Good morning all.
This afternoon at 4.30 we kick off in a game that seems to have taken on a life of it’s own, a bigger game for the fan base and the manager than the huge game it normally is.
We are in 14th position after 10 games, the measure many use when they say it shows where we are as a team. Sadly, I think it does indeed show us. By any measure we are in trouble. We have been comprehensively out-played by teams that normally we would be beating. Teams that haven’t beaten us for donkey’s years are feasting on us. Make no mistake Jose and his Lilly Whites will be ravenous this afternoon. That man will smell Arsenal blood and want his fill.
Whether we like the way it’s happening or not, Arteta is trying to change a lot and it’s vital for him that the players and crucially, the fans, believe in him and his methods and a result here might swing the balance of belief one way or the other. It’s clear from social media that doubts are expanding at a worrying rate and by the look of the players, they too, on the face of it, are struggling to believe. It won’t have helped that recently he has made comments saying that half the team are not up to it and need replacing.
I recently ran a poll on twitter, that showed fans have gone from 92% of them thinking we will get top 6 in August, to just 25% believing it now. We know that fans are fickle, but that is a sea-change. Belief is plummeting. A win today could go a long way to restoring belief, any sort of win with any sort of performance. At very least, we must not lose.
This isn’t the Europa League, Spurs are not a 4th rate outfit, like it or not, they started the weekend top of the league and they look stronger than they have for years. However we set up to play and whoever gets selected, we will have to play at least as good as we did at United, and probably a lot better. The one shot on target from open play we managed up there is unlikely to be enough to beat this lot.
I literally have no idea who will play and how they will set up to play, so I won’t even insult you by speculating and pretending I do, or that I know who and how we should play.
We have been here before, 10 points behind, 2.0 down and we won 5.2; that result changed the mood and belief for the rest of that season, we need something like that again. However, this is a very different team and a different manager and I don’t think we are capable of that sort of a performance, but we have to put up the kind of performance that somehow, anyhow, gets a result.
It’s a derby and anything can happen, so lets hope it does and it happens in our favour. Good luck Mikel, players and fans. Cometh the hour and all that.