The League Cup may be the smallest trophy on offer, losing in a semi final still hurts.Especially when you you actually win the game. You must of course not forget that away goals rule the semi finals and winning 2-1 is no good if you lost the away leg 1 nil. The key is remembering the rules or at least making sure you look them up before hand.
In a very odd coincidence we played Norwich in the FA Cup as well as the league cup over the space of a few games. The team played well in the FA cup and we overcame them at a canter, however no matter I tried we could not get that elusive away goal in the first leg. So it came down to the second leg at The Emirates and we were cruising at 2 nil, in some ways the boys must have switched off, in hindsight I should have gave a Team Talk from the side of the pitch. That talk was left till after the game where according to players "I tore the team a new one" (or words to that effect). Again the importance of job should not be underestimated especially as my loss allowed Chelsea to get a piece of Silverware.
Although our defence has been okay it still needed a little work so on the advice of Arsene Wenger I made a move for Laporte. He is a young talent in the centre of defence who is adept at playing the ball allowing us to start moves from the back. This is a key value we look for in our players and the hope is he will fit into the team over the next few weeks.
"With Laporte's capture we now feel we have the strength in-depth we need to challenge on multiple fronts for silverware" said a delighted Fiander during the press conference..
We are also close to signing young English midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton.
After two defeats, one draw and two wins the writing was on the wall as to whether we would qualify from the group stage of the Champions Cup. Our final game against Sevilla was make or break only a win would do.
When I took over as Arsenal Manger I fully intended to strengthen the defence. Arsenal habitually leak goals and my team are no different, I'm afraid to say. The trouble was Danny Wellbeck was going to be out for 8 months or so and this left me short of striking options. With Theo Walcott a great talent but more than a little injury prone I risked trying to challenge on 4 fronts with only one real striker in Olivier Giroud. This led me to search for a new striker and Higuain was the man
So far he has settled in well with 3 goals from nine starts a good return for a player still learning the the language and about his team-mates. The issue is the fans are desperate for success so managing him is an issue. He needs to given the opportunities to succeed but until he scored his first goal every press conference seemed to be focused on his lack of goals. With I think a good spot of diplomacy I was able to reduce the pressure on him allowing him to play in a more relaxed manner. Obviously I want more goals and I hope they will come but for now I will continue to tyr to get the best out of my biggest and only summer signing.
My favourite part of this game though has always been the way I can affect players and the team as a whole. Using team talks, substitutions and other moves I feel I can influence my team on all levels. This is a big part of the attraction of a game that some call just a spreadsheet watcher. Once you are involved you just want to win everything and avoid becoming part of the Merry-Go-Round.
In years gone by I was known as Stato an large part to Football Manager.