How did we end up here?
I’ll tell you how: anger.Not the sort of anger you might harbour for your mortal enemy, or that snotty ginger kid who lives down the street, but the sort of anger that comes from seeing something you hold dear hurt itself over and over again. And that something is Arsenal.
Season after season I have watched with quiet consternation as talented teams have let slip countless chances and untold promising positions, only to end up the plucky bridesmaid. The metaphorical three-legged dog that limps over the finish line. It’s cute, and brave and such, but it’s never really going to win, is it?
These last five or six seasons past I have mostly shrugged it off, looked to brighter years ahead, but something changed on Saturday. I felt compelled as never before to put my anger down on paper – or, at least, on a virtual sheet. And so I launched this blog, born in the blood and thunder and general incompetence of the 2-1 defeat to Watford.
Let’s be honest, it was no ordinary defeat. It was self-flagellation of the worst kind. The same painful lessons being dished out to us yet again, as if we had learned nothing from defeats at United and from the visiting Swansea.
And it was so horribly predictable, every second of it. From the moment Giroud saw his effort ruled out for offside (correctly) it seemed a familiar pattern was emerging. It was a tale of missed chances, unlucky breaks, near misses and, sadly, predictably, one of ignominious defeat.
Two efforts on target, two goals. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the final 10 minutes. By that time, id long since thrown a wobbly. But to find out later that Welbeck has come within a gnat’s testicle of equalising – only to spurn the chance – I couldn’t even muster surprise. It just felt typical. Same old Arsenal, indeed.
So what now?
In the short term, a honking great defeat at the Nou Camp, I would suspect. But, let’s be honest, we weren’t expected to get past a Barcelona side that boasts such quality going forward anyways – in or out of form.
More pressing is the need to keep hold of our top four berth. I know for many that is simply not good enough, and I agree, but it would take a raging optimist of evangelical proportions to wager on us winning the league from here.
What we must see for the remainder of this season is some sort of plan and a measure of consistency because, as it stands, we’re as likely to win 10-0 at Barca as we are to lose 8-6 to Dagenham.
Wenger must get them organised, get them reading from the same song sheet, and for the love of Christ, get them putting away some chances. Please.
That’s your lot for now.