Thierry Henry has unsurprisingly criticised Arsenal’s desire and commitment levels after another unimpressive display against West Brom yesterday.
It was a must-win match for Arsenal given their recent struggles. Following their 3-1 defeat, Henry was on Sky punditry and had this to say: “It is not enough to have 77% possession and don’t do anything with it. You play against a team with 23% of the ball and they create more chances, have more shots on target. What is that possession supposed to say?”
Arsenal were expected to have spells with plenty of possession in and around both the midfield and attacking zones. Post-match statistics justify this assumption, as they made a whopping 750 passes to West Brom’s 219, despite only having two shots on target.
75.2% were successful when attempted in the final third to the hosts’ 39.5% but Arsenal failed to convert clear-cut opportunities.
“You have to do something with it and they had nowhere near the desire, commitment and attitude required to win a game in the Premier League.
“We can talk about whether Arsene Wenger or Alexis Sanchez will stay, let’s talk about West Brom. You have to win and they couldn’t do it. Especially the way they lost, it was all about attitude.”
It’s obvious that for Arsenal to challenge for major silverware every year, they must avoid under-performing in these sorts of matches. Although Henry’s comments may seem harsh on the surface, they are completely justified.
Considering the quality within their ranks, Arsenal should be able to beat West Brom irrespective of whether they perform well.
Moments of brilliance coupled with concentration when under pressure defensively is often the difference between three points and none.
This result is Arsenal’s seventh league defeat this term and there have been instances where they should’ve won and didn’t. Performances like this one against West Brom just suggest things are going to get worse before improvements can be made.