Before I get started, I just wanted to mention the support for Eduardo. Above is a banner outside someones house on Gillespie Road, also our sponsors the Emirates deserve a mention for their ‘get well soon message’ on the electronic bill boards, it was a nice touch.
Onto football matters.
So, we have entered arguably the most important part of the season and we’ve now gone 4 games without a win. It seems Arsene Wenger greatly underestimated the psychological ramifications of fielding a weakened team at Old Trafford. We looked really poor today.
Villa were well organised and extremely quick on the break. Theo wasn’t lying when he said Agbonlahor was quick, the guy is Thierry Henry quick, it was frightening to watch him stretch our defence at times. William Gallas had to put in a superb tackle to stop him scoring in the first half… why he didn’t pull the trigger earlier?
Their goal was fortunate to say the least. I think it was Agbonlahor who beat Sagna for pace and powered a low cross in… which hit big Phils ankle and slotted neatly inside the near post. I can’t say it went against the run of play because it didn’t. Other notable points in a crap first half, was a rocket fired into the top corner by Villa, that looked like an Almunia tip onto the bar.
The only player who was really offering us anything in the first half was Theo Walcott. You could tell he was confident because he was all over the place… he even managed to pull a great save out of Carson.
The second half wasn’t much better, Villa’s defence was resolute and they were still causing us problems. We didn’t seem to have the creative spark and Ade was playing poorly. I know he has had a great season so far, but what a goal drought highlights is Ade’s shockingly poor first touch. Even when he is playing well its not great… How many times do you see an Arsenal player ping a ball at him, and Ade’s return ball flies about 50 feet in the air? He really was crap today.
Cesc was pretty poor as well. He hasn’t looked at the races in the second half of the season, and today he was the same. The passes that were finding people at the start of the season, are not now. I know he says he is doing more for the team, but I would prefer to see a slightly more selfish Cesc scoring and setting up goals… leave the donkey work to the Flamster.
Diaby was back to his imperious worst. He clearly doesn’t know what he is doing out on the wing, and was subbed after about 60 minutes. Arsenal, the only Prem contenders to play 4 centre midfielders in midfield. Its a joke…
Nikki B came on and was trying to make things happen. He was duly rewarded with a goal from an Ade knock down in about the 98th minute. The crowd who stayed went ballistic, but it still didn’t numb the pain of dropping another 2 points.
So, Milan up next. Make no mistake, if we play that badly in the San Siro we are going to get beaten. The good news is RvP will be on the bench to give us a much needed boost up front.
Onto matters of irritation.
I read this yesterday on the Online Gooner,
‘Let’s turn our home stadium into a fortress. Stop eating bloody food while a football match is in progress and use your mouths to get behind the team you supposedly want to win the league. And if you are only coming for the ‘matchday experience’ p*ss off and give your ticket to someone that gives a damn about the team.’
This really riled me because its such a load of old bollocks.
Problem: The Atmosphere isn’t that great.
Reason: Err, its gotta be the corporates eating their prawn sandwiches or the plastic fans who are anti singing?
Well let me break down any misconceptions people might have after consistently reading such crap.
Firstly, if someone wants a season ticket, they have to pay to go on a waiting list. Arsenal didn’t just build a new stadium and give out the extra capacity to the highest bidders. You can’t just become an Arsenal fan on a Monday, buy yourself a season ticket on a Tuesday then eat your prawn sandwiches at a game on a Wednesday. It just doesn’t work like that, even when its put into a Craig David style theme.
So basically what I am saying is that if you are not a real fan for sitting on a waiting list for ten years, when are you a real fan? They’ve waited there turn to pick up a ticket, they’ve paid their money, so lay off them.
Don’t blame the club levelers either. Everyone I sit around is a real fan. I have never sat next to anyone wearing a suit asking me to clarify the rules of football. Most of the people in the bars at the end of the game are just ordinary fans who fancied an upgrade. Sure there are probably corporates hiding somewhere amongst us and maybe some of them do enjoy a prawn sandwich, but so what? They would be a minority out of the 8000 club level fans. Would it matter anyway? 8000 fans are not responsible for the lack of noise in a 60,000 seater stadium.
The next thing the writer fails to acknowledge is the Arsenal stewards issue. They do their best to harass people who stand up and sing. Every time someone stands up 5 stewards are on them forcing that person to sit down. You can’t stand up to get the crowd going. Every time I looked down yesterday there was a flurry of fluorescent jackets surrounding fans who were trying to get the atmosphere going. If you swear you get a warning, if you sing you get a warning… there’s not really much you can do at an Arsenal game these days. I was warned about banging the hoarding when we scored… thats how anal the stewards are!
Maybe the Arsenal fans could be a bit louder, but in a new stadium, the people around you are still a bit alien. All the old singers have been dispersed and they aren’t allowed to stand up to get other fans in the mood. Its a tough ask encouraging people to sing, when you can’t stand up.
The behaviour of the stewards is not conducive to the fans getting behind the team.
Maybe the writer of the article should have an ask around his season ticket holding friends to find out how bad the situation is before he posts anymore articles on food scoffing Arsenal fans. Its ill informed and its lazy to blame the fans. Or maybe the writer isn’t a season ticket holder himself, on this site we don’t allow people to slag their own fans off, it’s like shooting your own soldiers in a war, it’s just not done. Perhaps the people at the online gooner should spend more time supporting their own and not picking holes in something that only happens in their own minds, everyone around me is red and white to the core, and anyway they don’t actually eat prawn sandwiches and they hate Roy Keane, they sure as fuck don’t ape what he said.