Date: 25th November 2007 at 11:41am
Written by:

On reflection the performance at the Emirates was a definite step in the right direction, it is very difficult to be pleased with a defeat, but sometimes the manner of the defeat can give hope for optimism

The team defended very well as a unit up until the last 10 minutes when they were undone by a centre half (Galas) charging up the field and sneaking (suspiciously offside) onto an excellent cross and a break-away goal.

Latics had their chances, Scharner could have done better with a free header from a Koumas corner and should have done better when he carried the ball on a Latics break before finding an Arsenal player when we had two unmarked in the box, Bent also had a couple of opportunities

Steve Bruce watching from the stands with his old mate John Benson probably knew what type of team we are before he took over and yesterday would have confirmed that although we can be hard working we lack quality in key areas

For all their gutsy performances we need an old head at centre back to partner either Bramble, Granqvist or even Boyce, too many times this season they have been ‘dragged` out of position

In midfield we need some one who can put their foot on the ball and keep it, once again yesterday the midfield was guilty of giving the ball away, stats of 65% – 35% possession in favour of Arsenal spell out the need for that

Up front a genuine goal scorer to play off Heskey is needed, Bent I must admit as surprised me, his work rate has been good and he puts himself about and he plays with pride but we need goals

The result is respectable on a day when Sunderland get battered by SEVEN and Boro concede three at home and we are still just a win from safety.

The next game, at home to Man City, is vitally important to get some spirit and confidence back in the club, with Bruce taking charge for the first time and hopefully Heskey, Melchiot and Valencia available for selection we might just have half a chance

Player Ratings

Mike Pollitt 7/10
Solid through out no chance with goals

Emerson Boyce 6/10
Good display at right back, some crucial tackles

Kevin Kilbane 6/10
Skipper for the day did alright

Andreas Granqvist 6/10
The big Swede gets stuck in, nearly gave a penalty away

Titus Bramble 6/10
Heart and soul player but gets dragged out of position at times

Michael Brown 6/10
Played ok on the right, got a booking and will miss City game

Denny Landzaat 6/10
Tried to slow the play down with short passes, but gave the ball away at times

Paul Scharner 6/10
Hard working performance went off with a knee injury at the end

Jason Koumas 6/10
Tried to support Bent through out

Salomon Olembe 5/10
Looks out of his depth at this level

Marcus Bent 6/10
Put in a good effort, had the ball in the net but was offside

Emile Heskey 6/10
Came on for last 20 mins, got booked, planted Gallas and crocked Walcott, weve missed you Ivanhoe

Antoine Sibierski
Only got a late run
Came on in the last minute