I know it’s normal after a loss for a lot of supporters to go super negative. I’m not immune to that feeling, my weekend was ruined like all of you. Maybe it’s my nature, but I have learned to eventually look at the bright side. I was also cheered slightly to see United lose. Yes, happy for Spurs, because I consider ManU our competition this season, not Tottenham.
The negativity I’m referring to is less of a problem with the regulars on this site, who are pretty fair and reasonable. We all know there are many so – called “supporters” attacking our guys even under better circumstances. There are a few things I would like to point out.
Even though we didn’t have our best performance on Saturday, if you watched the match, you saw that we were in it the whole time. We must give credit to Chelsea for showing up at our place and playing at a high level. It’s not simply a case of us underperforming against a weaker opposition. They worked hard and it showed. But we did throw it away. If not for mistakes on set pieces, we might have deserved a win, or at least a draw. But like Cint Eastwood says in Unforgiven “deserves got nothin to do with it”.
Everyone complaining about Arsene’s CB choices is making me crazy. We have three great center backs. The best first three compared to any team in the league. Our fourth and fifth choices are ok also. Every time we concede a goal, we have to hear the geniuses tell us why the wrong man was left out. Mertesacker has been a rock, but he can and must rest occasionally. I think he started six or seven matches already. For years we have complained about lack of depth and rotation causing fatigue to our starters, and late season weakness, whereas United and City have been fresher at the end. Also, again, I’m a huge Merts fan, even before he joined us.
But I’m not willing to write off Vermaelen and Koscielny as weak players, as some have been doing all of a sudden. Koscielny, is a super active defender, the type that will inevitably cause an own goal more than less dynamic players. MOTM many times last season. Remember his performance two years ago against Messi? How many players can do that? It wasn’t luck, it was skill. For the record, Torres’ goal on Saturday was a great effort showing talent, he deseves the credit. Shouldn’t we be more concerned that Luiz was completely unmarked on that play. And Vermaelen has been having his best season so far in defense, though, his fouls around our box hurt us recently.
I’m sorry guys, I just don’t think it’s right to be complaining that Vermaelen is Captain at this moment. We complained when Cesc and RvP were named Captain as our Marquis players. Even though we knew they probably weren’t the right guys to lead. So, after Fabregas and Nasri left us, and our disastrous start last season, and all the shaken confidence, Tommy V was the first to stand up and extend with us, also citing loyalty after a long injury. He’s a fighter with the right attitude, and he’s shown better discipline by not getting caught forward as much this season. My only worry has been that he would resist rotation as captain, I hope that won’t be a problem. And what will be the answer when Mertesacker eventually makes a mistake, you know people will find a reason he shouldn’t have started, maybe that he needed rest. It’s laughable.
In defense of the defense, Have we still not been scored against in open play? (That including matches vs City, Chelsea and Liverpool) If that’s right, then I don’t think we should be criticizing or looking for player changes, we need to figure out what is wrong organizationally with set pieces. When I defended Szczesny a couple weeks ago, after his mistake against Southhampton ( some were complaining that he got the start over Mannone after that one - – you know who you are ) I pointed out that Chezz has been much better at taking charge on set pieces in the past year. You know, all the pointing and yelling before the ball comes in, maybe that actually makes a real difference, if its the correct pointing and yelling. By the way, to all Chezzers critics, watch the replay of his mistake, you will see him cringe in pain when he comes down on his ankle and drops the ball. He was man enough not to take to twitter to point it out in his own defense.
So, I’m not sure if Mannone is to blame, maybe the Captain should be taking charge, or some other combination of problems, including coaching, but whatever it may be, we need to figure it out as a team. Because over all, our defense has still been excellent, and our midfield also. The front is still a work in progress, but I’m hopeful. It’s very easy to be critical when things go wrong, I know that I do it too, but the last thing I try to do is attack our own guys. We need to stay positive and encourage our team. It’s a long season, and we have some very good players returning soon. Much to look forward to.
Written by johnnie – jnyc