Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Nasri calls for change - Szczney's a believer - FA Youth Cup success

Morning Gooners.

In some ways I'm still trying to understand how we lost Monday night's game. In my opinion we simply didn't offer enough going forward to pose Manchester United any sort of continued threat.

We didn't make shots which caused van der Sar any problems - say for Nasri's second half effort which Marouane Chamakh couldn't turn in the follow up.

It is just disappointing that as a primary attacking team, we really didn't have enough going forward despite the talented players we had on the pitch.

The goal they scored was lucky. Put those set of circumstances in place again and I'm pretty certain Park's header would go wide or be saved - that's if he even gets his head to the ball.

For me though, we have to learn from this and make sure we don't keep repeating our mistakes. As much as it hurts me to write this, we didn't do enough in that game to deserve to win. The opposition did.

And this is something which Samir Nasri has picked up on post match.

He said:
"We sometimes have to put he bullfighter's outfit in the cupboard. We have to get down to working hard for the good of the team.
"I do not see any problems with us not playing in flamboyant style, as long at the team wins.
"We proved that we are a good team, but it is futile to talk about it now.
"Let's discuss it again in May - and see who are the champions then."

As I wrote yesterday on the blog, I think it's perhaps time we changed our formation when we go into these big games. We were closer yesterday to Manchester United than we've been before. But I think a switch to 4-5-1 could offer us more bite in midfield where we need to win back the ball.

On Monday we struggled to get the ball back. And I know that's not just Alex Song and Jack Wilshere's roles, but we need others in there who don't mind scrapping for the ball.

That is where we came unstuck, in my opinion. Perhaps in personnel also. We don't have a player or players in our squad - like Mathieu Flamini did when he played for us - who will work tirelessly for the team. Perhaps Denilson? But there are to many of them who didn't put the required effort in for us to win.

One of our better performances came from Wojciech Szczesny.

"We were disappointed with the result but we still believe we are one of the top sides, if not the best in the league. 
"We feel we can beat pretty much everyone, that we can recover for the game on Saturday and be back in the race."
And it's worth remembering if we beat Stoke on Saturday and Chelsea beat Manchester Uniited at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, we'll be top of the league again.

We're also still one point ahead of Chelsea having played the same amount of games. Things could be worse. We're still very much in the mix.

Elsewhere Lee Dixon has his say on the match, via Twitter, in the Daily Mirror.

There is an interesting piece in the Daily Express, who report we're to open an academy in the USA to tap into the talent market out there.

And finally, congratulations to Steve Bould's FA Youth Cup side who beat Darlington at Underhill last night to progress to the fourth round.

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