Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Fade to Blackpool
Bad finishing or bad luck? One of those nights or inherent psychological flaw? Chicken or fish? Sorry, yes, wrong question.
Back on topic. You can read last night's game many ways. But here are the pass notes: we lost 3-1. Actually, those are the fail notes aren't they?
Here's another fact that keeps nagging away. Manchester United were in exactly the same position and they found a way out of it. We didn't. I'm sure this tells us something. And I'm sure it's not good. I'm also sure, deep down, we already knew.
These are my truths, tell me yours. Please. Something warm and encouraging, preferably.
In our position success comes down to precision and relentlessness.
Precision defending and precision finishing. Bassong's challenge for the penalty was a shocker, but that's not what I'm talking about. That's idiocy rather than lack of precision. Look at the build-up, though: that cross should never have got into our box. Pienaar could have closed his man down and either blocked it or made it harder for their winger to deliver with any quality. That actually, genuinely went through my mind as it happened. Yeah, well done me. Whoopdeefuckingdoo.
For the second, if BAE steps up half a yard, DJ Campell's offside.
Up front, we can bemoan the goal line clearances and the 'worldy' saves, but again, it's about precision. It's not 'unlucky' if someone blocks it on the line or the 'keeper somehow gets a hand to it; it means you've hit the defender on the line, and you've made it possibly for the 'keeper to get a hand on it. So don't look to the heavens and curse your 'luck'. Just be (precisely) 3.7 per cent better and score.
As for relentlessness, it's been mentioned before that the road to the top is actually more of a fucking treadmill. You have to keep winning and winning and winning to make any impression at all. To actually make a decisive move you have to keep winning and winning and winning and winning and, yeah, you get the point.
Man Utd's motto isn't You win some, You lose some. It's just You win some. Then silence, usually filled by other teams weeping.
We get overexcited by three or four wins in a row. We view it as an achievement in itself, not the first part of a run of seven or eight wins.
There is a misconception that miserabalists such as myself might somehow enjoy defeat; revel in a touch of told-you-so. Not true. Just because we expect defeat doesn't mean we welcome it, or even know how to deal with it.
So last night was shit, today is grim and we'll finish fifth.
Arsenic top for me, please.