Blackburn Rovers 2 – Arsenal 1… but wait! I have a plan!

May 3, 2010 16 Comments by Sian

Writing bad things about something you love with all your heart is difficult. More than difficult. It shouldn’t have to happen, shouldn’t be an activity one must partake in, ever. It’s like making a written testimony against your husband in a court of law, or having to write an article on the dangers and downsides to wearing beautiful shoes.

 Sometimes, however, one must bite the bullet and do these things. Today I have to write another damning blog post about the performance of the Arsenal ‘first’ team this afternoon. Even I, Mrs Don’t-Have-a-Go-At-Them-You-Big-Fat-Meanie, can accept that today’s offering was a rotting puddle of vomit. Which makes me beyond sad and beyond depressed, it makes me sting all over. Don’t mistake the light, happy-go-lucky tone to this post as being a by-product of an awesome day… it’s a tactic employed to stop me from running out in the street, jumping on top of a car and going “WHY GOD, WHY?!”

 My sister said a few matches ago that we should always feel a little bit edgy when we go a goal up early on, because we always go on to lose that lead. She was right. Sometimes we lose the lead and then come back into the game (see: Stoke City, February 2010) and sometimes we just… well, we balls it up large (see: TODAY).

 RVP put us one up very early on to mark his ninth goal against Blackburn in 10 games. They’re like his version of Arsenal to Drogba. I like to think he sees it as revenge for the elbow to the schnozz he received in the FA Cup semi-final against them in 2005. You smacka me in the nose? I smacka you in the net! Or something like that.

 Somehow, though, the boys trudged off to the changing rooms for their orange halves/super-duper-rev-you-up drinks with the score at 1-1 after… someone scored for Blackburn to level things out (I’m writing this without an internet connection, so cannot check my facts. David Dunn, was it?)

 The second half was like watching your poorly crafted paper aeroplane nosedive into the ground while you’re stood there thinking “Argh, I meant to fold it in half again!” Let’s get our gripes out of the way first: Blackburn knew our weak link was Fabianski and they knew that this was where to attack. And attack they did. The big skabumpfing* bag of largeness that is Samba knew where to shove his massive bonce every time the ball got anywhere near the penalty area, thus rendering Fabianski invisible every time. Their impeding of the goalkeeper was pretty spectacularly atrocious considering the referee barely noticed it every time but hey, they’d obviously done their homework and you can’t argue with that.

 Blackburn’s second goal was caused by pretty much this exact tactic of theirs. Everyone was straight on the Blame the Pole bandwagon having a big old woopfest at being right about him, but although it was Fabianski’s fault for not dealing with it better, he was also all-but trod on as the ball came in anyway. It’s such a shame that he has the fumbles, because he was very good otherwise. His reflexes are brilliant; his decision-making and positioning… well, about as good as mine when I first attempted a bay park on a driving lesson all those years ago.

 I agree with the rioting masses who claim that he’s not good enough for Arsenal and agree that we need to buy a new goalkeeper, but it makes me sad to see people so quick to blame one person. It’s like they’re scared to admit we’re JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH so they want to pin the blame on one poor sod who keeps getting a run-out in spite of clearly being an absolute bag of nerves. Football is not an individual sport, it is a team game. You see your goalkeeper concede? You bloody well make sure you work your socks off to get up the other end and put one past his counterpart! Real Madrid went a goal behind twice against Osasuna last night and still managed to end the match 3-2. I realise you can hardly compare that lot with our second, possibly third-string side out there today but they still did their utmost to cancel out Raul Albiol’s cock-up in the early minutes of the game and end it with them still very much hot on the heels of Barcelona. But again, back in the English North-West Arsenal were just too happy to chill their bones on that fifth lawnmower-crafted line from goal and tap-tap-tap it around. Is there any point in focussing on individual performances? I don’t think so.

 The team was a bizarre choice anyway. Has anyone heard of injuries to Clichy, Song and Bendtner? I don’t understand why they were left out if they’re not injured. Mind you knowing our luck with injuries this season I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason for this is that Nick had Song and Clich’ round for tea, went out to buy some milk for the tea, dropped it on his foot in the process (thus causing him an injury), went ahead and made the tea anyway with milk that was now off and tasted bad, giving Clich’ food poisoning. And then maybe Alex Song tried the tea just to be polite (he seems a polite kind of guy) and ended up with the very same food poisoning.

 Could happen.

 Anyway, like I said. POOR. And do you know what angered me/broke my heart the most? It really didn’t look like many of them were all that bothered, to be honest. Where was the spirit we had in the aftermath of the Aaron injury? Where was the desire to win the league we had back when we whooped them 6-2 at the Emirates? (Saying, “in Barcelona with Cesc and his broken leg” is too easy, so I won’t say it.)

 Never fear though, dear Gooners, for I have a plan! It is cunning, it is well-thought out, it is innovative and it would serve them all bloody right if the plan were to be put into action. (Working on tracking down Wenger’s house so I can hand deliver it to him… for now we just have to hope he’s a FootballUnited fan).

 The Plan involves a series of highly undesirable activities each player must endure, one on each activity at a time. A kind of obstacle course, if you will. Only difference is, this obstacle course is horrible. Each activity is more difficult and lonely than the last and each of them must carry out these activities ON THEIR OWN.

 We shall name the plan “Being a Football Fan”. The activities shall be thus:

 1.)    Being forced to sit in a living room with a bunch of suicidal Gooners after yet another defensive cock-up has cost us a match. It is a volatile place to be. The players must endure the faces of thunder each Gooner is now wearing, the barrage of swearing coming from each Gooners’ mouths and the gut-aching feeling of complete and utter devastation every single one on the planet will be feeling at this point.

 2.)    Discovering a match is not on regular television and having to search for a stream that will show it delayed, with a plank of a commentator and will keep pausing throughout. Fortunately I’ve not often had to endure this as most matches are either on the TV in the UK or are home matches. But I’ve done it enough to know that it is a bitch.

 3.)    This one is going out to all the international Gooners out there: being forced to wake up at 4am to watch 11 grown men chase a ball about a pitch and not even look all that bothered when they lose possession. You can handle a loss when the boys have given 100% until the death, but when they haven’t and you’ve woken up at an obscene hour to watch it… oh, get lost!

 4.)    Logging onto Facebook/turning on your phone and waiting in fear of all the mocking messages you know you’re going to receive from the scum of the earth out there whose one and only pleasure in life is seeing your team lose. It’s funny how these people never bother to get in contact with you to ask how you are or what you’ve been up to. But give them an Arsenal loss and your phone is suddenly on fire!

 5.)    Each player will be handed the task of living down the same road as a Chelsea fan, a Manchester United fan (in LONDON! I ask you!) and a Tottenham fan for a week. ‘Nuff said.

 6.)    They will be made to sit in a stadium in the freezing cold, losing their gluteus maximus to frostbite for two hours on an afternoon where they know they have things they should be doing, but knowing they will sacrifice them for the team they love, as we do on such a regular basis.

 7.)    The players’ final challenge will be to throw all their support behind a team of boys regardless of their actions because at the end of the day, they’re wearing the Arsenal crest and anyone saying anything bad about them deserves to trip up and go arse over tit next time they try to stand. They need to give this a go and see how difficult it can be when you constantly have your unwavering support thrown back in your face. When people wink and nudge you after another dire performance and go “He’s good that bloke aint he? Hahahaha!” They should try and keep the brave face and the positivity in spite of overwhelming evidence telling you to give up the fight. They should be forced to sit there and seethe each time they see a so-called Arsenal fan making yet another uneducated, unhelpful, stupid and pointless comment against a team you love and adore.

 See it’s easy to argue that they’re overpaid and that this is the reason they don’t care but it goes beyond that. I really do refuse to believe that just because a boy goes from poor to loaded, he stops caring about his dream job. They just need to become fans of the club too. I don’t doubt for a single second that Cesc Fabregas is as much a Gooner as the most passionate amongst us. I know Clichy and RVP are too. But they should all be. The trouble with footballers is that if things don’t go their way at a club, they can leave. Once you have given your heart to a football team as a fan, however, the same thing cannot be done.

 By the way, I recommend for the overseer of the plan, we erect a giant throne with extra-comfy cushioning and a halo of niceness around it. The overseer will, naturally, be one Mr. Sol Campbell. I can’t even imagine how sticky a situation we’d be in if Wenger hadn’t signed him earlier in the season. A wise man once said: “Give me 11 Campbells, I’ll give you a winning squad.” (this was @greedy013 on Twitter: follow him, he’s a rare breed of Gooner. No whinging, just unadulterated support from the other side of the Atlantic).

 It’s completely true. I’m bored of going on about how brilliant this man is but our entire squad need to learn from him. I know he grew up with Tottenham, I know he’s been here, there and everywhere but at this moment in time he is a Gooner and he puts it all on the line for his team. If only the others looked like they were too.

 Arsenal Football Club is fortunate enough to have support from all over the planet. There will be 60,000 of us in the stadium on Sunday for the match against Fulham, and millions of others watching it on television/on a crap stream/in the early hours of the morning/when they know they have work to do. Forget about ‘Do it for Eduardo’, forget ‘Do it for Ramsey’ for a minute… it would be nice if next Sunday the boys could manage to turn up and do it for their fans.

*skabumpfing wasn’t an actual word. It is now.

16 Comments

  1. Sebinho9
    2727 days ago

    On the money as usual Siâny. The lack of care and effort from some of the players is so much more obvious now we have Sol to compare it to.

    Reply

  2. Duane
    2727 days ago

    Couldn’t have said it better, so I won’t try! Skabumpfing is now in my personal lexicon.

    Reply

  3. Arsenalist
    2727 days ago

    I know we’ve scored a ton of goals this season, but our attack at times looks very toothless. Passing it around in the back doesn’t exactly scare anybody, and without Fabregas in there, the vision is clearly lacking. Nasri is a solid player that can create in little space, but he’s not the quarterback Fabregas is.

    I don’t want to use injury as an excuse because we should be deep enough that even our second team can beat Bolton. But forget scoring for a second, what will become of our defense. Surely, Wenger will have to bring in at least two backs and a goalie in. If there’s one good to come of this loss, it’s further proof that Fabianski just won’t cut it.

    Reply

  4. Teresa Ranscombe
    2727 days ago

    D’you know, Shaz, your blogs are the only thing worth looking forward to this season. When we lose, which seems most of the time, they seem even funnier. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

  5. shegunner
    2727 days ago

    So brilliant! Brought actual tears to my eyes. (Maybe easier to do after what happened today.) But you are right on the money, Sian. They need to understand -again-what it means to love a team.

    They can move on, but we can’t. Won’t. Can’t.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2727 days ago

      @shegunner Your comment brought tears to my eyes! (but then I am a wimp) If only there wasn’t such a divide between the players and the fans…

      Reply

  6. Alan Ranscombe
    2727 days ago

    That nail’s been hit slap bang on the head again, Siany.
    I wish I couldn’t be arsed like half the posers out there today.

    Reply

  7. Samba's BigBonce
    2727 days ago

    Moaning, whinging. We beat you fair and square today. You have 2 donkey centre halves. You will be the Liverpool of next season. You lot will be lucky to finish 7th. Spurs are about to overtake you. Cant even beat lil’ ol’ Blackburn!!
    Arsene Whinger – “those nasty Blackburn players wouldnt let our keeper save the ball. IT’S NOT FAIR!!”
    Shut up Whinger you are an embarrasment!!

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2727 days ago

      @Samba’s BigBonce You did beat us fair and square. Personally, I prefer to comment on my own team. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply

  8. Sebinho9
    2727 days ago

    Magnanimity in victory is a far more important attribute than dignity in defeat, pity nobody told Samba’s Big Nonce.

    Reply

  9. Tricia
    2727 days ago

    First paragraph is absolutely spot on.

    I think Fabianski is a weak link, but like you said, its a team game. I actually kind of feel bad for him. He’s mucked up so many times his confidence must be at zero. But I don’t for one second think he can be blamed. We lost because we couldn’t get the ball in the net.

    I like the plan. Especially number 3. As an international fan, its really hard to be up at 7am for a match or putting everything on hold to watch a match at 10am. But I do it because I love them. And number 4 (Side note: the ass on my Facebook has been deleted from my friends, wasn’t much of one anyway).

    Reply

  10. Gunner Neilson
    2726 days ago

    Bang on again! Good plan. I’ve said before about Mr. Wenger playing understrength sides. What was he resting players for this time? Champions League Final, FA Cup Final? No, a match against Fulham that will determine whether we finish in 3rd place or not. With 2 games of the season to go it is disrespectful to the fans to field anything but a full strength team (away from home too). If that was our best shot then we must buy (several players) during the summer. I think Arsene believes any side he picks will win the game…obviously isn’t aware there will be 11 players out there trying to stop us. Come on Arsene, you can do better than this…. Pained me to say that…but I’ve seen this strategy fail us so many times this season.

    Reply

  11. sianyr
    2726 days ago

    - Tricia: Well done for getting rid! Who needs enemies with friends like that? Have had a lot of comments on Twitter about #3. I’ve only had to do it a few times when we’ve been on holiday but it’s crap enough then (mind you that’s usually for the Emirates Cup or Community Shield… dedication!)

    - Gunner Neilson (clever!) When the team was announced yesterday I looked on in disbelief. Hoped it’d be another Wenger masterplan, but in the back of my mind (as with all fans, I reckon?) I knew we were doomed. Wenger needs a good long kip over the summer before he’s back to his genius self next year… fingers crossed. Glad you agree!

    Reply

  12. Akshay
    2726 days ago

    Hit.nail.Head.Again.

    Yesterday’s performance was so shambolic that it doesn’t eve surprise me any more. It’s been routine for the last month or so. Only 1 win in the last 8 games, For a club like Arsenal. *Insert appropriate adjective here*

    One of the major culprits this season has been Wenger. His stubbornness has led to the downfall of his team. Even Stevie Wonder could point out that this team has so many obvious flaws! For me, it comes down to this. What does Wenger love more, his youth project/ players (read Denilson, Diaby (Diabolical Duo) et al.)to succeed or the success of the Arsenal Football Club.

    Coz the evidence from the last 5 years suggests that for one to happen, the other will have to be sacrificed. And that shouldn’t be a tough choice to make.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2726 days ago

      - Akshay: What makes me saddest is that 2/3 months ago we were going “Last year we’d have crumbled! This year we have the strength!” Or, we did. And again, we lost it. I don’t like to say anything against Wenger because he is my favourite Gooner ever but… you’re right. Although we couldn’t hate anything more than us suddenly being bought out and doing a Chelsea/Man City, the fact is that youths can’t keep up with people with experience, which is exactly what other teams have. Ours just get bullied as we saw yesterday.

      That said, I do truly believe that next year is the year it all comes to fruition. I really do. But AW is going to have to get the wallet out too!

      This was a brilliant comment, thanks Akshay!

      Reply

  13. M
    2722 days ago

    Fun read Sian.

    I think in some hellish way that masterplan of yours wouldn’t be altogether a bad idea at all; our squads in recent years have looked more and more disinterested with winning than anything. I’ve said for a while that the number one thing we miss isn’t quality, it’s desire and passion (well, two things).

    Think back to the 03-04 invincibles side. Every single game they played was a damn delight to watch, if not for the football then for their determination and hunger (pardon the cliche). Nobody ever dreamed of calling Bergkamp or Vieira lazy, Gilberto didn’t pass half-arsedly…what we’ve got today is pretty much the exact opposite.

    Wenger can inspire them to play beautiful and occasionally give the lads a rousing half time talk, but I think personal drive is something Diaby, Denilson, Walcott and Eboue lack. I’m not saying they don’t have ambition or quality, I’m just saying they aren’t winners.

    The Chelski scum may be a bunch of arseholes but they sure as hell a driven bunch of arseholes. Huge difference in mentality.

    Great writing though Sian! Really enjoyed it – my first time reading your blog! :)

    Reply

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