From Superiority to Mediocrity
Sometimes my beloved Arsenal can really surprise me and remind me of why I love them so much. Way back in November I wrote my last blog just before heading out to the North London Derby fearing the worse. Many of my mates decided not to go and all I kept on thinking about was my upcoming trip to Cologne. When I walked into the stadium, I had forgotten that we could generate noise like that. Not only had I got to the Emirates early, (I still have the ability to shock myself) but walking into the stadium and there was already an almighty buzz, I thought even the players must sense this was no ordinary game. At least the stewards were not going to be wasting time asking people to sit down. Not too much was happening in the beginning, like two boxers eyeing each other up without any meaningful punches being thrown. To be honest I thought we would at least be two or three nil down. The media had put the fear of God into me for this game. Less than 10 minutes left of the first half when Özil crossed the ball in from a free kick and Mustafi headed across the goal. SCENES!! That’s the only way to describe what happened next. We were still celebrating not believing what was actually happening, we were outplaying them then it was 2-0, Alexis. It was just as well it was half time, not sure we could have actually handled any more. Obviously in the second half they came at us some more but everyone seemed to know what their job is; which is a surprise really as they tend to forget in every other game. We played like a unit, a team, my team. We had upset the form book. The power shift those numpty journalists had been going on about seemed nothing more than shallow words to their massive egos, football experts my arse! North London is Red please don’t forget that!
Next up Cologne, 3 days of non-stop fun and laughter, but unfortunately what happens on tour stays on tour. Damn it! I had some stories I could have told. Lost the match 1-0 but the atmosphere in the Rhine Energie Stadion was exactly what I expected from the Germans. It was relentless, I fear that many of the Arsenal fans had maybe overdone it in the Town Square. It was just a case of win, lose and back on the booze.
No sooner had we got back from Germany many of us were back on the road up to Burnley, I had good memories of the game from the previous season where we snatched it right at the death with what the said was a slightly contentious goal. We could not break them down they were a solid defensive unit, Sean Dyche certainly knows how to set out his team against the Arsenal. But in the 92nd minute we got a penalty. Alexis converted it, happy days. Groundhog Day.
29 November 2017
Three days after that tough away trip we were at home to Huddersfield Town, we were already one up in the first five minutes, Lacazette. We had so much possession but just could not get another breakthrough, then we had 4 minutes of mayhem firstly, Giroud to make it 2-0, quickly followed by Alexis and then Özil two minutes later. From a game that was becoming lethargic to one of sheer ease. Just before full time Giroud added another one for good measure making it 5-0.
The start of the frantic December has begun with none other than ManUre as first up at home. Well that was not the start we wanted but after five minutes we were already one nil down, but we knew it was early and we had time on our side, only five minutes later we find ourselves two nil down. The fans never left the team and cheered them on because they hadn’t given up. Just after half time we pulled one back which was no mean feat but for De Gea’s masterclass in goalkeeping. Then we were 1-3 down and De Gea was almost impenetrable. But still we fought, even when Pogba got sent off for a horrendous tackle on Bellerin and with ManUre down to 10 men, De Gea was adamant
that we would not be scoring another goal and so it ended. The atmosphere was great because the team never gave up and that’s all you can ask of your team.
This was probably the smallest crowd I have ever seen at the Emirates against Bate Borisov, we had already qualified for the next stage of the Europa, it was bloody cold but yet I went, even my mate Moggy came down for that game, not sure I would have shown that much dedication. Not sure how much of the game I watched, thought I might get frostbite, we won 6-0 and I was so cold that I had to leave early, because my continual moaning was even getting on my nerves.
Three days later found myself on the south coast for our early match against Southampton, it was a line up that made me nervous. The BFG was playing and that made me feel uncomfortable as the terrier like Charlie Austin was playing. Not long before my fears came through, we were one nil down after three minutes. To be honest Southampton were shocking they should have been three nil up. That mentality that it was only Southampton must have started creeping in because we were woeful from start to finish. Giroud equalised two minutes before the end and so it finished. Best bit of that trip was the journey back with a bottle of spiced rum and coke and KFC bucket which was well needed after having to do the bus replacement service.
Away again this time at the London Stadium, the game was shite, the stadium was freezing, the match finished 0-0. I had a hissy fit as I was so cold and got an Uber and went home like some prima donna. That’s two consecutive 90 minutes of my life that I will not get back.
Three days later at home to Newcastle 1-0 brilliant volley by Özil but that was it, we have gone back to playing football in second gear.
The Carabao Cup quarter final against West Ham followed three days later we fielded a real mixed team and West Ham meant business on paper but in reality they were just as poor as us, we scored just before half time – Danny Welbeck. In all honesty I thought we would not win the match, next up we meet the Chavs in a two-legged semi-final, with the first leg at their place.
The last game before Christmas on a Friday blooming night at home against Liverpool. We look laboured again, oops 0-1 down and soon after half time double oops 0-2. Before we could start on the team we were 1-2 with a goal from Alexis and in a spell of 6 minutes we were 3-2 up, with goals from Xhaka and Özil. The place was unbelievable the Liverpool players were stunned and we were pressing and pressing for fourth but it did not come instead Liverpool equalised and we were determined not to undo all the hard work. By why do we wait until we are losing to do anything about it, why are we continually sitting back at home.
Turkey and pigs in blanket out of the way we were now entering that busy time of the year. Last year at Palace it all started to go wrong, a goal from Mustafi settled our nerves but then we let the pace drop. Just after a half time where I was crushed in that pre-historic cesspit of a stadium they had equalised. Not sure about the rest of the players but Alexis was having none of it and scored two in a four minute period. We let in a late goal and then had to spend the rest of the match hoping we could see it out for the 3 points which we did.
Last game in 2017 take me to the Hawthorns – dull, dull bloody dull but from a free kick in the 83rd minute we an own goal from Alexis’ free kick. I take that after sitting through that shite. But what happened next was the Mike Dean show had to put in an appearance in the last minute of the game as that twat gives a penalty because Chambers was not able to saw of his arms quick enough. What
a bellend. West Brom equalise, Twitter meltdown, Mike Dean is a right royal Cu^t. New Year’s Eve ruined. Buddha Gooner takes a great big fall whilst running for the train back to London. All in all sums us up – from Superiority to fucking mediocrity.
On that note, Happy New Year I am off to go and what us against the Chavs in the first part of the trilogy.
Until next time #upthearse