Arsenal lost their second game at the ‘Fortress’ Emirates against a determined Hull City who stuck to their game plan and it payed dividend as they came away with an unlikely win.
It was a strange game as although Hull did well they never really had any clear cut chances before their goals but Arsenal didn’t also kill the game off which allowed Hull to stay in the match. The Gunners too didn’t shoot enough until they went behind and there were accusations of a lack of urgency and a feeling among the players the match was a case of ‘how much were we going to beat Hull by.’ It is hard to come to that conclusion if you were not among the Arsenal players however on the pitch the movement didn’t seem as good as did the body language seem disinterested.
Hull Game Plan
Credit too Hull as they stuck too their game plan and tried to stop Arsenal from playing which they targeted as the centre of the park. They played narrow with three central midfielders, Cousin staying high up the field for the whole of the match while Geovanni and King supported him. They tried to force the Gunners in at every opportunity as they had men in numbers in the middle. However sometimes this allowed Sagna and Clichy space to get forward though the crossing, especially of the former was not the best as was the movement from the strikers to get in to the crowded penalty area.
However there was space at the edge of box where Arsenal could have profited from but a lack of urgency and movement denied the Gunners from taken full advantage. Van Persie dropped very deep to try and make things happen but as a result this left Adebayor isolated. The Blackburn and Bolton game showed Arsenal’s strength in movement but here it was ordinary.
For Walcott, he encountered the same problems as last season and the start of this before his surge of confidence, as the lack of space stopped him from making a better final ball. He always looked threatening though and had a good battle with Dawson. Walcott cross succession was not the best, denied space inside and outside while Adebayor was usually the only one ready for the header. It was a surprise that Arsene took him off as apart from Fabregas was Arsenal’s main threat and as Hull would be going to look for their goal they would have been exposed to the pace. Bendtner came on on the right which was a surprise as he should have been the one in the box. Theo also didn’t track back for the Gevanni goal forcing Fabregas to try and cover which the space in the centre. Adebayor played too high up and should have tried to get at the defenders more while Van Persie dropped deep and didn’t have the desire to get into the box, instead opting for the cut back.
Resilience and Corners
Arsenal should have shut the game out but maybe because a lack of midfield steel kept Hull into the game. They were looking comfortable without hitting top gear before the two goals but unlike Chelsea could not close Hull out and hit them when exposed.
In defence we all know of Arsenal’s inability to deal with high balls and this season from corners especially. The Tigers put their only good cross in while Arsenal had ten corners only one creating a chance directly.
This wasn’t a match for stats as even though Hull made more tackles this was expected as they had less possession. The only stat that does count is the goals.
Time to worry?
No team has won the league after losing two games after six played though Man United were one point worse off last season and one point again this season providing they win their game in hand. The worry is if Arsenal are resilient and strong enough especially in midfield though Diaby, Nasri and Rosicky are too come back while Silvestre is fit again from injury. The Frenchman was partner to Ferdinand at United and was the player who was the stronger in the air at their time together.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Hull City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||5|
|12||Shots off Target||2|