Finally got to catch a rerun of our loss to Stoke and you can take my word for it, I am pretty sure it looked better live, at least you had the added value of expectation that things might change with one player showing some magic or Arsenal putting up on of their amazing pass moves and boom we score. Naaa, I didn’t have that luxury, I knew we weren’t going to score and hence the lethargic nature of the first half, actually of the whole game until Oxlade was introduced was a really sore sight.
I remember growing up in Lagos, Nigeria and for a low income family your best bet of catching any premier league action was watching a show called MasterSports on local TV and they showed highlights of most of the games in the EPL. Arsenal always had the longest slot on that show as we created so many chances and we did score and concede a good number of goals too. That been the case it was interesting to watch and after which me and my friend @theOHbee would head out to an Internet Café and consume all the articles written about football on BBC and SOCCERNET. Actually what we did was we would buy 30mins of access to the internet, open so many football articles , print everything and then head home to read just to elongate the whole football experience until the next time we could watch a live game…those really were the good old days my friends. What it takes to support Arsenal from abroad.
I wonder how game like the one we played against Stoke would look like just watching the highlights, no running, 2 shots on target and no goals from Arsenal. In the past we didn’t always score but we always created loads of chances to score. The result yesterday meant we go four points behind the leaders and we still have Chelsea, Man City, Everton and Spurs to play with three of those games away from home. The ‘SSS’, Sunderland – Stoke- Swansea were meant to be the calm before the storm and 9 points would have put us in good standing going into that run of fixtures were to be honest we are not guaranteed many points.
Is 4 points behind the leaders at this stage a really bad position to be? Not really, but the real grouse is that it seems we have lost momentum that is why Liverpool even though are on same points difference with us are considered more like challengers than us, an analogy you can’t argue with but mathematically we have equal chances. We need to get momentum back and that’s completely the manager’s job to do. Watching the rerun we seemed slow and indecisive in the final third and Lord knows we have missed Walcott’s pace in the side, but we have The Ox and since his return he has shown he is capable to bringing that pace and ability to run at and behind defenders with the ball. The Ox has missed most of the season already so we can’t say he is fatigued hence he should start every game he is fit to play in.
With the most responsibility of getting goals shouldered on Giroud it’s not a surprise he gets most of the stick when we don’t score. He got us two goals against Sunderland after been rested for 2 games, that in itself is a pointer to the fact that if we had another quality striker in the squad and we didn’t have to rely on him so much we can expect that anytime he comes on he would be fresh and motivated enough to score.
I know this is not a popular opinion, but I really don’t think Giroud is as bad as we make him out to be, yes he makes it hard to defend him most times but we have to realize that he has the mental pressure of carrying this team on his own upfront. Would he be a better player with quality competition for his place in the side? I very much think so. I don’t think Aguero goes into every game thinking I have to score to get my side the points, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t like to score every game but he knows if he doesn’t a Negredo or Dzeko could score just as well and when they do it makes it a whole lot easier for him. Hell Suarez didn’t score for about 5 games and Liverpool still found a way to win games, hence Wenger should shoulder most of the blame for Giroud’s performance or non-performance depending on which side of the divide you are on.
Most of the headlines indicate we have thrown our chance at winning the league away after the loss yesterday and it does seem so but if we know anything about football it’s the fact that anything can still happen. It’s a lot harder now but it’s not as impossible as most of the pundits make it out to seem. The finest jigsaw in this puzzle is Liverpool, they hold the ace if we stand a chance of winning this league. Chelsea and City still have to go to Anfield and judging by Liverpool’s current form and the fact that they were robbed at both these grounds away from home you would expect that Liverpool still being in the competition for the title will make it as hard as possible for them.
We on the other hand must get at least two big results from the games against Chelsea, City and Spurs. Beat City at home, draw Chelsea away and beat Spurs that is 7 points and I am pretty certain with a few results falling our way we can be back in the mix by April and it’s anyone league after then. Arsenal fans are overdue celebrating a big victory this season and that’s not counting Spurs, that is a regular victory. A result against Chelsea and City will do well to swing the momentum slightly back in our favour and once we get it with the final run-in of games after March we can, we can still do something in this title race. Hang in there friends, we are down but we ain’t out yet.
Just a final word on people that have a tendency to mention players, seriously do you support Arsenal and want Arsenal to do well? Social media gives all of us a forum to interact but the way people resort to abuse at every opportunity and mention the players does it really help? The guys at the Bergkamp Wonderland covered this subject immensely on one of their recent podcasts and they were spot on many points. Who among us would love to log into our computers at work and have over 1000 abuses hurled at us from every part of the world just because we had a bad day at work which most of us have had.
@Yayasanogoal22 You’re fucking shit.
— Eoin (@EoinAFC) March 1, 2014
@Yayasanogoal22 You're fucking shit.
— Eoin (@EoinAFC) March 1, 2014
So when you see something like this at a player who is just starting his Arsenal career and you have AFC in your handle you really really need to be asking yourself questions? Are you really an Arsenal supporter? This tweet must I send it? This tweet will it help the player and Arsenal in general? If your answer to those questions are Yes hit send , if they are not just take your frustration somewhere else and leave the players alone.
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Have a great week friends