Confidence is a fragile thing

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Much has been made of Arsene Wenger’s comments that confidence is a commodity that takes time to gain but is quickly lost.

He was, of course, referring to his own side’s stuttering start to the season, but it could so easily apply elsewhere.

Try Fernando Torres for instance, who remains a shadow of the player he was a couple of seasons ago.

The talent remains - the finish for his goal at Old Trafford was as good as anything you are likely to see.

But the open goal miss shows that deep down the demons are still bothering him.

Closer to home Halifax Town’s players appear to be suffering from the jitters at present as Saturday’s result showed only too well.

Good players at whatever level can struggle when the form deserts them.

Torres is, of course, an international figure whose every move is scrutinised in minute detail.

That is not the case at the Shay but it is all relative.

Town are a big club in their current surroundings and the players are clearly feeling the pressure of expectation.

Arsenal will come back, Torres almost certainly will too. Let’s hope that the players in Neil Aspin’s squad can rediscover their form and confidence and begin to show their true colours again.

Last weekend was among the worst I have known from a professional point of view for a number of years.

On Saturday I sat through Town’s disintegration against a side that was formed as the works team of a car manufacturer.

Then 24 hours later I was at Bramall Lane to see Halifax spectacularly crash out of the Championship play offs to a side with fewer fans than just about any pro rugby league side in the competition.

It was a bleak couple of days.

Let’s hope that Neil Aspin’s assertion that you sometimes have to hit the bottom to start building again turns out to be correct.

Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City side surrendered a two goals lead at Fulham as they dropped Premier League points for the first time at the weekend.

That proves that no matter how good a footballer is, he is first and foremost a human.

The City boss’s immediate reaction to the draw was to suggest he does not have a big enough squad to challenge on all fronts and may need to bring in more bodies.

Mancini has spent £210 million assembling his squad - and there are plenty of wages on top of that.

How on earth could he justify spending more?

I risked the one eye to watch England’s latest rugby union World Cup game in New Zealand on Sunday morning.

And it proved a worthwhile exercise as two of the squad’s rugby league men took centre stage with Chris Ashton and Shontayne Hape bagging a couple of tries each.

Sometimes I wonder what Martin Johnson would do without them!