So it is the day after the night before. Do I feel any differently today as I did last night after the Arselona game? No, but I have calmed down a bit.
Twitter is a great forum to air your views but it is always interesting to see people’s reactions to the game and your own views. There were plenty of views I disagreed with and plenty of people disagreed with mine. I’ve held court within my office and heard lots of views. Let’s just all agree to disagree.
For me I keep using one word since the final whistle went – disaster.
1. an occurrence that causes great distress or destruction
2. a thing, project, etc., that fails or has been ruined
Let’s look at why.
1. An occurance that causes great distress or destruction
Barcelona were terrific, so what I say now should not detract from how good they are.
I am distressed at our performance – going to the Nou Camp and not registering a single shot on or off target is actually embarrassing. Yes, Barca’s pressing game was great, but I think we showed a little more fight last season that we did this year. At least we registered at least 2 attempts last year. So I am not of the belief we learnt from last year.
I am amazed we were still in the tie throughout. I don’t blame Cesc for the first goal, but the timing was dreadful for us. If he didn’t make a mistake, someone else would have. We needed to have played immaculately for Barca not to have swarmed in like vultures.
The second yellow was crazy, but RVP needs to look at the needless first yellow he received. That said, there is no excuse for their player to grab him by the throat – didn’t see a yellow come out for that! Yes, there was the sense of injustice from us from the ref’s performance and with 11 v 11 would we have gone through? We will never know but realistically I think Barca would have still got the goals they needed.
I believe Theo‘s injury was a bigger blow that most think – if he’d have played Barca couldn’t have afforded to push up like they did- they would have been too fearful of him running in behind them. But if Wenger keeps on relying on injury prone players we are always on a hiding to nothing against class.
Will we bounce back? I petulantly tweeted that Part 2 of the Arsenal end of season party have been successfully navigated, now onto Old Trafford for Part 3. I keep getting this sense of Déjà vu – here we are, in more than one competition in the latter part of the season, and things become undone within 2/3 weeks. Two reasons for this – squad depth and confidence.
Why didn’t Arsene buy in January? just a couple of key players? The first XI are frail and the 2nd string aren’t good enough. We get injuries at this time of the season, EVERY season and causes our downfall. For at least the last 3 seasons, from about late Feb to April – we lose a player every game – last night we lost Chesney and probably Cesc for a bit. Our boys just don’t seem to get up.
As for confidence – Arsene’s teams have always ridden on this but once again it was men against boys last night and he has led youngsters to the slaughter again. How would your confidence be?
Every game is like a cup final now and we’ve lost 2 and drawn 1, not good. OT is hard at best of times but we go there bruised and battered – undone by physically strong teams like Birmingham and Sunderland and destroyed by a technically gifted wonder team in Barcelona. I’m sorry, we don’t do what Barca did to us last night in the EPL – we give other teams at least 2 to 3 chances every game.
Our CL campaign though was ultimately destroyed in Braga and Donetsk. How can any team with 9 points out of 9, come 2nd in their group? Arsene toyed with those games and messed up- secure 1st and then play around. While we were being destroyed last night, Shaktar completed a very routine 3-0 over Roma. That should have been us. This for me is inexcusable.
That aside though we have to face teams like Barca if we are to ever win the CL. We proved we are light years away, again.
2. A thing, project, etc., that fails or has been ruined
Arsene, hailed as the best manager in the England, even Europe (bar SAF maybe). He built the club of The Arsenal as we know it today. The man is a genius and hero. But he has built up the expectations of all Arsenal fans – as we try to compete for the big prizes against the big teams like Man Utd, Chelsea, Barca, Madrid, etc. – but for all the amazing stuff he achieved, over the last 5-6 years it is slowly all being undone.
He knows what it takes to be successful, especially at home, but his blind faith in his squad and system must, if we fail this season, surely now come to an end before he comes to an end in bad circumstances for everyone involved – himself, the club and fans. I do not want to see him go, but big questions need asking, and not from us, the fans but by the Board. They must not just sit back and be happy with a top 4 finish every season. This is the BARE MINIMUM we expect.
So onto Old Trafford where I feel the winners there will win the FA Cup – it had better be us.