2 games, 2 wins, 2 clean sheets & we have Alexis Sanchez. What a man, What a player, what a hero.
We as football fans are always wanting more. More wins, more points, more effort, more desire, more tactical awareness, more spending, more consistency, more trophies. And rightfully so. Paying through the nose gives us the right to be so demanding of our team giving us value for money. The last couple of weeks have at least yielded us with one of the above, a bit of consistency. Granted the opposition weren’t very frightening but when we get what we want we should be happy else there’s just no point to it all. Another win and clean sheet vs Anderlecht on Tuesday and we’ll be going into the game against Swansea brimming with confidence which is what gets the best out of any professional footballer. Earning the trust of the manager, supporters and fellow players is one thing but trusting ones self will only come from confidence. That’s the key. I’m thinking about our back 4 when I say this as there have been times where Per has looked off the pace and now we have Nacho alongside him who will have undoubtedly doubted himself in the CB role to begin with. But we come back to that confidence factor. When present it makes the difference in the smaller margins of the game; THAT interception, THAT header won, THAT counter attack. Win the small margins and the big ones will begin to take care of themselves.
On another note there has been some talk about The Ox’s performances of late as well as the fact that Santi can’t buy a goal at the moment. It doesn’t seem to be going quite the way of either player but for very different reasons. For The Ox it has always been this way. Very hot and cold. But due to his age he’s allowed to be that way more than others, however the concerning thing here is that the cold seems to be more prominent than the hot in terms of averages. I guess this coincides well (or as well as it can) with Theo’s return. Between them we should be able to get some change on good performances and contributions. With regards to Santi Cazorla I think it’s very much an issue of trust and the pressure is telling. I love Santi, he’s been one of our better players in the first 10 games due to his ball retention, energy and chance creation. It does however feel as though the pressure of being thrust into the role of creator in the absence of Ozil has taken its toll. He’s been moved about positionally and that little bit of doubt has entered his mind which is stopping him to be at his very best. A goal (and an important one of possible) will change everything in this regard. We need to pray it comes either on Tuesday or Sunday before he flies away with Spain and before the Mancs come to town. That game will be the one where we’ll need all of our big guns firing to take all 3 points, so Santi at his best will help that.
On a more positive note, Theo is back!!! He looked sharp(ish) at the weekend and the prospect of having a front three comprising of Alexis-Welbeck-Walcott is going to quite frankly scare the shit out of any defence. No one likes pace. No one likes intensity. No one likes hard work. With the aforementioned front three we have each and every one of those qualities. Chuck Ramsey and Cazorla into the mix and I feel as though we might pack more heat going forward. That said I’d also love to see Podolski get some more game time. He looked like he had something to prove when he came on and almost broke the goal. The post saved both the net and an unsuspecting fans face from breakage. I’d like to see him start against Anderlecht – a home game against some pretty average opposition is the perfect place to ensure we are firing on all cylinders (hint hint Santi, Poldi, Welbeck!) before the bigger tests arrive.
The spark seems so close. I think we’re pretty close in terms of finding the right team chemistry and hopefully our returning players can be the difference and make us click. Once we do the goals and the pretty football will be back, but in the mean time I’m happy to keep scrapping to victory so long as victory is the reward for this type of football. We’re in for the long haul remember. This transition of styles is almost there. I can feel it. A couple more wins and blowing United away will definitely lead to us being back to our best, I’m sure of it. One step at a time and all that though.
Part 1- Win tomorrow and we’re pretty much through to the next phase.
Part 2 – Beat Swansea.
Part 3 – No international injuries (lol).
Part 4 – Win against the Mancs.
See, it’s a full proof plan.
In other events Mourinho sounded out the fans at Stamford Bridge being non existent which could be the beginning of something quite a hilarious. What will the fans do in response to their messiah? More A4 posters? I did come across a pretty interesting piece on the modern football fan which is definitely worth a read: http://bit.ly/1zsi3lH it’s something that I don’t necessarily agree with all elements of but can understand. The modern football fan has changed for sure, but the fundamentally tribal family culture still exists. It’s a part that I really do love.
Until next week.
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