Wednesday 18th January 2012
Analysing the facts is my preferred method after every game but likewise I really try hard not to make excuses when things don't go our way. We have 'coped' without a recognisable full back for a number of weeks now. Just maybe, however, the leaking of goals in our last couple of away games suggests the situation is finally proving to be costly.
Maybe that can be described as an 'excuse' and I can understand why it could be seen that way. Our injury situation, however, is fact.
The weekend just passed was entertaining and successful in every way except, of course, the result at the Liberty Stadium.
Bristol, like Swansea, is a city that has not been home to a top flight club for thirty years or so and consequently, although I have been there during the day, it is not somewhere I have enjoyed at night.
Saturday night proved thoroughly enjoyable, doing just that before heading into south Wales with the degree of Sunday morning discomfort such activities almost guarantee to present you with!
Passing Wales' capital city, Cardiff, and all the fantastic memories we have from there lifted the spirits. Once parked up and having enjoyed some lunchtime pre-match refreshment we entered the stadium for what our hosts' home record alone suggested was always going to be a tough encounter.
We could not have made a better start, Robin van Persie latching onto Arshavin's through ball to smash us in front and warm us all up on a bitterly cold day.
Overall we went in at half time having enjoyed three or four great openings and definitely should have been in front given the fact that replays have suggested the penalty was wrongly awarded. Theo, RvP and Rambo all saw great chances go begging.
Going forward I felt we looked dangerous throughout the second period too but mistakes ended up costing us in the worst possible fashion. The most frustrating situation was, of course, the third and decisive goal just when we all felt confident that the game was there to be won after Theo's equaliser.
So memories from our first visit to the Liberty Stadium are not fond ones.
The past cannot be changed and with a huge amount of the season still to go we must look forward. That starts with the visit of Manchester United on Sunday.
A tough, tough game we all know, and as fans we can always play our part.
Never forget, with all the history, belief, loyalty and class that goes with it, we are Arsenal.
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