Can The Squad Really Learn From Failure & Transfer Mata’s
Tomas Rosicky re-opened the wounds of last season, offering the view that the lessons will have to be learned,
I think we are stronger, firstly because what happened last season, the experience of it all, will help us. It was disappointing because we were close to winning something and the last two months were not good. But all this stuff has to push us more and more because we are capable of winning something. It must be like this.
Rosicky understands the desire of supporters to win a trophy and believes it is shared by the squad as well. However, I am not convinced by his belief that the pain of last season will make the players stronger. If you were cynical you could interpret the phrase ‘It must be like this‘ as almost exasperation. I suspect it was meant more in terms of determination.
Contrary to received wisdom he does not believe that the Carling Cup final defeat was as detrimental as is believed,
Setbacks like the Carling Cup do affect you but you have to go on and move on. It was in our hands and I still believe it will be in our hands this season if we produce the football we played before. The experience will be important and I hope everyone has gained from what happened last season.
In isolation, Birmingham’s victory would not necessarily have a lasting impact. However, coming in close proximity to exits from the Champions League and FA Cups, the cumulative effect was more emphatic.
Obviously Rosicky and the other players need to believe that the gain has come from pain but I am not sure. Arsenal squads have become used to failure. For some, the collapse at the end of the season was not the first time they have witnessed it at first hand. The strength of character to prevent it happening was not there, the lessons of previous failures not learned.
It is not just the mental strength, it is the tactical awareness, defending as a team rather than the back four in isolation. Not losing crucial players at key moments is the major lesson to learn, not believing them entirely when they claim to be fit ahead of big matches. There were many aspects to the collapse and learning those lessons will be tough. A sign of growing maturity if they manage to do so.
Can you guess what it is yet?
No? Well, the one on the left was from last summer and the one on the right from last night. They are pages that were hastily taken down from the Fifa website. The only thing that they had in common? Both contained interviews in which Xavi decreed that Cesc should be allowed to join Barcelona. This is the same Xavi you will recall, who said it was ‘absurd‘ that Arsène had got bent out of shape about his recent comments. Contrition and all that.
Fifa, at least, recognise the inappropriateness of their posts. Arsenal do not, the absolutely useless and unutterably pointless Mediawatch page still survives. I wonder if they will comment on David Cameron’s incisive intervention in the negotiations over the Arsenal captain?
Cesc meanwhile will tell Arsenal this week that the €27m bid from Barcelona is enough for his transfer to be completed. I just cannot be arsed to be contemptuous of the report. It is amusing that the media presume that Cesc only has to click his fingers – or hand in a transfer request – and Arsenal will jump. It seems that the much-vaunted Catalan objective to sign Cesc is as likely to happen as Juan Mata to Arsenal – thanks to @JamieDalton82 for the link. Or Santi Cazorla‘s signing for that matter. Or should that be Mata?
Samir Nasri meanwhile has told the club he will stay for one more year. I wonder how long it took for Daily Star picture library staff to find the contemplative photograph used to accompany the claims. In no way was Nasri’s acquiescence to the situation influenced by the knowledge that he would be able to command an astonishingly large signing on fee next summer.
Of course a trophy might genuinely change his mind. He may even sign a new contract with the understanding that he can go once Arsenal get a fee that suits. All speculation, very little fact emerging. However, Nasri has used up a large portion, if not all, of the goodwill he had built up and you suspect it may never return. He will be supported and encouraged whilst in an Arsenal shirt but you know that the first substandard performance is going to send a welter of criticism in his direction.
He will need thicker skin than he displayed on Twitter earlier in the summer.
Posted on July 27, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 289 Comments.