There is an old adage called Murphy's law, also sometimes referred to as sod's law. Essentially, it's the idea that if you were to leave your back door unlocked once in ten years, it would be that night that burglars came calling to your abode.
The same seems to be true of Gael Clichy. I know he played badly on Saturday and it appears that his immunity to criticism which I have pointed out in the past, has disappeared. His form has been poor of late and as well as not defending particularly well, we've missed out on the swashbuckling runs forward. The relevance of this?
Well, because I invite you to understand something called Clichy's law. Most players make mistakes. Strikers miss easy chances, defenders fail to head a ball clear. The difference with Gael Clichy is that the worst possible outcome emerges from a Clichy mistake. Admittedly, Clichy wasn't at his best on Saturday, but how many great crosses has Mendy provided for Hull? Not that many. So it was particularly unlucky that it was when Clichy backed off, that he decided to whip in a world class cross, which Cousin headed home.
Despite this, I thought we reacted well. And whilst the manager is right to say we shouldn't be talking about the Championship yet, it is through winning games away up north on a cold, rainy, winters night which will make us eligible to win the league. This team is not playing particularly well. Van Persie has been superb, Sagna and Nasri have been good as they seem to always be. But, that aside, there has been a certain mediocrity in our performances. But we have won our matches.
A run of Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bolton, Hull should yield 4 wins. But actually achieving it is another thing. We have done well to do so. Now, we look at the league table and we see it has closed up at the top. Our rivals have been slightly lucky, but Villa take the biscuit. Watching the highlights of their match against Sunderland was reminiscent of our game against Birmingham last season. They got a penalty when there was never one there, and then Sunderland were not awarded a stonewall penalty. These things happen.
We have to fight against these injustices and continue to believe. This Arsenal team is starting to click. People forget how many injuries we have and yet for 15 minutes after half-time we were truly excellent. I grant you, we didn't take advantage, but it was the best passing I've seen from us in a while. On the other hand, it was through showing our battling qualities that we managed to secure 3 points in Hull.
Maybe the managers right. Maybe the extra maturity these players have is helping them. If so, they'll be no complaints from Gooners.
Having said that, it would be nice not to have to grind out victories with late goals. It makes me too nervous. And a flair player who can play good through balls would help with that. I'm not gonna mention his name, but you know who I mean: the sooner the better if you ask me.
It's a big FA cup game coming up next week, so I'll try to write some sort of preview.