Writer: Gary Taylor
Date:Monday February 4 2013
As I sat watching Super Bowl XLVII (or 47 for most of us) I realised just what it meant to be playing in a major final in front of millions worldwide. I`m not an American Football fan in the slightest as I can`t really fathom the whole bravado that comes with the event.
The eccentric celebrations at catching the football all seem a bit over the top but hey it is what it is and despite all that, the Super Bowl is a hell of an event.
I couldn`t picture Jack Wilshere doing a chicken dance after a crunching tackle in the middle of the park. But the intensity and commitment to winning the Super Bowl is something special and something I think that Arsenal have been missing in the past few months.
Too many players have been shirking away from the challenge and were hiding behind others instead of standing up and being counted when it mattered most. This is what I think irks football fans (English ones) the most, the lack of commitment and desire to put everything into winning a match.
The games against Man City, Chelsea and to a certain extent Liverpool were bitterly disappointing and the only player to really show any balls was Wilshere.
Thomas Vermaelen is the club captain at present but we all know that Wilshere is the captain on the field along with Mikel Arteta. I was surprised that the Spaniard was overlooked for the job in favour of the Belgian although I never expected the armband to have such a detrimental effect of his performances this season.
The lack of fight from the team is something that we need to develop as we enter the business end of the season. Wilshere was first and only player to back-up Arteta following Michael Owen`s petulant attempt at a punch on the Spaniard on Saturday. He`s been at the club since he was a kid and the more players we can bring though the system will only be a good thing because they will have that fire and burning desire to do well for Arsenal.
The win against Stoke and the comeback draw against Liverpool showed encouraging signs ahead of fixtures against Sunderland and Blackburn in the FA Cup. Keeping a fully fit and fresh squad is imperative if we are to maintain a cup run with a push for the Champions League places.
Being able to rest Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski was a luxury against Stoke, even if they had to play the last 20 minutes to get us the result. The addition of Nacho Monreal looks like a good one and is something that should hopefully shore up the leaky defence in the run-in to the season which is vital.
January was a tough month with eight games in quick succession but we are only four points off Spurs and still have to go to their place.
You would like to think we can beat Blackburn at home in the cup and then who knows after that, if the draw is favourable, we could be looking at the semi-finals.
There is still so much up for grabs this season and I think success can be salvaged.
Date:Monday February 4 2013
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