Yesterday I had family over, which was a very fortunate excuse for not blogging, or having anything to do with the existence of Football, if I’m honest with you. I just didn’t want the rage of knowing that Arsenal had a massive missed opportunity.
And given the fact that the team had enough chances to probably win two matches on Saturday evening, the rage would have been even more maddening, because it just felt like we are cursed when it comes to playing United. I know we won last season at home and the season before we smashed a declining van Gaal team, but in the main it just always feels like it doesn’t matter if they are better than us or not, they always seem to get results.
My theory is that the footballing gods have been punishing us ever since 2005 for getting battered in the cup final and still winning it on penalties, but to be honest with you, surely all of that karma should have run dry by now? We’ve had enough of it to say that we should be getting the rub of the green a bit more.
But that’s life I suppose. We just have to take yet another defeat to them on the chin, then await the inevitable Old Trafford collapse at some stage in Spring 2018.
I guess the other reason why I didn’t blog is also that I can’t really work out what happened and how the bloody hell we lost that. I also can’t work out whether to be incredibly vexed that we brain-farted ourselves out of the game after 20 minutes, then proceeded to play superbly in all elements of the match except putting the ball in the net enough times.
I’m half angry, half hopeful that the players can keep playing like that – minus the stupid defensive mistakes, of course.
So perhaps I should just consign this game into the memory archives for fear of imploding my brain with confusion as to how to assess the game. It hurts my brain too much.
What is a worry, though, is that we still have plenty of matches to play and we’ve already lost five games this season. That’s a big old chunk of points and we’ve still got away trips to United, Spurs, plus a Southampton team that always make life difficult for us every time we play them. We’ve got BATE wedged in between that game on Sunday but that will be a heavily youthful looking side so the players have a week to reflect on Saturday’s defeat and hopefully do exactly what Arsène said yesterday and be angry about the fact we lost the game. That’s what you and I want to see. Whether we get that or not is another matter but in recent weeks we’ve had a decent collective of results so hopefully the players don’t hit that dreaded ‘negative spiral’ that was once so ironically labelled at us from a certain manager of the Tiny Totts.
There’s also a Liverpool game on the horizon before a home game to Chelski in the new year and so I’m starting to worry that we’ll see a couple more defeats before we even get to February. That’s a sobering thought. The players simply have to react with a win on Sunday.
But unlike most weeks when I don’t want to hear from the players, there’s part of me that kind of wants to hear from some of them, talking about how we’ve got something to prove now, that we can fit out the farcical stuff defensively and that the attacking players are even more determined than ever to finish our chances.
I’m going to leave it there for now. Not a long one from me by any stretch of the imagination, but post the game on Saturday I managed to compartmentalise my disappointment into a footballing corner of my brain that I haven’t re-accessed until just now and it’s already starting to wind me up on a Monday morning. So I’ll finish for the day and perhaps another 24 hours will make the irritation a little less prominent in my brain.