Tuesday 25 March 2014

Rise from the ashes...

I cant begin to explain how much I have missed writing these blogs and analysing every little detail and happenings around the club. However, not much has changed, has it? We find ourselves in familiar waters, gasping for breath, looking for that ray of hope, that oxygen mask and staring at that dreaded and yet somehow coveted(?), fourth place finish. There is an outside chance, that even that place won't guarantee a Champions League qualification spot next season. Though no one is counting on ManU to win the UCL, we cannot rule it out as an outside chance.

For whatever reasons that I wasn't able to write, there is always a reason to do this. In fact, who needs a reason?! Maybe I have read too much and just feel the need to oust whatever thoughts I have, or maybe there is a serious shortage of genuine football fans around to discuss about genuine football.

One bad match and the football world is already in the transfer market shopping for new faces and selling off old ones. I am thankful that none of these people end up managing football clubs lest the sport ends up being extinct. There is a reason football managers earn the kind of salaries that they do. People, and sadly, some of the fans consider it as a fool's errand, managing a club that is.

Anyways, enough bickering. All focus on tonight's game, and thankfully it is not an early 12:45pm start in the UK, we really want to win this one. No matter our current position or condition, any match is a must win, right from the start of the season till the end. Not just because you want to be The Invincibles again, but that is how champions aim to perform.

Swansea have proved to be tricky opponents in the past couple of seasons. Not considering their form after the new year, they were pretty good till then. The last time we played them at the Liberty Stadium, things were going smoothly for us, coming on the back of an amazing winning run. Now, even though it is a home game(I have never really appreciated top teams, to consider home or away soil as a reason, to win or lose a match), we find ourselves in a tight spot and facing all these posed question marks about the performance of this team and their role as "genuine" title contenders. I say genuine because technically anyone participating in the Premier League is a title contender.

The attitude has been really good this season from most of the players, especially in such difficult situations.
When a player like Rosicky says,
"This is a big slap in the face but there are still eight games to go and so many points still to play for"
...it is exactly what he says it is, A BIG SLAP! It's not just because we lost a game, the loss is every team member to bear, but this is how you feel and should feel when you genuinely feel for the club and hate to see go down to a direct rival in such a manner, without so much as a hint of a fight.

Mathematically, on paper, statistically, there is still a small possibility of us winning the league and that is the target, if any, that should be on our mind, nothing less. We also have players who have come out of such a difficult period and triumphed. Rosicky further shares his experiences at BVB Dortmund,
"When I played in Germany for Borussia Dortmund and we won the title there, in the season that we won it we were five points behind first place with four games to go and we still managed to win it. Everything is possible but the most important thing at the moment is to bounce back straight away."
We need our senior most players to instill that hope and confidence in the team. Otherwise, the rest of the season falls apart like a bunch of dominoes.

I still don't have the team news yet, but we have Gibbs and Ox available for selection, thanks to Mr. Marriner and some rare decision by the FA that actually went our way. Kos is definitely out for "at least" 2 weeks with a calf problem so that gives TV5 a chance to regain the fans' belief in him. There's some talk that Arteta and Giroud might be out of the squad tonight. Maybe that is the reason why Akpom has been called back from loan. There is a chance that Sanogo might start and I can't believe I am saying this, but for the sake of the team, I hope he comes of age in the rest of the season. We don't know what is the status with Giroud but from whatever is being splashed around, it doesn't look encouraging and his performances have not been up to the mark of late, to put it mildly. Hector Bellerin is another player who was called back from loan, just in case we had failed with our appeal for Gibbs' red card.

There is a chance we might finally get to see KKstrom in today's match, if we do, this might be a script written especially for him to show his heroics, because that is what we are going to need from the whole team, in the race to the end of the season.