Saturday, 12 March 2011

Unlucky streak continues

Things just ain't going our way at the moment. Every keeper that plays against us is having the game of his career and refereeing decisions are going against us. Today, it wasn't decisions going against us, but we were still so damn unlucky. 

Unfortunately, two weeks on from having all our eggs nicely spread around our baskets, three of our baskets have been taken away and all our eggs are now in the last remaining basket. It's not all that bleak though, we're in a much better situation than we were this time last season in the league, chasing only one team with a lower points deficit. The Premier League title is well within our reach.

However our chances were dampened today by the season ending injury to Johan Djourou. Unfortunately not only are we without our two best keepers, but now our two best centre halves and the man who possesses the unlucky number 18 shirt at Arsenal now has a huge responsibility in covering for the outstanding Djourou who hasn't lost a game in the league this season. That's how good he has been for us.

Also, the result may dampen our chances but I think it's good that we have a week to recover and let things settle before the team next set foot onto a football pitch. I think the morale won't be as badly affected, as they will have a sense of unluckiness plaguing their minds rather than a sense of being outclassed therefore I don't think today's result will harm our title chances much. In fact, it could galvanise us. After all, the bad times are the times that can pull you together more and make you learn more.

There will be a great feeling of injustice at Arsenal at the moment I think and I'm sure that they are cursing their luck like the rest of us are. I think this could be a time that pulls the squad further together and drives them on to try and win the Premier League. I think it helps really to be out of everything else. Obviously we'd rather still be in the other two but it helps our Premier League title chances for us to be out of the others so we can focus on the league. Also, this means we will only be playing once a week generally and this may help the injury situation and lesser the chances of fatigue.

There's no point in getting too down and pessimistic about things, we just need to hope for the best and look on the bright side.

In terms of how the team played today, I can't really fault them. Usually when you lose you have someone to point the finger at, but no-one seemed poor. I am a little concerned at how easily they scored, I have defended our centre backs an awful lot in recent months but I am concerned about how congested their area was and how tightly their defenders marked us compared to how we marked them. However, I did only watch the second half when we were chasing the game. Maybe we were better at this when we were level and didn't have to gamble as many players forward. Additionally, I think that it was probably down to their general defensive system against us, not just a comparison in defenders. Plus don't forget that they had Vidic and we didn't have Vermaelen.

In terms of going forward, we were fine. The chances we should have done better on were the Chamakh header and the Rosicky chance at the end but other than that I can't even fault the finishing, van der Sar was outstanding today, like every opposition goalkeeper seems to be against us at the moment. But when you play against Man utd you need to make the most of your chances and we didn't do that today. Had Chamakh headed in his great chance as he should have, it might have been a different story today.

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