Never has a draw felt so much like a loss to me, so much that i am writing this 2 days late. On a day when we need to win to keep up with the Joneses, we managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory, providing Arsenal fans with the feeling of groundhog day all over again.
It was an eerie feeling knowing that our title chances would once again rest on a trip to Birmingham, but only time will tell if our chances are to be affected by this result. It was always going to be a difficult game, and i had predicted a 1-0 scoreline a few weeks back. Considering how Birmingham took points off Chelsea and United, a draw is by no means a bad result. But it came on a day when our rivals faced no opposition whatsoever from the teams they both played. I still believe Arsenal will be crowned premier champions come may 9th but we are now going to need a lot of help.
Almunia’s performance was alright in my opinion except for the howler at the end. It’s evident we need a new goalkeeper, but making a change now is detrimental to everything we’ve worked so hard for, up to this point in the season. Any purchases would have to wait until the summer market opens again or after a proper evaluation of our young goalkeepers. Time for Arsenal fans to show Almunia some support, booing him would only make things worse. We need a fully focused Almunia till the end of the season. Remember this is the same guy who saved our blushes against West Ham last week.
Will the real Andrei Arshavin please stand up and be counted? For a player who has no qualms about criticizing his teammates or willingly granting interviews, it’s time he started performing on a consistent basis. He could have ended the game in regulation had he not fluffed his chance to score. Time to get your head down Andrei and work your butt off. Time to start tracking back on defence to help the fullbacks, and oh time to start showing that your £15 million price tag is justified. And one last thing, no time for selfishness on Wednesday, you’re part of a team. And while you’re at it, remember it would be nice to start scoring goals again starting with Barcelona, then Wolves then whoever comes next on the fixture list.
So while the obituary is being paraded for all to see, remember this team was written off twice already, it would be daft to do so again. Six games remaining and not much room for error at this point, we need to win all our games now and hope both United and Chelsea drop points along the way. In this topsy-turvy year of a season where no team seems to have a stranglehold on top spot, anything is possible.
The priority now is lifting the players for the mouth-watering tie against Barcelona on Wednesday. Time for Sol and Arsene to impart a few consoling and uplifting words. Birmingham is done and over with, we cannot dwell on that result any longer. We must now prepare ourselves mentally for the task at hand. 110% concentration against a team that punishes mistakes should be the mantra for Wednesday.
Barcelona preview to come later, ’til then enjoy the week gooner fans everywhere.