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Out thought or out fought

Posted by on October 2, 2012 | Comments Off

A bit of both I suspect. It’s probably a mark of getting older, but didn’t footie seem to be a lot simpler once? Generally speaking the team who had the biggest blokes tended to beat the team with smaller blokes by simpler walking through or over them. Personally I blame Barca. Or anyone other than us. Denial has merit.

So we took on Chavski and lost. Why? I don’t mean why did we have to play them although to some that might seem like cruel and unusual punishment in itself. No, why did we lose? For a change it wasn’t because they had a big guy who could play a bit up front and we didn’t. It was because, well actually I can’t pull one thing out of the hat and point to it. There were really quite a few contributing factors. See, I told you footie had got more complicated.

For quite a lot of the game we were just plain flat. Players who have been playing pretty well recently hardly had a look in or kept giving the ball away when it seemed like that was harder than finding a team mate. I’m not singling anyone out because most of them were at it at some point.

Looked like our midfield didn’t know where to stand or play once Diaby exited. The amount of space available to those nippy little chavs was frankly ridiculous at times and closing down just wasn’t happening.

Kos and Vermaelen seemed to be strangers at times. So much for the BFG being the week link. As has been said in other places, our best defence seems to be the BFG + guest, although I can totally see why Arsène might think height wasn’t as big an issue as it has been in past seasons.

Whilst there are a whole bunch of contributing factors, one thing won’t stop buzzing around at the back of my mind. Do we have a problem with over-confidence. Things have been going well recently and we’ve all seen it before, indeed players have admitted it, we can sometimes turn up thinking that’s all we have to do to win. Obviously Arsène’s teams live or die on technical ability, but to utilize that a player has to have confidence in their ability. I doubt it takes much to tip over into an expectation that doesn’t require as much effort. I could be mis-reading this, I hope I am, but it has been a problem and it’s going to take a bit of convincing before I am certain it is no longer an issue. One player who impressed yet again was young corporal Jenkinson. I love his attitude which is spot on and hopefully this doesn’t refer to the sort of over-confidence I was thinking of Arsenal.com. If you haven’t yet read it, for an excellent analysis of the tactics take a look at Arseblog.

Looks like Jack is back(ish). It never fails to amaze me how fit footballers have to be these days and copious amount of gym time still leave a fit young man knackered after a game of footie. Hopefully a few more reserve and/or under-21 games should see him back in the mix and yes, it’ll be just LANS Arsène! Whilst I’m very glad to see him back, I’m a little more cautious than others perhaps in just how he is going to fit into the midfield. Wouldn’t hurt to learn Spanish for a start.

Does one bad(ish) result mean we’re doomed? Of course not although when you are then asked to choose between a side with Judas van Persie or the Spuds, the day doesn’t get any better. But the Prem looks like there will be a number of teams milling around for the minor placings come the end of the season and I’m sure we have a whole bunch of shocks, surprises and delights to live through before the fat lady sings. Would be good to look back on this season as the year we broke the trophy drought. Did you know we’ve gone 7 years without a trophy? Oh hang on, yay Arsenal Ladies, another one in the bag. Now there’s a team who have earned the right to be confident.

Euro stuff next, then the ‘Appy ‘Ammers and a much looked forward to reunion with the big bloke what should be running Real Madrid. Ignoring the Interlull and Schalke, we then have Norwich, QPR and Reading in the Prem before the game at Old Tractors which after last year has to be viewed with a mixture of strong desire for revenge and ever so slightly pooping. These are all games we need to win. And should. Unless we don’t. In which case we probably are doomed.

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