This, my first post about Arsenal, stems after a painful Sunday, a day when, expectant and hopeful, Arsenal lost at home, at home, to Man United. Now, football is a sport that does not usually involve the dynamics of quantum physics nor metaphysical speculations. After all, even the most fancied team can lose, away or home. But it is not loss that bothers me but the manner, the way.One should not, if one is Arsenal, lose at home to anyone. The Emirates should be a fortress. And yet, what we witnessed on Sunday was an apotheosis of a dream, of a season where we know that now, we will not win the league. The post-mortem should not wait till May, it must begin now even if the fractures spill on to the plush pitch at Arsenal.
The Wenger mantra has usually been of "desire, quality, technique", like the manta of the French republic. There was no evidence of the three for any substantial period during the game. And Nani, actually a good player made us look inferior. There must be rumblings and these tremors must be heard again and again. Where is the desire to succeed in this late capitalistic hour, where football means many things to many people? My own love for Arsenal, born sometimes out of sentimental and often strange whims, also stems out of a respect for the manager and yet, even when we were saying we are depleted because of injuries, we have no strikers, the boss did not sign any in the transfer window. We cannot expect the midfield to strike every time.
The player that I rate most highly at Arsenal, Andrey Arshavin is one who is wasted amongst this bunch of technical have beens. Yes, Fabregas but is he a leader? He is highly slick and gifted but not a captain. And the goal keeper.......the mind boggles at the thought of the stupidity that we are forced to witness when Almunia guards us! No, no, we must say.....please, do not let us forget this Sunday, we must not lose to Man United twice in the league, we know we should not. The boss blamed the players on Sunday, he looked ashen and pale, gone was the professorial air. His sartorial elegance notwithstanding, I think the gaffer should leave next year.
We are in danger of losing our best players Arshavin and Fabregas, and Gallas may not extend his contract. We need to sign a goal keeper, a striker and a holding midfielder at least for salvation next year. And, we must do it fast, as soon as the dust settles on this season. We must not have clowns like Bendtner, clowns who change their shirt numbers for luck!
Sunday was cold and miserable. As the night settled in Islington and certain other parts of this city, as later on, sleep beckoned, as I thought of Clichy's errors and Walcott's inability to play football, as I thought of this defeat, I thought of the next game against Chelsea, a club that makes me feel metaphysically ill. We will get battered, but after that, Mr Wenger, don't repeat your mantra ever.