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Do we take it too seriously?

Do we take it too seriously?

Dropping points that seemed in the bag as we did against West Ham at the weekend can be as demoralising as it is frustrating and crushingly disappointing. Even Wenger was moved to describe the experience as 'sickening`.

Various team members have leapt forward to add their voices to the expressions of frustration. Clichy tells us we have to improve the small things, Arshavin that the whole team is very upset, Vermaelen that conceding two goals from nothing was 'very bad` with a more relaxed Fabregas feeling that while we are under pressure to win every game our competitors are also bearing a greater weight of expectation. Hopefully all this hand wringing, soul searching and gnashing of teeth is very cathartic as we need to get over it quickly.

The tossing away of 2 points at Birmingham the season before last was a pivotal moment in the season but more damaging was the following three consecutive tight PL draws in winnable games that really undermined our title challenge. The car crash game last season against Spurs at the Emirates when a 4-2 lead was abandoned in the final moments of the game heralded 3 PL losses in the next 5 games while perversely winning the games against ManU and Chelsea. Prior to the Spurs game we had won 4 of the 5 games played including CL wins over Porto and Fenerbahce.

It isn`t a lack of mental toughness as some have suggested that allows us to occasionally concede points in games from a winning position as there are also games where we come back to claim points from a losing position. If there is a lack of mental fortitude it`s in taking such results too seriously. Letting it negatively affect our mindset going into the next game and carrying it over into the game will stop us from playing with the fluency and freedom that seems to have come back into our game in the early part of this season.

Getting over the inevitable poor unanticipated results is what sets champions apart. United needed to do it once already this season going down to Burnley just as Chelsea have needed to deal with a surprise loss to Wigan. It`s right that we should learn from failures but not to the extent that we become so obsessed with setbacks that we lose the confidence and self belief to play the relaxed, fluent incisive game that we are more than capable of. It is possible to be too analytical and too often we have given way to self doubt and failed to rationalise what really happened. If anything is to undermine our potential for success it`s the need for the arrogance to shrug off results like that at Upton Park and treat it for the freakish result, part and parcel of any season, that it was.

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Date:Tuesday October 27 2009
Time: 11:09AM


It's important the players play without fear, BUT, look at the articles from our own official website after the Alkmaar game. Sagna: 'We Can't Afford To Switch Off Again.' Diaby 'We Stopped Concentrating.' Clichy: 'We Only Need the Little Things.' West Ham was clearly not a freakish result much in the way that getting a nasty shock when hooking your testes to a car battery isn't an unsurprising result. 'Freakish' suggests one off, never happened before, never likely to be repeated. Can you honestly say the West Ham result was an example of that? The players need to look at why it happened to insulate themselves from doing it again. Over analysis isn't needed, just simple intelligence. "Ah, I put my hand on a hot stove and got burnt. From now on, I won't put my hand on a hot stove anymore."
Little Dutch
27/10/2009 11:33:00
Of course it's happened before and you know what? It'll happen again at some point. Just as certainly as sometimes we'll come back from a losing position. The West Ham result was freak'ish' as was the result at OT. The Hammers didn't really threaten us in open play and shouldn't have been awarded the free kick that led to the first goal. Mannone might have done better with the free kick but it could just as easily have fallen to one of our lot and been cleared. There was little we could do about the award of the free kick itself. But as I said sod's law dictates that such things will happen in a season. Agonising over long about it doesn't really take us anywhere.
27/10/2009 11:44:00
I have to say I did enjoy all the media comment about how the "pretenders" to the top 4 are just that cos they dropped points...followed by your lads dropping points at a team in the bottom 3. and not so long after man utd dropped points to a promoted team, and chelsea to a mid table side. the media really are idiots arent they. IMO opinion the title race is more open because all the other top 4 sides apart from arsenal have got worse and arsenal have slightly improved. should be interesting.
27/10/2009 11:45:00
Here's a question for you all too, (well 2). Would you prefer to see spurs in the top 4 and Utd/Liv/Che drop out? And do you prefer to see City do well, even though they offer a bigger threat? While I love the Ars-spurs rivalry, I think I prefer your side (lack of english players and myopic coach aside) to the other title contenders, I like the football you play and I love wengers insistence on running the club within its means and blooding youngsters. Would still celebrate if you got relegated tho, so who knows! Look forward to saturday, should be great. Wish both teams were at full strength tho, walcott and lennon on the same pitch would be interesting, and seeing modric and fabregas both playing good passing football would have been great.
27/10/2009 11:52:00
I really couldn't care less who makes up the rest of the top four but I guess the Spuds will be the only ones to produce an 'Our Challenge for top 4' commemorative DVD. I too will miss the spectacle of the midget Lennon running around aimlessly as though his arse were on fire but spuds do have a little more about them of late so it should indeed be a good game.
27/10/2009 12:17:00
Its not the question of simply coming back from a loss, Amos. Every team loses at some point, as did Arsenal this season in Manchester, and we came back well after that. However, the circumstances of the loss have more to do with the criticism than anything. No one will have complaints if we were outplayed. But if, as you say, the team cannot recover from such a loss in the next few games, it is only further evidence of the lack of mental strength needed to be champions. How often has this happened to ManU or Chelsea (ie where they have thrown away a lead, and not when they have been outplayed)?
27/10/2009 13:21:00
"Running round aimlessly" Amos-2009. Now repeat after me "hes much, much better than Theo Walcott"
27/10/2009 13:54:00
Yeah were crippled with injury. Modric Lennon Defoe King Woodgate pretty much cancels anykind of attractive, attacking football we were hoping to play, yet insuring we concede a load. Plan B is aim for the Giraffe ye old Arsenal way and hope you play Mannone.
27/10/2009 13:58:00
I actually would prefer it if Defoe were available. Crouch is now a shoe in to play and we generally cope with him with the effectiveness of an inflatable dartboard. Compare and contrast last season between Walcott and Lennon: Premiership Goals and Assists, International Goals and Assists: Champions League Goals and Assists.
Little Dutch
27/10/2009 14:11:00
It's important to note that it wasn't a loss against West Ham prits. If the ref hadn't have been generous with the time in their game against City ManU may well have thrown away the lead more than once very recently. They did throwaway the lead in a CLQF 1st leg against Porto last season as did Chelsea against Barcelona in the CL SF last season. Barcelona weren't outplaying them at the time. ManU lost the lead against Everton earlier last season and against Chelsea even earlier. Chelsea dropped leads, late against Fulham, and also Tottenham last season. Conceding against Alkmaar and West Ham may not be at the same level but neither were the games losses hence there isn't a loss to come back from. Getting it out of proportion builds mental barriers that shouldn't really exist.
27/10/2009 14:14:00
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