So we were pretty shit at Old Trafford.
For the first 70 minutes at least. We played like we had no idea what we were doing and we were utterly out of ideas. We gave United the initiative and i feel if Man United had been a bit less shit in their build up play then we could very well have been more than a goal down in halftime. We were terrible in that first half, i can’t stress enough just how bad we were in there. But we survived the first half with just a goal down.
Now i don’t want to go over the game itself. I’m sure it has been done to death, more like a couple of thoughts and so on. Now that we are really close to 3rd place and not completely out of the running for 2nd (if Man City slip up against Southampton on the final day) we have to ask ourselves, based on performances on Sunday, how do we move forward?
I have seen a lot of people go on and on about Ramsey going back to the middle and to be honest i agree that he has been quite effective there, even in the unfamiliar role on the right he’s been pretty good. But many don’t count on how difficult it is; If Ramsey is to be moved to the middle, one of Coquelin or Santi will have to be removed or moved.
Now i’m sure we all agree that Coquelin (or someone playing that role) cannot be removed as he is integral to the way we play or rather integral to allowing us to play the way we play. So that means Santi…But Santi’s form (bar the last two games) has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has really adapted to that role in the heart of midfield and his being on the ball as much as he is is something he thoroughly enjoys and it makes him play so well. So what to do? Many have said “Go on! Throw him on the wing” But these same people will criticize him the moment they feel he isn’t doing well enough. Santi’s lowest spell with us came while he played on the left and i know how much stick he came in for that. So does he go in the summer? Can we afford to leave him out? Cos if the wishes of most fans is fulfilled they should be ready to accept that Santi’s role becomes diminished and maybe he might even have to leave…so…err something to think about.
Jack Wilshere is another one. His is a happier story in my opinion. Even though his good form brings its own headache as we have no idea how to shoehorn him into the team without affecting yet another player. I feel it’s good for now. He has to prove that he can play without injury and then we can begin to wonder what to do with him seriously, but till he establishes that then here we are.
Walcott got the equalizer…well he says he’s claiming it and i think to him at least it would boost his confidence. But is it enough? It can be argued in his favor that he just hasn’t had enough minutes. You could also say that at the highest level, every chance, little as it may be has to be taken. So will he leave in the summer? I haven’t a scooby but it would be interesting to see him start on of our last two games and then maybe we’ll have a better gauge on how things will go.
And then there’s Giroud.
I love him, i absolutely do, but with a performance like yesterday’s you can see where his detractors are coming from. I understand a really good striker going through a bad patch, but he can’t let it go on for as long as it has. The very best have off days, those ones even on their bad days find ways to score when the chance is presented to them. Giroud had the best chance(s) of the game. The one from Ozil particularly had me very upset. He did really well to hold off the defender, he really should have beat the goalkeeper, but he didn’t and the chance was gone. He’s had a great season but he still leaves that feeling that we could maybe do better. I don’t know how i feel about this to be honest, but i wonder about it and it’ll be interesting to see what Arsene does in the summer.
Well all in all, the season could still be a huge success– only if we retain the FA cup. Anything less and the season will have a flatness to it even though there has been definite progress. Well fingers crossed.