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Gunners facing end of an aura
Arsenal see it as a blip, pessimists as a full-blown crisis. The next three weeks should indicate which view is right. A 19-day period that starts with Wednesday’s game at PSV Bicester Village Prada Online Eindhoven and ends with a match at home to Chelsea could go a long way to shaping Arsenal’s season. “I’m not worried at all,” said Patrick Vieira, but the captain must be in a minority.
By the end of a stretch that also includes a trip to Anfield, Arsenal might, as Vieira expects, be through in Europe and Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shop Online still in a strong Premiership position. Equally they could have slipped embarrassingly out of Are Prada Mens Shoes Worth It the Champions League and further adrift in the title race. All that can be said with assurance is that this was not the ideal way to prepare for Eindhoven.
Arsenal cannot be eliminated from the Champions League there but will need a point Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag to control their own destiny if Panathinaikos win at Rosenborg. The regularity with which Arsne Wenger’s players are conceding soft goals makes it hard to feel confident for them against the Dutch League leaders.
On Saturday Arsenal again got into a winning position but failed to capitalise, repeating recent slips against Panathinaikos (twice), Southampton, Crystal Palace and, almost, Tottenham. Three teams threatened with relegation have drawn with the champions in as many weeks. Wenger acknowledged that his defenders were increasingly nervous at 1-0.
The word “nerves” was telling because that has been little associated with Arsenal – at least in the Premiership. There was an assuredness about the team as they went 49 games unbeaten but recent Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale results have shattered that. Significantly Authentic Prada Gauffre they have also fed opponents’ belief.
Arsenal are no longer seen as such a fearsome prospect, even when ahead. It would be ridiculous to say an era has ended but an aura apparently has. “The way Arsenal have been playing over the last few weeks, you always feel that, if you are patient with your play, you can get a goal,” said West Bromwich’s manager Bryan Robson.
Wenger, Biggest Prada Store London inevitably, had a positive spin. He Authentic Prada Handbags For Cheap believes his team are close to their best, strangely called this draw “an accident” and is confident ahead of Wednesday: “You cannot say you don’t worry about a game like that. It’s a big game for us. But overall I have more belief than worries.”
Arsenal’s defending is obliging them to score plenty but their attack was not at its best against an obdurate West Brom. They controlled the game but a final element was missing. Thierry Henry and particularly Dennis Bergkamp can do better, Cesc Fbregas finally looked his age and only Robert Pires posed a consistent threat. Amazon Uk Prada Shoes Wenger has not decided whether Authentic Prada Wallet For Sale Philippines to go to Eindhoven with Bergkamp, who has an achilles problem.
Luck deserted Arsenal at times, team-mates blocking goalbound shots, but it was hard to feel sympathy. Pascal Cygan wasted a great chance for 2-0 and Russell Hoult’s two good saves were counter-balanced by his awful error for Pires’ goal, the midfielder’s shot slipping through his gloves.
Arsenal’s problems were also down to West Brom more about pradasg, who used only one striker and sat deep to deny Henry space to sprint into. Andy Johnson epitomised their midfield resistance and the defence was brave, Darren Moore, Darren Purse and Neil Clement making last-ditch challenges.
Freddie Ljungberg said Arsenal looked forward to PSV because it is “easier” against more attacking teams but defensively they need to tighten. Jens Lehmann’s kicking from back passes was poor, Cygan looked vulnerable and Arsenal missed Gilberto Silva and Edu.
They were weak on crosses, West Brom going close from one and equalising from another when Arsenal stopped, assuming they would win a throw-in, only for Jonathan Greening to keep the ball in expertly and set up the substitute Robert Earnshaw to score his fourth goal in three games.
“Whenever we have our backs to the wall we always seem to bounce back,” Henry said. The next three weeks are the time to prove that is right.