Arsenal 2 - 2 Hull City
After yet another gruelling international break, the Premier League was back. Arsenal were looking to put their performance against Chelsea behind them, and Hull were looking to cause an upset.
The Gunners started the game very much on top. Cazorla and Wilshere were looking lively in the middle, and Sanchez was looking dangerous too.
Unsurprisngly, it was the Chile forward who gave Arsenal the lead in the thirteenth minute. He skipped past Davies on the right, floated into the box and then smashed the ball into the far-bottom corner. A cheeky goal, to say the least.
But, in typical Arsenal fashion, Hull equalized just five minutes later.
Diame fouled Flamini on the edge of the box, grabbed the ball, and dinked it over Szczesney. It was an undeniable foul, but it was also another reminder that we might as well play Cazorla at defensive midfield. Flamini is simply too lightweight.
The rest of the half was mundane. Arsenal couldn’t create much, and Hull were happy to sit back.
“As lively as Cazorla and Wilshere were in the first half, they just weren’t getting the balls into Welbeck’s path. Nor Alexis’.”
The second half started with a goal though. For Hull.
Huddlestone’s cross was won in the air by a leaping Hernandez, who somehow managed to beat Mertesacker in the air. The German should have done better.
For a while, Arsenal couldn’t respond. They trailed, but chances just weren’t being produced. As lively as Cazorla and Wilshere were in the first half, they just weren’t getting the balls into Welbeck’s path. Nor Alexis’.
“It was becoming clear that - shockingly - Flamini and Cazorla just couldn’t handle Hull’s monster midfield. Who would have thought it?”
Hull were comfortable for the majority of the second period. It was becoming clear that - shockingly - Flamini and Cazorla just couldn’t handle Hull’s monster midfield. Who would have thought it?
Thankfully, Sanchez managed to ignite Arsenal once again in the ninetieth minute. He dribbled through Hull’s midfield and laid off Welbeck in the box. The Englishman did well to finish it off under pressure.
But as usual, it wasn’t enough. Hull held on, and Arsenal were left with a solitary point, following another dire performance.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Had little to do. Could do nothing for either goal, to be fair.
Defended adequately, and got forward well too. Didn’t panic at any point, and looked calm in possession. He has the talent.
Should have done a lot better to avert Hernandez’ goal. Other than that, he did okay.
Didn’t actually do much wrong, and for a left-back being played out of position, you can hardly complain. Had the last kick of the game to give Arsenal the victory, but smashed it high and wide.
Nothing to complain about, but I’m still concerned about his lack of contribution in the final third. Made one excellent run late on to get on the end of Sanchez’ cross, but couldn’t convert. He’s no world-class defender, so he must improve going forward.
Made some good interceptions and tackle at times, but he just isn’t up for the physical challenge these days. Gone are the days when a heavy tackle scares off opponents. Diame was strolling around all game, and managed to almost floor Flamini with a single hand from behind for his goal. A foul, sure. But I want my defensive midfielder to be able to stand his ground.
He started brilliantly. Good passing, good shooting and positive runs. However, Santi was playing the Ramsey role, which he isn’t suited to. This unorthodox position for him only made it easier for Hull to dominate the midfield at times.
In the ten role again, but once again created very little. He isn’t a number ten, and he proves it every time he plays there. However, he did try and get stuck in at times, usually with some success. Again, not suited to his given role.
The Ox: [5/10]
Wayward pass after wayward pass. Chamberlain contributed very little today, which is one of the reasons why Arsenal looked so toothless.
Sanchez: [8/10] - MOTM
Without this man, Arsenal would probably have lost the game 2-0. His goal was awesome, and his assist was superb. Worked hard all game and tried to wake up his fellow attackers with instructions and examples, but it was like getting blood out of a stone at times.
Danny took his goal very well, and rescued a point. But overall? He looked lazy and couldn’t unlock Hull’s back line. Arsenal needed him to drop back and help out on several occasions, but he rarely did.
Joel came on and worked hard. He dribbled well, passed well and looked positive. He also put in a defensive shift. I want to see more of him.
Good to see Aaron back. He looked fit, but he didn’t look effective.
A Losing Draw
Some draws feel like a win. But not today.
Not only did we fail to create many chances, but Hull found it easy to break through our midfield whenever they wanted to. Why?
Well how does playing Flamini and Cazorla against Diame and Huddlestone sound to you?
Once again, Wenger’s poor tactics made it easy for the opposition. I have no doubt that, had Ozil been fit, he would have once again him on the wing, with Wilshere at number ten, who creates extremely little.
Surely, the logical thing to do would be to swap Cazorla and Wilshere? Isn’t Wilshere the more physical midfielder, and Cazorla the more creative one? Why then, would you put the physical player behind Welbeck, and the creative one further back, against Diame? It just doesn’t make any sense.
I have to say, my patience with Wenger is running thin. I’m no fan of outing a manger in the middle of a season, especially when it’s a top club. But right now, Wenger’s poor tactics following a stupid transfer window are leading us right back to where we’re supposed to be heading away from. A trophyless fourth place finish.