Oh good, another draw. Love those, Arsenal.

April 3, 2011 24 Comments by Sian

They are going to have to start inventing new words for Arsenal-related disappointment. “Ugh” and “vom” and “Fggggggggnnaaaahhhhhhh” can only be used so many times before they get old. They have officially got old.

You know what else is getting old? Knowing it’s going to be ‘one of those days’ again and again and again 15 minutes in each match day. There are chances that are not taken, runs that go incompleted and occasions in which Theo’s team mates overestimate his superhuman speed and expect him to be able to receive a pass travelling at the speed of a bullet three metres in front of him.

The international break came and went and with it came a fresh batch of belief that, though the run-in was difficult, all we needed to do was keep winning in order to keep up the pressure on the league leaders. The past three matches we’ve played have given us three draws and three points in total. And the teams have been Sunderland, West Brom and Blackburn. Now, no disrespect to those sides, but we’re second in the league. Teams second in the league can and HAVE TO beat these kinds of teams. Apparently, Arsenal cannot. In fact we’ve now played each of them twice this season and have beaten only one, Blackburn.

I don’t buy that it’s because the team don’t want it. Who doesn’t want to win things? Who dedicates their life to becoming a professional footballer if they don’t want to win things? Of course they WANT to win things. You’re just left wondering at times whether they know what to do in order to be able to win things.

The team we put out yesterday was near enough our best team. Of course our defence was not at its best but given we finished the match with a clean sheet, that’s a moot point. RvP, Nasri, Walcott, Wilshere and Arshavin started. Cesc, Bendtner and Chamakh came on. And we still couldn’t get the pissing thing in the net. Fair dos to Blackburn, they defended well. But when it’s April and you’re still telling your fans you can win the league, it doesn’t matter if the goalmouth is covered in plexiglass- you will get that ball in that net. But we didn’t.

Individually, the performances were OK. Alex Song ended the match in as much of a state as his hair and Arshavin was subbed off when he was actually playing better than most of his team-mates, which was a bit of a baffler. Even our hero Jack missed a great chance that he this morning admitted he should have ‘buried’. But he didn’t and so we came away with another draw.

The end of the match was pretty grim. There were boos from some (SOME), and apparently fights in other quarters while the majority of everyone else was seemingly already at Manor House by this point. Ugly performance, ugly reaction.

So, we’re now seven points off the top. Of course if we look at it with our Polly Positivity hat on, we could get three off Manchester United when they pop over for a visit leaving the gap at four. We also have a game in hand which we could win and would leave us only one off the top. And then it’s really on. But the fact is, Manchester United came from two down yesterday to come away with three points. Fair enough it was against a West Ham side about a toothful as a full-time fan of syrupy popcorn, but it was still a three points made even nicer by the fact their nearest rivals then dropped two points.

[Insert new noise-of-disappointment of choice here]

They keep kicking us in the face don’t they? Then they say sorry, it won’t happen again, and we believe them. Again and again and again. It seemed some had reached their breaking point yesterday. Obviously, some were at their breaking point when we drew with Liverpool back in August and can simply never WAIT to stick the boot in, at Wenger, at the team, at the board, at their fellow fans.

Frankly, I’ve stopped listening to these fans’ opinions. When your criticism of the team is the same whether we win, lose or draw, your whole argument kind of dies on its arse after a while. People want Wenger out. People are beginning to shout abuse at him from the stands. People think everything is his fault.

I think the only thing Wenger can be criticised for is believing in a few too many players who consistently let him down. So often his belief pays off and we’re back to saying ‘Arsene knows’ – which, of course, he does… at the very least a bloody sight more than YOU -  but it seems that again this season, too many players are falling a few yards short.

Yeah, maybe he needs to spend some money in the summer. Yeah definitely he needs to get rid of some of the players who clearly aren’t quite up to it. But as for ‘he has ruined my club’… well, excuse the language, but what the bloody hellfuck are you ON?

Another thing that makes me roll are the fans who have a go at younger fans for being naive and stupid for backing Wenger and the team… the same fans who say “You want to have been around in the 1920s/1930s/1940s/1950s/1960s/1980s/early 1990s when it was REALLY bad” I fail to understand how these fans are still alive, I truly do. If this is what you’re like now (when we’re STILL second in the league, in spite of it all), how has your missus not clubbed you upside the head by now? Because honestly, I sometimes want to club some of these people upside the head.

Now is the time for bottle and guts and mettle and all those strong words. So far, we’re failing to prove that we have that. But while it’s still mathematically possible, I’ll still be behind the team. Maybe let’s stop starting fights with fellow fans, stop shouting abuse at Wenger and stop giving up on them. While I still reckon it’s ‘on’, I still wouldn’t consider finishing second to be a disaster. We were fourth two years ago and third last. Second is still an improvement on last year. The success might be arriving at a snail’s pace but sooner that than a quick fix, a quick trophy and a period of success that disappears as soon as it’s come, no?

In spite of all the boo boys, Arsenal, there are thousands of us out here who want you to succeed more than anything in the world. It’s in your hands. You keep talking about how much you appreciate our support. Honestly, I’d be happy if you players never did another interview again as long as you SHOWED how much you appreciated us by winning.

So, anyway. Drove past the Emirates three times today.

The first time, I looked at it and thought “Oh, it’s YOU. YOU and your mood-breaking ways. How can you sleep at night, you BASTARD. I hope you get rained on for the next fortnight.”

The second time, I looked at it and thought “Ugh. One of these days you will give me consistently beautiful memories just like your Uncle Highbury did.”

The third time, the sun had come out from behind the clouds and was lighting up the London sky all orange and pretty like. How poetic. The stadium looked beautiful. I looked at it sadly. I knew I was in it for the long haul and that no matter how crap it could be to me, there was no getting away from the fact it will be an important part of my life for the rest of my life. There will be good memories one day. We might still be in need of a lot of work, but I still believe.

Just pull your finger out, Arsenal!

24 Comments

  1. Theo van Nasrigas
    2332 days ago

    First! Wow…

    Really nice post, Sian. The real difference between champions and also-rans was the difference between our match and West Ham v United. Like you, I’ll always be a believer, but until we close the gap demonstrated by the two matches, that belief and that support and that love won’t be coupled with any real confidence.

    There’s eight games before it’s all over for this year and this girl still we can sort it out it time. Who’s with me? Hello? Anyone…

    xxx

    Theodora

    COYG

    Reply

  2. Alan
    2332 days ago

    Very tough to be positive after another toothless performance. Some of the current crop seem to be in some sort of comfort zone that means they don’t have the oomph that the likes of Man Utd (and even, on Saturday, Blackburn) have. Too much too soon in terms of money etc? Possibly. I don’t know and it was a worry that after this match even AW seemed at a loss to find anything positive about them.
    I have no doubt, however, that he knows what he is doing and I, for one, will feel a lot more positive by next weekend.
    You are absolutely right about the need to carry on supporting them as that is all I can constructively do. Pretty down, but not yet out.

    Reply

  3. Simon
    2332 days ago

    You will see from the rantings on my own website (http://acresofspace.co.uk/2011/04/arsenal-repeat), I claim to be one of the more pessimistic Arsenal fans but even I find that the booing and over-the-top criticism of Wenger is ridiculous.

    As you say, the players on the pitch yesterday should have been more than good enough to beat Blackburn. But they weren’t. This is not the manager’s fault, it’s the players’. They didn’t play well enough to deserve to win.

    Criticising the manager will get us nowhere other than turning our club into a club like Newcastle where we sack the guy in charge as soon as things don’t turn out EXACTLY as want them to.

    Reply

  4. Gary
    2332 days ago

    Great Blog, I knew I could depend on you to make yesterday seem that little bit better!

    First off I am still massively annoyed at the so called fans that were shouting racial abuse at our manager and those that were fighting because we are apparently the worst team in world football atm. It disgusts me that a section of our own fanbase think its acceptable to throw abuse just because hes OUR manager.

    (Same for some of the stuff shouted/jeered to Almunia. Do people actually think thats going to help?)

    Frankly those kind of fans have no place at our home and can go support someone, anyone else for all I care.

    Yesterday Wenger seemed mightly annoyed in his post match interview for the BBC and it looks like he kept the team locked in the dressing room afterwards. If so I hope he told them that they have let themselves and the fans down in recent weeks and its time they picked themselves up off the floor and got on with the job.

    If they are still feeling sorry for themselves over something it has to stop here and now. The league might not be in our hands anymore, but Man Utd WILL drop points to the end of the season. We are still in this race and the manager needs to somehow get the players to believe we can do this.

    If we dont win the league this year, I would at least want to look back come May and say we gave it one hell of a go. I want to see the team scrap, bite, claw and fight for a win. 1-0 or 4-0 I dont care. I dont care if its pretty or ugly, I just want the team to show me they have it in them somewhere.

    Yesterday was disappointing but I still love this club. A win against Blackpool in our next match and lets take it from there!

    Reply

    • Alan
      2332 days ago

      Well said. I’m with you and Siany!

      Reply

  5. Treez
    2332 days ago

    Yesterday, as I was wishing 20 minutes from time that I’d stayed at home and done some ironing, I thought to myself, ‘Sian’s going to have a hard time putting a positive spin on this dross’. Congratulations! You still managed it. I’m with you all the way. As long as it’s mathematically possible, I still think we can win the league but, boy do those boys in red and white need a kick up the Arse…

    Reply

  6. azad
    2332 days ago

    as long as we finish above chelski spuds and city i’m happy .lets be honest there are lots of team wishing to be in our position.

    Reply

  7. Clock End Gooner
    2331 days ago

    “as long as we finish above chelski spuds and city i’m happy .lets be honest there are lots of team wishing to be in our position.”

    And that, my friends, I just what our fucking joke of a club want you to say!
    Those cunts on and off the pitch needed to know exactly how we feel! They deserved every bit of it…

    And before anyone dares to question my support, I live 20 min walk from Highbury, had a ST 15 years and got 7 arsenal tatts… So should I become a yid just because I dare to question Wenger and co.?

    Reply

  8. Oldbird
    2331 days ago

    Great blog Sian – cheered me up a bit. Not a lot mind.

    Like everyone am feeling pretty flat. Performance on pitch and round us in the North Bank pretty dismal. Why stand there if you aren’t going to get behind the team. The moaning round us started in the first 10 minutes when frankly we looked pretty lively. You know you’re in trouble crowdwise as soon as the notquitewhinging “come on Arsenal” starts. Some people round us seem to prefer it when not going well and can yell foul mouthed abuse (despite youngsters around). Arent they clever. Tossers. Funny how they go quiet when something good happens.

    I’m with you trying hard to be positive … and its not over yet. Quite.

    Reply

  9. Rutger
    2331 days ago

    not that I would ever question your apparently geographical right to have a valid opinion – but are you sure it’s not counter productive to abuse the team / manager? The players and the fans feed off each other from what I can see from my seat (only had it 5 years, apologies) so jeering at them 15 mins in is surely going to compound the issue. Jeering at them t the end of a dissapointing game when they themselves are dissapointed is not exactly helpful or supportive, however close to the stadium you live.

    Reply

    • akag9
      2331 days ago

      Rutger, how can you read (assuming you read it) a blog post above and so completely, absolutely and comprehensively misinterpret it? It’s not a rhetorical question. I’m really curious? How?
      Wow. You may agree or disagree what Siân wrote, but… She never wrote what you assume she did…

      Mystifying.

      Unless… boy, it’s been years but I REALLY would love to try what you were smoking…

      Reply

      • Sian
        2331 days ago

        I think Rutger was replying to another commenter, who was telling us all how much of a fan he was and his proximity to the stadium… unless I misinterpreted Rutger’s comment?

        Reply

        • Rutger
          2331 days ago

          10 points for Macalarney, although I am now questioning my reading abilty having missed the ‘reply’ button to some extent. See how I learn though, hurray for me.

          Reply

  10. everetro
    2331 days ago

    Do these people really think that getting rid of Wenger is going to assist us winning trophies? Five years without silverware could easily become ten or fifteen if the club is thrown into turmoil by managerial upheaval. What we have on our side is continuity and stability and that is crucial. I realise everyone is frustrated by the dip in form but it’s part and parcel of being a supporter. When you signed up as a gooner you should have realised that there’d be ups and downs. I suggest that the naysayers shut the fuck up and get behind the lads – ALL OF THEM or fuck off and join the spuds

    Reply

  11. Tom
    2331 days ago

    Good blog. Basically agree with most of what you said.

    I just don’t get these twats that believe we have a devine right to win everything (although it would be nice). Coming out of the ground on Saturday you would of thought we were in the relegation zone!

    Are these “fans” only glory hunters? Only happy when we win and can’t handle a loss? Even a draw in this case. Fuckin idiots everywhere chatting shit. Just because you’ve had a season ticket for x amount of years and got a cannon tattooed on your forehead doesn’t mean you know more than somebody that can’t afford or get a season ticket. Total garbage!

    I love Arsenal and would if we were in the conference. It’s my club no matter what! I gather that’s not the same for these moaning twats!

    Reply

  12. El Greco
    2331 days ago

    Given footy’s primeval and tribal nature I can understand the passion around how the the team is performing – or not!
    But given all the accolades on how the club is run – ie. like any profiatble business should be run – Arsenal Football Club represents a success story. If one follows the logic, then Arsene Wenger only has the board and shareholders to satisfy – not the fans!
    If one continues with the logic, then the vitriol directed at Arsene and his team, is misdirected – it should point to the board and the shareholders.
    If a paying customer doesn’t like the ‘goods’ he/she is receiving, then they have every right to vote with their feet, give up their season ticket, stop purchasing the merchandise etc. (though granted it’s not easy to remove tattoos) and, even, change their allegiance!
    However, if one wishes to continue being loyal to the club, then stop bitching, get behind the team and let the Board, Manager do their friggin job!

    Reply

  13. uncle K
    2331 days ago

    Great to see you staying on the positive side of pissed off !! 8 games left could be 24 points. Ignore the moaners,they’re always with us.

    Reply

  14. Girl Gunner
    2331 days ago

    well well well,another day, another draw, i thought we would step all over blackburn and come out with a win that would leave all others amazed…. u can imagine my dissapointment!! but as some have said, its mathematically still possible but looking quite unlikely,i do still believe and love arsenal, though in this summer, i think a few players need to be gone and have better ones in, also i don’t think Wenger should leave,he is a good manager!

    Now to those people who think they know better than Wenger, hahahahahahahahahahaha, r u on some stupid stuff,like weed or powder maybe? or have u gone mental?please stop, u r just embarrasing urselves if u really love arsenal stop being grumpy all the freaking time and show ur love.

    Nice blog, as usual Sian…God bless the gunners <3

    Reply

  15. Sean
    2331 days ago

    Great analysis. I was saying the exact same thing to my brother about Arshavin in the game. We finally get him on form, and Nasri has a giant welt on his head, and Arshavin is the one to go out. A bit strange. Tons of names floating around transfer rumors. Cavani, Rodwell, Scott Parker, any keeper in Europe, Mertesacker, Baines etc…I’d be curious to see just how much Wenger decides to spend, because he said he is planning to. Also will be interesting to see who he’s planning on letting out. But maybe one or two other managers in the world are as good as Wenger at developing youth and bringing them up to the top flight. Should he go, Arsenal’s entire system/development could go up in flames. Sure it’s been a few years since trophy, but it isn’t like Arsenal is in a two team league, we’re in the best league in the world.

    Reply

  16. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2331 days ago

    Sian,

    I don’t know how you pulled off a blog this good after a match that bad, but it’s one of the reasons you’ve built a solid following that continues to grow. Please do keep up the great work.

    My greater desire (over any trophy) is simply to see us play up to our much-touted potential much more often. That’s it. We do that and aside from the usual vagaries we all complain about, things pretty much take care of themselves don’t they? There will always be injuries, poor refs and leg-breaking opponents.

    Clearly we were tired and disorganized and had very little time together after the international break, but so did many other teams who managed better performances at the weekend.

    Look, we’re still the envy of most everyone in football: 2nd place in arguably one of the best (if not THE best) leagues in the world, incredibly talented players on the squad, out on loan and in development, a polarizing but incredible manager, a solid financial position, one of the best stadiums in the world, and a global fan base.

    It’s the measure of our greatness and potential that for many of us, all that isn’t enough. We deserve more and this team can deliver if they can just get their heads together.

    Eight games left and win or lose, Come ON Gunners – show us that attitude and desire!

    1NTTA

    Reply

  17. PositiveGunner
    2331 days ago

    Glad there are still a few voices of reason and maturity out there. The explosion of negativity and abuse on twitter after the game made me wonder if I was surrounded by little toddlers throwing tantrums. I feel like these years of not being the invincibles and being human is going to separate the fans who really care from the ones who hopped on the bandwagon lately and are being super vocal, negative and downright abusive. I’d be glad if these fans went elsewhere because they don’t help one bit.

    Thanks for staying positive. Too few are, especially when the team needs us the most right now.

    Reply

  18. a realist
    2331 days ago

    another season gone lol

    Reply

  19. a realist
    2331 days ago

    oh also Wenger’s good great in fact not many know what he does they think arsenal are real or man city can burn money forgetting our stadium cost Wenger’s done well needs to add depth next season though some loanees returning should help unlucky imo If Frimpong was not injured we would have enough hmmm no DM thats the problem Song is injured again

    Reply

  20. Conor
    2331 days ago

    I booed the team after the game, why? Well because I was angry and frustrated. Will booing help the players no, but it can’t get worse than 0-0 at home to a poor Blackburn side. Now I’m will never call for Wenger’s head but he needs to start changing things when he is wrong and stop being stubborn. Also the players are also to blame and need a kick up the backside, and get this mental block they have out of their heads If they are to go on to win things.
    I’ve been supported this team home and away, was at the cup final but Saturday was the worse I’ve seen from the team. Only player to comeout with any credit was Gael Clichy, who was superb, hope he stays in the summer and signs a new deal.

    The funny thing is I know this team can still win the league but they need to start performing. Wenger also needs to stick Nicky B or Chamakh up top with RVP when at home against lesser teams.

    Also Saturday could have been worse, thanks to Almunia’s shocking keeping Blackburn could actually have nicked a win, so a draw wasn’t the worse result looking at those let offs.
    Anyway up the Arsenal, Red Army!

    Reply

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