Thursday 5th January 2012
The New Year has kindly handed me a streaming cold to get through, although admittedly there does seem to be a lot of it about at the moment. Probably as a result of all the festive excesses finally catching up with us, but last-minute celebrations on the way home from Craven Cottage were definitely conspicuous by their absence!
It has been a strange period of league matches for most clubs, all the more frustrating I guess that we couldn't take more of an advantage.
Not taking the opportunities created can be looked at in a number of ways. The positive side comes with the fact it is surely far better than not creating anything at all. The overriding emotion, though, has to be one of frustration when analysing a game where victory hasn't been achieved.
Wolves at home was a perfect example. Loads of possession, chances galore, an opposing goalkeeper having a 'worldy' and ultimately the incredible disappointment of only taking a point from the game.
After taking all three from a very difficult night at Villa Park it was extremely disappointing and it also meant when QPR visited on New Year’s Eve the game took on added importance.
Overall I felt we played better against Wolves but the extra two-point haul as a result of RVP's strike, was ultimately what we all longed for. It certainly had us all enjoying the annual entertainment well into the early hours far more than it would have done had we not won the game.
That sent us into the trip to Fulham upbeat about 2012 but, although thoroughly entertaining off the field, it was to prove a deeply disappointing occasion come the final whistle.
Pretty much all of the above points were emphasised yet again with a powerful first-half display only seeing us take a one-goal lead into the break when it really could and possibly should have been game over.
A lead was positive however, and a similar second-half performance would surely have seen us come away with three points and overall a pleasing holiday haul.
Our hosts were much stronger in the second half and, perhaps as a result of tired limbs from a hectic festive fixture calendar, we let the lead slip late on to come away with nothing for our efforts.
Overall, a real dampener on a fine day in London's winter sunshine.
With the New Year just starting we must look forward from here I feel and make sure we continue the progression we have made since our difficult start to the season.
Leeds come to N5 for the second season running and their draw last time out is evidence enough that Monday night will be a tough encounter. A Fourth-Round place is at stake so we must make home advantage count.
Come on you reds!
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 5 Jan 2012