So let’s get the obvious out of the way. Arsenal lost and lost good to a not fantastic West Brom side. This despite having about 80 per cent possession in the second half, having a penalty and the home only having one shot one on goal.
The reason why we lost is self-evident. We didn’t defend well, we didn’t ‘midfield well and we didn’t attack well. And against a Tony Pulis side that don’t give many away, we really needed to be at the races, particularly in the second half, to come back from 2-1.
The common refrain one would have to hear throughout the weekend, until the next match probably, is that this result would probably have been avoided if we had signed a boatload of players in the summer.
Now, I don’t know all there is to be known about the wheelings and dealings in football but I don’t think new signed players come with an injury guarantee. In other words, if we had signed 5 new players in the summer, including a backup for Coquelin, we could have as well have 17 injured players on the treatment table right now instead of just the 12.
Players get injured in training, on international duty or in freak accidents; they even have to cross the white line and step on the field to cop one. The question that needs to be asked is why our players, maybe more than most seem to be more susceptible to injuries.
Whether it is down to dumb luck, our training methods and pitches or that our players are physiologically more susceptible to injuries is not clear. Even the manager is apparently stumped by this medical mystery.
Admittedly, the employment of Shad Forsythe and the shake up in the medical backroom has brought some improvements to our injury situation, especially last season, but more needs to be done. Signing a bunch of players is not the solution.
A little perspective is perhaps needed. While this loss to West Brom is as painful as any loss to any Tony Pulis team, it is not the end of the world. Or the end of Arsenal’s title chances. Even if Manchester City tonk Liverpool, who they play as I type this, we would only be three points back*. And with a much easier fixture list up until Christmas, at least on paper, there is every chance Arsenal could still
be there or thereabouts by the new year.
One another day, Arsenal would have gotten all three points against West Brom. Cazorla’s penalty would have gone in, Joel Campbell would have buried his chance, that shot would have gone in off the post/bar, Coquelin and Arteta wouldn’t have gone off injured.
Right now there is no use crying over spilt milk. The team, and even its fans need to dust themselves off and get ready for the next match. There is a championship to be won.
*Just changed the television channel from el Classico to see Liverpool tonking Manchester City. I don’t quite know what to make of it