Sunday 2 March 2008

Not a complete disaster

Bendtner's last minute goal may be crucial come the end of the season, and salvaging a last minute draw feels so much better than losing at home. Our morale would really have suffered if we'd followed on from last weekend's controversial events, when we deserved all three points, with nulle point at the Emirates. I do like to be positive.

As Arsene says it was a bit of a hungover performance, it was by no means a dreadful performance, but our standards are pretty high these days, so mediocrity can sometimes appear worse than it really is when put alongside excellence. Theo is not the finished article yet and who would expect him to be at 18 years old, but he has developed well this season.

Villa are a very decent side and have some real pace on the counter attack, they are certainly no push over. While our squad is not quite as strong as that of our challengers, we have also been rather unfortunate with injuries with Toure, Eduardo, Rosicky, Van Persie all spending considerable time in the treatment room. We also were not at the top of our game, I am sure a mixture of emotional fatigue following Eduardo's injury and the disappointment of conceding the dodgy last minute McFadden penalty contributed to this. These are not excuses, and we cannot perform at this level regularly if we are to win the league this season.

A special mention should go to Manuel Almunia who had an excellent game, making a couple of sterling saves that kept the score at 1-0, when 2-0 would have been a step too far. Manchester United are not going to drop many points between now and the end of the season, so we'll have to sharpen up if the league is going to return to its rightful location. Milan will be a much tougher game and a performance like this repeated will undoubtedly see us knocked out of the champions league. Big Phil will need to up his game, and we must keep things tight at the back, as an early Milan goal would be a disaster.

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