“Are Arsenal title contenders or merely pretenders?”
I’m all but certain that most misshapen lumps of potatoes that pass for “pundits” these days are farting out platitudes along similar lines. Most of us were probably too upset last night to rationalize the loss, but I’ve found that the cold of light of day on already harsh Monday morning tends to put things in perspective.
Yes, it was a loss.
Yes, watching our boys flounder around that godforsaken pit of a stadium yet again was more than a bitch, in fact I’d say that it was four bitches and a bastard or two.
No, it was not devastating. The 8-2 was devastating; this was merely an inconvenience, and three points dropped away to last year’s league winners is no tragedy.
No, it does not make us shit; merely not as good as we think we are.
No, it bloody well does NOT signal the beginning of the end.
Neither does it really “mean” anything. Most of the football world opined that the string of tough fixtures that we have been faced with over the last month would be the so called acid test for the club. But I dare a single “expert” out there to draw any meaningful conclusions from that inconclusive set of results: Losing to that dirty Portuguese clown; Humbling the scousers; Edging past the yellow wall and Capitulating at the ancient toilet.
What does it mean with regard to our chances in the league or our ability to win the Champions league?
As far as I can tell: Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Don’t read between lines when there aren’t any. Don’t jump to conclusions with regards to trophies when there is clearly nothing to jump onto. All we can conclusively say is that the ‘team’ itself is more than capable of beating the best on its day, but it’s up to the players and the manager to decide whether we are going to have more or less of those “days”.
Our record with player injuries and general fitness continues to b piss poor, and I do not possess sufficient knowledge or insight into the workings of the Arsenal medical team to point fingers or merely curse our ill-luck. The injuries and our ‘not-so-balanced’ squad means that Wenger is forced to rely on the likes of Bendtner when our primary striker has an off-day. The paucity of options in the striking role is rather unnerving, but it is a problem than “can” be addressed during the January transfer window( or at least that’s what the wise and powerful Mr. Ivan thinks). But this is by no means a given especially considering our history of behavior in the transfer window, so I’d keep my expectations to a minimum.
The return of Poldi, Theo and Ox could really breathe life into the squad and offer far more plausible attacking options, especially since watching the hirsute Danish clown saunter around with insouciant air of a man taking an evening stroll makes me want to commit self harm. The mind boggles to think that Gervinho was liquidated before he was. Wenger probably has his reasons, even he chooses not to share them with me, so until he chooses to ring me, I’ll just try not to gouge my eyeballs out with a butter knife every that fool of a Dane ambles onto the pitch.
Before the game, I was praying that our high spirits from the BvB game would erase any mental block that we seem to suffer when playing United away. I also hoped that the presence of Ozil would at least lift the squad enough to ignore the psychological pressure that comes with playing them, but evidently the mental scarring goes far deeper than I imagined. Disheartening, yes; Devastating, Not-at-all.
MU’s performance last night shared much with our own at Dortmund, ironically the roles were somewhat reversed. Evidently Mistress Fate has a rather twisted sense of humor. We were kept out by some resolute defending and a pinch of luck (or our lack of it), as we dominated possession but created very little in terms of clear cut chances. They showed the stones to keep us out at any cost and pressed us mercilessly even with players who seem startlingly average. What thy lacked in raw talent, they made up in determination, experience and an un-matched will to win. The most hated striking duo of a certain Dutch cretin and a bloated caricature of human being who goes by the name Wayne meant that even simplistic long ball tactics would pose a serious threat.
The chief problem was their new found fondness for aerial balls that forcibly disrupted our game of smooth passing along the turf. Ideally we should have made an effort to reclaim the ball and build up play by keeping possession and playing to our strengths, but we caved into pressure and descended to their level of Stoke-ish play, especially during long spells of the first half. Hindsight is always 20/20 and gnashing our teeth over what has passed is about as useful as providing first aid for a guillotine victim.
I couldn’t possibly complete the article without cursing our very own Judas, could I? My mother would probably shake her head in dismay and ask me to take the high road, but the image of his ugly mug as he celebrated like a crazed coke-head with his bulging eyes and open maw is seared into my retinas. I wouldn’t piss on that b****** if he was on fire.
My burning hate apart, the bottom line is a simple, but important one: The squad (and us fans too) can choose to look at this a demoralizing defeat that simply puts a pre-mature end to our nascent title aspirations and then settle into a depressed stupor OR we could take setback this as an affront to our pride and collectively bruised egos that can only be repaired by putting every one of our upcoming opponents to the sword and flame, by pillaging their goal and crushing them to mere dust, all in preparation for our long due retribution in February.
It’s all perspective gentlemen, it’s all perspective. Let’s just hope the lads in the squad look at it the right way.