Please excuse the lack of activity since the last post, you see I’ve only just finished a self-imposed media embargo so I could concentrate without distractions on banging my head against the wall.
Once again in a very short time frame we’ve self-combusted, thrown in the towel in a pathetic fashion and exited two competitions, one I feel we had a realistic chance of winning, the other the Champions League which at a most basic level is just plain nice to be a part of. At least it is when we don’t record our heaviest loss in the competition it is.
Since then the Emirates cogs have been ticking over, providing Gooners with much food for thought both on and off the pitch. Arshavin, Ju Young Park, Yossi Benayoun and Marouane Chamakh all played for the reserves a few days ago against Norwich. The little Russian nabbed a brace, Park and Yossi played excellently by all accounts getting a goal each, and starlet Benik Afobe scored to round off a 5-0 victory.
Looking at the positives here, this was an opportunity for these fringe players to vamp up their confidence with an easy run out. It’s just so hard to believe that a year ago Andrey got the winner against Barcelona, Chamakh’s dip in form was deemed temporary, and Benayoun and Park were names few would have thought would ever be wearing an Arsenal jersey.
Elsewhere deep inside the Arsenal vaults, the fat cats have released a statement regarding ticket prices for next year. Nobody knows if their initial plan was to hike them up further–they have a record of breaking promises–but they haven’t, and they might be cursing the rotten form of the playing staff for effectively backing them into a corner.
There’s just no way they could justify–to what is already a pretty peeved mob–yet another increase in tickets after the recent run of games. So as it is, there’s a freeze on normal tickets for the 2012/13 season, whilst Club Level prices increase by roughly 2%. Let’s see how loyal the “prawn sandwich brigade” are when it’s FC Klashnikov 74 in the Europa League and not Barcelona coming into town.
Yet we’ll only be playing such ridiculously named Europa League outfits (I made it up by the way) if we finish just outside the top 4, which, yet again, has become a polished turd that Arsene and the board are trying to reward us with as a sign of a successful season, namely because it’s the best we can hope for.
But it’s not. Finishing 4th is not a success or a victory. It’s natural to want to finish as high as possible but actually winning something, that’s a real success.
Those voicing concerns that we won’t be able to hold onto our best players nor will be able to keep signing the best players if we exit this entirely made up top 4 power group might need to look back over the last few years to see that ultimately it doesn’t matter, at least where Arsenal are concerned. Our best players have continued to leave us (mostly for the lure of more cash) and the best players have continued to ignore us (mostly for the lure of more cash).
It points to the fact that most modern day footballers follow their wallets. And yes we can and should overhaul our financial dealings but the sad fact is that no matter what we offer there are other clubs that can simply offer more. What can change however, is our football style and mindset, but that’s a job for Arsene right now as he’s the one in charge.
And this really sticks in the throat to admit it but one only need look at Tottenham to see how unimportant 4th place is. Their ascent up the table to media labelled “title challengers” was all achieved with only one previous top four finish. They might have spent cash, but it seems to have spent within their means. The difference is, they’ve bought well and are playing confidently–two things we simply haven’t been doing recently–without needing 4th place to act as some sort of prerequisite.
*washes mouth out with soap*
That all links nicely to the final part of this post: Spurs. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a big deal. For the first time in almost two decades they’re coming to our ground with a swagger that suggests they don’t think they’re going to win. No, they think they’re going to batter us. If we are going to start moving up the league and finishing as high as we can, then we need to erase the last few games from our minds and start playing for the pride in the shirt. There’s not much else left to play for. And there’s no better time to show that then in front of our own fans on Sunday.
That cannon on our chest is there for a reason. It’s there to obliterate little cocks that stand on basketballs.
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