Thursday 26th January 2012
With the Bolton game having been moved to the first day of February we will have gone through a whole month without a League point. I'm no statistician but without the influence of weather it must be a long time since we have experienced such a run.
I haven't started my thoughts with that point to add to any doom and gloom, it’s more a suggestion that we go up to the Reebok with the slate wiped clean, think positively and look to stick together for an extremely important last four months of the season.
For me, all three of our League games this month have left me thinking we could have come out of all of them with a win on another day. We've had plenty of opportunities in each but individual and collective errors combined with our injury situation and a little bit of bad luck at times has seen us concede crucial goals in each.
The vast majority of matches will see both teams have a positive spell of play. We completely dominated the first half at Fulham and enjoyed numerous chances in both halves at Swansea. It is that above all else for me that demonstrates if we can get the defensive side right we are not far away from where we want to be.
Talking of positive spells, despite Sunday's visitors having a large chunk of the first half, as the break approached I felt if we could get there without going behind, we would definitely enjoy more of the proceedings in the second half.
The opening goal came at a bad time and was extremely frustrating as a result, however few of us could argue that United probably deserved to be in front.
Even before RVP's equaliser we could and should have been at least level, with three or four great chances going begging. One in particular had us all scratching our heads as to how it didn't end up in the back of the net.
When putting an opponent under so much pressure and committing more and more players forward, it is against the better sides that you run the risk of being caught on the break. That is exactly what happened on Sunday as we all know, although even in the dying seconds a Per header was cleared off the line denying us of the point arguably our second-half performance deserved.
Situations like that seem to happen when things are not going for you and it leads me to my final point today.
I have always said that every football fan likes to think they are also a manager and when things are not going great we also like to think we are better than the one we have in charge of our great club. This is the same with football fans all over the world. The kind of decisions we like to think are the better ones, are so incredibly easy with the benefit of hindsight when we discuss them down the pub, in work or on our journeys home from the game. As fans we forget that every time.
Mr Wenger is our manager and is a human being. In life, as we are not robots, we all make what turn out to be good decisions and we also make mistakes. Situations that we know we might have done differently with the benefit of hindsight.
Our manager has made many thousands of decisions during his Arsenal career. As a manager, that is what you have to do. Like all humans he will know that some of them might not turn out to be the right ones. The thing us fans sometimes forget however, is that he would have made those decisions for what he believed to be a positive step for our football club.
This is not me saying I agree with every decision our manager makes, I'm a football fan and 'manager' myself after all! In my opinion however, I do believe every single one is made for the benefit of the club.
I mentioned it above but in my opinion a 'club' is about one thing above all else... sticking together. How anyone thinks anything different to that is beyond me.
Results-wise the one positive note in 2012 so far has been our progress in the FA Cup. Overcoming Villa on Sunday is the next step.
Our support on the day is crucial, anything less is detrimental to what we all, as a 'club', want to achieve.
Come on you mighty reds.
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