“If the diver always thought of the shark, he would never lay hands on the pearl”
I have read the comments from fellow, well respected bloggers and I can see why they are disappointed about the way Arsenal played today. It is a fair comment that Arsenal started a bit too conservative and did not do enough from an attacking sense in the first half. It is also true we did not see enough from our experienced, attacking players, notably Cazorla and Ozil, and that we left it too late with taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
All fair comments.
We lacked a bit of courage this afternoon and we probably paid for it.
However, I thought we played well from a tactical point of view and it was really good to put the Mancs under pressure for a sustained period in the second half. How many seasons in a row did we play embarrassingly bad at Old Toilet in recent times? The one big thing to take from this game is that we were never inferior to the Mancs at Old Toilet, and this has not been the case for a long, long time. In the long run, this is perhaps the most important lesson to draw from today’s game.
The only thing we were missing was a bit of luck as we deserved a point from this game.
I thought we did well to sit back and restrict them from attacking our box, and I could see us gradually coming out of that defensive fortress to steal a goal (or two). It worked against Dortmund, and with so many injuries in attack it seemed the right approach. Out of nothing, we conceded a goal from a set piece and I will not forget how the swine celebrated his goal. The man has no character, no style and no humility and today he showed us all why Wenger had to let him go when he was approached by him with a ‘must do list’ if he wanted him to stay. Today, he came out as the winner but in the long run he will be the loser; no doubt about that. And it will always be Van Judas for me 😈
After the goal, we gradually took the initiative and the second half was ours in terms of possession, pressure and chances. We just missed that bit of composure, cutting edge and luck on the day, but that just happens sometimes. The attack is still gelling together as both Ozil and Carzorla are finding their feet in our team. The former because he is new and is having to play a different sort of football as he was used to; the latter because he has been out for a while and needs to settle back in the team – and work things out with Ozil. And it is still showing up in these sorts of games.
I could become very critical of both Ozil and Cazorla, but I know they are very good footballers who give their all, so why not give them the benefit of the doubt today?
Did we deserve to lose? Not in my opinion.
We could analyse it to bits, and I am sure we will do so over the next few days, but ultimately we lost because we were a little bit less lucky than the Mancs, and we just have to move on to the next game. That is what champions-in-the-making do: they take a set back on the chin and swiftly move on.
Arsenal are top of the league, with a gap between us and the Chavs, Mancs and Northern Oilers of at least four points. If you would have given me this position twenty days ago, just after the last inter-lull, I would have Suarezed your hand off. If you would have offered me a win against Liverpool, a win away to Dortmund and a narrow loss against the Mancs eight days ago, I would have taken it as well.
But that does not mean that today’s mini setback does not hurt a bit. I would have loved to beat the horrible Mancs comprehensively and for Flamini to do a ‘Keown’ in front of Van Judas today. I would have loved to create an 11 point gap between us and them today. It was not to be. However, our time will come, and I saw enough in the second half to suggest we are champions material this season.
If we beat Southampton in two weeks and the Mancs lose away to Newcastle the gap between us and them is eight points again, and the natural order of things will be restored once more. Let’s keep the faith and move on; and show a bit more courage next time.