is a good return for a player that had a troubled 1st half of the season.
The Czech star was very influential in our victory today. He was so full of running and helped galvanize the midfield. He had a hand in the goal scored. Wenger seems to have learnt his lesson and that is Rosicky deserves to start. If Wilshere must start, let Cazorla come off the bench.
Good start, poor end
For the greater part of the season, Arsenal have been vilified of starting games slowly and poorly but pick up in the 2nd half and that attitude costs us many points and progress in competitions but in recent games, Arsenal seem to start well but end poorly and on the edge. Against Manchester United, the Gunners flew off the blocks and got an early lead but couldn’t make the most of the flurry of chances in the first half and ended drawing the game and could have even lost it as the Red Devils had the better chances at the end of the game. Against QPR today, we also started at a frenetic pace but eased off in the 2nd half allowing QPR to grow in confidence. At the twilight of the game, we struggled to hold on and were just happy to hear the final whistle. This isn’t good enough.
Poor audition from QPR stars
Besides the three points at stake, another reason why I looked forward to the game is to see some of QPR’s stars that might just be good enough to play for us. QPR are relegated and there would be a scramble for their players in the summer. I was keen to see Remy, Cesar and Mbia in action but I must confess, I was disappointed at their showing. We need a striker and defensive midfielder but from what both players played today, they are no upgrade to what’s currently on offer at the Emirates.