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Entertaining, heartbreaking, joy and tears. Just as real life…

By Walter Broeckx

Looking back one last time to last weekend…

Haven’t seen anything since coming home after being awake for 23 hours to see Arsenal play in a game. The longest trip ever made by the Arsenal Benelux that I know.

Let me start with the bad things: we didn’t win. We should have won the game but we failed. We had enough chances and the best one of course in the ultimate seconds. This all lead to a feeling of defeat at the end of the game.  I can imagine the usual people declaring the end of the universe.

In the first half I have seen a team that scored rather easy. Two well taken goals by Giroud and Podolski.  But what struck me then was the attitude of a part of the crowd in the stadium. Last week we had a few people from those who visit the games. They were having a bit of an attitude that those not attending the games should shut up because they paid the money to get inside the ground so they were the ones that were being ripped off. SO WHY TH F*CK DIDN’T YOU GET BEHIND THE TEAM WHEN WE WERE 2-0 UP?????

Telling people to shut up because they cannot attend the games is one thing, but where you amongst those few who attempted to support the team at that point? I did. And lots of those sitting on our coach did the same. But far too many just sat there. So it was a very strange affair when we were 2-0 up and the Emirates just being very silent.  If those silent tell me they knew Fulham would come back to 2-2 they should have opened their mouth and should have been behind the team to lift it. I really don’t know if it was the strange atmosphere at the time that pulled the team back or just the thought of:  okay we 2-0 up, we have had a hard game during the week so let us try to sit back a bit.

No matter what or  how we just let Fulham get back in to the game. They accepted the gift and some sloppy defending saw us concede two goals.  A real game was on. I can imagine a neutral spectator watching the game and enjoying every minute of it.  I noticed a few heavy legs in our team and wondered if we would cope with it physically.

And it turned in to a real test of strength when we fell behind after a penalty. The crowd finally got behind the team in the second half. And I think the way we reacted to falling behind was wonderful. We suddenly went in to a higher gear and gave all we got. Giroud hitting the post and Walcott putting the ball back in for Giroud to head it home.

The team went for the winner and we should have won it when Dowd gave us our first penalty at home in the EPL since the season 2010-2011. Thanks Phil for allowing me this historic moment.  As we know there are only two sorts of penalties. The one that go in are always good given penalties. The one that are missed are not good given penalties. So we can qualify the one from Arteta as a bad one.  Leaving us with a bad taste in our mouth.

But I prefer to have a look at the good things. We are creating chances again. That is always a good sign. We had a few games when we created nothing. I said at the time that this was down to the fact we had no real speed on the flanks. With Theo, The Ox, Gervinho and Gibbs all being out at the time this was normal. Now we are seeing two of them coming back (in fact just one as The Ox still had to face a fitness test this weekend) but we could use some speed on the flank in the last two games.  And the creating chances came back, and the goals scoring came back.

We still could use a few fresh legs in midfield for the moment. Some old and experienced legs if possible. Why not someone like Rosicky who is back training with the team.  I think Cazorla and Arteta could use a breather.  With players like Rosicky and Diaby back this could happen. The first one almost back but what about the second one?

But the best part for me was the fact that the team didn’t accept defeat when we went 2-3 down. How big the mental blow was going from 2-0 up 2-3, we stood up, dusted ourselves and gave it the best we got.

Was it perfect? Of course not. But Arteta scoring his penalty would have been an amazing comeback.  And I can only praise the team for getting themselves back in to that position after seemingly having thrown away the game in the first place.  If we just would have rolled over after going 2-3 down I would be very worried right now.

Now I know this team will fight for it.  And a team that wants to fight is never beaten. They fought back and crawled out of the hole they had dig themselves against a Fulham team that had a few very intelligent and clever players like Berbatov and Ruiz. Players that can strike any second and they already showed it a few times this season.

Or was it just written in the stars that this game would end 3-3? Because it was my second visit in just a few months time that ended in 3-3. If you don’t like that score line, don’t worry I will not be coming over again in the first months.

A final message to you out there in the Emirates: when a team is having a bad run the only way to help the team is to get behind it. No moans or groans have ever won a game of football.

Don’t ask what your club does for you, THINK WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR TEAM!

And now some international friendlies????? Who invented this madness?

16 comments to Entertaining, heartbreaking, joy and tears. Just as real life…

  • avatar SOJI MOGAJI

    this dude is just bluffing…………

  • avatar akasuna

    I just called my brother in Malaysia who’s gonna missed a lot of matches due to his commitment for high school exam. He just said to me,” don’t worry bro..I’m sure when I watched Arsenal again in December they will be back at their best..” I somehow share his optimism. That’s why I support Arsenal, that’s why I read UA..

  • avatar kiety

    Defence defence defence

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Yes…international friendlies……isnt this about the 4th set of internationals since the start of the season? Less is more with internationals, except maybe the latter stages of major tournaments, nobody really cares Mr Blatter! What next – the ACN twice a year if some get their way?
    Agree that Arteta and Cazorla …and maybe Tommy look like they need a rest. Would like to see Arshavin given a bit more of a run out, he has looked interesting lately.

  • avatar walter

    Agree about Arshavin Mandy. Why not give Cazorla a rest and let Arshavin have a go. He sure looked lively when he came on in the last games so far and in the Reading game.

    About Cazorla…do you know Spain plays a friendly in Panama of all places….. WTF….. He will be sitting more than my 23 hours on the plane in total I think….

  • avatar Nicky

    Walter,
    Your exortation to the Emirates faithful is a timely one and I hope it bears fruit.
    I saw very few games of the Invincibles and I wonder what the general atmosphere was like THAT season. Was any player singled out for the “treatment” notwithstanding the success we enjoyed? Or have the groans, moans and abuse been spawned with the building of the Emirates?

  • avatar Pat

    Another good read Walter.
    Yes, I saw that about Cazorla going to Panama. Crazy!
    Can’t remember who it was that said these friendlies are all about money. Seems the only likely explanation.
    Well, it’s the Spurs Derby at the weekend.
    If the fans can’t get behind the team then, when can they?

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Walter a good article and I hope the fans follow your good advice. When the team is struggling it is important that all fans encourage the team as much as possible.

    I agree with the thoughts above on trying Arshavin. Cazorla seems to have had far too many games in succession for Arsenal & Spain & could do with a breather.

    From information gleaned from elsewhere some of disruptive nasties, who, Walter will not take your advice, are planning something for Saturday. Lets hope it rebounds on them.

  • avatar dan

    @Walter

    I think more people are reading into the same media bollox, just this morning talk sports had Piers Morgan on about the usual lack of trophies and the old Wenger should of been sacked years ago.

    My emotions are running high at the mo, that includes all things Arsenal as well.

    Here’s to praying for our boys on international duty no injuries or burn outs.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Actually Morgan talked a lot of sense. Not something I’d ever attribute to him.

  • avatar rusty

    Ugh I can’t believe there’s ANOTHER international break. And to be honest, it seems like the players who need another game to take their mind off the weekend (Arteta) won’t get it whereas the ones who could use a rest (Jack, Cazorla) won’t get that either.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Spain vs Panama, wonder how many votes that got someone on FIFA?

  • avatar John

    It must be true that negative vibes from fans can affect the confidence of some players. If a big crowd can motivate, the opposite must be true. This is not a new phenomenon.

    Jon Sammels, a very talented player in the 71 “double” squad, had his confidence destroyed by a section of the Highbury crowd and was effectively driven out of the club.

    Anybody who has played football at any level should know how importance confidence is to performance, however skilled and highly paid the player.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    About the international friendlies: this midweek would have been the only free week for most Arsenal players till half December… complete madness….

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    Couldn’t agree with you more ,we need the fans to get behind the team and give them a lift ,especially against the Spuds.Like Walter the draw and penalty missed seemed like a loss but the Spurts’ loss was like a soothing balm – it didn’t ache too much after that.
    Sometimes confidence may be low for various reasons but a positive crowd reaction will be a great pick up.
    So come on guys and gals ,give the team a real boost by cheering them on and do please shout loudly for us too .
    Up the Gunners !

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    @Walter

    That was a really uplifting post, cheers for that.

    Particularly, liked the JFK paraphrase “Don’t ask what your club does for you, THINK WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR TEAM!”. Ahahaha!