Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Positives amid all the doom and gloom

If you were to believe most of the news reports today, you would have thought that following Arsenal’s defeat yesterday, we are now lying bottom of the Premiership table  and likely to be relegated. It does seem funny how with each match the sentiment among pundits can change just at a whim.

No doubt it was a defeat but no unexpected given our recent history. Are we out of the title race...definitely not. Although many pundits would like to brush off our chances, they simply can’t do that. We are still in second place and I won’t be surprise that the conclusion of next weekend’s round of matches, we would be again sitting on top of the league.

I tend to be optimistic and look at the positives from the match yesterday. First, it was a credible performance by the young keeper Szechny. He couldn’t do anything about the goal and made a great save in a one-on-one situation with Anderson. Again I wouldn’t be suprise to see him between the sticks in the next game against Stoke. He has a presence in the box which Fabianski doesn’t and this will continue in handy against the aerial bombardment expected from Pulis’s guys.

Second, I thought the defence held up better than expected. We did concede a goal and a penalty but other than that I don’t think Man United had many chances. I count probably two; Nani’s volley and Anderson’s miss but that’s it. The central partnership of Koscielny and Squillaci kept Rooney pretty quiet for most parts of the game.

Upfront, we couldn’t get going with Arshavin and Rosicky both disappointing but Walcott was not too bad when he came on. He was lively and had a couple of shots. I also see better things once we can get Fabregas, Van Persie and Chamakh to work in tandem. This is probably the first time they played together and I see positive things in the future.

All in all, we shouldn’t be too hard on the boys following the defeat. It’s over and let’s move on.

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