Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal: the emergency match report

Urgh – another disappointing result. Things were made a little bit better when Cesc Fabregas headed a late, late equaliser but for my money this outcome was just as disappointing as the game against Hull a week ago.

I have to admit that although I stayed up until 2am to watch the game, the stream I was viewing was so dodgy that I missed both goals. The coverage buffered just as Grant Leadbitter lined up to shoot and I was mortified to see the ball sitting in the back of the net. A second viewing showed how great the goal was but it didn’t make any easier to take.

I had essentially resigned myself to a second defeat in a row but luckily the boys hadn’t. The coverage cut out again but when it resumed I saw a happy Arsene Wenger, an even happier Fabregas and a marginally more friendly scoreline. Phew.

I said after last week’s defeat to Hull that a couple of losses aren’t the worst thing in the world as long as Arsenal aren’t drawing too many games. This was our first draw of the season but given my statement it hasn’t come at an ideal time. And it’s a little bit of a worry, to be frank.

From what I was able to take from the match – which was very little, given the stuttering coverage – the boys again struggled to take a strangehold on the match in the same way that they did against Porto in midweek. Of course the result may have been different if Robin van Persie’s incorrectly disallowed goal had stood, but that wouldn’t have changed the inconsistent nature of this performance.

Positives? From all reports Alex Song had quite a good game in the centre of the park while it is clear that Fabregas is starting to really hit his straps. Wenger went with a 4-5-1 against Sunderland but in all honesty I would prefer to see a 4-4-2 with Song and Fabregas in the middle used for most Premiership games, at least until Abou Diaby returns from injury.

On another note, you have to feel a little bit for Manuel Almunia in goals. He’s been immaculate this season, hardly put a foot wrong but has still been beaten by two of the goals of the season. It’s a hard life being a goalkeeper and when you’re conceding goals that are just unstoppable it must make it things all the more frustrating.

Anyway, given the poor quality of the stream and the fact that I don’t usually post on Sundays, I’d love to hear what people thought of the game. Something tells me it’s not going to be pretty.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend if you can.

Have your say on Arsenal’s draw with Sunderland by leaving a comment.



  1. Leadbitter’s goal was ridiculous. The Gunners were pounding them but yet again this season lacked a whole lot of incisive passes near the final third. All credit to Sunderland they camped out really well, although it did make for a very one sided match. However, this is what arsenal, Man U, chelsea and liverpool are all going to come up against this season, and the winners will be the team with the quality to break through the stiff defence sunderland threw down.
    I think the major problem with attempting to grab some silverware this season will be the consistency – how they can smash Porto and struggle against Hull and Sunderland I don’t know. Still, I’d rather smash man u and lose to hull than the other way around.

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  3. I think ppl are lookin too much into this Porto win. Remember that Porto has NEVER won on English soil. Yes Arsenal tore them apart, but Sunderland would have done the same given Porto’s record in England, and really Porto isnt that good a team after they lost their biggest player. The fact is Arsenal just arent firing. Wenger doesnt seem to have the balls to sit out players like Theo who isnt preforming. I love Theo but playing him when he is like this doesnt build confidence, every stray pass to me looks like he loses confidence. Wenger still doesnt have the balls to take the captins arm band from Gallas. I think giving it to Fab would help Fab raise his game and bring new engery to this team and thats what it needs right now. Someone like to to put the team on his back and say the team will play better through me and up his game. The team looks like the confidence and team engery is just really low. Something needs to change and most likely in defence to really make a change for Arsenal. Wether it be handing to captins band to Fab or sitting down the weak link Gallas for Djourou. Something needs to happen or results like this will continue.

  4. I think is highly time arsene realise that such on and off performance by the gunners will not lead to any silver ware this season.He need a strong character in the mould of viera,flamini or gilberto in the central midfield, since he could not buy any during the the transfer period, i believe kolo toure will fit into that role for now not song.Cesc is over worked in the midfield.Song is too slow for that role and he should please give vela and wilshear enough opportunity.Eboue should return to his defensive role as a cover for sagna, to me the draw against sunderland is a lost. I can see manu, chelsea or liverpool drawing with such performance displayed by sunderland. Is highly time arsene realise that such performance will not lead arsenal to anywhere the better

  5. I think is highly time arsene realise that such on and off performance by the gunners will not lead to any silver ware this season.He need a strong character in the mould of viera,flamini or gilberto in the central midfield, since he could not buy any during the the transfer period, i believe kolo toure will fit into that role for now not song.Cesc is over worked in the midfield.Song is too slow for that role and he should please give vela and wilshear enough opportunity.Eboue should return to his defensive role as a cover for sagna, to me the draw against sunderland is a lost. I can see manu, chelsea or liverpool drawing with such performance displayed by sunderland.

  6. We not winning anything this season…cant defeat teams like fulham,hull,sunderland,wel be lucky if we finish off in the top four..arsne wenger is terrible,we could see from the first half that there no way we gna get a win from this game,why couldn he change things at half time…he definately not a brave enough manager who shows too much respect to even much weaker opposition

  7. Its just what wenger deserves for being a twat by letting go of two of our better consistent performers last season….and refusing to sign players for cover…if he wanted to buy players like ramsey dan have the balls to put them in wen someone not performing…

  8. I agree, Alex Song played very well and we just need an ‘enforcer’ in the midfield, and Denilson is not going to provide that. He is essentially a replacement attacking midfeilder for Cesc. Manuel is playing superbly and it is a shame that he has been beaten by really, three unstoppable goals in the last two games. In summary, Cesc for captain, Abou Diaby or Song for defensive mid.

  9. Bad result. Adebayor is useless coz that guy can never shoot. He can never create space for himself to shoot like an RVP or a Torres . On top of that his first touch is real bad..whack..Bendtner is doing well at the moment. He should replace ade. To me central midfield looks ok for now. Song is doing a good job. He makes some good tackles. Just needs some more playing time and he will be doing alright. Arsene should have gone with 4-4-2 yesterday. Denilson was redundant out there and our left flank was so empty.

  10. A draw was probably a fair result. we lacked inventiveness and i think putting in bendtner and/or vela might just liven things up a bit. Nasri should have been in from the start too.. But sunderland aren’t a bad team and they played well..its not the end of the world.liverpool laboured to beat them too… and oh for just some luck..

  11. and on an aside.. though the referreing wasnt atrocious or bad by any standards it was definitely frustrating..

  12. i have to agree with most commennts that arsenal need to win ugly and they have shwon that they can do that, another concern for me is consistancy for a forwards,that is something that needs to be adressed,i feel although songs apssing today looked off he is very solid defensively and i feel we need that it gave protection to gallas and toure,one thing i cant understand is why he does give the armband to fab,anyone can see he is heart of arsenal and not gallas,gallas is a very fast mobile defender so is toure but does not cammond the defence,i feel wenger will buy someone in january,the fact that he had lined at leats 4 players in midfielders demonstrates that he is looking for midfielder,but so far ade and rvp are to inconsistant, edwardo,risisky and diaby will great additions to the squad and i want to see the signing aurmury is like.

  13. i believe with the young players you’ll get inconsistency. they’re undoubtedly good, they made porto look dumb but they’re very inconsistent. one day u’ll get adebayor scoring a hat-trick, van persie made scoring goals look easy, then on another day, they’ll struggle to get goals, a scrappy own goal, and a cesc header ? i mean, when’s the last time u would rely on cesc for headers ?

    if it’s up to me, i’d rather us win 1-0 both porto and sunderland than win handsomely in one game then lose/draw disappointingly in another. sure it’s boring, but at the end of the day, you don’t win the title for playing beautifully. it is as though winning has become second nature to playing beautifully. but hey, wenger knows right ? oh well. i guess as a fan u’d only wish for the best.

  14. Fabregas for captain!!! He is the soul of Arsenal, he is to Arsenal what Gerrard is to Liverpool. Gallas is a good player, but the only reason he has the armband is he experienced. Sunderland played good, RVPS goal should have stood which would have changed the game as Sunderland would have attacked more meaning we could play our game more. However Leadbitter struck a sweet goal and FABREGAS scored a header, he wanted the ball more than anyone on the pitch and that why is the soul of Arsenal. FABREGAS FOR SKIPPER

  15. Sounds like the match wasnt shown in many countries…it was here and i managed to watch the full 90…the first half was dire with neither teams creating much the second half improved especially for Arsenal and we were unlucky with their strike …a great shot cannoning in off the cross bar to beat Almunia……my biggest problem however was that our strikers Ade and RVP can play so deep that we rarely have anyone in the box or we have denilson, fab, song and walcott ahead of them….this did improve during the second half but we still lacked in ideas ….we need to find some consistency.

    Song played very well but Nasri still looked a more complete player when he came on. Walcott had a mare misplacing passes and looking a little of the pace. Even fab had trouble with his passes….the weather was bad and the pitch greasy but this is no excuse.

    It was pleasing to see the heads didnt drop completely and we found the equaliser but this is all too reminiscent of last year…we should be capitalising on our possesion and thrashing these teams not giving goals away and chasing a draw.

    The title challenge isnt over but when i watch Chelsea or utd they dont looki like giving away as many points.

    Not sure if buying players in January is the answer….scoring goals is what we need!!

  16. Change the captaincy. Gallas is far too emotional to be captain – the picture says it all.

  17. It could be far far worse by having spent 80 mill on players a new manager and still be at the bottom of the league. I would rather watch a whole season of us playing well and winning f all than play like the totts and have a cc in the cupboard but again fab fof captain also.

  18. Don’t worry guys, the cream always comes to the top in the end. Thanks for the laugh at Sunderland
    – we hate the Geordies too. That particular crowd chant is music to the ears of Sunderland fans – spread the word – we are definitely NOT Geordies! We hate them as much as you hate the Spurs fans! Come on you Gunners! Good luck for the rest of the season.

  19. ugh i say nasri and walcott on wings cesc and denulson on center RVP and bendter up front and buy gerrard, cristiano ronaldo, and torres we wish

  20. ugh i say nasri and walcott on wings cesc and denulson on center RVP and bendter up front and buy gerrard, cristiano ronaldo, and torres we wish yeah

  21. ugh i say nasri and walcott on wings cesc and denulson on center RVP and bendter up front and buy gerrard, cristiano ronaldo, and torres we wish yeah u

  22. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the Adebayor criticisms. They always seem to pop up after a loss and for the most part they don’t seem correct. He works his bollocks off in pretty much every game, don’t people notice this?

  23. Sorry to disagree Spanish, but i think Ade doesnt work hard in every game. I the RVP is the same way tho, they hardly ever put pressure on the ball when the defence has it. They dont force the defence to make a pass they jog half ass to it and by then the defence has sent it up field. Bendtner i like cuz he does chase down defenders, and works really hard. Cant say i’ve seen Ade or RVP do that lately. But the whole team really looks like its not clicking right now. Giving the armband to Cesc i think would add energy created by Cesc to the team. Wenger is a hypocrite. He says Cesc is too young to be Captain.. But yet players arent too young at 16 years old to buy. If thats the case why doesnt he buy more experienced players?!? Gallas doesnt need to wear an armband to be leader.. hes a natural leader. I think it would make Cesc VERY happy to wear that armband and put his game at another level in confidence which would make the whole team play better if Cesc plays better.

  24. @SF…fair point on the work rate but if your 8and half ft tall id rather you were in the mixer rather than crossing/dribbling!

  25. I agree with Demetrio but not with Spanish Fry. Sorry SF but Ade is not that good how many of you rate him.

    I never rated Ade-badge-kisser for his quality and attitude both. First touch, finishing and vision are the qualities you need in a good striker. Adebayor has none of these qualities. Maybe you guys want to defend him becase of his height, pace and workrate. I rate him in terms of height and workrate(last season but this season his workrate is abysmal) though. Yes he has better pace than RVP or Bentdner but he can never beat a defender with his pace and dribbling abilities. I wonder why Wenger rates him too much. That’s blind. I still repeat that we should have sold him to Milan/Barca and replace with Villa/Huntelar. Before Euro’s Villa was actually available and Valencia were ready to sell him and he confessed that he love to play for us. Still Wenger didn’t give a shit. Now compare Villa with Adebayor. Villa best player in the world at the moment with bags of goals and world class performances and Ade-badge-kisser(did you see him doing anythinng against Hull or Sunderland). If you point out to Porto brace, any striker can get a brace with Arsenal shirt having numerous chances and a penalty. Hull’s Cousin looked world class in comparision to Adebayor. Still people rate him. He is over rated by our manager and many Arsenal fans. Don’t tell me why I hate Ade so much and like Villa cause I support Spain.

    Wenger’s decision to keep hold of Adebayor, continue Gallas as skipper gonna haunt him all season. Besides that not signing a defensive midfielder Cesc was desperately begging for, we might end up losing Cesc to Barca/Madrid next season. Cesc never looked happy in the pitch this season with either Denilson or Song. Cesc decline in form and more importantly not scoring goals is because he is playing double roles in every game. Denilson always nove forward which is not his role in the team. Song is good positionally but too slow for premier league(how he lost the ball and we concede against Sunderland). Aerial defense of a title challenging team has already been a joke after 7 games of the season. Wenger is losing the plot and now if he does not get serious it will be bad for both Arsenal and him and we will end up losing key players to Barca/Madrid/Milan.. Time to wake up Grandpa.

    Now in my opinion league title hopes are already over just because Manu and Chelsea are too good. Manu are defending champons in league and CL and has deep depth in their team to challenge it. Chelsea now has not only money but also a brilliant manager. Liverpool will get more points than last season because they have better depth in their team than past seasons. Also they have a hell of a striker and never-say-die skipper which we do not have. To back up Cesc for skipper is a reasonable point cause he is the winner and organizer of this team, He can bring a new confidence and passion in this team. I will love him as a skipper. If Gerrard can lead Liverpool Cesc can lead Arsenal without any doubts. What I think is now this Arsenal team has to hang up for 4th place in the league and concentrate more in Champions league and FA cup. Knockout competitions are more suitable for this team and we have chances for a glory too. Four years without nothing and still counting is not good enough for Arsenal. So lets give our all in champions league and FA cup. Still Wenger has to buy DM and CB in janaury to achieve anything this season.

    Lack of quality in the middle of the park is hurting us so much. Hleb and Flamini top performers of last season in their positions were not replaced. Nasri is a quality but has terrible injury records. Walcott and Eboue are improving which is good news. If we add an extra quality in the middle with Cesc then we can challenge for Champions league this season. League is unattainable. FA cup is a chance too. We need at least one glory this season otherwise we might be in huge trouble. Time to wake up for the manager and players and time for us as supporters to back up our team. Wenger Gun. Cesc Gun.

  26. @ramugunner->spot on mate…totally agree with you..I’m just hoping that dudu makes a quick return..

  27. I know you guys don’t believe me but we will come through this ok? We have enough quality in the….wait who am I kidding? We will not win anything this year, I just want people to stroke my ego for turning teens into stars.

  28. Come on, too true – Wenger lost the plot ages ago. He let Chelsea take over as the force in London. Wenger has somehow managed to fool a lot of people by playing good attractive football, pointing out that although Chelsea did win things they were more efficient in their style. Now what has happened? Chelsea have added the attractiveness to their game combined with the unbeaten streak. In a few months it would not be wild to say that Chelsea will have become the team Arsenal were – The Invincibles. Can you imagine this?

  29. People have to realise the board have given Wenger far far too much room. How long has Fergie gone without winning trophies recently? even when they’re not winning the league they get something – be it fa cup and carling cup. Wenger – you say whats the point of finishing in bottom half of league and winning carling cup? Well – how would that be the case with Arsenal? The youngsters will be OK till semi final if Arsenal keep getting easier teams and then put some experience in if they come up against Chelsea, Manyoo etc. 4th place is assured at least and Wenger knows it.

  30. I don’t understand you “losses not draws” comment. I know we can’t afford to draw to many games, but how are we better off if Cesc doesn’t hit the equalizer? Remember, if we had beaten United and Chelsea last season, two matches we were up in and ended up losing, we would have won the league. If we draw those two games, that is a 3 point swing with United, so how are losses OK?

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