The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Arsenal Out Of The Title Race; Cruel Misfortune Costs.

The Running Kim looked pretty useful.

Morning, folks.

When the match finished last night, I had a bath. Normally I’m strictly a shower kinda guy. That might sound like the most pointless and inane of admittance, but it is relevant in a way. Amongst other things, Arsenal can cause me to get wound up. When those other things combine with my beloved football team, they create a sort of uber-stress and the notion of soothing bath appealed to me. To cut a tedious story shot; I thoroughly enjoyed it – no candles – and, if you’re currently filled with Arsenal-induced tension, I can highly recommend one. I might even stretch as far as to buy myself a little rubber duckie.

So, onto the game…

For a minute I enjoyed it, the remaining 89 plus time allotted for stoppages was excruciatingly bloody awful. Nerves were apparent all through the team, which is to be expected, but the fear of failure amongst the players was palpable. The sense of Arsenal easing out games that once was a feature of our play has long deserted us. However, I can’t really offer that many excuses for what I saw. Any team with the aspirations we have should be dispatching Swansea with minimal fuss. We shipped and early goal and although we got ourselves into a winning position thanks to a quick double from Podolski and Giroud, the sense that we wouldn’t hold on was overwhelming. 

The goal that brought things back to level terms in stoppage time was cruel – a sickening piece of misfortune that saw ricochets galore before eventually bobbling in of a helpless Flamini. It’s difficult to assign blame to that goal, but the timing of it and the misfortune was utterly gutting. Those kind of things happen in football all of the time.

What I feel of greatest concern was the overall performance; lacklustre and bereft of ideas. You feel the pressure is really getting to the players. The air of animosity within the fans contributes towards that. Arsenal’s fortunes have become a viscous circle that begins with hope, turns to fear, rage, bitterness, acceptance and repeats the whole thing over and over what seems interminably. For season after season similar incidents and performances occur. You’d think we’d all be used to it by now.

Truth is, folks; this post is tough to write. I don’t want to use this silly little forum of mine to lambast players and the manager because what good comes from that? Hate begets hate and so on… As we head towards the closing stages of the season, I’m looking at the teams closing in on us for 4th place and pondering whether we’ll accomplish even that. At this stage I’m not sure I even care about the Champions League. Maybe, just maybe, a years absence from the competition would do us some good.

The FA Cup is what I want. A trophy could be the catalyst of things to come. Often I feel the team just needs to get that first taste of silverware and to sling the infernal media monkey from their backs to be able to press forward, almost like a catharsis of sorts. Whilst the league title is beyond us, England’s most famous competition is still infinitely winnable. They’ll be huge dollops of that dreaded pressure heaped upon us as favourites, but we have to learn to rise to the occasion. Breaking from the circle of sh*t has to happen at some point.

My mum once said to me, “Strong, set-in-stone opinions are the best sign of someone without an open mind”. She was an incredibly wise woman, and I hold that philosophy very close to my heart. It’s how I approach everything in life and how I approach Arsenal. I neither agree nor disagree with the extremes presented by our so-called ‘waring factions’ but I see that, once you get past the hatred, both opinions have merits.

It is possible to offer criticism of the team and still retain faith. We are supporters, we’re allowed to be critical when the time calls for it; it’s our job.  There’s no reason at all why I can’t revere Arsene Wenger yet still question his methods and practises when the team get battered 6-0. What’s important is that I don’t do any of it with hatred. People out there in the world often have views in stark contrast to your own. Imagine how boring life would be if they didn’t? The trick is, delicious reader, is to realise that differing opinion only becomes personal when you let it. If you let go of that notion, everything becomes a whole lot clearer.

That’s all for today, folks. I’m off to view some houses and percolate further over Arsenal declining fortunes. It’s not all that great being a Gooner at present, but without the bad we’d not appreciate the good. Tomorrow I’ll be back with some more general musings and blathering.

You know what’s coming now; I point you towards the comments and ask for your thoughts on the game. Last time we lost I had to moderate several abusive comments directed towards people for sharing what was on their mind. I’d appreciate it if I didn’t have to do any of that this time around. Feel free to express how you feel or have any viewpoint, just don’t tear lumps out of someone because they don’t agree with you.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match reviews
  • mohamed aziz says:

    The players know that they are the only ones we have however bad they play, they dont care much they will be always be in the lineup.if we had a big squad every player would have fought for the number.wenger is afraid of his own players he cant even shout or put the blame so he has account for.he is tactically bankrupt

    a

    March 26, 2014 at 9:18 am
  • Mat Jackson says:

    Great piece of balanced writing. Personally I agree that winning the FA Cup might just remove the shackles we’ve clearly worn over recent seasons. However, at the compromise of CL qualification? Will we attract the players we aspire (even if Wenger might not!?) to attract to the club? I suspect a tough period of viewing ahead and I have to confess to being a little nervous about our visit to Wembley – eeeek!!

    March 26, 2014 at 9:19 am
  • mohamed aziz says:

    My fingers are larger than the buttons of my android sorry stokes for mistakes I love arsenal so much it hurts when we lack subs I wasn’t my self since ramzy was In jured and the frog lover didn’t strenghen that area

    March 26, 2014 at 9:23 am
  • Ivie says:

    Frankly its no longer funny…we cannot keep getting winded by teams of the same composition save for strikers…being humiliated is a tad exhausting…Why won’t Arsene lose it for once on the pitch?Why won’t Kroenke withold bonuses for a month when our boys make a fool of football??When will Wenger start being humble and admit for once he has lousy taste in players.. Quit seeking salvation from France and Buy a German or Spanish goal scoring Machine?özils’ magic seems to have faded.. If this form he puts on display now was his optimum in RM…..would he be so pricey??Enough of the bullshit..if Arsene won’t listen..someone should step in!

    March 26, 2014 at 9:45 am
  • Ashley says:

    Players with fear of failure so they play shit , and we need a first taste of silverware to want more ??????? No no no no …. If you are scared of failing you play out of your skin not lacklustre , surely proffessional footballers who have only one ultimate goal from being a proffessional footballer (and that’s to win trophies) don’t need a taste of it to make them want them and be bothered about winning one .. Little kids the world over don’t get a taste of winning the World Cup to make them want to become a footballer an actually win it .. You should want to win regardless of if you have done it before …. I like your blog mate but stop making excuses for us now .. Stop making excuses for us not doing what every other team would do in our position .. If we’re not coasting it we don’t want to know , gutless bunch of masturbaters the lot of them .. In the end , Wenger has tasted success so he should be able to translate that to any player in the world but he doesn’t so his way isn’t working , time for change .. Look at pelligrini , never won a trophy ( league cup now tho ) yet has man city destroying everyone and on the way to their second piece of silverware .. Wenger has won but can’t motivate a team to do it again ???? Even when you watch Wenger trying to G up the players it looks half hearted with Bould not even getting up , he shouts sitting down with legs crossed infront of him , like he thinks ‘well, what’s the point’ ……. Ramsey , set back again , typical Arsenal , back room staff to blame maybe ? Not upto being a medical team for a so called big club?

    Finally , someone should make Wenger watch paul scholes post match analysis in a locked room so he can’t escape and bury his head in the sand …..

    March 26, 2014 at 9:56 am
  • Antique Gunmen says:

    Hi James.
    I’ve made my final conclusion on our team this season, right after the Bridge trashed.
    We have ability to land in title zone, but not yet hit requirements (consistency, balance, squad depth, and determination) to be champion. The three humiliations harshly emphasized it.
    We aren’t mathematically write off from title race, but even Arsene realize that it won’t be our most concern anymore. So, forget the title folks. The best we can do now, is defending that 4th spot and win the precious consolation FA Cup. Believe me, this will be one hell hard neck to neck mission according to our recent performances. What I really afraid of is that our Gunners now reaching their turning point. I even felt this situation after defeated Spuds. We’ve a whole week to prepare and rest, but yet wrecked six nil by the side who’d play midweek.
    I hope Arsene “slap” his players face to prevent this spiral down process. We really need to be focus now.

    March 26, 2014 at 11:01 am
    • Admir says:

      Arsene should slap himself first, then he should beat the crap out of our medical staff and fitness coaches before firing them and then give a piece of his mind to our players as well.

      March 26, 2014 at 11:34 am
  • saleem says:

    Is this the Arsenal f.c i knew??…once called the invincibles..now playing like a bunch of rookies playing for the best london club …its just disgracefull…the is technically and physically weak they are poor when not in possesion….we need some who can step in 2 stablize and read the tempo of the game even under intense situation..a typical leader who can raise the players sprit give that self belive and determination 2 play better and bring the best out of the player on the bitch some abit like the famous “mr Arsenal the legendary tony Adams nd patrick viera” or liverpools steven gerrad”…..AM REALLY SAD FOR MY TEAM’S DOWN FALL …..ALL THE BEST FOR ARSENAL….UP GUNNERS…LET Flag fly higher

    March 26, 2014 at 11:29 am
  • drsegzy says:

    AW has lost passion for d game & trophies, he always promises response, bt we see nothing apart from d les miserables: if d board cant throw him out, then d fans should vote him out #wengerout

    March 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm
  • Kamal Zharif says:

    For one thing. Despite all the negativity that surrounds our beloved club at the moment, there is positives in the future. Having to sit back and ponder, even the current structure of the team (players, staff) there were progression notes that we need to tick.

    Examples:
    1. Contracts were tied down early
    2. The signing of newer and (hopefully) more modern staff
    3. The urgency (or at least the minimal effort) to shortlist players for the summer.
    4. Some changes to Arsene Wenger’s methods.

    Now no 3, was due to the Griezmann push, and the efforts to bring in Draxler in January. So it is wrong to say that Wenger did not do anything and in reality we don’t even know whether he left it late or tried to push all along throughout the month.
    No 4. We saw some stark changes in the gameplay in the sense of Wenger decides to play it tight to hold on the lead (Newcastle), win ugly, and just simply listens to Steve Bould. To be fair, Wenger did say that they had prepared the games, whats up to debate is the level of preparation.

    So in my opinion (very hopeful though) I believe come next season, there will be more improvements. Wenger will put more modern emphasis in his preparations for the games, buying more, and so on.

    However, if he does leave. I do believe that can also be the best for the club, Wenger do looked so worn out, no more swag and energetic. A Klopp would be ideal, but frankly, I really don’t know who would leave their post and take over the club. Not to say that being a manager of Arsenal is not lucrative, but I’m not sure who would jump at it either.

    In short, the events over the last week caused my head to jump to June. My support on Wenger is purely based on things that I saw as improvements, however it is very very slow/minimal.

    March 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm
  • Veer says:

    #InArseneWeTrust

    March 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  • Joy says:

    I So feel like crying, James . I can no longer walk amongst my friends, who are fans of other teams, with my head held high. It’s So So embarassing and painfully. I’ve got exams to write starting this Saturday, but cant read, ‘cos I’ve been So heartbroken. I’ve come to a decision though. I’ll just forget anything Arsenal till the season runs out.

    March 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm
  • Joy says:

    But nothing will stop me from coming to read your blogs every morning. Nothing.

    March 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm
  • meo says:

    Its just a shame.I still lay blame on last night’s draw.the swashbuckling and lack luster performance was irritating.if we have scored four goals nobody would have cared bout an own goal…….my eyes are on them…..Wembley’s coming.

    March 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Leave a comment. Go on, you know you wanna...