Morning folks, or perhaps I should say “mourning folks”…
Where to begin? That was a barrel of laughs, wasn’t it? Did you enjoy the game? Have you got a smile on your face a mile long? No? Oh…
There are individuals out there that will revel in the waves of discontent crashing over the temporary sea-walls of optimism. I was beginning to believe we had turned the corner; I thought those moments of sheer ineptitude where a distant memory. I’d love to make this post uplifting, to offer hope for the return leg, to raise the spirits of whomever is casting their peepers over my blog, because I imagine you’re all as down-in-the-dumps and morose as I am.
Yet, I’ve reached the conclusion there’s nothing remotely good to be taken from last night. At times, we were as disorganised and shambolic in defence as I’ve ever seen from an Arsenal side. Milan were good, but they’re an above average side at best. Barcelona would have torn them to pieces.
I’m so fucking annoyed. Seriously. I’ve just launched a scathing barrage of obscenity at my cat, as she’s just had the audacity to mew at me in a manner I’m certain was mocking. My phone is turned off, lest the remarks of rival supporters result in me climbing to a lofty vantage point with a high-powered rifle. I daren’t even look at Twitter. That’s the state of things: my cat is laughing at us and I’ve had to become a social hermit. Thanks, Arsenal…
I’m a big reader of Le Grove. Along with Arseblog, it’s the one site I read on a daily basis. At times, they’ve been accused of being too negative towards the manager; of daring to critique a man who has, undoubtedly, given so much to our football club. For the past few years, Pedro and Geoff have remained resolute in pointing out the flaws others choose to ignore; to sweep under the proverbial rug in favour of blind allegiance. You know what? They’re right. They ask the questions that have to be asked.
Why didn’t Chamberlain start? Why did the manager remain ensconced in the dugout throughout the entire match? Would Alex Ferguson have sat there in silence? No, he’d be in the technical area screaming bloody murder at his team if they played that badly. Where was the drive in the team? Where was the leadership, the communication? Why does Theo Walcott continue to be selected regardless of how unbelievably shit-awful he performs? Why didn’t we replace Cesc and Nasri? Why are our back-up players so regularly insufficient replacements? Why don’t he have a ‘plan B’ tactic? We are the 6th richest club in world football, why did we wait until the last minute to invest in the team?
You can’t look at Arsenal from a supporters point of view and not despair. Fundamentally, there is a great deal wrong with the club. This time a year ago, we were beating Barcelona with a midfield that contained Fabregas, Wilshere and Nasri. All three were missing last night. One’s injured, the other two departed and haven’t been replaced. The lack of passion, leadership and creativity in the San Siro was painfully, painfully noticeable.
Of the starting XI, only Laurent Koscielny came away with any credit, and he went off injured at half-time. Arteta was sloppy, Ramsey spent 90 minutes trying to pick out the corner flag, Vermaelen looked off-the-pace, Rosicky and Theo didn’t track back enough. If we’d played our hearts out and lost to a better team, I wouldn’t have a bad word to say. But we simply weren’t at the races in any respect whatsoever. If it was a blip, a one-off awful performance, I’d be happy to put it down to experience. But its not; the same thing keeps happening. Our season is moribund and fast becoming an embarrassment. Saturday’s trip to Sunderland now fills me with dread. After witnessing our breathtaking capitulation last season at a similar point, I’m hoping.. No, I’m praying the team will unify and get through this tough period. Then I ask the most important question of all; who’s going to pull us out of the slump? The answer? I truly have no idea. Robin van Persie can’t do it by himself.
I apologise for this post. Much like yesterday, it’s disjointed and shit. I’m writing whilst still angry, but I’ve chosen to publish it as it’s an honest and accurate summation of my current mindset. I’m always going to love The Arsenal, I’ll support them whatever may be, but I can’t say there aren’t things that need to change. For the first time, I’m wondering whether the manager is first on that list.
The biggest shame is that result was how we ended up saying goodbye to Thierry. His contribution deserved better, and I thank him for what he has done.
Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Leave a comment below and follow me on my Twitter account – _ArmchairGooner.