A 2-1 win over Manchester United had supposedly silenced the critics, although there was always a danger it would be ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ when Aston Villa came to town. Martin O’Neill’s team may have lost their previous two matches, although they were always capable of springing a surprise, especially if the Gunners were not at their best.
Setanta reports that Manuel Almunia has called for a change in the way that Arsenal play after losing to the Midlands side on Saturday. It was by no means a fluke result, with Villa having a penalty saved by the Spaniard, before goals from Clichy and Agbonlahor won the day.
“We have to continue doing our job,” said Almunia on the club’s official website. “First of all because of respect for the fans. Anything is possible but we have to change many things from today.
“We are the same team [as last Saturday against United] but each player has to analyse his performance because today’s game was Arsenal’s worst for a long time.
“It is very disappointing because after the penalty I thought the team would be more excited and grow with desire to win the game. But the penalty did not change anything and that is embarrassing for us.”
Why were Arsenal so lacklustre against Villa on Saturday? Is it just difficult for Arsene Wenger’s team to perform to a high level on a consistent basis? One thing you can say about the Gunners is that they’re not as watertight defensively as the other ‘Big Four’ members, but does this result indicate that qualifying for the Champions League might be a problem?