Arsenal 1 – 0 Swansea: Thoughts
With the amount that has now been said and blogged about the 8-2 loss to ManU, the psychology of Arsenal after the 8-2 loss to ManU, the way we’d react after the 8-2 loss to ManU, and the fantastic new cut of hair of Rooney during the 8-2 loss to ManU, it’s nice to finally have a result to focus on rather than the 8-2 loss to ManU.
I share Arsene’s comments of the Friday press conference (and post-match comments) that sport is about what comes next. And you can only live in the moment and look forward with optimism. Yes, remember the glory of the past, but to sit and sulk on a past defeat is about as useful as a slug in a salad.
So, today, we should be happy for the 1-0 victory, over a solid and underrated Swansea side who may well feel slightly aggrieved to have returned to South Wales pointless. The win was the most important thing for us, and the clean sheet the second. People who are claiming that we should be hammering newly-promoted sides with a fistful of goals surely can’t have an understanding of manifold elements to any football game or season, and as the ever-excellent Arseblog points out today:
I know we live in a world where reactions are instantaneous and expectations are high but I really think we need to step back and look at where this Arsenal team is.
Exactly. Yesterday we had the uncertainty of new players thrown into the mix for a game which was pencilled in as “Arsenal’s season re-starter.” You restart a season with a win, and you build from there. We sit 11th in the Prem with four points from four, and we’ve a tough game against Dortmund on Tuesday. There’s no doubt we’re walking uphill. The players have their hiking boots on and it’s going to be a trek. For the moment the joy-to-watch, scoring-with-ease, rampant Arsenal we love to see is MIA.
Let’s not expect it to return so quickly, or expect the players that have come in to the squad to immediately pick up where the impact of Cesc/Nasri(/Henry/Bergkamp?) left off. Some people still think we’ve a right to be challenging this season. A right to win games, and at least reach certain stages in certain competitions. We’ve never had a right to challenge for anything, and this season should make that abundantly clear. We need to earn every positive result, and we need to take every positive result as a step.
That breeds confidence, and confidence is a magical, but ultimately helpful beast. Confidence breeds itself, and if it’ll help the “Shit! Shit! Shit!” crew two rows behind me to regain some semblance of composure every time the ball vaguely moves in a direction towards the Arsenal goal, then I hope that Mr and Mrs Confidence hop on the good foot and do the bad thing like no Confidences before them. Speculating on the copulation of non-quantifiable mental states. Time to move on.
Some interesting news. I’m trying out a new ‘Player Thoughts’ summary of the players’ performances on game days. The first one is here. Hope you find it a worthy read!