When Sunderland scored in the 45th minute, I was not surprised. In fact, I expected it. Even worse, I wish I had have bet on it. Even before the free kick was given.
This season in the league, the period between the 40th minute and half time has been horrendous for Arsenal.
Of the 13 league goals conceded so far, 5 of them have come in this space of time. Add in a red card against Chelsea, and that is 6 major negative incidents in the 15 league games so far this season.
It started on the first game of the season. West Ham took the lead in the 43th minute through Kouyate.
You then had the Gabriel moment of madness against Chelsea in the 45th minute of the game. Followed up by Ross Barkley scoring in the 44th minute.
Arteta’s own goal from another free kick on the 40th saw us throw away 3 points against WBA. And then the Gabbidon goal against Norwich. 43rd minute.
Finally, we have Giroud’s own goal against Sunderland. Another free kick. This time the 45th minute.
What happens in this time for Arsenal? It is too much data to be a coincidence.
What is also worrying is that 3 of the 5 goals conceded have come from free kicks. Silly free kicks as well that we had no reason to give away.
Are we switching off? Both on the field of play and at the free kick? Who knows, but it is something that needs to be addressed.
If you take the data to the last 5 minutes of the game as well, we have conceded over 50% of our goals in the 5 minutes before the half time and full time break.
It does not take a genius to look at the data and analysis it. Arsenal will spend thousands on statistical analysis’s. Surely they will come up with a pretty graph using excel, look at the data and show it to the boss. Who in turn will address the situation with the players. Ensuring that they keep their concentration for those important 5 minutes.
Then again, with the arrogance of our manager, he will probably interpret that there is no problem, and we will continue to concede goals, lose leads, or go in behind, in that mad 5 minutes before half time.
It is clearly not good enough. There is clearly a problem.