Learn the right lesson + Wilshere & Pires

Apologies for the slightly late arrival of this morning’s blog. I was on airport retrieval duty, fetching Mrs Blogs after a trip to the US of A. Typically I slept through my alarm and the flight arrived early but I got there just in time.

I believe she has presents of Kentucky straight bourbon for me. Truly she is the best wife I ever had.

So, we’re into the Interlull with the Chelsea defeat hanging over us. Bacary Sagna says:

We have to learn from this game and we have to score goals because we had the opportunities to do it. We are disappointed.

To be honest the lesson we should learn from this game is that we should have learned the lesson from the game before that. Even if we didn’t score a goal, which is no shame against a team that has only conceded two at home in the last 500 games or something, not giving away stupid goals would have been enough for a point.

When you play teams like Blackburn or Bolton you can be reasonably sure that you can outscore them. Look at last season’s game against Bolton, 2-0 down and we came back to win 4-2. When you play good teams, however, that’s very, very rarely going to work for you. I think we need to be more focussed on not conceding when we play the likes of Chelsea. Their defence is miserly so if you go a goal or two down it’s more or less game over. Much the same way 1-0 to the Arsenal used to be a winning score all those years ago.

The big disappointment is that both goals came from lapses in concentration. From giving them the ball to take a quick free kick and nobody tracking Cole for the first, to Nasri’s careless pass for the second. Simple things but errors we are prone to far too often. So for me that’s the lesson. We didn’t lose the game because we didn’t take our chances, we lost because we didn’t defend well enough.

It is, and has been, our Achilles heel for some time now, and unfortunately nothing seems to change. Those who champion better defensive coaching will point to it as more evidence that we need to do something. Without knowing exactly what goes on at the training ground I can’t say one way or other but at the very top level of football the slighest mistakes get punished and we keep making those mistakes.

Personnel have come and gone over the 5-year barren spell without a trophy in which Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for 5 years and haven’t won anything since the FA Cup in 2005 which was the last time Arsenal won anything – just in case that fact had somehow escaped you – yet the same defensive issues remain. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

Jack Wilshere has been called into both the England U21 squad and the senior squad, which, I have to say, is a touch aggravating. If he’s good enough for the senior squad leave him in there. It means Jack could play on Friday for the U21s then Tuesday for the senior team, as they have only one game in the Interlull. He’s played in every game for Arsenal this season at just 18 years of age – and as his club we have a right to do that. It’s disappointing that the Capello and Pearce haven’t come to an arrangement to protect him from burn-out this early in the season.

I know if England had two senior games he could well be involved in both as he is with the dual call-up, but there’s a lack of common sense with this situation. Then again, it’s the FA, Stuart Pearce and international football. Why should we expect anything else?

More heartwarming news is that of Robert Pires who is back in training with the club. Like Sol Campbell last year the boss has allowed Le Bob, who is so dreamy by the way, to keep fit with us and, as he’s out of contract, find himself a club.

I don’t see it going the way of Sol, that we re-sign him, but those lads at the training ground who have the opportunity to train with a real Arsenal legend, a player of the utmost quality and a born winner, really should make the most of it. If a little bit of Pires can rub off on them … *swoon* … then they’ll be much the better for it.

And on that handsome note I’ll bid you good day. Till tomorrow.


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