For as bad as the refereeing was, the performance was worse.
Going into the game, I was very certain about a victory. Aston Villa had had a terrible season last season and Arsenal have had a very good preseason. Aston Villa is also a club that isn’t going to sit back, so considering it was Emirates, there was practically no chance of Arsenal not being able to score goals. It all started well but it was an implosion of the greatest magnitude.
Arsenal’s starting eleven was practically our best eleven, par Cazorla. The squad isn’t bad by any means, but the squad isn’t good either. In my opinion, we haven’t become a stronger team and we have become weaker. Wenger said he wasn’t going to sell any top players and his reason for doing so is because their are no top players at the club! Their is hardly any more depth as so many players have been sold this Summer. We are also having an injury crisis which hardly helps.
Arsenal started the game well as we pressed the ball and moved very quickly in the final third of the pitch. Oxlade Chamberlain made a good run in the 6th minute and cut back for Giroud to make it 1-0. It was a good goal and a deserved goal, but in all honesty, it was an avoidable goal from an Aston Villa perspective. Arsenal were ahead and looking pretty good before Agbonlahor took one touch and ran past the entire Arsenal defence. Szczesny brought Agbonlahor down and Benteke was very fortunate to score as his initial penalty was saved by Szczesny. At half time it was 1-1.
The second half started with Cazorla coming on for Chamberlain who may have picked up a knock, only furthering Arsenal’s injury problems. We hardly created any chances before Koscielny clearly tackled the ball of Agbonlahor. The pathetic refereeing performance continued when a penalty was awarded along with a yellow card for Koscielny. Benteke scored his penalty with aplomb and it was 2-1 to Villa. You would have expected Arsenal to come out attacking on all cylinders but it was Villa who still looked the more dangerous of the two sides. Koscielny picked up a second yellow after yet another questionable call by the referee and after that you could pretty much tell that it was game over. Villa scored their 3rd after in a similar fashion to the way Swansea scored their 2nd against Arsenal last season in the game at the Emirates, as left back Luna had a whole pitch to himself to score. It was the end to a disappointing performance.
Wenger is the reason to blame for this defeat, not the referee. It was some awful officiating, but there is absolutely no reason why Arsenal should have to rely on refereeing in order to beat a team that only just escaped relegation last season. The fans were in full unity at the end of the game just to let Wenger know what they thought of his Summer spending. Wenger now is probably going to have to sign a defender, probably one that can play centre back and right back, as the injury problems mountain. However, the club needs to sign a top, top player if we are even going to compete to finish in the top four this season. Tottenham have spent over £50m this Summer and look at where everyone is putting them. If I was Wenger, I would do anything I could to sign someone that the would make the fans and players believe again, someone like Suarez or Rooney. These are the sort of players we are going to need to sign or else we are going to be looking at a very disappointing season.