Friday, 23 September 2011

Tactics or Attitude?

Since our defeat at Old Trafford a lot of fingers have been pointed and a lot of frustration have been vented but it's nearly a month since that awful afternoon and I don't think we've made sufficient progress since.

Where do we start?


This sides attitude stinks. When we played against Swansea, it was our first game since United and it should have been a statement game for us but no, we tried to play football but the most clear cut chances fell to the welsh side and they should have taken a point had it not been for Gateshead's finest lashing over the bar late on. Where was the desire to win the ball, prove a point and show commitment. Once you add those factors into our style of play you get performances like we witnessed at Stoke when we won 3-1. Proving the doubters wrong but again we failed to provide any confidence and we were just happy at the sight of three invaluable points.

When you dig a but deeper, look at our play at set plays. Wenger side in pre-season we had worked on improving this side of our game. Clearly whatever that was it hasn't worked and arguably it's made things worse. You can read about zonal marking until you are blue in the face but it's all about attacking the ball. If you don't attack it (the ball) you look like a bunch of twats. Song was on the edge of the 6 yard box against Blackburn and at no point was he focused and prepared to deal with a cross. Given they were about to whip a ball in towards him, that just isn't good enough I'm afriad. It subsequently hit his thigh and found its way into the net. Blaming zonal marking is the easy way out, it's been part of the game for years. If everyone does their job you'll succeed. Then we had Koscielny own goal, what a mess he got himself into by just running back to deal with a counter attack. He assumed Szczesny was going gather the cross, hehe wasn't going to have to defend but then that suddenly mass panic. His body position was appalling, it was obvious what was going to happen and he then attacked the ball with wrong foot. Why not put in in row Z with his left foot. This led calls for Arsenal to employ a defensive coach but of course we refuse to deal with such a massive issue.

The Immediate Future

We might be on the verge of a couple of false dawns, Bolton is followed by the North London Derby, which is tricky every season regardless of what Alan Smith might think about who the force in North London is. Then we play Sunderland & Stoke followed by Chelsea.  November looks brighter fixture wise but then it's November and we all know what that means.


Then we move onto the diamond in the rough. Our performance in Germany was first class, we defended well (for the most part) and looked a threat upfront, until we took off all of our attacking three. Only an absolute worldy stopped us taking all 3 points off the German Champions.

That got me thinking, we are massively respected in Europe and Dortmund were playing their first game in Europe's elite competition for eight years. They were scared of us, no idea why. They were making uncharateristic mistakes (Kehl especially), the occasion was getting to the them, they decided not to exploit clear weaknesses such as our left hand side. We are one of the best teams in Europe (based on reputation) and it's something I'm quite prepared to ride out for the duration. The knockouts will prove a different task, unless we get handed the kindest of draws (which never happens).


So Wenger still has a lot of work on his hands but thankfully for him our support has never been so united. We have been a laughing stock of late and the likes of SkySports News tried to jump onboard a poor attendance of 46,000, when you have the likes of Manchester City failing to sell out their first ever Champions League game. I love the togetherness that the supporters feel at the moment. We've been stabbed in the back by players we've adored (that's not directed at Cesc) but our love for the club grows ever stronger.To lose such an influential manager could be devastating to us but it isn't as bad as it would have been say seven or eight years ago. A win in the North London derby would do wonders for the club both on and off the field. Let's see that become a reality next weekend.


Jack Wilshere out for a period of months as he will need surgery on his troublesome ankle injury.

Things just got a whole lot worse!

Oh well, there's always next season!

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