Don’t Patronize Us by Dan Smith
It’s ironic.. Sheffield United are a side who overachieved by getting promoted, who as a club are set up for the worst-case scenario of relegation meaning parachute payments.
Yet despite a respectable 4 points, despite accepting that Leicester are player for player a better team, Chris Wilder said after a 2-1 loss, “I’m not pleased with our effort because that’s bog standard. Cheers for effort doesn’t tick a box for me. Regardless of the opposition, I’m looking at our standards.” If that’s the attitude of the boss favourite to finish bottom of the table, then shouldn’t we expect the same ethos from a group with expectations to get back into the Champions League? Yet some gooners spent this week almost looking at a loss at Anfield as a positive as long we were more competitive then the last few years. Of course, in terms of score line, again we were soundly beaten, but at 3-0 the one positive was at least we would no longer be patronized like we had for the majority of the evening.
Earlier in the week Josh Kroenke spoke of some being surprised of the pull we still have, that when we come to the door, ‘Our knock sounds different.’
I need to see more off the field to know if that’s just a nice soundbite but in sport so much is in the mind, if you are a big club you need to think like a big club. A big club doesn’t see positive in any defeat – period.
I asked in my predictions, how many in our squad believed they could get a result this weekend? That’s our manager’s task and why this represented his crossroads, could he change our mentality? The mentality so weak in Arsene Wenger’s last year, the one the likes of Mustafi have been hounded out for. Yet he only focused on the opposition’s strengths and not ours. Why boast about a front three that can rival anyone else’s but not start them in one of our toughest trips?
Poor Arsenal teams have scored 5 at the Bridge, won at Anfield, beat champions in FA Cup finals – by fielding their best attacking talent. Anything else goes against our traditions. Yet we were meant to be satisfied crossing the halfway line a couple of times?
Pundits make out it’s positive that Liverpool’s goals were all avoidable but how many times have we conceded just before/after half time?
After months where it was obvious we needed a centre back, why are we saying the recruitment did a good job swapping Koscielny and Mustafi with Luiz? It’s Emery’s job to make our game management better? Did he really think parking the bus and inviting their full backs to cross the ball was our best chance of getting a result?
Imagine a Tony Adams, Viera or Henry being told there are positives in a defeat? Imagine telling them not to attack?
If you want to be a big club, you need to think like one…