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As they say there are two sides to every story, so when we failed to score against Sunderland the narrative focused on the performance of the referee. The other side to this game is the performance of our forwards. I agree with the assertion that the referee influenced the outcome of the game, but our strikers really have to start putting chances away.
We easily get sucked into the media led illusion that we won’t win anything with our current defence, while blithely ignoring the profligacy we’ve shown time and time again in front of goal. Notwithstanding the poor refereeing, we would have won the game if not for our failure to convert chances.
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There have been blunders at the back that have cost us games, even cost us a trophy this season. However it’s no good the defence to shut up shop only for the forwards not to score when the opportunity arises.
The reason why United are top of the league not because of their mighty defence. Do not be fooled they have conceded just as much as the soft underbelly of The Arsenal. The reason why they are up there is because they take their chances.
It’s very much the same as when van Persie is playing. We always look a better side because more often than not Robin van Persie will convert chances into goals. The dutch striker scores roughly 1 in 4 attempts while the rest of the team needs 7 shots to convert 1 goal.
Yesterday I tweeted that United has 5 more goals than us from 36 less shots, if we were as clinical as they were we’d have we’d have 69 goals as opposed to 57. Even if we were not top of the league at least we’d have a superior goal difference.
On Saturday the easy thing to do was to look at the mistakes made by the referee, the offside decision that never was did cost us. That goal would have had us 1 point behind Manchester United today.
I’d like to ask how many of us looked at that decision in real time and thought it was onside? It was so close that the only way the linesman could get that right is if he had been perfectly in line with Arshavin.
Instead of blaming the referee or linesman we should look at our own players. When Chamakh laid that cutback perfectly for Arshavin to score why did he put that it straight to the keeper when it was easier not to? Or why when presented with a clear header did Chamakh go for power over accuracy? Six inches better placed and we’d not be having this conversation.
In football it’s always easy to blame the ref or the manager, but the ones who should shoulder the blame are the individuals who make more mistakes than either manager or referee.
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A point closer to the title
Despite my negative tone, I still think that it was a good weekend for The Arsenal. We have Dirk Kuyt and Livepool to thank for that, about time someone show United for the shit team that there are. Always scrapping by, fooling people into thinking that they are such a great team.
Those fuckers are like playing your little brother on FIFA, always gloating when he eeks out a win with some lucky rebound, or just waltzing right through your defender. The minute you start beating him, he chucks away the controller and decides he wants to play something else.—I digress.
Even if we were able to beat Sunderland, United might have beaten Liverpool and we would be 4 points behind instead of 3. In any case we still have to beat United when they visit us at the Emirates.
Tomorrow we face Barcelona and I’m not expecting anything out of this game. I’d be over the moon if we win, but I will not be unduly troubled if we were to lose at the Camp Nou. As long as it’s not a demoralising 5-0 defeat, I’d be happy to concentrate on the Premier League, which is a title that is more winnable.