Good morning Positive Arsenal fans,
A brief review of yesterday’s painful events this morning. I am sure that most of you have endured a downbeat Sunday evening and Monday morning, as the result of yesterday’s game lapped at the edges of our consciousness. I know my past sixteen hours have seen evidence of most of the symptomatic signs of upset; anhedonia, irritability, loss of confidence, diminished appetite, disrupted sleep pattern, difficulty in concentrating, and patchy memory. Yes fellow Positives the symptoms still come, despite my long experience of being stung by the malicious insect of footballing misfortune. The feeling, at this stage, I cannot intellectualise away. Later in the week I shall feel better, but not today.
I feel I should discuss the game as that is in my job specification at PA.
First half good, excellent early goal, may have got a second, matched Citeh all over the park, sound defensively, the home side lively but Pep clearly frustrated and on the edge of panic. I could see, as Mr Atkinson led the players off at HT, a three point haul from the game as entirely feasible.
Second half ? Well I am afraid to say we managed to drag up another grimly awful second half effort, very similar I thought to that we produced at Trafford Park a few weeks back. Now I admit the equaliser was a set back, a very soft goal whether it was onside or offside, and to some extent that may explain a jolt to the collective Arsenal system. But we have had setbacks and lost goals all season. A goal against us does not explain a fractured display over the next 45 minutes in which passes went astray, possession was surrendered tamely and the impression was given that the players who had been so competent in the first half had been replaced by a bunch of chaps who had never played together before. Did we ever really threaten Bravo’s goal in the second half ? ( Shakes head and puffs out cheeks) The outcome of our disjointed second half display was inevitable. I would not mind if we had been played off the park by a Citeh side at their best. The home side did not even adopt the “aggressive” Everton approach. I thought the opposition were distinctly ordinary.
It is neither my style nor the purpose of this blog to apportion blame or to allocate guilt. I think we can rely on others to do that. I suspect the players, manager and coaches travelling home last night felt as disappointed as we do. They know that they did not perform as they can do, and have done on so many important games this season. It must be for the players to look into themselves, and the manager and coaches to work hard to ensure our next game against the Baggies on Boxing Day is 95 minutes of sustained good football.
If there was a simple answer to avoiding our second half syndrome then it would have been erased long ago.
Anyway that is my five-penneth. You will get no meltdown or outrage on here. I suspect it will be quiet on here today but I will be in and out with bits and pieces. Please enjoy your week in the run up to Christmas and the day itself.