Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland – Argh!

March 6, 2011 17 Comments by Sian

Morning all,

Well a 0-0 draw is the least welcome of all the draws. At the end of a 0-0 draw I always feel like the teams may as well have stayed in bed and agreed to call it even Stevens. The 0-0 draw can exit the planet stage right, frankly.

Except at the Camp Nou on Tuesday nights in March, obviously. If the 0-0 draw wants to put in an appearance then: totally OK with that.

Less so against Sunderland at home when we’re trying to catch up with Man Utd at the top of the league though. It was not a good day at the office at all. I mean it wasn’t for want of trying. They tried all right. They just failed. Like one of those days at the office where you come in all ready and raring to go and then your phone line doesn’t work, the office kitchen runs out of milk, one of the wheelies on your chair gets stuck going left and maggots start falling out of the ceiling.

I have worked in an office in which maggots fell out of the ceiling. It was not a good day.

Anyway, I think it’s agreed that the first half wasn’t good. We had a wobbly start while Sunderland came roaring off the starting blocks like Usain Bolt if he was a man who liked to roar as he ran. We settled into our own pace soon enough though, with the exception of two players: Denilson and Diaby.

What were they? I mean what… what WERE they today? Why were they there? It didn’t work at all. Diaby seems to need about half an hour before he can decide what to do with the ball lately. Sure he’s got the skills, he’s just not got the speedy thought processes which go hand in hand. I mean I’m sure he’s an excellent person but good luck getting interest from Spain based on today’s performance. Denilson meanwhile gave away balls like they were Krispy Kreme doughnuts near a Krispy Kreme restaurant on opening day.

Our defence was fine though and with the exception of one funky moment between Koscielny and Szczesny (not half as funky as last Sunday, mind), it all seemed sturdy enough. See, the issue was not with keeping goals out, it was with getting goals IN. Marouane Chamakh and Tomas Rosicky were brought on for Fred and Barney slightly earlier than usual if I remember correctly and it made a difference. Chamakh had a header hit the post and Mignolet (interestingly enough a man and not a steak) made more saves to the tally he’d started with a brilliant one from an attempt by Bendtner in the first half.

There was controversy as is expected these days. Arshavin had his arm pulled by Titus Bramble who then went on to two-handed challenge him. No penalty was given. We had a pretty clear view of it in the stadium and I thought it could have been given. But it wasn’t, so moving swiftly on.

Then Arshavin did score. But it was offside. Except that it wasn’t. Two iffy decisions against us in one match. Just our luck. People have said that the decision was one that could only have been made after having seen a replay of the event. All I can say to that is that FIFA found it necessary to ban snoods this week. Yes, in a week in which a professional shot a person and Wayne Rooney got away with elbowing another person, yet the powers that be made the decision to focus on the pressing, burning issue of a FLUFFY SODDING GARMENT, I don’t think we’ll be enjoying the luxury of replays any time soon.

It was Frustration City in that stadium today. A draw was probably a fair result, but it was far from the result we were after. By the final kick of the game, an Arsenal corner, it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. I thought to myself “A Premiership winning team would score this…” But then we didn’t, so I arsed that notion off.

I said earlier that I wished we could have a Szczesny Cam for some matches. You should have seen him during that last kick of the match. He was crouched down on the floor tearing his hair out. It said it all really.

While I know people get fed up of me prancing around going “Never mind, never mind, have a cookie”, we are still only three points off the top. Manchester United play Liverpool tomorrow and every Arsenal fan in the land will be hoping Liverpool can get the better of their fierce rivals. I don’t hold out much hope that they will but you never know.

Post-match Wenger said he was “disgusted” with some of the decisions today. Well yeah, us too matey but there’s nothing to be done now but move on with the next match. I might be in the minority but I don’t think today’s performance was a bad one. Arsenal fans sometimes get a bit silly. It’s not our divine right to win matches and to always be the better team. Sometimes teams play well. Today Sunderland played well. We played well too but we made the mistake of thinking everything could be fixed in the second half, and it couldn’t.

So let’s just hope United lose tomorrow – or, always, from now on – and start preparing for Tuesday. Ah yes Tuesday, the little matter of Barcelona away. Are you going? I’m going. Are you excited? I’m excited. Are you worrying about how you’re going to look presentable given that last time the police took it upon themselves to relieve us girls of our make-up products upon entry to the stadium? I’m worried.

In the name of research, I watched Barca play Real Zaragoza at home today and they were alright. They beat them 1-0, having beaten Valencia 0-1 at the Mestalla mid-week. It’s not like they’re some kind of steam engine. That said, a 1-0 win over us would do them nicely. Everyone harps on about the Camp Nou like it’s some magical goal-providing place but it’s pretty meh if you ask me. And as the drunken man behind me at last year’s version of this fixture pointed out to a police officer behind us at the time ’IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A F***ING ROOF’.

It could prove to be an amazing night for us, just like two weeks ago. It could prove to be another Messi Marathon, just like 11 months ago. I sure hope it’s the former, but I suppose it depends on how we turn up. I personally believe we can do it, but it’ll be hard. All we need is a draw. Or a goal. We’re not asking much, football gods.

I have an enormous bloody great deadline for Monday but I’ll hopefully get a little blog up on Monday evening. We’re off to Barcelona exceptionally early on Tuesday morning before spending the afternoon in the lovely city and then heading off to the average stadium. I hope we return delirious from more than just altitude sickness.

Until then, don’t panic Gooners, we’re still in this!


  1. aditya
    2420 days ago

    I just don’t understand the point of denilson…. What does he bring to our squad?????? He doesn’t know how to tackle, can’t shield the ball, can’t make a simple pass… Only thing that works for him sometimes are his long range shots on goal but they are also ineffective most of the times….. Either wenger needs to loan him out so that he can learn more… Otherwise he is just a piece of wood playing in an arsenal shirt….


  2. Alan
    2420 days ago

    Nice blog, Siany. Your way with words is a joy to behold. The boys did well enough apart from the two Ds (Dumb & Dumber?). Shame we weren’t comfortable enough to allow Aaron Ramsey to come on as sub. I, along with many other Gooners, am really pleased he’s back. Can’t wait for the interminable climb to the rarified atmosphere at the Camp Nou. Just hope the descent is with a smile on my face.


  3. @ejioforo
    2420 days ago

    I love you Siany !!


  4. Treez
    2420 days ago

    Very enjoyable read, Siany and to continue with your positivity, the best thing you can take from yesterday’s frustrationfest was that Arshavin looks make to his best. He and Samir might well make up for the lack of RVP on Tuesday. Then again Bendtner fancies his chances in the Nou Camp. If we score, who knows?


  5. Goonerinprovence
    2420 days ago

    I was really surprised AW didn’t play Ramsey, it would been a boost to the supporters and the team. He must be match fit after playing at Cardiff! And it seemed to me that Samir kept shooting at the keeper!!! or was it the keeper having a blinding game! What is it with goalkeepers against the gunners… they seem to have their best match of the season. Wasn’t happy with the result and definately not happy with the ref…… ah well 0-0 at the Nou Camp will do though. Have a good trip to Barcelona Sian, and get our supporters singing.


  6. shegunner
    2420 days ago

    Nice wrap up, as always.

    The match left me feeling blue yesterday. Combination of the poor showing in the 1st half and the poor decisions in the 2nd. That on top of last Sunday.

    And the snoods…. what a joke! This is like of someone goes off on a tear about the library system in Libya.

    Hoping for the great redemption on Tuesday. Thanks for blogging. Has to be an effort sometimes, but it’s certainly appreciated.


  7. Goonerinprovence
    2420 days ago

    oh Snoods, I forgot about that….. what’s new, sir fergie had already banned them so EUfa and FA just doing what Sir Fergie wants. Liverpool v Man Utd game today has Phill Dowd as official No 1, that will be interesting!!! I wonder if their isn’t a conspiracy amongst refs at the moment….. they get together on the internet and say, “hey! we gave some bad decisions against Man Utd v Chelsea, lets even the balance for Arsenal v Sunderland’ probably just paranoia but I love a ‘conspiracy’ theory.


  8. shegunner
    2420 days ago

    PS I’ll have that cookie now. Thanks much.


  9. Gary
    2420 days ago

    Nice blog as always.

    I think the problem with Denilson and Diaby is their speed. Not running speed but the speed their heads play the game at. They are just to slow when compared to Cesc and Jack and Nasri etc. I mean sure not many players are as fast as they are in the head, but when we have to play Deni etc it becomes noticeable.

    That and the lack of urgency and drive in the midfield was horrible and that was ultimately why we lost, not the 2 ref decisions (which were shocking but hey at least snoods are banned woohoo for that etc etc).

    Gotta love FIFA’s priorities.

    Im still in the positive camp. We are 3 points behind and as I write this ManU are loosing to Liverpool 2-0 so its now still in our hands! (Tho ofc it would have been better if we had won yesterday!) Its a great position to be in and I still believe that with Cesc etc coming back we will be able to do this.

    And Tuesday….I cant WAIT for Tuesday! Even with all our injury worries etc I have never stopped thinking that we will do the job on Tuesday. People must think I am mad but I think we will do enough to get past Barca on Tuesday!


  10. Peetay
    2420 days ago

    On my way home yesterday I was frustrated but felt we played OK
    The highlights confirmed we were better than maybe I first
    Thought so not all bad, as I write this Liverpool are 2-0 up
    So we can only hope they can soothe that frustration even
    Further! Great blog as always Sian, I really hope your a Happy
    Gooner Tuesday night! Up the Gunners!


  11. Girl Gunner
    2420 days ago

    Hahahahahahaha! Their goalies name is mignolet! Hahahaha! I’d ask Ashley Cole to shoot me if that was my name!! Anyhow,my cousins were making fun of me before i knew they lost(man u fans),its payback time! so i’m happy! Sure we could dwell on what could have been if we won but we didn,tho we have a chance to go top even if its by goal diff! Barca coming up! Ow how i pray we beat them,like all gunners hope!! Also Deni is a cutie,too bad he didn play so well watched the match in bits yesterday sadly,missed a good part of the 1st half and some more in the second sadly,i hate not watching the match in full!! But lets keep our head up! Snoods have been banned! Really FIFA? Really?,thats the most important issue in all of football? WOW! Keep rockin Siany,lovin ur blog more and more and best of luck with the deadline! Gunners are the best! <3


  12. Theo van Nasrigas
    2420 days ago

    Wow, only a good writer like Sian could manage an entertaining blog from that game.

    Good Arsenal (Leyton Orient) and bad Arsenal (Sunderland) AGAIN. The see-saw ride of the 2010-2011 season looks to continue right into May when we play Manchester United at home. We can only hope to see Good Arsenal on that day.

    Liverpool played massive today, so we’re still in it, as you said Sian, and this girl Gooner never panics (well may be a little…but not yet!).

    Now we can look forward to Tuesday…





  13. Arselona
    2420 days ago

    Good luck with the deadline and thanks for another good blog, love it. Have a good time in Barcelona and hope we have a good game, would prefer an Arsenal win, but what the hell, a draw would do nicely, pleeeaassse!


  14. El Greco
    2420 days ago

    Hey Siany, you’ll have a smashing trip to Barca…..and please come back with scarfs waving and the smell of victory in ya nostrils!



  15. Steve-o
    2419 days ago

    Sigh. Denilson.


  16. Fiete
    2041 days ago



One Trackback

  1. [...] who approved of Diaby’s performance yesterday (unlike, for instance, the always-entertaining Girl Who Loves The Gunners).  In fact, if it weren’t for Arshavin’s late, negated heroics, he was in the running [...]

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