Oye there Land-lubbers!!! We are all at sea and well into the thick of the season… Arsenal has notched two wins and a loss since our previous chat; the wins come against the relatively ‘humble’ sides of Leicester in the league and ‘Boro in the FA cup competition, while the loss comes at the hands of our dreaded rivals and neighbors: the spuds.
The pain of loss was exacerbated be the fact that it came at the hands of the new English flavour of the month: Ex-gooner and current Spud Harry Kane. Detestable, I know.
Credit to him though, he kept knocking at our doors and our defence finally took pity and decided to further aid the young striker’s storm in a teacup season. Perhaps it was Karma kicking me in the ‘nads for my previous piece?
It is hard to nit-pick at the team’s response to the defeat, a rather rambunctious Leicester were “handled”, though not comfortably, 90 minutes were seen out and three points were secured. The FA cup tie against Middlesbrough was a different kettle of fish though; the gaffer placing a relatively strong side is no doubt a statement of purpose while the BFG got a much deserved rest, our latest Brazilian import from Sao Paulo was selected to keep Kos company at the back. The defender performed admirably and made no significant errors; But at the risk of sounding cynical: it was barely the sternest of tests that he was put through. The major positive was that he was unafraid to risk foul on an opposition player if it meant that player was in sufficiently threatening position. Further judgement on the linguistically challenged defender will have to be withheld until a later date, but the game provided a fine opportunity for him to get acclimatized to the English climate.
Cathola, Sanchez and Ozil dominated the proceedings while poor Boro were barely given a whiff of the goal. Our winning score line was the courtesy of that Handsome Devil who had been the butt of so much hatred & ridicule last season, Giroud is far from the perfect striker, but the man possess numerous redeeming qualities that make him indispensable in our squad. The Frenchman’s tenacity, work-rate, first-touch, strength at holding up the ball and his highly underrated passing accuracy more than make up for his lack of pace or his awful ball control while moving at anything over 3-kilometres an hour.
Dispatching Boro was made to look easy, but this is a team that sits atop the Championship table and is all but primed to stride into the Premier league next season. To drive home the point, they are a team that won five on the trot and have lost only once their last 10 league games.
Yep. Job well done but I’d put away that cork-opener and that bottle of Champaign if I were you.
Manchester United comfortably conned Preston after man-handling their goal-keeper and diving a few times to gain the tactical advantage and are through to the next round as well. Whilst the media churn themselves into a frenzy over Rooney and comfortably ignoring his blatant simulation, critics and coaches defend his actions as though the poor dear was in danger of having his feelings hurt. But he isn’t “that sort of player” so that’s settled so let’s close up and leave shall we?
As luck would have it, Lady Fate conspired to ensure that we would meet them in the next round (THAT b***h!!). The match will be played in the first week of March, this has already set a significant of the masses aflame with nervousness and excitement in equal measures. Long story short, it isn’t pleasant: I would probably undergo a proctology exam than recount our recent history with them.
Also, I would go on to say that this time, we have an excellent chance of beating them this time around due to the god-awful level of football they are currently playing blah blah but in the past such optimistic declarations have resulted in me looking around for a tissues to wipe the egg off my face, so I’m going to cease and desist for now.
As we know, in recent times the upper echelons of the premier league has become a crowded sort of place with the plucky underdogs suddenly baring their rabid fans against the elite clubs that have long taken the Champions league as a given. Clubs like Southampton and Tottenham are now applying pressure on the traditional big boys of the league which means that a top 4 finish is no longer a cake walk that it was made out to be a few years ago. Consequently this pressure on top managers is reflected by the fact that the “auxiliary titles” like the FA cup are being taken far more seriously, the quarter finals boasts of Liverpool, Man United and Arsenal which is an unprecedented number of big boys all looking for a slice of the glory! Looks like justifying a barren season to your bosses isn’t acceptable after spending a shit ton of money in the summer.
Personally I find it inherently silly that people would place certain titles as more valuable than others (other than the the Champions League; Big-Ears is the SHIT!) but in the hyper materialistic universe that we inhabit today, the phenomenon may be explained by the level of reward that goes with winning each of those titles? Perhaps, but that is a story for another day.
It would be disingenuous if I were to skirt over the issue of Chelski fans and their appalling behaviour in Paris, it would be irresponsible to simply join the bandwagon and condemn a single club and their fans (distasteful as they are, with their list of racist incidents is as long as my arm) over the despicable behaviour they exhibited. Numerous creatures within our own fan base tend to be xenophobic in the extreme so let’s try not to sling mud as we are clad in white robes. The sad fact of the matter is that numerous fans in Europe and in the Western world are horrendously racist. This a indefatigable fact. Before you pull on you SJW uniform and climb onto your high horses, remember that racism is no isolated incident and only a small number of educated people the world over seem to have any sort of perspective on the issue and are genuinely open to people of varied races, while most put up a show to just seem politically correct. Though this trend shows signs of fading, it will take decades before such “acceptance” of other races, religions and sexual orientation becomes a truly global phenomenon.
Moving over the unpleasantness, our next game will be a slightly less publicized London Derby (I know!) at the Selhurst Park, the distasteful cretin that is Alan Padrew has done surprisingly well since taking over although their record of two wins, two losses and a draw from their last five games seems like that their form is somewhat up in the air of sorts.
A glass-half-full sort of guy would say that this would be the perfect time to inflict another soul crushing defeat while the glass-half-empty crowd would crow that this is likely to be a difficult game since the Eagles are somewhat unpredictable bunch and are more than capable of upsetting the cake cart.
Me? I’m more concerned about the volume of water in the glass and if it would suffice to quench my thirst… Perhaps this deep rooted cynical pragmatism comes with being an engineer in an industry that is more of a sausage fest than the average meat packing plant? Who knows?
The fact remains that we are two games unbeaten and the squad is in relatively decent form. To dispatch Palace shouldn’t prove too difficult even with our recent injuries, and hence a victory should be expected. Though Padrew’s sublime tactical nous has never really threatened us, Arsenal’s history against the Eagles doesn’t show any significant reason to fear them, they have won NONE of their last five games against us and have managed a draw only once with the remaining four games yielding three points to us. I’d put my money on a win.
Catch you lads after the game. Up the Arse!!