Happy Wednesday to you. Hope it’s a good one where you are. Me, I’ve still got a couple more days of work to go before the festivities can commence, so I’m still in work mode unfortunately.
What I am doing though, is starting the process of eating like an absolute glutton, which means plenty of chocolate, crisps and other such unhealthy foodstuffs. And because I’m at work I’m doing it later in the evening, which is resulting in some weird and freaky dreams.
Last night Arsenal played a team with which I have no idea who they were. But they were terrible. And cheats. And the referee who had no face but a bald head was clearly Mike Dean. Anyway, Arsenal were losing and were granted an extra two hours added time. But the thing is, I’d left on 89 minutes because they’d been so terrible and Theo Walcott had missed an open goal of Gervinho proportions. As I was leaving the stadium I realised I was surrounded by all of my old primary school chums who also happen to be Arsenal fans, and for some reason one of them was so angry he called a helicopter down to land on the roundabout outside the armoury. Of course it wasn’t a normal passenger roundabout, but a chinnock, which meant his parents could take us all home without having to get the tube. Then it all started feeling like a Vietnam movie, as we went across the London skyline and eventually they dropped me off early enough to see the last few minutes of the added time of the game.
We didn’t score and Granit Xhaka got repeatedly kicked by another non-descript player. Kicked in the chest. Whilst he was on the floor sitting upright.
Of course faceless Mike Dean did nothing about it.
I don’t even know if we lost.
I should probably avoid Tobelerone before bed.
All this is to say that there isn’t really much to say about Arsenal at the moment. The podcasters be podcasting, the bloggers be blogging, the Whatsappers be Wahtsapping. But non of us really know what’s happening with Arsenal. We don’t understand why we fall short so regularly, although some have their Arsène Wenger-shaped theories. It’s hard to look beyond the man who is the one consistent when we have such poor and sometimes bizarre psychological barriers like our away form in big games, or the fact we never beat United away any more, or that patch of depressing results that ultimately rule us out of the league title each season. He’s always been the constant and as long as he remains then there will be that association that one draws with unusual poor runs of form against certain teams, managers, etc.
I went for a run at the gym yesterday lunchtime and as I was listening to one of the Arsenal podcasts out there at the moment, I started to wonder if Arsène leaving would effectively set in motion a complete reboot of the fanbase. Whether without his polarising presence, everyone would come together, with the only thing to moan about being opponents.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it simply won’t happen. Not immediately, anyway, because those who are so ingrained in their adulation for Arsène, will see another manager as an interloper, not worthy of filling his admittedly hard shoes to fill. They will most likely be the ones whose negativity is brought to the fore every time a result goes against them, offering only barbed comments about how people should have been careful what they wished for and other such mantras.
Or will they take the moral high ground? Will they look at the new manager and say that he needs time. He needs to implement his ideas and will they back him? I hope so. I look forward to that reality, in which those who have previously fought, can get back to fighting the real enemy (metaphorically speaking): Chelski, Tiny Totts, or any other team in the division for that matter. That’s what I want to get back to.
We need something to act as a catalyst for unity. All of this aggression amongst people who should see each other as brothers in arms is really quite draining. And boring. So we need something to unify us.
Another trophy would be nice. It’s my preference over an Arsène exit I have to say. Ideally I’d like it to be the league title, but I don’t think our team has the mentality to sustain a prolonged title charge for a whole season. We’ve seen that with the last week and a bits football. They just don’t handle pressure very well. So with that in mind, wouldn’t a lovely little FA Cup be a nice way to bring us a little close together? I don’t think it would act as the catalyst I mention, but at least it would be a ray of light.
But perhaps I’m just rambling. Perhaps I’m just skirting around the obvious of what the actual catalyst needs to be. It’s probably because I have so much respect for what he has achieved, that I don’t really want it to end as it probably will do, with a whimper rather than a bang. But I suppose it’s inevitable. It’s real life and real life rarely works out how you expect. Especially if you’re an Arsenal fan.
So what should we do? Well I don’t know about you, but my early New Years resolution will be to try to temper any kind of excitement when we go on winning runs like we did in October. It’ll be to try to appreciate the smaller victories more. It’s easier said than done I know, but I’m going to try to do it anyway, and see how far it gets me.
Right, that’s enough melodrama for one day. Have a great one.