Monday 8th February 2010
Yesterday saw our third defeat in consecutive weekends, not something that happens to us very often. Not that information like that makes us Gooners feel any better this gloomy Monday of course.
Like you and all other Gooners I'm gutted things haven't gone our way over the last couple of weeks. I will however, continue to offer my personal thoughts when analysing yesterday's course of events. I speak from the heart, I am honest, I would hope nobody doubts Gooner blood very much runs through my veins and despite what some of you seem to think by the tone of your e-mails at times, apart from my language possibly being a little more 'colourful' down the pub, I would give you exactly the same thoughts would I be talking to you in that location instead of through this blog.
I mentioned it after the United match but only one aspect of our game worries me a little at the moment. Unfortunately for us it is quite a large aspect and top sides will continue to expose it if we don't improve. I don't mean one position or player for that matter but as a defensive unit we have fallen short in our last couple of games.
Overall yesterday I felt we played very well. We dominated possession, probed enough to create a handful of chances that on another day would have seen us score goals. One such opportunity in fact was probably the most crucial point in the game. Andrey's strike from Cesc's awesome pass would have made it one apiece and who knows what might have happened from there. Five minutes later we were two down.
Our workrate was tremendous, we got stuck in and won more tackles than we lost, not necessarily something we can claim in our more recent encounters and we kept going and looked ever stronger right until the final whistle. In addition I cannot remember the last time we reduced our hosts to so few chances over 90 minutes.
Saying all of the above however, it is very difficult to ignore the distinct possibility that having been almost handed a two-goal lead on a plate, Chelsea did not need to force the pace or try and get a third. We've seen European teams do it so many times down the years, take the lead and sit on it for victory.
For me, we did play well yesterday, we did work hard, we did look dangerous, our possession football was as always easy on the eye but we simply cannot make silly defensive mistakes against a top team. And I mean a top team, not one that turns up and virtually throws the towel in by leaving all their best players on the bench before a ball is even kicked!
We have seen the mistakes but we have to keep faith that both the management team have seen them and the players are very much aware they have made them. For what it's worth, I for one believe this to be the case and just like the rest of us live in hope that we can learn from the errors.
It has been a difficult week or so to take, we all know that but I would like to finish by praising the vast majority of our fans at the Bridge yesterday. Our support was tremendous throughout, despite it being a frustrating day.
I've said before that when things go wrong an air of defiance seems to appear, especially among the majority of travelling Gooners.
Wednesday will be a tough game, make no bones about it. We desperately need to get our League season back on track.
We as fans can play a massive part by getting behind the team, even if things are not going as we want.
For me, our League season starts now.
Come on you mighty reds!
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