By Tony Attwood
It wasn’t just that we threw away a game we had sorted. It wasn’t the fact that we could have won it with the last kick of the match. It was just that that special factor that gets you to win unwinnable matches wasn’t there.
We have had it for so many years, and now, it isn’t there. I remember a series of 0-0 draws a few years ago (about four in a row I recall) and that was fairly dire, but if you studied what was going on you could see how it was working and where it was going. (We played Cardiff in the cup that year, if you want to place it – and I think it was the year we caught Villa and got 4th that way). I can’t bear to go and look anything up today.
But this was just … nothing.
We scored three, but there was no joy somehow – ok there was joy at the scoring but nothing more.
And I am the guy who endlessly supports Wenger, the board, the club.
I haven’t read any newspaper reports or anything – after the game I went with Walter, Erik and the guys from the Benelux club back to their coach. They didn’t get back home until 4 in the morning, or something like that. That is support. Everyone who wants to complain about the club – just remember what those guys did. Devoted almost 24 hours solid to getting too and from the game. That is support.
I chose not to go home, but drove to Chiswick (which took as long as if I had driven back to the East Midlands), and went to a Ceroc dance. (Ceroc is a form of modern jive – there are clubs all over the country).
Met a charming lady from Solvenia who seemed moderately impressed that I had been to her country, and knew about its history and cultural traditions, but so impressed as to want my phone number. Such is life.
And at the end of the evening I still had the 2 hours to drive back to the Midlands. At least I had the story of Marcus Tullius Cicero to listen to on the audio and keep me awake. My god what a man – and utterly forgotten except by those of us who realise just what the Roman Republic did for us all. (We wouldn’t be here if it were not for what they did).
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I got to bed a couple of hours before the Benelux guys I reckon.
So what do we do? (Apart from overthrow this state we live in of the rich by the rich for the rich?)
Blaming the board and the manager and the guy who designed the clock, the person from Deleware North who do the catering and who took the positive decision never to train anyone who works there; that is all ok. But what do we do now?
Say, ok Jack is back soon. And Arteta is just not doing it right at the moment but will come good again. And wasn’t it good when we had Diaby back. And maybe Rosicky can produce one more season of driving genius. And …
Going back over past mistakes is no good because all it does is throw mud. To build a new side, and new club, or maybe more simply to build a side that actually gets the results is what is needed now. And I am honest enough to admit it. This season, at least so far, it is not working. Even Cazorla is not longer the genius we thought he was.
Trouble is the fan base is now so angry that I doubt most other managers wouldn’t want to touch the club. A bit like Blackburn really. What manager of utter genius would want to touch this?
At the end there was some booing, but the majority applauded the guys.
I don’t know. If you do, great. All I can do is go dancing, and play the new Joe Walsh album which is utterly superb. Not as superb as an unbeaten season, but still superb. Thank you Joe, you’re a good guy.
But as Marvin said, “Life? Don’t talk to me about life.”
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”: crowd behaviour at the early matches