Arsenal 1 Man Utd 0
We can defend leads! I was watching the game and I thought that Man Utd did not reallly look like they would score. As it turned out I was right. Squillachi came on for DJ and I was concerned. I shouldn't have worried. Man Utd posed no threat although the referee awarded far too many free-kicks for legitimate tackles. But not to us. Vidic could have been sent off twice and still Rudolph complains about decisions going against them. Arshavin must have been on some serious medication. He completed more successful tackles yesterday than during the rest of the season. I think his attitude had a positive effect on the rest of the team. Clichy still worries me. He hangs onto the ball for too long in defensive positions and often puts himself in a position where he is taking the ball towards his own goal. This sometimes has undesirable consequences. Song's performance was pivotal. He stayed back and allowed Aaron and Jack to go forward. Man Utd. were not able to live with our midfield.
We have had an attitude problem against the smaller clubs this season (and probably last season as well). It is not enough to merely turn up at matches and assume that the opposition will allow us to pass our way through their defence. We have to be prepared to make an effort to win the game, and this effort should not begin 20 minutes before the final whistle, but at the kick-off. If we had avoided the stupid defeats at the hands of the lesser teams, we would have walked away with the Premier League title this season (even after the refereeing fiasco). We have managed to beat Man City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Man Utd. This is not the performance of a team of also-rans.
Next year we need to strengthen the team in 4 key areas.
We need a goalkeeper with experience. This goalkeeper may not be able to get into the team when Fabianski is fit again, so we don't need to go spending crazy sums of money. No more than 4 million.
We need a solid central defender. TV will be fit in a couple of weeks. He is quality. DJ has been a revelation this season. He is quality. Kos has been very good in his first season. He has made mistakes, but he has also put in some great performances. He will improve. Squillachi did not look very impressive this season. He has not settled in well, although he hasn't made a mistake for 3 weeks now. We really need another defender, but again, I don't think we need to spend silly money given that we have Bartley and Miquel knocking on the door.
We need a solid DM. Song has been good (when he stays deep), but I don't think anyone else in the squad is particularly good in that position. We may have to spend some serious money to get a decent backup.
We could do with a striker who knows how to put the ball in the net. He needs to be able to get himself into scoring positions in the box. He needs to be able to get onto the end of crosses. etc.......
I think players who fit the bill would be available for less than 25 million. Player sales should provide some of this money. Do we still have the Adebayor/Toure money in the bank?