After Arsenal’s nil-nil draw against Hull in the FAcup, I just sat there on my sofa wondering “If you were the manager of that Arsenal side, what do you say to the players in the dressing room?” Should the manager have a go at his players for failing to win? Or look at the performance and say “Okay we didn’t win. But we played well”
It was a game Arsenal should have won. No doubt about that. But do you have a go at your players simply because they failed to win? Because the performance of the players wasn’t bad at all.
For all the non goalscoring purposes, Arsenal played really well. They had all the ball. Created chances, but failed to score. The ball just didn’t seem to want to go into the net. Jakupovic pulled off some very good saves.
Should a manager just shrug games like that off and say “Days like that can happen in football. If we play like that in 10matches, we will win 7 of them and that is not bad”.
The job of a manager essentially comes down to designing a system that helps you win more matches and over the time it has been made evident that having more possession helps you win more matches. Yes there is always the odd match that the underdogs sit deep and win the game on the counter and pull off a win, but they will always be that, ‘underdogs’. Because nobody expects them to win. No team has been successful over a long period of time without being the side that enjoys more possession of the ball in most of their matches.
For all of Mourinho and his infamous tactics, his teams generally have more possession than the opposition.
So by that logic, Arsenal should be fairly pleased with their performance. On another day, they could’ve had a riotous scoreline.
But having the ball does not GUARANTEE goals all the time and Arsenal have had a notorious reputation for having that possession and squandering chances. It was most prominent the last time Flamini was around. Between 07-12. Is that just bad luck? Or is there something like ‘goalscoring mentality’ that Arsenal lack? Is it a habit?
Because ManUtd under SAF always seemed to get their goal. Even when they didn’t play well. It just happened. Them scoring all those goals and nicking games in the end was as inexplicable as Arsenal’s inability to wrap up matches. Surely it must’ve been more than bad luck. It was more like a habit.
What Manutd did differently than Arsenal off the pitch to possess that ability? I don’t know. I can’t explain what it is down do. But there was something Manutd had that Arsenal didn’t. It is something Arsenal must develop if they hope to win titles.
No I’m not having a panic attack after 1 draw and losing my head over it. Arsenal are still in the cup, will be favourites going into the Replay and have got players making their way back from injuries. It was just one match, with players who haven’t had much game time this season. So things like that can happen.
It was nothing but an odd bad day at the office as far as finishing was concerned. Or so I hope.
Ayaz Palekar is an Engineering student who loves all things Football, Arsenal, Books, Motorcyles and Food.