This is not a match report. If you want to re-live yesterday’s slop bucket of a performance you’ll have to look elsewhere. You masochistic saddo.
In the aftermath of the game I contributed a comment with some “Reasons To Be Doomy.” Perhaps the kind organisers of this Blog will republish it in the comments below when this offering appears.
But today is another day and I am putting doom and gloom aside.
Let’s face it, we weren’t the only “big” team to get slapped in the face with a kipper on New Years Day (take a bow, Jose).
But as we look ahead to the second half of the season there really are reasons for all Arsenal fans to feel optimistic:
The Spuds Are Ahead Of Us
This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually a good thing that they have climbed past us in the table. During their lean spell it has gone far too quiet in N17 – no gloating boasts about a “shift in the balance of power”; no cries echoing across the burnt-out wastelands that “this is our year.” Well, now that will all change. Indeed the “One Point Above Arsenal” celebration video is probably already in production. The reason it makes me happy is that we all know how this story ends: God, being a Gooner, has already scripted it out and He loves nothing more than to give the Spuds a hatful of hope before ensuring that their dreams turn to ashes in their mouth.
Theo is back. He got a decent run out against his old club yesterday and, even better, didn’t expend any energy because he didn’t do anything. And by the time we entertain those nice young men from Stoke a week on Sunday hopefully we will also have Ozil, Welbeck, Giroud, Flamini and possibly even Arteta.
It’s January and the shop window is open. Of course it doesn’t mean we’re going to buy anyone, but there is always the possibility that we might – which means we can dream. And there are precedents for interesting arrivals coming in the January window – Reyes, Arshavin, TH14 (Mk 2). Be hopeful fellow fans, be hopeful…
Up until recently people were saying that Chelsea were nailed on champs and all the other teams were struggling to find consistent form. Well, now even the supposedly unstoppable Chavs with their supposedly infallible manager have found that the course of true footy does not run smoothly. With the form of teams like ManUre, ‘Pool and the Spuds proving as reliable as a Network Southwest train timetable over the festive holidays, our own inconsistency has not been punished as harshly as it might have been. And with some of the players we have coming back in the near future we have a better chance than most of putting a good run together.
He’s an infuriating, stubborn, bewildering, frustrating, enigmatic, surprising, dignified, intelligent, workaholic genius of a man. We underestimate him at our peril. I’m backing him to get an excellent second half of the season out of our squad.
The Champions League
There’s something in my water (well, something in addition to the residue of festive alcohol over-consumption) that tells me we’re going to do well in this competition this year. Many of our best players will be coning back having had their own mid-season break (thanks to injury) and if we get our groove going we could surprise a lot of people. Can we go all the way? The Chavs did it with the worst team to ever grace a European Cup Final pitch, so the answer is yes, of course we can.
We Support Arsenal
Even if the wheels fall and off and we slip down the table and out of the cups, always cling to this one thought: you support the best club in the world. Just imagine how soiled you would feel to have to pull on a Spud shirt to watch football? Or to be obliged to steal car radios on your way to home games at Anfield? Or to sit in silent, entitled smugness at Old Toilet. Or, Dennis forbid, to have your brain removed and replaced with sewage so you can join the Morlocks* at Stamford Bridge. Thankfully you don’t have to do any of those things because you, my friend, won the lottery of life.
*Morlocks: from H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” – a race of troglodoid, subhuman beings who represent human evolution gone wrong.