Date: 3rd May 2009 at 12:55pm
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What did Paul Hart make of our 3-0 defeat against Arsenal? Lets take a look by seeing what he told sky sports after the game, with some of my own thoughts too…

Hart on the game
‘For long periods in that second-half we took control.

‘I thought we got a foot-hold in it and again created another four chances but the big difference between us was they took theirs and we didn’t.’

We did have some clear-cut chances that we really should have taken, Crouch and Utaka for sure should have scored.

But, for me, the real difference was not so much we did not take the chances we created – albeit only a few – it was the fact that only one team really set out to win the game, and that team was Arsenal. Ok, to be fair it was ‘Arsenal’ we were playing, so no mugs at all, but a team that was as vulnerable they were – and have been this season – should have given us more impetus to have ‘gone for it’ and played a more offensive formation, and from the off, of 4-4-2 or at least put in more offensive minded players in a 4-5-1.

I laid into Mullins during the week, and as guilty as I felt, to be honest I do not think this he did anything to justify against my words, not that I am blaming him for defeat – so do not get me wrong. We do not need to play him and Hughes, so why are we?

Hart on ‘that’ penalty
‘I don’t think it was a penalty…it was a definite great tackle.

‘It made life very difficult against an extremely good Arsenal side.’

Before anything else I want to give credit to Andrei Arshavin – who was saying it was not a penalty…

It was not a penalty, simple as!

The fact that Arshavin was telling the ref, Lee Mason, that it was a corner and not a penalty should have been enough, even if the fact that the ball slightly changed direction – meaning Davis got a touch on the ball – should. The ref and his assistant bottled it by not changing the call.

Of course, going into half time 1-0 down instead of 2-0 made a difference, but I doubt we would have made the more attacking minded changes that we had if that had not have happened – not that I am quite sure where we were playing people in the 2nd half to be honest…

Hart on survival
‘I’ve just spoken to Arsene and he thinks we’ve got enough, but I’m not that confident.’

These are worrying thoughts that Hart has! Is he admitting that he is not ‘confident’ we will stay up, or that the current points total will be enough?

Whatever that is, the answer to both is simple – ‘make sure we have enough by looking to win games!’

Whilst I still think we will be safe, mainly because the bottom 3 wont catch us, I am slightly concerned again now as defeat against Blackburn next week – as I am worried will now happen as we will go up with the sole intention of getting a point, and might be exposed by this, although that said ‘should’ be able to contain the Blackburn threat – could see us really dragged back into the dogfight, if results go against us, which thankfully ‘so far’ this weekend they have not. Results going for us are what make me more confident of survival I think…

Once again I find myself thinking ‘we could have left ourselves safe by now had we won games we should have, or at least been more adventurous in those we ‘might’ have at least got something from’.


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