Rough With The Smooth
I`ve been struggling for words since the final whistle blew at Craven Cottage last night, wondering whether to write an angry piece, a war cry, something to rally the troops, I couldn`t decide, and to be honest I`m winging this one a bit, I`m not sure which direction it`s heading.
It`s never easy to face defeat, especially when we`ve had such a smooth ride over the past 10 years, but as a football fan there are certain truths that you have to admit to every now and again.
Football teams and waves of success come in cycles, it always has been the case and always will be, even Tottenham enjoyed a period of success, albeit well over 40 years ago. Well we have to now face the possibility that if we don`t have a few changes then our period of success may have gone for the time being.
What ever the problem is, it is not a big one, the players we have in our possession are an excellent quality bunch, as fine as they come, but something I missing, and the something, I believe, is the winning instinct.
I think it`s possible that we may be victims of our own success, over the Wenger years we have had the ability to walk all over teams, rip them apart and now I think the players believe they can win any game they play in. Self belief can be as bad is it is good. We became so nonchalant that the fire has gone from our bellies, the possibility is that we became so arrogant that the fight has disappeared because we believed that we can beat anyone, without even trying.
Well that confidence which once served us so well has now turned to doubt. That confidence has been taken from us with all the 1-1 draws. We have always been confident that we could overturn any deficit and because we have failed to come from behind on no less than NINE occasions this season, we no longer believe we can do it.
As soon as that first goal goes in, the heads drop, the doubt comes back, and failure is inevitable.
Passion needs to be instilled into our players, guts, determination, fire, the will to win, the killer instinct, something needs to change. Who`s the person to give them those qualities? Is it something that can be taught in training? Can Arsene Wenger give them what they need? Or is it we the supporters that need to bring some passion to our home?
I offer no answers; I`m just venting my spleen.
What we have to do as fans is accept what ever fate we are dealt, deal with what ever comes our way and not waver in our support of our team. We have been there before, and if the worst comes to the worst we can come back from it again. What better way to show our passion for our team than a North London derby? This has come at a perfect time for us, not only does it give the fans opportunity to rid ourselves of the seasons frustrations vocally, but it gives the players a chance to get some fire in their bellies and register another victory that will make Ashburton Grove feel like home.
My other concern is that old chestnut, the formation!
I`m continuously baffled by Arsene Wenger's persistence with the 4-5-1 formation. I don`t even understand why we have changed our system. What has Arsene Wenger seen that makes him think we should carry on using this formation? Indeed what has he ever seen that made him think it would be successful? Every time we have played in that manner, it hasn`t been good. Is it purely to accommodate the ever improving Tomas Rosicky, because I`m certain he could play just as well on the left of a 4-4-2?
We need to change back, and fast. Only the other week I saw Thierry Henry signaling to the bench to change the formation, he is being smothered and our attacking options limited.
The North London derby is a must win game, it`s game we must give our all in, both players and fans, we need to show we still have passion, we need to show we can still win, and we need to go back to, in the words of Mike Bassett England manager "Four Four F***ing Two."
COME ON YOU GUNNERS.