Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Southampton 1 - Arsenal 1

This game perfectly illustrated why it's hard for Arsenal fans to get excited about resigning Theo Walcott. One game after scoring a hat trick (and missing numerous other chances), he was virtually invisible for much of today's game. When seen, he showed himself incapable of holding the ball up in attack; he sprayed passes all over the yard but not to their intended targets; and he shot from distance when a well-placed pass might have carved open the defense. Theo displayed all of the attributes that have made him such a figure of frustration among Arsenal supporters.

To be fair, Theo did have a hand (or a foot, as it were) in Arsenal's lone goal of the match, sending in a cross from a dead ball that a Southampton player kindly dispatched into his own net. To be even more fair, the entire Arsenal squad under-performed today, as if they wore themselves out scoring 7 against Newcastle a few days ago. But that's especially the kind of game in which a real team leader has to step up and save the day (as the gone-but-not-forgiven RvP did so many times last season).

Fortunately, Southampton did not play much better (though any fair-minded neutral would have concluded that they were the better side for much of the contest). A draw was certainly the most Arsenal deserved out of this match. And they were lucky to get that.

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