We were all disappointed with the Champions League defeat for Arsenal at the hands of the Spanish champions Barcelona this week, although the determined and disciplined way that the Gunners performed for most of the game has stopped us giving the players and Arsene Wenger too much grief.
However, I have to agree with the former Premier League player Danny Higginbotham when I read his comments on the game in The Independent. The gist of it was that we only had ourselves to blame as we could have been more cautious and took the draw but instead a bit of panic came into our tactics as the players felt that we had to win the home leg.
As he pointed out, all of our recent Champions League exits have gone the same way and that all of our second leg results would have taken us through if only we had drawn at home. I firmly believe that there is little point in us going to Barcelona and getting our best players to give everything because we need to focus more on the two competitions that we can realistically hope to win.
But I also feel that Wenger and the team need to learn this valuable lesson about game management and apply it against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow. I am not saying that we should play for a draw because I feel that all three points are very much in our reach, but if we get to withing 20 minutes from the end and the scores are level we need to make sure of not losing as well as hoping for a winner.
A draw would not be a disaster and it is the home side that really needs the win more than us. So why could we not do to them late on what Barca did to us?