Disclaimer: I’m a Gooner from Northern California if that hasn’t been established, and yes, I question my sanity regularly or at least for the last eight years.
I get what they give us on Fox Soccer (commentary is trite nonsense most of the time) or the pub you have to pay to enter to watch a Euro feed (that’s a rant for another time), but I feel that the overall negative attitude pervading us Gooners is missing the point, and didn’t want to contribute to that by writing after Blackburn.
So after waking up too early and getting myself somewhere to watch the FA Cup tie with Blackburn, a late Friday night, an early Saturday morning based on the late Friday, having to leave a bird in the bed and a few beers with the lads makes you think twice about both what you say and what you think. During the match, I was persuaded not to stab myself with a pen and a fork (different occasions) and I decided to reserve my judgment, watch it again and then be judgmental. I fully acknowledge that my opinion can be disputed based on where my head was at while watching the game, so feel free to have a go.
I have to say that Colin Kazim-Richards’ goal pretty much sucked the life out of my weekend and left me in a state where I felt comment wouldn’t be appropriate at that moment in time lest I be rash. So I decided not to. I watched it again on Sunday and thought that overall it wasn’t a bad game on the part of the Arsenal. With that said, a loss is a loss and another cup to crash out of, if perhaps unluckily. It was a poor result, nonetheless and head-to-bar banging inducing. I was persuaded to stop by the barkeep who told me that there would be another day but that he didn’t really want me back for the Munich game. Acceptable. I decided to wait to see what the German giants would have on offer before I got into this piece. That was to my chagrin.
Blackburn played a game with purpose and tact that seems to have been something we’ve been missing. Remember when we won against AC Milan at the San Siro a couple of years ago? The team went out knowing what they had to do and did it. Cesc Fabregas scored a screamer for the winner.
I will point out that AC Milan played with purpose and strategy against Barcelona at the San Siro on Wednesday and got the result they desired, strategy is lacking, period. But I digress. The only reason I bring AC Milan up is how we came out against Bayern Munich.
Night and effing day. No plan, nothing cohesive. If I was Jack Wilshere, I would have been shouting more from the third minute. As someone who has played in the center of defense and occasionally a fullback for going on 25 years, I was embarrassed to watch the game with several of my midfielder friends.
It just got worse after Tony Kroos’ goal. So many things wrong happened outside of his excellent strike (credit where credit is due) but seriously. I don’t want to put the Verminator down, but he has been lackluster to say the least and his general behavior on the pitch doesn’t make him Capitan material to me, at least not now.
The defense was as organized as my attempts to heard cats or chickens anywhere. Wojciech Szczesny was culpable on the last two, but Arsenal was just outplayed. Point being, Bayern had a plan. Close down the central passing lanes, make Arsenal play out from the back. Bayern did their homework, forced Arsenal to shunt the ball out to the wings where Theo Walcott couldn’t do much but run at three people. In my experience, I would take those odds any day of the week. Well played, Jupp.
The third goal was a killer, especially when we had actually switched on after the goal from Lukas Podolski. I don’t care if it was awarded poorly, that ref was having a blinder; it might have been from all the black obstructing the minimum eight elbows Jack got to the back and head. No, the ref was crap but that’s no excuse. Time to move on.
So, the last two results have been disappointing to say the very least. People are calling for the managers head and booing the team AT HOME. Unacceptable. Who’s fault is it? Obviously the manager deserves some of the blame, but he has been given his resources and this has been the best he can do. I tweeted after the game that I was embarrassed to be both an American and an Arsenal fan based on where they are as a team right now in comparison to when I started to follow them.
It is Stan Kroenke’s fault we are where we are. I’ve been to the Emirates once while it was being built and I realize it costs a lot, but why do you go to hiss at the team you supposedly support? It’s a stupid waste of money if you’re going to hiss. Trust me, I’m an Athletics fan.
Watching sport is supposed to be enjoyable, if it isn’t to you, why do you bother? Change will come in some form or fashion, regardless of YOUR opinion. In the meantime, suck it up, support the club you claim to support and stop with the vitriol…