At the moment, we’re 2-0 down to United, and I’ve turned the volume right down. We started brightly, have dominated the possession, but as almost everyone on my timeline, including me, tweeted when the first United goal went in, it’s all ‘typical’. I have sufficiently calmed down I think, and turned the volume up. But I am getting fed up of it all. Dominate, then concede. We never get the results to justify our performance, and it’s very frustrating. I don’t know what’s going wrong, but at the moment, there’s just something missing. The vital components that make our team work, in my opinion, just aren’t ever present at the same time. It’s been AGES since we had the likes of Vermaelen, Theo, Cesc, Song and Robin on the pitch at the same time, not to talk of successive games. We can’t blame injuries forever, but our key players tend to be the ones who get injured, not the bit-part players. And as I type this, Ryan Giggs just almost scored the third. That would have been heartbreaking (as if our hearts aren’t already bruised enough), and he really should have. He had all the time in the world, being in the 6-yard box with virtually an empty net, but he dithered too long.
There are 25 minutes to go, and I’m hopeful we can turn this game around, but it’s just in hope, not expectation. I’m hopeful we pull it off, but at the same time, I won’t hold my breath. It’s just SO frustrating that we have so much talent in the team, but we tend to be unable to pull off the big results consistently. Our best result of the season was against Barca at the Emirates, but looking back at it now, it didn’t count for much. Obviously in the long run, it’s a massive win psycologically. But what I mean is, despite winning that game, we didn’t progress in the Champions League, and neither did it add any points to our league tally. Why can’t it be that when we do pull out the big result, it counts? Barca won the tie, but no one remembers we beat them. We are clearly good enough to beat the best, but is that enough? Anyways, I’m off on a tangent.
Back to the game. The starting line-up was:
Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs
Wilshere – Denilson
Nasri – Diaby – Arshavin
As I said already, we started really well, both halves. And we’ve gotten close a number of times, but like I said last time about ‘keepers, they always play blinders against us, and Van der Sar is having one of those days. And oh, we’ve got a man down! Almunia’s just clawed away a certain goal off the line, and in all the craziness, Djourou went down. Still receiving treatment and it’s been a few good minutes. Not really sure what happened there, but hope it’s not too serious. We’ve used all our subs, too. And of all people we don’t want to lose, it’s Djourou. See what I meant earlier? Unbelievable. He’s had to have oxygen, and he’s finally being stretchered off the pitch. Great to see him waving just to show he’s okay.
5 minutes, plus a huge amount of injury-time left, and we’re down to 10-men. That’s pretty much our goose cooked. With United having to play 7 defenders today because of injury, one would have thought we’d be able to take advantage, but we’re depleted as well. There have been stand-out individual performances, but as a team, it hasn’t worked for us today, unfortunately.
Wilshere’s had a blinder, but it’s not surprising as he does it game in, game out. Almunia’s done really well since he was thrown into the deep-end against Barca, but with 2 goals conceded, it doesn’t seem that way. Nasri and Sagna have been decent as well, but you need all 11 players operating at the top of their game to make things work. Individual stand-out performances aren’t enough. We just can’t seem to click ALL at once. Why?
8 minutes of added time, by the way.
It might as well be full-time already, to be honest. Sorry to dump a whole lot of negativity on you guys, but the last few days haven’t been the greatest. I’m just a bit down about it, but once this haze has lifted, I’m sure I’ll be back to my usual optimistic self. It doesn’t help ofcourse, to have lost the Carling Cup final and been knocked out of two competitions, as well. Oh, Almunia’s just helped keep the score more respectable!
Full-time already, I’m sure you probably know. Not much good news has come out from today, I’m afraid. Djourou’s out for the season now with a dislocated shoulder. Okay, I’ll stop with the negativity there, it’s a bit too much for me.
We’ve got only one trophy we’re in the hunt for now, the league. That’s all we’ve got to focus on now, minus ofcourse, the annoying distraction of internationals coming up. To be honest, that’s the trophy we really want. Like I mentioned last time, the league’s the priority, and the Champions League is (was) a luxury. We KNOW we only have 10 games to win something. Complete and utter focus on those games, and to me, the league is ours. Our main challengers, United, have the Champions League and now the FA cup to focus on as well. So not only do they have more games than us to play, there’s no way on earth that they can be 100% focused on the league. We can. Who knows, today’s defeat might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, but it only becomes on if the players realise that the biggest price of all, the league, is there for the taking. If we win it, it won’t matter one JOT about the other competitions. That’s the ultimate trophy. To show that no matter what the referees have thrown at us, no matter the injuries and suspensions, we can do the business over a long, hard season. It shouldn’t matter that the other teams- Man U and Chelsea- have been fairly crap. We need to take advantage of it. Our squad keeps improving, but all Man U and Chelsea need to do is buy a big-name player next season- which we can’t do- to tip the balance in their favour. We’ve got a great team. We know it, we just need to world to know it too. It doesn’t matter how much beautiful football we play. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. In this case, the proof’s in winning trophies.
I believe in this team, and I’ll keep taking the knocks, if all that means is that when we eventually win something, I can say ‘I told you so’. No pain, no gain, right? I’ll keep believing. And when we DO win something that means something, it’ll be oh-so sweet.
Please keep believing in the team, I promise it’ll pay off. Some day. 😉