Beaten away, Mrs Doubtfire's face and a Snowman in Yorkshire

December 14, 2010 19 Comments by Sian

Just as I am getting a bit fed up writing the same things about mentality and desire and blah-blah-blah, so must poor Jack Wilshere be getting sick to the back teeth of tweeting the same kind of things. It’s getting a bit tiresome now.

We lost 1-0, we deserved to lose 1-0 (and no more than that), and Manchester United knew exactly how we were going to play. Again. They weren’t good either, but they edged us. In terms of football on the whole, what a w*** season this is turning out to be. It’s like South Africa, Summer 2010. Only in England. Autumn/Winter 2010.

Even Cesc and RvP, brought in well into the second half, could do little to help us out. It’s not like we faced an onslaught from the Mancs, we just didn’t try to put anything up their end at all. It was a bit… toothless. Again. There is little point highlighting good or bad performances because nothing really stood out as the match on the whole was about as flat as Mrs Doubtfire’s face when the lorry runs over it, remember that bit?

I’m not a Premiership manager, nor do I have any experience of playing that computer game thing where you get to be a footballer manager… Football Manager, it’s called? I think? You see, if I did, I’d obviously be an expert, as everyone who plays it is, and knows everything, and therefore has the freedom to tell everyone exactly what managers are doing wrong. Hey, their computer game statistics don’t lie, you know?

If it was me, I’d sit them down and go “Look, donkeys. You wanna win? Listen to your critics. Plenty of them are on the idiot side of moron, but plenty others have a point. Clich’, you’re fast but you’re not that fast. Stop acting as though your opposite number has BO and stay with him. Arshavin, run a bit more. Everyone, stop stroking the ball as opposed to actually booting the bugger netwards. Finally, how about looking a bit pissed off when it’s all going wrong? Now go outside and do laps.”

The “Woe is us” look on some of their faces time and time again is beginning to grate. You’re losing, because you’re not playing as well as you should be.

While last year everyone was so quick to point the finger at Almunia/Fabianski, it seems this year Gael Clichy is the fall guy. No doubt he’s not what he was, but yesterday his poor performance was amplified by the lack of protection he was provided with by anyone else. And the penalty he gave them, the first for him since Birmingham in 2008, was a stupid-arsed penalty decision anyway. It did provide a moment of comedy when the balding little moneyminded chavbag that is Wayne Rooney sky-rocketed the ball a mile over the crossbar however. Well, a moment of comedy for us watching anyway.

Just spare a thought for poor little Michael in Harrogate, whose lovingly crafted snowman managed to last an entire week before having its block knocked off by that Rooney-launched ball as it came crashing down into his garden about 20 minutes after that whistle for the penalty was blown.

So, we’re still second in the league, level on points with Chelsea but with a better goal difference. We’re lucky to be where we are, given some of the grim performances we’ve put on so far this season. You keep hoping there’ll be a turning point. It’d be excellent if that turning point could come this week since we play Stoke and then Chelsea and would sooner eat our own eyes than get beaten by that pair.

We’ll see. What will be will be. Congratulations to Wojciech Szczesny who put on a good performance in his first Premiership start for us. And what a match to start it in. Also a big well done to our travelling fans who outsung the Mancs throughout the match. The only song I heard the home fans sing all match was “Same old Arsenal, always cheating.” What about “Same old Fletcher, always getting in a tizzy and shoving the ref and not getting punished for it”? No? Not a fan? At least its original.

We need to keep that kind of support up at the Emirates this weekend. The atmosphere was utterly dire at Partizan Belgrade and, while it is a two-way street - play like you mean it, we’ll sing loud, play like you don’t care, don’t expect the stadium to be vibrating with noise -  it really is a better match when it’s loud and buzzing. Bzzzz.

So, Stoke next. Joy.

18 Comments

  1. carlos
    2388 days ago

    Someone tell me how the match officials let Rio ferdinand off after that Karate tackle on sagna? and fletcher pushed the ref but was let off, and vidic finished the game without a card. Why did Man U decide to water the pitch even though the weather was not soo dry?? I still think we will win this league this yr. This is our year!!

    Reply

  2. Bala
    2388 days ago

    The one thing everyone has accepted from yesterday’s game is that poor old Clichy did not get any support on the pitch from anyone

    Reply

  3. Treez
    2388 days ago

    I wish I felt more disappointed that we lost, but I think most of us thought we would and it looked as though the players did too. As you say, the game’s only redeeming feature was the pig’s ear Mr Potato Head made of the penalty.
    Roll on Stoke and let’s hope for 3 more points.

    Reply

  4. Reznuk
    2388 days ago

    I don’t think most people thought we would lose (except the ‘Wenger out’ brigade) – even many of them on twitter were saying they felt good about a result (before the match). United were there for the taking, and we were undone by a flukey goal by the brilliant Park.

    You should know my feelings on Clichy by now – he’s the fall guy at the moment for sure, and yet largely on his own he kept Nani at bay. He cannot win with the haters on twitter (at least while Gibbs waits in the wings).

    There was more United skullduggery than Fletchers push and Ferdinands karate kick – what about Nani’s theatrics every time someone went near him? He should definitely have had a card for his attempts to get players sent off.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2388 days ago

      @Reznuk People always want one person to land all the blame on. It’s just so much easier than addressing a bigger issue. Clichy wasn’t brilliant yesterday (although Andy Gray thought he was) but I agree, he did well to keep the abhorrent little shit at bay. I love Gael so much, I really hope he can turn people’s views around. But like you say, as long as Gibbs is waiting in the wings, it’ll be tough. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply

  5. josh
    2388 days ago

    I don’t think most people thought we would lose (except the ‘Wenger out’ brigade)

    Wenger’s time is up at the club – he’s arrogant and deluded, has failed to address the centre midfield and centre defence issues for 5 yrs now. Has no plan B in games, has no fighters, has no winners and rewards dross like Denilson, Vela, Bendtner, Eboue, Song and Theo with improved contracts every year.

    He’s done wonderfult things with our club but is now dragging us down. Au revoir Monsieur Wenger and merci for la memorires.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2388 days ago

      @Josh Can’t say I agree with all of your comment but you have a point about the lack of plan B. The only question I ask people who claim Wenger needs to leave (and OH there are so many) is, who would you like as a replacement? Thanks for commenting!

      Reply

  6. freddy
    2388 days ago

    hey sian – great blog (again!)

    Ii assume this is you on the NOPA Young Football Blogger list of nominees?

    I just voted for you – assuming it is you – everyone else I think it would be great if you could vote for sian too. This blog deserves some recognition!

    http://not100percentawards.com/

    Re match – ref was very poor to say the least. i think most neutrals would also agree. At least the ones I’ve spoken to

    we’ll be ok – i have every faith

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2388 days ago

      @Freddy That is indeed me and thank you for voting for me, it means a lot. Will do my best to bring home the goods for the Gooners but the competition is very good. I hope I’ll at least end up with a guaranteed Champions League spot ;)

      Reply

  7. TrueGooner
    2388 days ago

    Good read. I like how ur blog takes a humorous look at the game. I guess there’s nothing like a woman’s touch. Keep it up. For the record I predicted a loss. I love Arsenal but lets call a spade a spade. Clichy takes the fall because he backs up too much. Can someone please tell me what does Squalliche do or what is he good at.

    Reply

  8. TrueGooner
    2388 days ago

    Congrate to Nasri on winning French Footballer of the Year

    Reply

  9. Alan
    2388 days ago

    Disappointing yet again. Arshavin in his current form causes us more problems by giving the ball away than if he were to stand still on the touchline for 90 minutes. I keep hoping that the next performance will be worth waiting for, but it’s just not happening. Just as well there’s your blog to look forward to.

    Reply

  10. Uncle K
    2388 days ago

    Late night working meant I missed the game,but did see Rooney’s conversion through the window of a pub at the Angel.Very amusing blog and good luck at the Oscars.X

    Reply

  11. Mik
    2388 days ago

    great blog. I am tired of the negativity from fans, bloggers and media so I truly enjoyed reading this article. I am as disappointed as everyone about the result but I am one of the few people who doesn’t think that it is a god given right for Arsenal to win over MU.

    Reply

  12. Rebecca Jill
    2387 days ago

    Ah, Congratulations on winning the NOPA young blogger award!!! I know I said so on twitter, but I just had to say it here, too.

    And the above post about Monday’s game is a reason why you won. Such brilliant insight. And I’m still laughing at your description of Wayne Rooney and of course, his massive miss. I was just dying before he took it thinking he wouldn’t miss his easiest chance to score since March, and then he totally missed it. The best was hearing Szczesny in his post-match interview saying how he totally believes he put Rooney off on that. Brilliant!

    Again, Congratulations!

    Reply

  13. Chris Norton
    2386 days ago

    Hi Sian,

    Really good blog. My first time on here reading, and I shall definitely be back. Its nice to see some intelligent and witty comments on the Arse.

    I do have to disagree with you about Clichy though (much as it galls me to agree with Andy Gray … and by the way I’m no player of football manager. Simply a bit of an arsenal/football nerd who was born and raised along the holloway so have watched probably far too much football :) ) …
    I thought Clichy had his best game for a good couple of years on Monday. He was consistently sharp in his tackling, making more than a few good interceptions, he didnt go on any of his headless chicken runs where he refuses to cross the ball, and he was most definitely not at fault for the penalty… even though he got caught in possession by Nani.
    I’m not sure why people have been getting down on Clichy the last few years. Granted he’s not been as sharp as he seemed when he first came through. Possibly due to injuries causing him to lack his previous speed. He’s hardly been that rubbish though. Seems like he’s just been a bit of a scapegoat for the teams ills like you say. Or maybe people are just keen to get Gibbs in (I would agree only on the basis that Gibbs is excellent…. if he could stay fit!).
    Still, I actually thought the defence didnt play too badly on monday. Sczesny was superb as you say, squillachi and koscelny didnt do any howlers… and along with Clichy, i think Sagna actually seems to be re-finding his good form from when he first got here. (He’s actuallyu starting to get some decent crosses into the box now).
    I thought the thing that set us off on a bad note was having Nasri so isolated from the start.
    I totally agree with you about Arshavin (Ilove his character, just wish he’d show those skills more often!!) so that didnt help, but if (as I assume) wenger wanted a more traditional midfield by playing Rosicky ahead of RVP, then he should have swapped Nasri and Rosicky so that Sami was more central and involved.
    The one point we started to look a bit more threatening was at the start of the second half when Nasri was more central and starting to work well with Wilshire.
    Except this got halted when Fabs and RVP came on and Nasri got isolated again. (Credit of course for Manure’s defence), but I cant help thiking we gifted them an off form attacking display by not getting our best player involved more.

    Just my thoughts. :)

    ..and is it time we moved beyond the fabs era? .. he fairly patently is still slightly dwelling on not being allowed to go to barca, and I think Sami plays better when he’s not around. Hmm.

    Reply

  14. Dave
    2386 days ago

    Found this blog through The Guardian and decided to give it a read. Some very astute observations, really good work. I’m a United supporter, but can still be rational about these things, and I would say the refereeing on the night was largely fine except for the obviously terrible penalty call made by the linesman (though, to be fair, Chamakh could have had one called earlier in the match) which karma (and Wayne’s ridiculous penalty run-up) took care of.
    My best friend is a gooner, so I’ve seen a lot of Arsenal matches over the last few years, and though I think it’s harsh to say Wenger has to go, it certainly doesn’t seem unfair to say he needs to change. Theo, Nasri, Arshavin, Wilshere, Ramsay, Rosicky and countless others are all the same player, just with differing amounts of ability. Other teams’ supporters (especially those of Arsenal, maybe because of Wenger’s comments last season?) seem to feel the need to attack Darren Fletcher for a percieved dirtiness, but I would submit that Arsenal could do with a couple of Darren Fletchers in the squad. That isn’t meant to be another knock on Arsenal’s physicality, but rather Arsenal’s lack of fire and determination at times. There are times Darren Fletcher looks like he’d be willing to die for the club and as a United supporter, that is invaluable when the emotion of the side begins to wane.

    Reply

  15. AK
    2386 days ago

    Hey nice,got to know about the blog from twitter,liked what i read,will follow regularly :)

    Reply

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