Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days, things have been hectic.
Today sees us take on Manchester United at Old Trafford, not exactly the game you want when your season has petered out and you have nothing to play for but pride. It is a chance for the players to show that they can still give ManUre a run for their money when they actually give 100% to the cause.
While it is clear that we are not capable of maintaining a challenge to the top three teams over a whole season, I feel that on our day we can still beat this ManUre team. Some might say that I am being overly optimistic but, fuck it, there are enough people losing their heads, calling for the manager’s head and generally wallowing in self pity at how our season has finished with a whimper and no silverware.
Four years without a trophy is a long time, but if you look at the history of the club four years isn’t actually all that bad. It’s a measure of how far the club has progressed that we see this lack of silverware as not good enough.
I’m one of those that isn’t happy about ending the season, yet again, with nothing. But we have to put our faith in the manager to put things right with the resources he has available to him. The boss himself has been stressing that he won’t put the club’s financial security in danger by going all David O’Leary in the transfer market and I fully agree with his stance on this matter. I want us to sign some new players to strengthen the defensive side of our team (that includes central midfield), but more important is for Arsenal to still be a financially viable club. There’s no point in going out and stretching the club financially and then end up in administration, or having to accept money from Usmanov.
Now that the dust has settled and the pain of our results against ManUre, Chavski and Liverpool too, it is a little easier to be more objective. We need strengthening, but how much money the boss has to do that, we don’t really know. All I know is that the reported figures being bandied about in the tabloids are, more than likely, a load of donkey cock.
The manager got a bit of grief off some disgruntled fans on Thursday and it may have been good for him to hear exactly how the fans feel about our season. Some of it may have been a bit over-the-top (calling Silvestre a geriatric) but I think we can all agree that he is not of the standard that should be playing for Arsenal Football Club.
Arseblogger has a good summation of our current state of affairs here and his Friday podcast has a good conversation with Goonerholic, too. Gunnerblog has a good piece on Thursday’s meeting with the manager here.
The boss himself has called for a but more objectivity from the fans.
“When you look now at people assessing the situations of the clubs, it has become ridiculous. You sit here, you are in the last four in Europe, and every day you feel you have killed someone. If you do not take a distance with it, you think what kind of world do you live in? We lost against Manchester United who have 10 times more resources, they are the best in the world. In sport, you have to accept that. It is like they are ashamed to be fair.”
He makes a fair point, but as fans invest so much into a club, both financially and emotionally, it can be quite hard to take a step back and view things objectively. So, he needs to understand it’s because we care that we are reacting like this.
But, as much as we demand more from the club we should also be giving more to the club. That can start by NOT leaving a game when there is still a sizeable proportion of the game left to play. We need to send the right message to the team if we want to get it back. We need to support the team at home, not boo them and not turn our backs on them when they need us most. It’s true that players like Adebayor and Diaby do the team no favours in terms of fan support, but the players that DO try deserve our total support, especially as this is a young team. The average age of our team isn’t ideal and that is down to the manager and finances of the club but, that’s what we have and so we must get behind them.
It’s not just the players that need to salvage something from this season. The fans do, too. We need to get behind the team again, no matter how much we are pissed off with the current situation.
That’s enough for part one, I’ll look ahead to today’s game in part two and have a little Saturday round-up going on, too.