FA Premiership, April 16th: Arsenal 1-2 Wigan
Yesterday wasn’t a good day. In a season that’s defined ‘topsey-turvey’, a poor result that wasn’t expected turned up on the back of an excellent one. With some signs of consistency and good performances, Arsenal are never far away from showing their capable of doing something a little stupid.
Lacklustre sums it up. We shipped two appallingly defended goals in the opening 8 minutes, and couldn’t show any of the drive and resolve that’s got us out of previous self-induced jams. We lost. The team didn’t function as well as they could. The same collective blunders in defending are cropping up.
I can’t pretend I’m not frustrated at the manner in which the team performed. I expected better. I know they’re capable of better. Perhaps, we considered Wigan to be an easy 3 points and simply fell victim to our own arrogance. I don’t know. With these unnecessary defeats becoming more of a regularity, picking them apart and seeking scapegoats strikes me as pointless. I’m more focused to thinking of solutions. I prefer to support my team, regardless of fortune. As one user on my Twitter timeline said, “We win together, we lose together”.
And that brings me nicely to my opinion on Aaron Ramsey. I am, quite frankly, getting tired of defending one of own players from the vitriol of halfwits and hateful doom merchants masquerading as Arsenal fans. I could just about tolerate and understand taunts from a rival supporter, but when individuals claiming to be Gooners start throwing despicable insults at a young man who never hides, then I feel compelled to speak out. He may be lacking in confidence, and under-performing slightly, yes. Constructive, accurate criticism is perfectly valid, but to use social networking sites as an avenue to threaten violence is simply bafflingly stupid.
It disgusts me. It truly does. There is a small minority in Arsenal’s online fan-base that represent an embarrassing disgrace. If you’re one of those people who seem to believe Aaron is responsible for the defeat – he wasn’t even on the pitch for the two goals we conceded -, If you’re one of the people who posted death threats and remarks about Gary Speed , then I challenge you to offer an intelligent, reasoned argument for the things said that won’t make me think you’re a fucking idiot.
I won’t be expecting any takers.
News on the injury front didn’t improve the mood, either. Mikel Arteta limped off during the 1st half and reports from various folks across the web suggest he could have a serious ankle problem – one that will result in his absence for the remainder of the season. To compounds matters, we won’t be seeing Jack Wilshere this season – not in an Arsenal or an England shirt.
Arsene Wenger and Jack have both confirmed that his lack of fitness will prevent him from travelling with the national team to Euro 2012, and his ankle won’t be risked in competitive football this term. That’s a big blow for Jack, but one I’m actually quite glad about. From an Arsenal perspective, enabling him a full summer of rest and recuperation should ensure he’s raring to go for the next campaign.
That’s all for today folks. There is still plenty to be cheerful about, isn’t there? Let’s all pick ourselves up from the doldrums and look forward to the next game. We’ve got 4 games left, and still enough breathing space to leave securing 3rd place in our own hands. The defeat was far from welcome or ideal, but it’s not the end of the world.
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