Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Now keep this team fit. Match report.

For various reasons, I had to pass on my ticket to the match on Sunday. Tragic, that is. Truly tragic. Because I missed one of our best performances for many a moon.

And it highlighted an important point. Keep Fabregas, Rosicky, Arshavin and RVP fit, and we have a brilliant team. A big, fat 6 in the 'for' column is testament to this.

Yet, there will be opposition tougher than Blackburn, so the question is, can we avoid conceding goals like those which went in on Sunday?

Well, the first goal was unforgivable. Make no mistake. Not only was it a long ball from the opposition's half, it came from a set piece. The lack of defensive organisation was unfathomable. But for once, the punditry on MOTD was correct: Mannone should have come for it. Would Almunia have done so? One would hope so. But conceding goals like that can be easily rectified.

For the second Blackburn goal, Bacary Sagna has taken an awful lot of stick. Yet, the criticism of him doesn't add up. Gallas covers for Sagna, Song for Gallas. The goal has nothing to do with Sagna not being there. The deflection is unfortunate, but to criticise Sagna - when there was no way he could get back in time - is unfair on the Frenchman.

Whether the Arsenal full-backs should be pressing that far up the pitch is a different question. But they don't always do that. They did it because they were facing Blackburn and thought they could get away with it, and judging by the final score, they were probably right.

Six goals, in which Fabregas had a huge part to play in five doesn't tell the whole story. The important thing is the chances which are being created. Against Olympiacos we may have only scored two, but it could have been many more.

With this system, RVP won't score 30 goals this season. But it does allow him to play others in, and as long as we score, does it matter whether Robin will win the Golden Boot?

Six different goalscorers, shows a team which can score from all different areas of the field. The pick of the goals was Bendtner's - the curl he gets on the ball is unbelievable. But the way morale stayed up when we went behind was crucial about this game.

Because whether we scored four or six against Blackburn we still would have won. But knowing this team has fight in it for when it goes behind should help on those horrible winter's days.

But that does gloss over an important point: over the last week, we have seen this team can play brilliant football - that was something which hadn't been shown in August and September. Yet, that brilliant football came from the fact that the, now to be trademarked, 'awesome foursome', were playing together.

History would suggest that we will have trouble keeping them fit. But if we can, we may be on the cusp of something special.

Keep the faith,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great article :)