Fulham and Fenerbahce flattened, everything else just flat.

August 28, 2013 15 Comments by Sian

In the end, the hard work paid off. There was a fear, one no one really paid much attention to, but a fear nonetheless, that this year could well be the year our European luck ran out. A couple of weeks ago, it seemed almost certain it would.

Understandable, really. After skidding into fourth place like a puppy on a polished floor in May, we’d all hoped we’d face the two-legged play-off with lots of nice reinforcements with which to force our way into the group stages. Perhaps an Argentine striker; maybe a Uruguayan one. A Spanish midfielder would have been the biggest bonus of all, but I wouldn’t have minded a French one either. Anything breathing and mobile really, at this point.

But, well, no, none of that was to be. Maybe this is the emotional healing period we’re being forced through at present. After two (arguably more) summers of traumatic goodbyes, perhaps they think we couldn’t handle too much happiness quite so soon. Maybe they think it might kill us. You don’t go around serving starving men fry-ups, unless you want them to die. Why would you give an overwhelmed fan a striker? We’d no doubt get far too attached to them, then go a bit weird and stalky. And then die of course.

Anyway, no one’s joined, so that’s a different issue for a different day. Last night’s 2-0 win over Fenerbahce added to the 0-3 win over them last week, making a whopping 5-0 aggregate beating of the team we all wet ourselves over when we were drawn against them earlier this month. Aaron Ramsey, a man rejuvenated, added two to his tally of one last night, rounding off an all in all excellent week for himself. The Rambowagon is now full to the brim. If he’s not careful, it’ll be a Rambocaravan before he knows it and I don’t know anyone who likes caravans.

You can’t not be happy for him, given the way he’s worked since being broken in half three years ago. Even when his performances weren’t up to scratch, he plodded on (in a speedy fashion) and kept working away at his game. It’s paying off now, and I’d imagine even his harshest critics might be warming to him at this point. Also, is it me or has he got taller? Maybe it’s just that the double kink in his tibia and fibula have finally unfurled, who knows.

We played an understandably handbrakey game, which was actually kinda boring in parts, except for those involving some super saves (and a couple of flaps) from Szczesny. But hey, we were pretty much guaranteed Champions League football, why would we do any more? HMMMMM, A COMMON THEME, YOU MIGHT SAY.

Unfortunately we lost Lukas Podolski to a hamtwang and maybe Ramsey to groin troubles and Wilshere to a broken body, and then Fenerbahce got slung out this morning anyway, so we could have avoided getting anyone injured at all. We all know it would have been a different story had we lost, of course.

The performance against Fulham was also great, with us playing some of the beautiful stuff we only really saw against West Ham at home last season. So free-flowing, so pretty, so fast. Look at all that raw product out there. Imagine adding some fancy garnishing? Just gotta put it in the Wenger oven and bam, tasty stuff for all the family. I barely looked at the other results at the weekend, because when we’ve won, it simply doesn’t matter.

So now we look to Sunday and oh go-ho-ho-ho-hod it’s Spuuuuuurrrrrs.

:(

It seems unfair to suggest we might not win, given how much I’m in love with our over-stretched, overworked squad right now, but we really might not. I mean, we might, but we might not. Don’t you think that’s how all match previews should go? We also could draw too. Bale probably won’t play, except knowing our luck he will, and his twin, right-footed brother Bareth will materialise out of nothing and play also, making it a tricky one all round.

It’s fun to imagine we might make a few additions between now and then, but let’s be real that ain’t gonna happen. As annoying as the INCESSANT faceaching is, they’ve been proved right when nothing materialised before the Asia tour, after the Asia tour, before the Emirates Cup, after the Emirates Cup, before Villa, after Villa, before Fulham and now after Fulham. And this time, there’s not even a cheeky little Mikel Arteta waiting in the wings! There’s a mythical move for Casillas (oh my god I would DIE) but he’s more Madrid than Adams was Arsenal. There’s Cabaye and his back to front head. Sorry love, but if Arsenal are enough to rejig your priorities in such a frankly rude manner, what’ll you do when someone richer than us comes along? Do please keep pissing Pards off though won’t you, there’s a good boy. People seem to have forgotten about Suarez… perhaps he is dead. Oh, there’s also di Maria and Benzema, neither of which one can imagine happening in a million years.

People keep saying to me that I’ve gone all negative, but I haven’t really. I just see no other way around it. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, but I do know that as it stands the team we have will do their absolute best and that everything shall be well, until mid-November when the seams start to come undone once again. Arsene, I think you’re magical, we know this. Seventeen years on the trot in Europe, by the way – congratulations and thank you. You can work wonders with most things in the world, but we’ve basically been here before. I’m over being one of the teams everyone laughs at and would really quite like to be hated again. We don’t need a hungry racist to be hated, we could just try being good. We’re good as we are. Let’s bring in more good stuff, and learn to bask in all the hatred again. Please?

Finally,  I firmly believe we’re going to win the Champions League this season.

15 Comments

  1. laudgunner
    1514 days ago

    me too .. i guess the champions league is Arsenal’s to lose…

    Reply

  2. Tai Obasi, Lagos
    1514 days ago

    For a pretty long while, I’ve never read a writer on football with so much flow and humour. Besides, points are apt and straight, well-balanced and as exactly as I see them. Kudos for a masterpiece.

    Reply

  3. Kunle
    1514 days ago

    “Anything breathing and mobile really, at this point” that line made me laugh =]

    but I foresee the already overstretched injury heavy team only become even more overstretched and injury laden if arsenal don’t buy some solid replacements to give players like whiltshire a rest whilst still being able to maintain the momentum need in matches like the champion league ones.

    Reply

  4. Shane Thomas
    1514 days ago

    “After skidding into fourth place like a puppy on a polished floor in May”: Really love your writing style. Nice post, which sums up our position at the moment.

    Reply

  5. Alan
    1514 days ago

    Siany’s back – on form and in style. Nice realistic take – positively negative by your standards until that whopping great dollop of positivity at the end. Polly’s back too.

    Reply

  6. Treez
    1514 days ago

    Tai Obasi, you have great taste! That was an excellent piece which quite accurately sums up the state of play.

    Still think Arsene will come good. He knows.

    Reply

  7. Shail609
    1514 days ago

    For all the money Totts have spent, they don’t really surpass us in squad quality. After we make a few quality signings, they’ll be hanging by our tail once again. If (or rather when) they miss out on CL (I bet they would), watch them get squashed under sky-rocketing wage bills. One must not bite more than one can chew seems an apt lesson to them Spuddies. COYG Another 5-2 plz

    Reply

  8. Norms
    1513 days ago

    You were away far tooooooo lonnnnngggggg!!

    So glad that you’re back after all of the doomsayers, doubting thomases, sack AW…sack the Board, sack the lot lot.

    Your style is great, your comments pithy (no, NOT taking the pith!)…and loaded with common sense.

    Like every Gooner I’m disappointed at our lack of signings even if we do have some very good younger players – and one or two at least will take the opportunity to come good at the top level, you’ll see – but we are sorely in need of beefing up the squad, to hell with marquee signings.

    I would be very happy to sign Flamini…… he and Rambo would make a good pairing, as long as he still has the determination he showed in his last season with us.

    So, hey ho ….it’s off win we go!!!

    Reply

  9. Feng
    1512 days ago

    Flamini read your blog and signed, but the football gods saw the last line and just laughed ….

    Reply

  10. Irishgray
    1508 days ago

    CL qualification achieved, victory over the 5pud2, Mesut Ozil on a 5 year contract for 42.5m, Flamini on a free, Sanogo on a free, Viviano on a season long loan with first option to buy if he works out.

    Not bad all round I think :)

    Welcome back Sian!!!

    Reply

  11. elkieno
    1507 days ago

    Thought you would have posted by now after Mesut freaking Ozil!!!
    You must be on the floor still trying to recover like me?
    Winning cl might not be so crazy after all. Is Ozil gunner take abit of time to learn his team mates and epl?
    It might be easier for him in cl where not as kicky and refs aren’t as bent.
    Now we have waited all summer to buy someone good and it was worth it. And did Levy delay on purpose so who we buy can’t play in derby? Or did he know we bought/buying Ozil and so really delayed? ‘
    And finally can you believe there are fans that think he bought Mesut cos they were asking for it and he did it cos of being under pressure etc.
    wankers the lot.

    Reply

  12. elkieno
    1507 days ago

    So many questions!

    Reply

  13. Alex
    1505 days ago

    It was a great win & day on Sunday, the most loud and passionate atmosphere I’ve ever been in at the Emirates and in addition to that, it truly was a pleasure to meet you, Squevvles, Alan & Treez again, I still can’t get over what a lovely family you guys are :)

    I’m certain that your post-NLD/TDD blog is gonna be awesome & hilarious as many if not all of your other blog posts are, looking forward to it :D

    Reply

  14. elkieno
    1497 days ago

    I like this blog and your style, but far out you don’t write up enough at all. It’s been weeks since Fulham/fenerbache game, we beat Spurs and signed a great player, you might have heard here and there?
    Losing your fans you know, if nothing cones up after tonight game I will prolly forget to come back, only came back now cos I found the URL in my favs.
    COYG!!

    Reply

    • Sian
      1496 days ago

      I did hear here and there. Unfortunately I started this blog when I was a student. Contrary to what they would have you believe, students have a lot of spare time. I now work for a national newspaper and am also trying to train for my first half marathon, so have less time to write this blog.

      Sorry it’s been patchy – I’ve actually had a post saved in drafts for about 10 days, but I just can’t seem to make it worthy of posting. I’m going to try to write one this week, but there are just so many Arsenal blogs out there at the moment, that I really can’t imagine mine is all that missed. Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply

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