The moment of Truth. by ArseOverTit
So, one of my posts on GoonerP’s article during the North London Derby was ‘this is the moment of truth’…
Because of the fact this was a North London Derby that also happened to be a fight for the much-coveted 4th place and Champions League we could not afford to lose. Especially considering how close we are in the table to each other.
So, what is our truth? Well, this is how I see it.
Arsenal for too long has buckled under pressure when there is actually something to play for. We just don’t cope with pressure that well. Our game goes to pot very quickly if and when things don’t go to plan, and this is about having the right personnel. Holding of late, to be fair, has played solidly in defence, however his antics during this game were just crazy. Yes, another ref might have been more forgiving, but Holding from the start was intent on getting to and disrupting Son (whether at his own or managers strategy) as much as he could. Problem was, it was obvious and clumsy.
Rather than focus on what he should be doing: defending our goal and doing so professionally, he got personal, hot headed and messed up by being carried away with the atmosphere and task. Someone else said it; and that was that they would be amazed if Holding stayed on the pitch much longer, having thrown Song over his shoulder on some Brazilian Jitsu manoeuvre.
Cedric didn’t have a particular good game either and tried being too clever for the penalty and then gave the ball away cheaply after having just given our opposition the massive foot up on the ladder to what was an almost mailed on victory.
I wouldn’t mind, but the first 15 minutes we pretty much bossed it.
But as soon as we had helped our bitterest rivals the best we could with the pen and the sending off, suddenly players like Elneny go blind and can’t see a man in a white shirt in front of them before they play a gentle tap pass squarely.
So, what I’m saying in no uncertain terms is; we bottled this game and the opportunity to cement our place in 4th, because we don’t have a strong enough spine in our team in terms of dependable players and leaders who deliver, and have the character not to capitulate.
Questions could be asked on whether the manager could have brought off Holding to ensure we didn’t lose him to a red, but that for me is a minor point.
The biggest thing for me is bottle. This comes from real men who are experienced and seasoned at their art, and I feel that although we have some brilliant youth, we also have older players who aren’t that gifted or inspirational, and our spine is inherently weak.
As Arsenal Fans we have been spoilt in terms of some of the players that have donned the red and white shirt and cannons, but we are sadly nowhere near this. Can’t imagine Tony Adams or any of our famous backline being so ill-disciplined and stupid to single handedly give the opposition help in victory.
Two games to win to secure 4th place and not give it away and I’m not convinced we won’t, since, after all, there is something to play for.
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Video – Mikel Arteta on Tottenham, the referee and bad news on Gabriel