Afternoon again, folks.
Ordinarily, posting a review once the game has finished is something I make a point of steering well clear of. When emotions run high and frustration has you within its grasp, opinion can veer wildly towards bitterness and fury. The decision to write this post isn’t because of a bout of apoplexy or the urge to pour my soul into cyberspace, but because I currently feel none of those emotions. Instead, I’m slumped at my desk clawing at the keys with an air of resignation.
Should I be asked to describe a quintessentially ‘Arsenal’ poor performance, today’s match against Hull would be an excellent example; we start brightly, concede to the opposition’s first meaningful attack, go behind and only come alive in the final third when teetering on the precipice of defeat. The vast majority of the possession stats go firmly in our favour, only for that time with the ball to produce little or nothing.
There are moments of contention we can look at as a means of excuse. Diame impeded Flamini on his way to scoring the equaliser and the Referee was certainly a monumental bellend throughout the 90 minutes. However, said excuses ring a touch puerile. We have to look at ourselves and some of the players on the pitch didn’t perform to anywhere near the levels required. Our defence looked worryingly depleted and I dread to think what might have occurred had we faced the likes of Aguero and Silva today.
Only Alexis Sanchez can come away from the game with credit (perhaps Hector Bellerin too). Two moments of twinkle-toed brilliance from our Chilean friend produced both our goals, his run that contributed to Welbeck’s late leveller was truly breathtaking. He scurried about, looked to get involved but even he was guilty of moments of poor decision making and distribution.
Although we’re in October and there’s plenty of football to be played, I would struggle to put forward a case for our ability to challenge for the league. Chelsea and Manchester City look the likely contenders and we’d need to improve drastically to stand any chance of gaining ground on either.
We simply weren’t good enough and it was an extremely sh*t-awful display.
What happens from here is becoming a tough thing to discuss. We’ve been here many times. I’ve stated on many occasions that I believe in the team and they’ll come good eventually, describing such performances as today’s as “blips” or momentary distractions along the correct path. Yet, I find myself failing to muster the same beliefs at present. Something isn’t working at Arsenal, and the frequency with with we find ourselves in the position only serves to prove that point.
What that particular ‘thing’ might be is a question I can’t answer. The easy statement to make here is to pin the blame on Arsene Wenger and start randomly naming managers seen as capable of bringing more favourable results, but that’s silly and reactionary. I struggle to think of a single name who could come in and immediately start doing better than Arsene. Jurgen Klopp? His Dortmund side are currently languishing in the lower half of the Bundesliga and, ironically, the only decent performance they’ve put in all season is beating us in the Champions League. There are no immediate choices to satisfy those looking for a knee-jerk reaction.
Blame itself is a pointless game. Events have occurred that we can’t change and looking for a singular or collective to fire frustrations toward is almost entirely pointless. As supporters, the only method we have to positively impact the team is to support them. Booing them will only make things worse. Frustrations vented during the 90 minutes won’t help, only hinder. Arsenal fans might be a fractured, bewildered bunch but we’re all in this together when the dust settles and the vitriol is put to one side. There, undoubtedly, will be heated exchanges across the internet and calls for heads, but those words will solve nothing.
My course of action now is to attempt to banish the events of today from my brain and look forward to the next time we play. The beauty of football is any team’s fortunes can change within the space of a week. We could be talking about two excellent winning performances at this point next week. We could be pulling enormous clumps of hair out in blinding fury, also, but let’s cross that rickety bridge of sh*t when we come to it.
In the meantime, might I suggest giving social media a wide berth for a while, unless of course you’re looking to follow me and all my inimitable stupidity via the glory of my Twitter account (that was hideous self promotion, I can’t deny it). I’ll be back tomorrow when I’ll post a review of how I saw the players’ individual performances. Until then, might I point towards the comments section below; an avenue in which you can politely discuss the game with others or explode into a frenzy of capitalised rage – preferably the former.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.