This is not the only day I have felt bad about football. Like when we lost to Wrexham in the Cup – I can still remember the feeling the next morning. Took me days to get over that.
Or when we lost 6-1 to Manchester Bankrupt (or Manchester U as they were known in those days). We were (I think) 1-1 after Henry scored, and then it fell apart, with Grimandi desperately being pulled out of all positions and having no central support. Apparently Wenger went utterly spare at half time – and I suspect he did as well last night.
I felt just as bad when we lost at home to Leeds, and so lost the title. That turned out to be one game before the start of the 49 run as far as I remember (contrary to popular belief I don’t sit at work surrounded by my Arsenal handbooks so I can’t look it up).
Strangely I had a similar-ish feeling when we drew 2-2 with Bolton in the Unbeaten Season itself. Bolton were playing a terrible game of rotational fouling and Fat Sam was on the touchline just below my place, screaming as his players to get stuck in.
So, last night, it was the same. Great joy turning to terrible sorrow – and the lovely article which I thought was a real scream having to be scrapped.
It was stupid playing – Clichy buggering about and falling over, Eboue thumping the ball up the field from whence it came back straight away. You remember how Henry used to take the ball into the corner flag and hold it there – where’s that gone?
But on the positive side –
a) we have no problem scoring goals
b) we do have a solid midfield and defence
c) Almunia had a really bad time of it, but that is rare – he is a good keeper who has saved us over and over again.
d) What we lack is discipline and organisation – and if there is something that Wenger can instil in players in discipline and organisation.
So when it comes down to it, what we lacked was discipline and organisation, and those can be instilled. Maybe it needs a bollocking and a half. Maybe it needs a new captain. I don’t know, but then I am not the manager. But I can tell you, it is much better to be in this position than in a situation in which the obvious answer is that we should be buying a new team.
What we, as supporters, have to do is accept that we drew, try not to look at the league table for a moment, and ensure that we give them everything against Stoke, and then have another celebration of football in the Euro League.
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- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour