I wasn't going to blog about yesterday. I didn't want to start the season like this. Three months ago I sat at The Arsenal as we slumped to Aston Villa. The atmosphere was poisonous. Boos rang out while Gooners fought among themselves in the stands. Things needed to change.
Three months of promises and that's what we get. Now, we didn't blow a 4 goal lead so this was a far less damaging draw than last season (ignoring the red card and possible ban for Song for a moment. Hold on! It is a pretty damaging draw!) It's just not how you want to start. It's hardly hitting the ground running is it? I thought we kept the ball well. Tried hard to get it back but did very little to actually beat a very poor Newcastle. That was our easiest game this month and we blew it.
The positives, after a summer of worry, were the back 5. Sez looked commanding in the box. There's a lot of pressure on his shoulders this season. He's our number 1 now and thank goodness as there is little in reserve to challenge that. The defence kept a clean sheet which makes a nice change but before we get over excited Newcastle were about as threatening as a baby with a spoon. If they finish above the bottom 3rd they will have done well.
And that's the crux. If we don't have the ideas to take 3 points off a poor side after 3 months of preparation I despair. It was a poor 0-0 with hardly a shot to register in the memory. Without Joey Barton the game would probably be forgotten already. What an absolute arsehole he is but yet again we fell for it. Did nobody warn Gervinho about him? That whole couple of minutes was a disgrace. Firstly it was a penalty. Gervinho was clipped. He was then assaulted while the ball was in play so that's a penalty too. These two penalty shouts ended Gervinho's debut and let Barton off the hook. Poor refereeing. Somehow we had a man fouled in the box which led to him being sent off. Staggering. Worrying too that Barton goes down easier than a crack whore holding a fiver and one of the Taylors thinks a stroke of the face is the same as an elbow. God help their wives for very different reasons!
What worries me more is that the side that played yesterday can only be strengthened by bringing Jack in. There is really nobody else that would make a difference. We have the cast of Glee (or Kids from Fame for older viewers) chomping at the bit on the bench but are any of them ready to invigorate a lacklustre show? In a couple of days this squad needs to try and keep us away from the prospect of unthinkable Thursday night football.
Turn it around boys. Give us fans something to believe in. Show us Arsene still knows. It's the least we deserve.
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