Roberto learned another harsh lesson at the hands of the Gunners today as Wigan were played off the park in a 4-0 defeat and that has got to get him rethinking his tactics.

PREMIER LEAGUE – EMIRATES STADIUM – Saturday September 19th 2009

Vermaelen 25, 49
Eduardo 59
Fabregas 90


With all the talk midweek about us being another Barcelona and will go to attack Arsenal from the off, maybe Bobby should rethink this tactic when playing against the top 5 or 6 teams until we are confident enough and are playing quick enough.

Again we were guilty of not having the fluidity and speed of thought to play like this against teams that have been playing it for years. Arsenal has it down to a tee and you can see the difference when you see Latics come up against it, we don’t have the speed of thought to deal with this system against teams that have already perfected it.

We beat West Ham last week because we stuck to the system and they weren’t good enough to get the ball off us and play through us. So far we have seen Manchester United scrap plan A and revert to a plan B to play through us, although against them we were far sharper.

With the Gunners today, the only time in the first half that we had the ball was from a corner and we were unlucky not to score from Boyce’s effort. The keeper saved Boyce’s shot and then Bramble’s effort from the parry was blocked well.

Apart from that it was just a catalogue of Arsenal chances and we were fortunate to only be behind by a Thomas Vermaelen goal. The centre half managed to out jump both Figueroa and Bramble to plant an unstoppable header past Kirkland.

The second half saw us receive the same treatment and we didn’t really impose much of a threat to the Gunners after Thomas Vermaelen lashed his second in just 3 minutes after the restart. The centre half was given far too much time and punished us for it.

Hugo Rodallega managed to break free and test the Arsenal keeper only for him to pull of a fine save and from it launched a counter attack that saw Eduardo at the other end slotting into an empty net after his initial shot hit the post and bounced straight back to him.

We did have a couple of good efforts from Rodallega who tested the keeper from 20 yards and from Scotland. We had a goal disallowed as Scharner tapped in after a save from Jason Scotland, but the Austrian was offside. That was the end for us and it should have been, but Fabregas decided to add another in the final minute to make the scoreline a bit more embarrassing.

Martinez needs to look at his team, we know the system works when played properly, but our defence is being put under far too much pressure due to our lacklustre approach to playing it. He needs to have a separate plan for when it isn’t working (generally against teams of this calibre).

Chelsea visit us at the DW next and unless these players learn how to think and pass quickly, we are going to have another very rough afternoon.

Report by Jason Taylor

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Hugo Rodallega
Referee: Mike Jones (Chester)
Attendance: 59,103
1 Vito Mannone 1 Chris Kirkland
2 Bacary Sagna 25 Mario Melchiot
4 William Gallas 17 Emmerson Boyce
5 Gael Clichy 19 Titus Bramble
3 Alexandre Song 31 Maynor Figueroa
7 Thomas Vermaelen 27 Mohamed Diame
6 Emmanuel Eboue 14 Charles N’Zogbia

Abou Diaby

15 Jordi Gomez
11 Cesc Fabregas 10 Jason Koumas
10 Robin van Persie 6 Hendry Thomas
9 Eduardo 20 Hugo Rodallega
13 Wojciech Szczesny 12 Mike Pollitt
12 Mikael Silvestre 3 Erik Edman
14 Kieran Gibbs 30 Marlon King
15 Aaron Ramsey 5 Won-Hee Cho
16 Jack Wilshere 7 Paul Scharner
17 Nicklas Bendtner 9 Jason Scotland
18 Tomas Rosicky 16 Scott Sinclair
23′ Yellow Card Emmanuel Eboue    
25′ Goal Thomas Vermaelen    
40′ Yellow Card Alexandre Song    
49′ Goal Thomas Vemaelen    
53′     Yellow Card Jordi Gomez
57′     Player Off Jordi Gomez
Player On Jason Scotland
57′     Player Off Jason Koumas
Player On Paul Scharner
59′ Goal Eduardo de Silva    
65′     Yellow Card Paul Scharner
66′ Player Off Abou Diaby
Player On Aaron Ramsey
73′ Player Off Emmanuel Eboue
Player On Tomas Rosicky
73′ Player Off Eduardo de Silva
Player On Nicklas Bedtner
87′     Player Off Hugo Rodallega
Player On Scott Sinclair
90′ Goal Cesc Fabregas