Last day thoughts and my last word on losses

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Some thoughts on winning

Yes, winning – you remember it. It’s what I’m confident will happen on Sunday. A combination of hot Spuds breath down our necks, Fulham’s pressing engagement in Hamburg and it being a home fixture ought to be enough to lift the players from their black dog days and ensure the season ends on an even keel.

Our injury list, far from shortening, remains stubbornly lengthy though. Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky and Song join Almunia, Fabregas, Gallas, Ramsey and Vermaelen on the sidelines. Clichy is a doubt.

We do suddenly have a bit more depth in defence though, with Gibbs and Djourou fit and presumably eager to contribute in some way before the summer kicks in.

Gibbs is still young, but nevertheless I wonder, when the World Cup squad is announced and he is not in it, whether he will consider it a chance missed. I do honestly think that he could have made the left-back backup place his own had he not had his foot broken against Standard Liege. It’s rank bad luck.

Djourou too will no doubt be keen to play at least a few minutes of Premier League football this season. He’s not kicked a ball in anger. In fact, he’s such a forgotten man he’s not even on the squad stat page.

Personally, I’d be happy to play both of them – though given the sudden importance of the match, I’d be surprised if more than one of them started, and not very surprised if neither did.

Some thoughts about losing

I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but as downers in your heads go, this one has been a belter.

Wenger: “Since we have gone out of the Champions League there was a little downer in our heads, but we have enough pride and quality to finish the season well and to secure the third place.”

I do understand how a shattering 6-3 aggregate defeat can badly affect morale, but you’d think four games is a long time to wallow. One thing that the current team has been accused of is failing to bounce back fast enough after a disappointing result – the above Champions League and its subsequent games being the prime example. After all, one of the signs of a strong side is the ability to rustle up a win after a defeat.

There’s one thing thinking we take too long to recover, but what’s the reality?

Well, we’ve lost nine league games this season, and it’s very interesting to note that not one of them has been an isolated defeat.

Our first league defeat, away at Man Utd on 29th August, was followed by a loss at Man City.

Our third league loss, away at Sunderland on 21st November was followed by reversals against Chelsea and Manchester City (OK, League Cup), albeit with a home win against Standard Liege sandwiched in between.

We then went on a decent unbeaten league run, losing none for almost two months.

However, when we lost again at home to Man Utd on 31st January, we followed it with a defeat at Chelsea.

Then there’s the final, freshest of these funks, two consecutive losses against the Spuds and Wigan, followed with a nil-nil bore draw and another loss at Blackburn.

Now of course, these losing streaks were often against very strong sides, with many of these tricky matches strung one after the other in a peculiarity of the fixture list.

But it’s striking nonetheless.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. BGun

    I never knew that there was such a thing as bouncebackability 🙂 but you’ve hit on an important point. It does seem like we are a bit vulnerable after losses – and it’s not just this season but previous ones as well – as a team. Even the fans have started to worry about what a loss would do to the team – you can feel the general nervousness the week after a loss. Maybe this is something that an experienced side finds easier to cope with (hint, Arsene).

    I must confess that I’m especially nervous this week and I hope that we do the business at home. The thought of finishing the season in a crap fashion doesn’t augur well for next season. Imagine a season full of shit-stirring by the media for one. That’s a big reason for us to secure third place, if any 🙂

  2. Danish Gooner

    i wager that five of these players will still be injured come August and a couple of new onrs will be added.

  3. HaIish

    I don’t think our downfall is because of Euro exit. We had known we have a little chance to get past barca. Instead it is our endless injury list and the careless failure to strength the squad during January that contributed a lot for our sorrow defeats. We relied on some useless players, I don’t want to mention their name, but everyone knows who is good and not to be in Arsenal team. Our manager must take a kind of course to learn risk management, for how long we continue taking predictable risks. How many of our players are injury porn, what kind of confidence we always have on these players, what a stupid optimism is that for a team that must deliver something considering our 5 trophyless seasons

  4. David18

    This lack of bounceability is one of the most negative aspects of the Wenger era at Arsenal. It seems much more of a French than an English weakness, reminscent of past French national rugby teams. Those of us with longer memories can remember Arsenal winning leagues in seasons when the captain was a guest of Her Majesty and yet since 2005 we have had to endure this self-pitying naval gazing for the next 5 matches when things go wrong. It wasn’t the last minute penalty at Birmingham that cost us the title in 2008 it was the insipid reaction in the next 2 home games which followed against Boro & Villa. Forget winning a serious trophy next season again unless le boss brings in real winners with backbone both to the backroom staff and the squad. Forget about nice blokes (e.g. Almunia) Wenger the club needs proper leaders!

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