Arsenal’s season, starring Sandra Bullock

April 18, 2011 31 Comments by Sian

I hate films that aren’t realistic. You know the type, where you sit there thinking “Oh he just happened to turn around in time to miss the blade through the ribs… oh of course she’s a nuclear physicist, she’s 23 and beautiful! Yep, yep, absolutely standard for a flying cow to narrowly miss your windscreen on a particularly blustery day…”

You get the picture. In a way, our season has been one of those films I hate. “Really, guys, really? They got to their first final in donkeys’ years and were seconds from extra time before two of the team’s players made an unprecedentedly enormous cock-up gifting the trophy to a team nearing relegation in the league? Not buying THAT for a second. Oh come on, what kind of goalkeeper injures his finger 15 minutes into the most important match he’s ever played? And now you want me to believe all four goalkeepers are injured? The only mentaler thing than this could be if they were to draft in a 41-year-old mad-as-a-box-of-frogs retiree and have him as a back-up. And don’t even get me started on how they conspired to lose a 4-0 lead at sodding St James’s Park. Action film or fantasy flick?”

Our season has thus far overall been the footballistic version of Speed 2: Cruise Control. Yesterday came another unbelievable plot twist after 90 minutes… well, 101 minutes, of pretty standard fare. Let’s start with Eboue. First of all, I do hope someone in the dressing room will have had an arm round him yesterday. Yes, I know it was pillock, but various members of our squad throughout the season have made impressive cock-ups and Eboue’s always been the first to console them. I know everyone’s angry at him at the moment, but they’re a team right? That’s what team mates do.

Had we not scored that penalty in the 1,047th minute before going on to concede one of our very own, there were no goals appearing on the schedule yesterday. The last goal scored from open play at the Emirates stadium took place in the 5-0 win over Leyton Orient on 2nd March. Seriously. What was annoying was that in the first half, we were much the better team. Yet even then when we were dominating in just about every area except the being-from-Liverpool part, opportunities were not taken. There was a time where Arsenal players would try to tippy-tappy it into the back of the net, but when that failed, they’d put their foot through it and blast it in from metres out. That didn’t happen yesterday and given how hideously hair-tearingly frustrating it was, it’s a wonder we didn’t all walk out looking like Pepe Reina.

Had the match finished after 90 minutes (the initial eight minute period of extra time granted due to an injury to Jamie Carragher), it would have been another match where we played well – though I’m quite surprised to see how many thought we were rubbish yesterday – but once again failed to take the chances that have put us in this position. That is, six points off the top. Reina made some good saves, as did Szczesny, but that’s about all.

As it was, Speed 2: Cruise Control would not have been the same without the fact they missed the oil tanker yet still found themselves steaming in towards a busy island, and the match would not be Arsenal without an end that felt like the blade through the ribs that lucky bastard at the beginning of this blog avoided. Penalty to us, penalty to them. It actually looked for a while that the match was going to end almost exactly as it did last time we played Liverpool at home. Free kick to them, Cesc handballs it away, they’re left pissed off and we’re left going “Phew”. But no, this time they got their revenge. Eboue was daft as a drunk slug to bring that bloke down in the penalty area – arguments over whether it was a dive or not are pointless. I don’t think it was, but even if it was, well, are you surprised?

At the end of the match, Liverpool felt like winners and we felt like run-over hedgehogs. And let’s be honest here, the usual stars didn’t play well yesterday. Cesc was not good, RvP was cross-eyed and even new Young Player of the Year Jack Wilshere missed a few passes.

So to sum up. Bollocks.

There was a bit of a hoo-ha after the match when Wenger went up to Dalglish and complained. Dalglish went “Piss off” and I think rightly so, to be honest. Come on Arsene, we love you but really? Anyway they were off celebrating a 1-1 draw that helped their sworn rivals start to believe the league is really theirs. Oh to be a Liverpool fan.

But in all seriousness, this has not been a mere dent in our title hopes but a bloody great head-on collision. It was a shame it had to end in The Arsenal Way because pre-match everything was perfect. The minute’s silence held in honour of Danny Fiszman and the 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster was upheld beautifully by both sets of fans. And then… urgh. 

Some might be saying “Well, congratulations and happy 19th there Liverpool har har” but I guess the one and only thing that could be said in order to offer a glimmer of hope is that it seems spectacularly ridiculous that we’ll win the league this season. Then again it seemed spectacularly ridiculous we’d lose the Carling Cup in such a fashion, that we’d be 3-0 down to West Brom at one point and that Jens Lehmann would be back at the Arsenal in anything other than a coaching role. I know these aren’t the right kinds of spectacularly ridiculous we want to remember, but help me out here guys. It’s spectacularly ridiculously difficult to keep upbeat, but I’m trying.

It’s been nice that the civil war among fans in the fall-out of yesterday has been less venomous than in previous losses/draws. It’s still there but then if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be Arsenal would it? Sad.

So, Spuds next. Yay. If we lose that, well, that’s it isn’t it? We’re still clinging on to second place so to let that slip as well as COMPLETELY atomising our last attempt at the league, would be unforgiveable. There is something wrong with the squad but really it’s an issue that can only be addressed after May. Besides a kick up the arse for them all, but that’s not really worked so far has it? Maybe we should get Jens to administer it. That might work.

Oh, boys. I love you so much but you make it so hard for us all. Logging on to the official site has seemed like Groundhog Day for the past six months. The same words all the time ‘respond’, ‘have to’, ‘lacked’, ‘wins’ – oh, oh wait that one’s about Jacky winning the Young Player of the Year award. Well done to him by the way. So deserved it’s unreal.

Them: "Why would you do that? He's going AWAY FROM GOAL!" Her: "Er, guys? Islandy-shaped encounter ahead." (image from virginmedia.com)

And that’s that. Oh shit, that oil tanker’s back again. STEEEEEEEEEER.

30 Comments

  1. Daniel
    2264 days ago

    The only good thing to come out of that game yesterday appears to be this blog. I always chuckle and smile reading your words, even when the news is bad like this. You got a gift there! What a superb analogy to round things up…. Speed 2. Not even Speed 1, the better one. A simple bomb on a bus not enough for us… we need to go cruise ship mental. So true though, God. Why why why why why why

    why why why
    why why
    why

    Eboue was just too eager to get to the ball and decided he would pretend the guy wasn’t there and just keep going for it. The two were off balance and a collision was bound to happen… damn it. We were so comfortable and then when we score, we fall apart, as per. Wish Sczezny would have held that ball a bit longer and lumped it up field good and proper after their crazy kick-off attempt. WHY WHY WHY

    That 3 or 4 mins pretty much summed up our season in a nutshell. And I was drunk and sun-stroked in a weird pub in Covent Garden watching this, surrounded by strangers as my mates were outside… last place you wanna be, watching what now feels like a horrid dream, not even with Bullock to focus on.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2263 days ago

      Yep. If only, if only. But this is no way to live our lives! ONWARDS!

      PS. At least you got a tan. :)

      Reply

      • Daniel
        2263 days ago

        Totally with you on that… onwards and… upwa… somewhere anyway, no point thinking what could have been because it just ain’t.

        Ps. Oh, I’m a burner through and through, but I had lovely smelling Malibu lotion on so face just feeling slightly hot amd looking slightly more pink! :p

        Reply

  2. Kipp9
    2264 days ago

    “Yet even then when we were dominating in just about every area except the being-from-Liverpool part”

    Brilliant. That is all.

    Reply

  3. Girl Gunner
    2263 days ago

    *sigh* yet another draw,wow….well i’m happy for wilshere, nasri and sagna! btw the penalty was a soft one, but oh well. nice blog,thanks for keeping us entertained….God bless the gunners<3

    Reply

  4. Hamster41
    2263 days ago

    Hahaha brilliant as usual. Call me optimistically deluded but still think we can pull it off if we win our remaining games.

    Now where’s my medicine.

    Reply

  5. dilshan
    2263 days ago

    we are suppose to be an attacking team yet not scored in 3 PL games from open play, 2 of those were against very poor teams, and the excuses are repeated every year more or less around this period..think the summer will be cross roads for many. there were some positives yesterday.. daiby had 2 good games back to back, cant say that happened before so he could be turning it around, JD , kos and cesney dealt with areal threat well. Had we won Vs sunderland and blackburn yesterday would not have been that bad, it is slowing building into a big snow ball, worry for me is what might happen Wednesday night

    Reply

  6. Mike
    2263 days ago

    Shame about the Eboue incident. Ruined a great game for him.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      True, should have mentioned that in the blog actually. One moment of madness. Story of our lives much.

      Reply

  7. The Ghost of Silvestre
    2263 days ago

    *sigh*
    I dread thinking about what other miseries Arsenal has in store for us this season. I remember thinking after the Arsenal-Barcelona game that I don’t want this to be the happiest memory of this season. So far, though, it is.

    I need new happy memories, Arsenal! I really do!

    *bursts into tears*

    Reply

    • Happy
      2195 days ago

      A good many valubeals you’ve given me.

      Reply

  8. Gary
    2263 days ago

    Haha well that brightened up things quite nicely. Thanks for that.

    Yesterday was a kick in the teeth in many respects – it gets tiring watching this team somehow claw defeat from the hands of victory at times, but we still love them and thats why we go back for more.

    For me its all about the game on Wednesday. Defeat to Spurs will be unacceptable. Having them totally put us out the title race will be the equivalent of having to sit and listen to that Friday song on repeat for 24 hrs whilst watching the DvD Spurs would release if that were to happen.

    A nightmare I am not sure I could live with.

    We have to win on Wednesday! We need to win our next 2 games so we can at least put pressure on ManU at the Emirates when they come. If we can do that….then at least we might still have a sliver of a chance. We just need to get those 2 wins!

    Reply

  9. richard chanter
    2263 days ago

    Excellent piece and funny too – hard under the circs

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      Thanks Richard.

      Reply

  10. Jack
    2263 days ago

    Song should be blamed as much as Eboue.He had not one not two but three opportunities to clear the ball before he gave away that free kick.Eboue and Song are Dumb and Dumber

    Reply

  11. Peetay
    2263 days ago

    Great blog. Newcastle to win Tuesday
    Us to beat spuds Wednesday 3 points
    The difference and UTD still to play.
    I believe still….

    Reply

  12. Luke
    2263 days ago

    Fantastic blog, will be reading regularly from now on.

    one (very picky) bone to pick with you though. The last goal scored from open play at the Emirates was not, in fact, against Orient – it was Brazil’s second goal against Scotland in the International friendly that took place there later in March. Sorry, but had to be pointed out! Point still stands though – it is the last CLUB goal to be scored from open play, which is worrying enough in itself.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      True, my mistake and I was actually at the match so should have remembered. Though in fairness Brazil’s goals don’t make much of an impression on Arsenal’s season! But I should have specified. Thanks for reading! :)

      Reply

  13. Nikhil
    2263 days ago

    Nice One..its been such a dissapointing season…I just hope we beat Spurs & Manu at least..

    Reply

  14. GrumpasaurusRex
    2263 days ago

    Good read – coming from an LFC fan. Who is married to a Gooner. :|

    I will happily admit that Arsenal were the better team yesterday, but not that much better that they undoubtedly deserved the points. All that tippy-tappy possession achieved one more shot on target than Liverpool (so that “better in all departments other than being Liverpool” comment is artistic licence – but we all wear our club-given blinkers :-) ).

    As you say – oh to be a Liverpool fan. My comment on 90 mins was “please somebody score, a draw helps neither team.” Yet the innate urge when Arsenal scored to want an equalizer was overwhelming.

    I’m sorry about the result in some ways – I don’t ever want to see my team lose, but some defeats are easier to stomach than others (if the devil wanted a pact, I’d have traded the points yesterday not to have lost to West Brom). However from a selfish point of view, it was good to see some fight from our players, who have bottled it too many times this season.

    Good luck in your last few matches. Just get your squad to man-up against the Mancs, and hope Chelsea have enough bile to do the same. I hope it goes from Speed 2 to Die Hard 4.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      That ‘artistic licence’ part came after the first half when we WERE much better but you’re right, we certainly didn’t deserve a clear win, especially factoring in Eboue’s collossally stupid act at the end.

      Thank you and same to you… if only for the atmosphere in your house’s sake! :)

      Reply

  15. Rebecca Jill
    2262 days ago

    I happen to think all of your posts are brilliant, but with the whole ridiculous movie metaphors and Speed 2 comparison, this one is definitely absolutely brilliant. You’ve described the “ridiculousness” that this season has been so far so accurately.

    Here’s hoping for a big win tomorrow.

    Reply

  16. El Greco
    2262 days ago

    Thanks for your thoughts, Sian – enjoyed reading.

    So what’s wrong with this team, that hasn’t already been said?
    Not a lot, but Cesc reinforced what many fans have said before:
    “For me, it’s a lack of a winning mentality, also of maturity in key moments. We have plenty of quality but lack this bit of confidence,” he said.

    I can see how time can mature a player in taking action in key moments, but a winning mentality? Cesc adds:
    “The ‘Invincibles’ knew how to win games, when to dig in, when to attack. They had a special intelligence to read games”

    Most, if not all, the ‘Invincible’ had a killer instinct, a ruthlessness to go with their silky-smooth footy. Apart from one or two, I don’t see that same streak in this currrent team.

    Reply

  17. Declan
    2262 days ago

    Pretty much spot on. Arsenal are having a rollercoaster of a season with so many ups and downs and it just seems hard to ride level for a while.

    But offered this position last season, would you have said no? I’m not saying the league is out of reach but I really think this is something Arsenal can learn from and if they can build around the most crucial players (Fabregas, van Persie and Wilshere) then next season could be a smoother ride. This is Wilshere’s first season at top level and he”s done amazingly helping offload some of the pressure which was usually piled on Fabregas.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      To be honest, I agree. Or I did yesterday when we were still second. It’s the fact that, yes, look at where we are, but if we’d not messed up matches we should not have messed up, look at where we could be. But coulda woulda shoulda. I’m very much looking forward to next season.

      Reply

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    1143 days ago

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    1136 days ago

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    Reply

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  1. [...] are having. a sodding. bubble bath. aren’t you. We’re back to that Sandra Bullock movie of last year and it’s not even December yet. Bac will be an enormous miss for the team. The absences of [...]

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