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Now we have lost, let the nerves begin.
03 April  2004

I had my weekend all planned out.
A night out Friday, a few too many beers, up Saturday morning, watch Arsenal come through another great game with Man Utd, and then get to work on all the updates on my website I had been promising to do for a few weeks. In the middle of all that, I was going to finally start work on the idea for a new script I had.
It was going to be a good weekend.

But one bad FA Cup Semi Final result against the team we hate to lose against more than anyone and everything has been thrown into the air, because now I am just sat here brooding over what just happened and I can't stop thinking about the game. Something wasn't right. But what does that mean? Is something wrong? Was it just a bad day at the office? This was Man Utd we lost to, not some small club who we really should expect to beat 10 times out of 10.
Is it stupid to over react to just one result? After all, it was only in my last posting that I was waffling on about how Arsenal were playing everything just right. Had I misread what was going on?
You can't win every trophy, and the FA Cup run had to come to an end at some stage.
We have been spoilt in a massive way when it has come to the FA Cup in recent history, and it's possibly good for the cup that two different teams are in the final this year.

To start worrying after just one result is stupid I know that, but there was just something about the way Man Utd beat us today. Have they shown everyone how to beat us? Were we just tired? If we were tired how are we going to get through the Chelsea game on Tuesday? Will this defeat be the kick we need to just keep our eye on the bigger prizes? Or will it effect everything we have worked so hard for so far?
And why the hell am I now sitting here even thinking such things?

As a football fan I allow myself to get caught up in the whole thing, to the point where I do get far to carried away with such thoughts. At this point the logical view goes and panic sets in.

So can just one defeat really prove to be that damaging in an otherwise excellent season so far?
Well it all depends on how we react to it. And the reason we lost.
If we lost because it was just our turn to lose and it just happened to be to a Man Utd team that were fighting for their last chance of sliverware this season, so be it. It's hard to take, but that is football. And if everything was predictable it would be boring.
But, what if we lost because we were sussed? Or is that giving Man Utd too much credit for their win? Was playing against us with 5 men in midfield a master stroke or was that simply because of the lack of options left to Fergie with a few players missing? If it was part of the plan, have Man Utd shown everyone else how to play against us? How to stop us playing, because we were so far off the pace today, and after the first 10 minutes when it was just a free for all, we created nothing.
Was it all just down to tiredness? If it was, isn't that rather bad news one game into a schedule of 4 games in 8 days? Will we be able to recover in time for Chelsea on Tuesday?
Or was it as I have said, just an off day?

With Chelsea winning at Spurs today the gap at the top of the table is down to 4 points.
If today was down to players starting to feel the effects of a long season, then we could be a bit of trouble here. Two big league games over Easter, against two teams who can give us a game, isn't the best time to start feeling it. There is of course the old saying that teams who are winning don't feel tired. But we did look it today. And we faded big time in the second half.

So I suppose the question people have been asking will now be answered. How will we react after losing, and in such a high profile game?
What do I think? I have no idea, but suddenly after feeling really confident I am worried. I don't think I would be if we had a usual set of fixtures coming up, but we don't, we have three more in 7 days.
And I think the problem is tiredness.
Although has the Manager coming out and complaining about the fixture pile up rubbed off on the players?
Should he have come out and said it would be hard but we are ready?

These articles I write are only opinion, and I only write them from a fan's point of view. When I first started writing these pages, I rather liked the idea of just being able to put down how I was feeling at the time of writing. My worries and my confidence.
Going on the Emails I get in response, your enjoying them, which is great.

So, to many, this will all sound like panic when at the moment there is no need for it.
And come Wendesday morning after we have knocked Chelsea out of the CL, I will be back to thinking how great everything is and all my sudden nerves will be gone.

But if I am honest I wouldn't have it any other way. Part of getting jittery at this stage of the season is the relief when you get past the finishing post and you can let it all out.
Isn't it?


The Ginge

andyw@theginge.com
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