Groundhog Play

Watching our game on Monday night began in a controlled way. We dominated the ball but struggled to create any really clear cut chances. It reminded me of the displays of old. They have been far less regular this season but watching us pour forward in the second half without much joy instilled me with the ‘fear’. We had the chances and really should have scored at least a couple but made it too easy for Fabianski when the chances arrived. The goal itself was something we knew was going to be a threat. Bellerin dealt with Montero quite well on the whole and showed him onto his right foot apart from that one time. One small lapse of concentration cost us at least a point here. But it wasn’t just Bellerin, it began with some poor defending from Monreal and Koscielny on the left, followed by the Bellerin mistake and further compounded by some quite poor goal keeping. The Scz would have been lambasted for that and it’s only fair to lay the same amount of stick onto Ospina for his rick. It took him an age to get down and not only that he seemed to dive backwards rather than sideways to stop the ball. In diving backwards the ball was well over the line by the time he got there. Calamity all around.

The worst part of it all is the pessimism that surrounds a slightly sub par performance. So many fans on Twitter began the funeral march at half time rather than believing. I’m not quite sure I understand that if I’m honest. We were not fantastic but had more than enough chances to win the game, which would have then been classed as a resolute performance. I feel as though social media has given the opportunity for people to ring out the ‘I told you so’ more than ever, public wins as such blinker some fans far too easily. It’s a win win situation for them however, a result that looks as though it’s in tune with the negative comments/predictions provides justification. A win in the opposite direction equals a “we won so I don’t really care what I thought before” attitude. It’s far too easy to foresee the demise of a club you love and social media is the perfect demon to channel that path. Really quite annoying and quite frustrating.

In terms of the performance itself, we looked ok throughout and weren’t really troubled by Swansea at all, which made the result a slightly more sickening one to swallow. We all have games like this in the season where it doesn’t quite fall for us and the opposition steal the points. It’s happened to every team this season. The one plus point is that it hasn’t happened to us as often as last time around which is a sign of progress. The key frustration vs Swansea were a fair number of good situations that should have turned into goals or goalscoring opportunities were wasted. I have to point out Aaron Ramsey on that front. He’s grown into this season well and has really been in great form over the last few weeks, but I think the want for a goal blinkered his vision a little in the game. Add to the fact it was against Swansea and you knew he was going to want to get that goal even more. He was guilty of being wasteful on some really good positions, as were others to be fair, but I think for Ramsey it’s all about getting back to basics again for the benefit of the team. Fingers crossed he does that vs United.

The result makes for a quite stressful end to the season for us. Had we won the United game wouldn’t have mattered a jot and resting players for the cup final could have been a possibility. As it turns out we will need a result vs United to see off their challenge once and for all. Get a draw there and we’re a point away from 3rd with 2 home games to go. 2nd is still a possibility with City to play Swansea away and Southampton at home. Although I can’t help but think Fabiasnki will turn into a full scale Flapihandski vs City next weekend. There may be a little twist or turn here and there but there is no excuse for us not to finish 3rd now. If that doesn’t happen it will impact our transfer activity and lead to another false start next season. It’s crucial we get over the line as soon as possible in order to ensure as serene a summer as possible. Transfer speculation will begin shortly so to action it we’ll need to not have the qualifier in view.

There’s not much else to say apart from the fact that I really don’t enjoy Monday night football. It really does piss me off. It puts the whole week out of sync and the game this weekend can’t come quickly enough.

Here’s to hoping for some more grit and determination as well as good finishing up north. 3 points and we’re home.

Have a great week.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1

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