It’s interesting how defeat to a team that you really shouldn’t be losing too usually brings such introspection and analysis amongst fellow fans, as we try to work out where we are, as well as how the remainder of the season unfolds.
Rarely after a composed victory does one take such stock of ones team and unless it is an absolute hammering that your club has dished out – such as the likes of Man City on Saturday – does anybody really feel the need to wax lyrical over their side.
But whilst I was walking towards the station to get my train this morning thinking what to write today, I had an overwhelming sense of apathy set in, with a general “what does it matter?” feeling washing over me. The fact I’m sat here tapping away at my phone shows that clearly deep down it does matter to me, but with Arsenal Groundhog Day hitting us once again this past weekend, it’s all starting to become less and less interesting. Probably because of the monotony of it all.
The manner of the performance.
The excuses of the manager.
The inability to be motivated enough or, probably more accurate, the inability to understand an opponent and exploit their weaknesses.
The feeling that we’ve seen this all before with Arsenal is numbing and I find myself this morning just feeling a little more numb and a little less angry. We’re stuck with this cycle until some sort of massive change at the club happens. Wenger going, Kroenke cashing in, something. Anything.
We’re a creaking old vessel that used to look glorious in its heyday; bright colours that would glide along the ocean with a sense of pride that we could all get behind. We’re now looking like an old tugboat that hasn’t seen a lick of paint for decades.
The captain of the ship has found some old varnish to try to spruce it up, but it hasn’t really worked and he’s still the one steering the ship. Badly.
That’s how I feel. I saw that Everton drew yesterday and they’re having a torrid time at the moment, but they were last season and still did us over at Goodison, which is incidentally the next destination for Arsenal in the league. So we all know how that one is going to go. We’ve seen this show before and it’ll probably end up a bit grim.
I won’t be watching it. I have a family meal in the North East to celebrate the life of the wife’s Granny who passed away last year. At first when I heard when it was I was a wee bit perturbed that I’d miss the game, but now it has become a welcome distraction; an excuse not to bother sitting through another rudderless display that ends up with disappointment and regret.
Before then we play Red Star Belgrade and whilst at first that competition felt like it was an unwanted midweek hindrance, with each performance in the league like we had last weekend it feels like another welcome distraction from the bread and butter of Premier League football.
It’s nice to see fresh faces battling for fitness or a return to the first team. It’s great to see fight, instead of players like Granit Xhaka standing watching as Cleverley sweeps the ball home, or Alex Iwobi run blindingly down another channel with the ball only to get dispossessed. It’s more fun to see Jack get stronger, than Hector going backwards, which is why I’m starting to be glad that we seem to have two Arsenal teams playing at the moment. Because I’m not sure I could stomach another performance like Saturday’s so soon. At least let me try to get rid of the nasty taste in my mouth before you make me have to taste it again.
I’ll keep writing about Arsenal though. It’s betting than destroying my brain by watching YouTube videos of stupid things people do like hanging out of cars topless. Or reading the Metro newspaper. Writing allows me to at least engage my brain somewhat, even if by the end of it I end up feeling older than when I started, which is certainly the case today.
I suspect we’ll have players coming out today and tomorrow talking about a response, about letting the fans down, maybe I’ll even see a “we had a team meeting” comment made by somebody. But it’s all irrelevant. This stuff has happened before and the results are always the same. Perhaps a little run put together, perhaps a flicker of hope, but it’ll be expunged soon enough. Because we have a group of mentally fragile premadonnas who are led by an ageing man who can’t find his sparkle any more.
Roll on May 2019.