We are living through troubled times as Arsenal followers these days.
Two-goal leads should be precious, closely-guarded things but our grip on them at the moment is about as secure as Nicky Bendtner’s trouser elastic.
Mid table teams used to come to the home of Arsenal with trepidation in their hearts, knowing that if they had the temerity to threaten our goal they would get badly gored by a raging Adams, a rabid Keown or a berserk Bouldie.
Now the only risk they face in our penalty box is loneliness, as they’re left to stand there all on their todd, cleaning their fingernails and humming pop ditties until someone sticks the ball onto their boot or bonce.
In such circumstances it takes a very special Gunner to not be disheartened (actually, we’ve got one – he’s called Terry Mancini Hair Transplant and you will meet him later on in the comments if you choose to linger).
So, tempting though it is to reel off a long list of grievances, today I want to highlight a few positive thoughts about our predicament.
You might call it clutching at straws. On a mountainside. With a thousand-foot plummet to certain death waiting below.
You might call it rose tinted glasses. Tinted with the tears of blood I have been crying lately.
Or you could just take it in the spirit it’s intended and, for a few minutes at least, look on the bright side.
- Some of our team members are playing badly, but they are not bad players. At the start of the season a centre back three of Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker seemed like a match for anybody. The first two are having a real dip in form, but their best form will return.
- Jack Wilshere is only at 70% of his powers. After 17 months off through injury and surrounded by new faces in the team, it will take time for him to regain his peak but when he does our team will contain the best English player and, possibly, the best player in England.
- We are having our worst start to a season for 20 years… but we are still only one point behind the Spuds.
- If we do end up in a scrap for fourth place, at least two of our potential rivals are struggling (Liverpool and Newcastle), the Spuds are as inconsistent as ever and only Everton look like a serious threat. But Everton traditionally struggle to maintain form across a whole season.
- It’s just over six weeks to the transfer window and we know that Arsene loves a little January flutter once in a while.
- Olivier Giroud is proving to be something we have not had for a very long time: a tireless, powerful, skillful centre forward. His goals will keep coming and I can see him becoming a crowd favourite. People have been asking “is Giroud good enough for Arsenal?” I would say the correct question right now is “are Arsenal good enough for Giroud?”
- Arsene Wenger, time and again, has shown himself capable of getting himself and his team out of a hole. At the start of last season we had fallen into a pit as dark, deep and smell as John Terry’s soul, but still we hauled our way out of it and ended up finishing third. At the moment we the fans are as adrift as the team, but a few good results can change everything.
- We entertain the Teetering Horseparts next weekend and they are often eager to help kick start our season. A good win over the forces of darkness and there will be smiles all over N5.
- The financial situation at Arsenal is looking a lot brighter: apparently the club has secretly invested in a black scarf manufacturer just off Drayton Park and the shekels are rolling in.
Right. I know that lots of you will want to have a moan about all things Arsenal today (nothing wrong with that), but how about this for an idea: before each comment containing criticism (of the club, of players, of the manager, of the coaching, of the fans), why not start with one positive or hopeful thought. One sliver of something positive that you can see in among the murk of despondency.
It might cheer you up. And it might cheer the rest of us up too.