By Walter Broeckx
Yes Sunday 31 January was the end of the world. We lost a home game against Manchester United with 1 goal against 3. The result made me sleep bad and again I was thinking: what if. And yes it did hurt me deep that defeat and I really didn’t think it was that deserved but I will try to analyze that.
Let’s start with the game. The first half our until Nani missed his cross, I will never believe he did it to score, we had more possession and were rather in control and had some good chances which we didn’t take. I know football is about taking your chances but these things can happen sometimes.
Sometimes the ball flies in from the goal line from an impossible angle and on the other side the ball always hits someone or a shot goes wide as you were sure we would score.
In such a game the first goal is vital and if we would have scored we would have won. Now they did score and for some reason a part of the team panicked and we ran out of position and gave them the second goal on a plate.
If we would have stayed calmer in those first minutes after the first goal we would have come back. But we committed ourselves too much and too early and paid the price.
United could play their favourite game on the counter and a for a few players the two goals in quick concession was a mental blow. They tried but maybe we didn’t believe in ourselves until our goal but then we had, again, made a terrible mistake by letting them score their second on yet another counter.
So yes we paid the price for the fact we ran out of position against one of the best teams in the league. And we lost 3 points. If I should believe some blogs we lost 30 points in this game.
But let us sit back and look at how a season goes sometimes. Last year in March Liverpool went to United and won 1-4. I know how the rivalry is between those two teams and apart from losing to City this is the game they never want to lose. But they did and they were well beaten with an even bigger score line then our defeat.
And what did the MU fans do? They went into hiding, had a bad taste in their mouth, and felt miserable for a few days. But I really don’t think they asked the head of Ferguson or one of their players. No they got behind the team in those difficult days and supported them and let them feel they still believed in them.
They knew that they had lost a battle but the war was still going on and they had only lost 3 points. Nothing more, nothing less. And at the end of the season, just 2 months later they were the champions and the humiliation against Liverpool was a long forgotten memory.
So shit happens sometimes and Sunday was a shit day for us, but if you step in to a dog shit on the street, you swear a bit, and then you have 2 options. Either you clean it up and carry on or you could go and sit in a corner ask for the prime minister to resign as he was clearly incompetent to deal with dog shit in the streets. Once again these things happen sometimes and it is all part of the game and part of being a fan.
The next day on the internet you could see what one could see coming if one understand the way the brains of the D and G brigade works. Of course the D and G brigade was asking for the sacking of everyone involved .
Wenger had to be sacked and all the team had to be sold or even given away to the spuds, the board had to replaced by some craze billionaire who would spent billions of money and buy all the shining superstars of the world at any cost. The only player who didn’t have to be given away was Cesc but according to them he is off to Barcelona anyway now. Pat Rice had to be given the empty (I read the book Making The Arsenal), the ground staff had to go, the ball boys had to go. If we would let the D&G brigade do we wouldn’t have a team to play on Sunday.
We would be like Chelsea in 1905 (sorry I’m on your territory again Tony), who in fact had a Football League club but no players, no officials, no staff, and no support.
When I see those things on the internet I really don’t know what is the worst thing: losing against MU with 1-3 or seeing all those so called fans asking the sacking of everyone involved ?
Yes I usually don’t sleep after a defeat and relive the game over and over again in my head. Yes it saddens me deeply to see our team lose but please keep some perspective on the facts. Like I said last year United had the same with the defeat against Liverpool. Those things happen to everyone at times.
The fixture list is difficult for us for the moment. We have still a fair number of important players out, the ones that have come back after months on the side line are not completely ready to compete at the highest level and we have some players that had to play so many games they are a bit tired.
And don’t forget players like Arshavin who are playing with pain every game but as we are short they play and others had to be prepared to play like Vermaelen. And in that period we have to play 4 top teams in a row. So even if we only get 5 or 6 points from those games then nothing is lost.
The other top teams have to play each other and in those games one or even the two teams will lose points. And then comes our moment. We then have to be ready and take all the points against the lower placed teams. This also will not be easy but WE can help our team, WE can help our players. Instead of asking all the players to be given away to the spuds – no real Arsenal fan can say such a thing I think – we should say: okay, bad day at the office but we are still behind you. Come on you Gunners we support you.
I once wrote some lyrics of what it means to me being a Gooner and somewhere in there I say something about losing a game, a thing that belongs to football like the ball, and I just want to share it with you:
And if defeat hurts us so bad, on a rare and seldom day
We will not desert you, our Gunners in arms.