On Wednesady I wrote about Bridge: “This very average left back will set us back over £2million pounds in wages during his six month stay! We could have had a real bridge for that! Madness. Sheer bloody madness.”
When challenged, I wrote: “I don't think Bridge is very good regardless of the salary. This notion that he can save us from the drop seems way wide of the mark to me. No better than Ben Haim, and lacks the versatility is my assessment of the guy. I still keep replaying his performance for Man City against Burnley last season over and over in my head. And how much competitive football has he played this season? There must be a danger that he is ring rusty. He's not getting any younger so the edge may have gone off what little pace he had in the first place. Is he cup tied out of interest?"
Well, now you're going to believe me! Today wasn't all about Bridge - there is a bigger issue than a hopelessly overpaid rank ordinary left back - but he was at fault for ALL THREE Arsenal goals. As debuts go, they don't come much worse than that!
For the first ten minutes, I was asking what the fcuk Bridge thought he was doing. He was playing so close to Upson that they could hold hands with each other, and leaving a third of the pitch for Walcott to wander around in unmarked. There was only going to be one outcome and, sure enough, the ball was played to Walcott and he had 90 minutes to pick his pass before Bridge even thought of closing. The ball to Van Persie was perfect and the Dutchman turned and fired home brilliantly. Tomkins did his best to close the shot and Green tried valiantly to reach it but the execution of both pass and finish were perfect. 1-0.
Goal two and Bridge was TEN YARDS behind the last West Ham defender, playing Van Persie onside on the other side of the pitch. Upson thought he was back at Arsenal and stood with his arm in the air, not believing that a West Ham defender could be so dozy as to play Robin onside when he had started his run fifteen minutes ago. As a result, Van Persie this time had 90 minutes to pick out Walcott, who ran in on the blind side of, you've guessed it, Bridge and buried the chance. 2-0.
Then, a simple ball out to Walcott, who was in yards of space yet again. He ran at Bridge, made it into the box and invited the foul. And Wayne duly obliged. Penalty. 3-0. And Bridge had handed all three on a plate to Arsenal!
£90,000 a week! £90,000 for that! More in wages in six months than a Yank paid for London Bridge! Like I said on Wednesday, "Madness. Sheer bloody madness!"
And what else is there to say about a truly abysmal performance? Blame Grant if you like but what did he have left to pick from? Dear God, Faubert and Kovac actually played quite well - in comparison to the rest, with the honourable exception of Tomkins and Green.
If this is Grant's last game in charge, his penultimate decision was perverse. Why take off Sears when he looked our only decent forward player, especially when Hines was truly hopeless? That one staggered me. Why stay 4-5-1 for so long when it clearly wasn't working, even when Noble came off injured? I was calling at that stage for Boa to go wide left and either Hines or Sears to join Cole up top, but Avram thought he knew better.
We had four chances. Cole made a complete hash of a header after a superb cross by Sears. Hines fired narrowly over after Sears had set up an attack down the left with a lovely flick. Cole was clean through and his shot was blocked far too easily. And Sears forced a save from an intended cross. Apart from that we were hopeless.
The possession count second half was 80-20 in Arsenal's favour. The pass completion rate first half was 199 to 85 in Arsenal's favour. Fabregas touched the ball more times in the first half than the five players in our midfield combined. The gulf in class was huge!
At the end there was no affection for Grant, from the crowd or the players. He is surely on his way out. But can anybody do anything with this shower of shit? I doubt it!
Player ratings: Green 7: Faubert 6, Upon 3, Tomkins 6, Bridge 1; Sears 6, Kovac 6, Spector 1, Noble 4, Hines 1; Cole 2 Subs: Boa 4, Barrera 1