I’ve been awake for about 24 hours straight now after a grueller night shift, having been too scared to go to bed, else I wouldn’t have got up to watch the game.
Hence at half time, I’d practically made the decision to not even bother writing a review about this one.
Fortunately the second half retrieved things somewhat and I changed my mind.
So what happened here?
I’m not going to even try and analyse the game, but it’s more about why we were so poor in that first half?
You can see it’s about confidence and the side simply has none, which explains the first half, I suppose.
Every pass goes astray and even many decisions, although the penalty was absolutely correct, to my mind.
You can’t put your arms around a player in the box, when you’re talking two players in that much space.
It happens all the time in set pieces, but…..
The fact is, we were awful: As bad as it gets. Again.
But then, we came out a totally different side in the second half.
What was said that should have been said in the pre-match speech?
This is the part I don’t understand.
The players must have been told to play all that totally backwards and sidewards passing rubbish, even when we’d gone a goal down early on, by the coaches or the manager.
To my mind, the manager at half time must have said forget all that and just play, which is why we were immediately miles better and actually tried attacking.
If that’s true, I find it worrying. Being overly cautious, now in our current position, is entirely the wrong approach and we need to try and actually win games.
Of course, there’s an argument where you might think Arsenal backed off in the second half. I don’t think so and I’d say we edged the second half.
Which means if we’d set out from the off playing the same way, we might have actually got something from the game.
No doubt some of you might think I’m deluded.
But I’m beginning to wonder that if the players are low in confidence, is telling them to play not to lose, a good approach?
Losing to the team that are currently top of the league is no disgrace, but the way we played in the first half was.
Yet if we could play like we did in the second half, we might have a chance, as bleak as things seem.
Yes, I’m clutching at straws, but we do have some (theoretically) winnable games coming up.