New year, old Arsenal. But not for long.

January 3, 2012 16 Comments by Sian

Fulham 2-1 Arsenal 

It’s 11.03am on Tuesday 3rd January. It’s raining heavier than I can remember it having rained in a long time. Dorothy passed by my house in her flying cottage last night. And we lost yesterday.

Happy bastard new year.

Someone must have drained all the sunshine and light and positivity out of me overnight because I am struggling to see a point to this stupid month otherwise. Let’s just call the whole thing off. No more Januaries. We can keep the 31st, because it’s the only day we need in a transfer window anyway, plus it’s my birthday (though today I hate birthdays too as they’re simply a sign you’re one year closer to death WOO!) But besides that, just sod it all right off. Take February with you too, and don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out.

And now we must commence the post-mortem of yesterday’s monstrosity. I went to the match at Craven Cottage. For those unaware of the geography, Wigan may be far, Hull may be a pain to get to, but nowhere is as far as Fulham. London-dwellers, is there anything more disconcerting than venturing over to the opposite side of the river to your usual? I forget whether it was Craven Cottage or the pre-match pub that was on the wrong side, but either way it feels like your head is on back to front when you get near there. Bleurgh.

Now. Allow me to watch the bitesize highlights on Arsenal Player, as all the stuff happened up the opposite end yesterday and you have little or no perspective as to what is going on. Bear with me…

BITESIZE HIGHLIGHTS COMMENTARY

Ooh what a miss from Gervinho! MEGA GOAL FROM KOSCIELNY! Some very brilliant if very frustrating football going on from us here. Arrrrrghhhhh how did that not go in, Song?! Shiznit, that was also close from that Fulham man with bad hair. Ruiz? Another solid save from the Fulham GK on an RvP shot… and another one on Ramsey. Is their keeper still Mark Schwarzer? Typical if so. If not, I don’t care who Fulham’s goalkeeper is*. Wow, we really are as shit as we looked in this second half. Ugh, another missed header by Clint Dempsey… we were truly hanging on there. 

At least our fans were brilliant. Great save from Szczesny. Fuuuuuuck, kill it off, kill it off! Ugh, Djourou. “Two yellows make a red”, thanks for clearing that one up, Mr Commentator. Djourou off.  Replay… OH YOU SLAG, YOU’RE 27 STONE AND YOU GO DOWN THAT EASILY! Bollocks. This month just gets worse by the minute.

Ooh. The Fulham fans are alive! And there goes their inevitable equaliser. Arse. Annnnnnd now Zamora in High Heels wins them the game. Prickety prick shit arse bollocks.

*Goalkeeper was David Stockdale. So now you know.

~ ~ ~

ARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH. And I didn’t even mention the penalty we should have had. I am definitely a believer in “A decision didn’t go your way? Boo hoo, play on and fix that”. Unless it’s RvP being sent off for having a shot at goal. I will never be over that one. Never ever. But how many weeks have there been in which we should have had a penalty this season? SEVENTY TWO????

Ultimately yesterday, we were great in the first half but did not take our chances and then were shit in the second half in which there were no chances to take. We were second to everything and surrounded every time we got near the ball in the second forty-five. Djourou’s sending off may have contributed to the Fulham comeback, but the fact remains that had we scored three or four in the first half  – and we could have – it wouldn’t have mattered. And they probably wouldn’t have made a comeback anyway.

Koscielny was man of the match by far. Szczesny made some good saves until he contributed to their comeback (which he’s ‘fessed up to already). Coquelin was superb for 95% of the match yesterday, and Aaron Ramsey’s first half work rate was immense. Ultimately though, that sodding killer instinct we keep having to talk about, was severely lacking. There’s too much a case of being presented with loads of opportunities early on but thinking “Oh well, we’re only seven minutes in, good effort anyway” as it gets skied over the crossbar.

No. No, no, no. You get a chance? You score that chance! You don’t go “Ah, damn it, better luck next time”. If we did more of that, we’d be battering teams as opposed to just about winning by a goal all the time. Or drawing. Or losing.

Oh Arsenal. What are you like. I thought we were past this. We hadn’t had a ridiculous, unbelievable result in ages. The last was probably Blackburn and that didn’t count because we were brand new and it was freaky. Since then our successes have been greater than our failures. And then you go and do this. Oh Arsenal. Just allow me to wallow for a while longer.

*Wallow*

It might be easier to get over it if it wasn’t raining so hard outside, and if it wasn’t the most depressing month of the year. It also might be easier to get over it if it didn’t feel we’d come so far this season. And we really have. In case the thirty nine thousand million references to the start of our season had managed to elude your attention over the past few months, we really didn’t start our season very well. In fact, if you were unaware of this, you may also be unaware we’ve not won any silverware for the past six years. At an average of sixty five times per match, we’re really not reminded of it enough, so I thought it best to let you in on that one.

But to go from hovering above relegation and having received more red cards than goals we’d scored, to finishing the calendar year in at fourth, and one of only two English teams remaining in the Champions League, was quite a magnificent turn around for us. I didn’t blog about last weekend, which is a shame because last weekend was great. Everyone we wanted to drop points, dropped points, while we won. Little old us, plodding along like we do, largely ignored by everyone until something goes spectacularly wrong. Like the unliked child of the family. That child always goes on to be a millionaire, so JOKE’S ON YOU SUCKAAAAAHS.

Anyway. Yesterday was really poor. But, lesson learned and all that. The group of players we have now are more mature and experienced than any groups we’ve had in a while, and if anyone can learn from it, it’s them. In addition to this: THE KING LIVES. LONG LIVE THE KING! In spite of being a bit wary of the return of the Titi, I have now thrown my brain feelings out the window and my heart is bursting at the thought of seeing him back in red and white. There may be tears, not gonna lie.

A whole six days off until we play again, against Leeds in the FA Cup next Monday. We may have to float there if this weather keeps it up. Apologies for the tone. Polly will be back next week.

16 Comments

  1. Damien
    2057 days ago

    Szczesny was good aside from the one mistake but we had been under enough pressure for the majority of the second half that it was bound to happen. It wasn’t convincing defending.

    The thing that depressed me was how the 2nd half performance lacked any urgency or spirit. It seemed to be conducted entirely within our own half with Fulham finding large amounts of space and closing down the ball quicker. They sensed that we hadn’t come out for the second half and this encouraged them further. I haven’t seen a performance like that for a while. Even at Blackburn it was more a case of sheer stupidity than lack of effort.

    Reply

  2. vaders_grandfather
    2057 days ago

    Dear Sian,

    “Prickety prick shit arse bollocks.” My thoughts exactly.

    The only problem I have with the game was Lee Probe(Hurt), the standard of officiating in the Premier League is asinine. How can the “Greatest League in the World” allow these fools to blow balloons, let alone a whistle? The scary thing is that it is happening right across the League, not just for The Arsenal.

    I have a feeling that is somewhat like the slight tingling just before an itch, right at the nape of the neck; that Prince Van Persie gave some of the players a right kick up the arse. We could blame tiredness, we could blame Wenger, hell we could even blame the some bloke named Mary; but the players will get up in the morning, face themselves in the mirror (As much as you would like to be The Verminator’s mirror”) and know that they did not do well enough. We now have time to recuperate, retie the bootlaces and Wengerball the ever loving shit out of our opposition.

    I would continue complaining but Fuck it.

    Thierry’s back.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Reply

  3. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2057 days ago

    Happy New to All (really), even if doesn’t quite feel like yet, and sympathies to all London Gooners who’ve faced a tough start to 2012, aside from the Fulham match, what with the miserable weather, labour unrest and rail and tube interruptions.

    We are now under huge pressure not lose “6 point” games against the current top 4 leaders.

    A most inauspicious beginning to the last year of the Mayan Calendar, but all is not Doom and Gloom.

    We are only 3 points off third place, a point behind Chelsea for 4th.
    We have several days off to lick our wounds,get over ourselves, and get some badly needed rest.
    Each passing day brings us closer to seeing Wilshere, Sagna, and others back in the first team.
    One of the greatest players in Arsenal and EPL history is about to return in a cameo appearance that just might give us the appropriate emotional lift for the 2nd half of the season.

    C’mon Titi and COYG…

    Reply

  4. Daniel
    2057 days ago

    A wise man* once said that if we’d have been more clinical against QPR early on (and to a lesser extent, Wolves’ because of the friggin’ keeper), we’d have been able to play keepball and save energy for this Fulham game. But, like the wobbly bits we can be, we missed many a chance and were therefore running our little nervous legs off all game… so by the time we made the long haul over to Fulham, we were NACKED. Well, by the second half anyway.

    I will only go so far with blaming refs. They’ve been shit since day dot and there is only so many times you can tell the chef you don’t like coleslaw before you just accept that when that plate arrives you’re gonna just have to eat around the stuff.

    I work just on the south side of the Thames and I feel so very detached from what is real. I’m in spitting distance of the Thames – horrible phrase, apologies. It stays though because it’s January and, like you, this is what Jan does to me.

    Brazilliant blog as always, Siany. You had me at “not for long.”
    *I’m the wise man.

    Reply

  5. Daniel
    2057 days ago

    There was a point to me saying I work “close to the Thames” and it’s that I can bolt over now and again for some much needed North oxygen. Crap point, but it’s important that I don’t work too deep into the South. Brighton would be better though.

    All the best.

    Reply

  6. Alex
    2057 days ago

    Happy Bastard New Year indeed.
    I didn’t get to watch the match, thanks to Sky and AOL combining dastardly evil powers, but a day later, its disappointing to realise we only took 1 point out of 6 against Fulham. FULHAM ffs!!!
    But we pick ourselves up, and move on.
    The King of Highbury has return, signings (hopefully) will be made this month to hopefully dispell the gloom (A loan LB and a full term striker wouldn’t go amiss), Wilshere, Diaby and Gibbs are on the verge of a return to us, thinks will eventually look up again.

    Great post as usual Sian, maybe better than usual, keep it up, and COYG.

    Reply

  7. Treez
    2057 days ago

    It was, indeed a horrible second half! It was also a crap journey, a rubbish approach to the horrible little post-war stadium and an altogether shit experience. And the programmes cost more than ours!

    The one saving grace for me and the best thing about the whole day were our fans. I think going to an away match with those away fans should be required prior to securing a season ticket at the Emirates. They were phenomenal! I was SO proud of all of them. So much so that I didn’t even mind getting shoved (quite hard) by a drunken fan (about my age) who should’ve known better! The noise was constant and really impressive. Haven’t seen the TV highlights but I bet you can’t hear Fulham.Away fans you are the best.

    Thierry putting in a cameo appearance can only be a good thing and as Tony Blair used to like to remind us “things can only get better”.

    Reply

  8. Alan
    2057 days ago

    The perfect antidote to a miserable 2nd half performance – a good dose of Sianyblog. I echo Trees’ comments about our away fans – a continuous barrage of sound from beginning to end to make me really proud of them. The boys need to perk up big time to get even close to deserving such a great bunch.

    Reply

  9. RjP
    2057 days ago

    A good write up, Sian. Thought I’d take a look at your blog after reading your excellent contribution in ‘So Paddy Got Up’. It’s also my birthday today and I had my gran’s funeral – does that outdo you in the miserable bastard stakes?! Results like yesterday’s are amongst the hardest to take. It’s been so long since we lost a game that we shouldn’t have done that it brings back some horrible feelings from August and September. A bit like being reminded of something terribly embarrassing you did in the past in front of your mates. Anyway, onwards and upwards in 2012 Gooners. Third and fourth place are still very much up for grabs and some of us have the Champions League to look forward to :-)

    Reply

  10. irishgray
    2057 days ago

    Sian – In the last 3 games we have managed to score 3 goals and earn ourselves 4 points and that was from over 40 chances on goal!!! WTF!? We are not a one man team but we do seem to have only one man who knows how to finish. As we have 6 days off can we not just stick them all out on the training ground and make them parctice their finishing up to and until Leeds show up? All of a sudden Henry is looking like the signing of the year. Not a happy camper am I.

    And as far as “Polly” is concerned, she can piss off! I/We want our Sian, honest and pissed off or happy and hilariously entertaining, it matters not. Kepp’em coming Sian and in the meantime, we shall just hope Henry can show them the way.

    Reply

  11. UncleK
    2056 days ago

    There are plenty of twists and turns yet to come on this ride!
    It was a long while back,but I was at Craven Cottage once and a
    defender’s clearance ended up in the Thames.resulting in a 10 minute
    delay while they found another ball,,,At least they’ve put a roof on now.
    Thoroughly good read,btw.

    Reply

  12. El Greco
    2056 days ago

    Hey, Sian, reading your blog after a disappointing display by the Arse is proof that you can make a silk purse out of sows ear. Excellent writing – enjoyed it.
    As for the performance? Previous Arsenal teams have had bad days at the office but their ruthless streak would conjure up a result. Very few from this current crop do ruthless well.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2054 days ago

      Glad you enjoyed it! Unlike the match. I have borrowed two of the photos you took on the last day at Highbury… hope that’s OK!

      Reply

      • El Greco
        2051 days ago

        I saw them and thought, wow, those are really good pics, they must be mine:-)
        I feel honored, Sian.

        Reply

        • Sian
          2048 days ago

          I was going to Facebook you to ask but that might have taken extra time… hope the captions are enough! Thank you :D

          Reply

  13. irishgray
    2054 days ago

    UncleK – Just how long ago was that!?

    Reply

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