November 10, 2013

Reality Check

I am still suspicious that someone put in a DVD of Arsenal from recent years past in and I watched that instead of the actual game today.

We were poor, very poor and even looked like that fear had returned. My 9 year old son made a prediction yesterday stating that; "Arsenal will lose 1-0 because the players will be lazy."

Without analyzing every single player, I do want to point out that our 'key' players were off their game today. Ramsey looked tired, missing passes, not pestering the man on the ball like he usually does from the first minute to the final whistle. Ozil was barely average, and did nothing to suggest he deserves his £42million price tag. I know he's a great player, but other than a few early assists in his Arsenal career, I'm yet to be genuinely impressed by him.

Overall I think today really showed that we're not the dominant League leaders we may have thought we were. We've played 11 games, with 27 still to play. This is not going to be an easy season, they never are in the English Premier League. However, we're top of the league and still clear by 2 points and when we compare our position to previous seasons I think we're still in great shape. The media was just beginning to clamber on to the Arsenal band wagon, but we showed them why the Arsenal band wagon perhaps isn't the most sturdy.

I usually don't write a post immediately after a game because emotions will cloud my better judgement. But today is different. I'm not devastated, not angry just a little disappointed. This was our best chance to get a result at Old Trafford in almost a decade, and we just didn't capitalize on it. The pressure was all on United, since a loss for us would still see us sitting top of the league, but a loss for them would be close to season-ending. The boys from up 'there' just wanted it more today. Plain and simple.

There aren't too many concerns to take from this game I don't believe. Poor performances are for the manager and coaching staff to remedy. My only concern is that the players' belief is still there. This is clearly a special Arsenal team, and one that will be successful this year, of that I am confident. If we have to lose a game, I would be OK with it being this one. Manchester United at Old Trafford, fair enough. If we can keep our form up against the so called 'weaker' teams then we'll be just fine.

Monday is going to feel like someone just shat in their shoes for the Arsenal players, but it's just a loss. If this is perhaps Wenger's last season (a blog for a different day) then I'm sure he's not going to let a tight 1-0 loss at Old Trafford destroy his chances of silverware. 

Up and at 'em boys! We're still top of the league!