Monday, 3 October 2011

Well, at least it wasn’t embarrassing

Spurs 2 Arsenal 1
Words: 371. Estimated reading time: 1 minute 20 seconds.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a loss to Spurs doesn’t cause pain in my every fibre; we played as well as could be expected in the current circumstances and thankfully our local rivals were out-of-sorts so we avoided a spanking. Be grateful for small mercies…

The effort and commitment was there from our boys but so were the usual defensive frailties and lack of dynamism up front.

Part of me wants desperately for our malaise to be attributable simply to a lack of confidence.

Certainly a win yesterday, no matter how deserved, would have helped to bring a bit of self-belief back into our players that would have helped them continue up the table.

But the flaws in our game are so well ingrained, and our squad lacking in star quality, that no matter what result was gained yesterday our losing streak would have restarted soon enough.

It’s true it didn’t feel like there had been a shift in power or that Spurs can now feel like the undoubted rulers of the north London roost.

But a more pressing concern than preventing them from overtaking us is reversing our dreadful form (P18 W4 Pts19) since the Carling Cup Final defeat.

And as I’ve said before, the longer that goes on, the longer the only option is to replace Wenger.

The Wenger style relies on everyone being in form to overwhelm and bamboozle opponents into submission. The crippling lack of confidence currently cursing our players makes it impossible to think when we will become that ‘well-oiled machine’ again.

Without a defensive foundation on which Wenger can rely and build on I struggle to see the good times returning.

A different manager could change attitudes and style – acknowledging there is a difference between homeand away games would be a good start – and let us stop the rot.

Wenger’s advocates will maintain it is too simple to say a change of manager would reverse things, that he’s had no choice but to be frugal and that given time the silverware will return.

At least now that getting in the Champions League is a distant dream there is nothing to lose in wasting the remaining 31 league games proving them wrong.

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