Arsenal made hard work of beating a poor QPR side in a match which showed once again how lost we’d be without Robin van Persie.
Wenger made the surprising decision to start him considering we have a much tougher match at Fulham tomorrow. van Persie surely can’t start that one as well or that would be three games in six days for him, which is far too much of a gamble considering his injury record.
The obvious decision would’ve been to leave him out against QPR so he had six days rest to face Fulham, but by playing him Wenger is basically admitting he has absolutely no faith in Chamakh or Park.
If those two aren’t even good enough to lead the line at home to QPR then why the hell are they in the squad?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad van Persie played because he was the difference between the teams, turning in a Man of the Match performance and looking the only player on the pitch capable of sticking the ball in the net. If Chamakh or Park had played, we wouldn’t have won, so Wenger was right to gamble on the Dutchman. But it is very worrying to think we need van Persie to play every game to give us a chance of three points.
We started off poorly, as if the Wolves setback was still playing on our minds, and QPR made the first chance when Wright-Phillips forced Szczesny into a decent block. It wasn’t until the 20 minute mark that we started to move through the gears when van Persie headed narrowly wide from Vermaelen’s deep cross.
The only person I trust in front of goal right now
Shortly afterwards he blazed a volley just over after Connolly misjudged the flight of the ball and then prodded a close-range shot too high after an excellent run from Djourou.
He wasn’t the only one whose finishing levels weren’t up to scratch though. The returning Walcott was even worse, tentatively screwing a volley miles wide before missing the chance of the game after 55 minutes. Ramsey sent him clear but Theo had too much time to think about the chance and showed the lack of composure that still blights his game as he jabbed a terrible finish well wide. The next time he knocks on Arsene’s door asking to play up front the gaffer won’t need any words — he can just show him the video of this horrible miss.
At this stage it was beginning to resemble a re-run of the Wolves game, but Wright-Phillips helped out his Dad’s favourite club when he inexplicably passed straight to Arshavin. The tiny Russian (who’d done diddly squat up until then) showed that he can still produce a moment of class no matter how badly he’s playing by laying an inch-perfect pass to van Persie, who didn’t even need to break his stride before slotting in the winner with his trusty left boot. Watch and learn Theo, watch and learn.
We continued to make and spurn chances for the rest of the game with sub Gervinho guilty of a couple of glaring misses, which meant we needed a late save from Szczesny to secure the three points we deserved. We really should be killing teams like this off and not hanging on at home against dross like QPR, but considering the other results this weekend I am just grateful for the victory.
With Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea losing to teams in the bottom half and Spurs leaving two points behind in Wales, it’s been a great weekend for us. Back in the top four at last, we have a real chance to kick on from here. But with Wenger seemingly unlikely to sign a striker permanently in January to ease the burden on Captain Fantastic, the fate of our season lies solely with van Persie.
And if that’s not the definition of a one-man team then I don’t know what is.
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