I'm at that age now where a football match shouldn't leave me feeling quite so miserable. It's an escape. It's not important in the grand scale of things. For a couple of hours you forget everything and focus. Briefly, the fortunes of young millionaires rule your emotions. I shouldn't let it get to me but if a cracking away win puts a spring in your step then a home defeat will puncture you.
I was concerned by the team. It looked like a Milk Cup side with the odd first teamer. Our left backs are both virtually untested and both broken so we needed to shuffle to bring in another untested teen (who did OK!). The central pair at the back were solid. Indeed TV was our best player but then he is a grown up. I like Kos too. These two will see us through. Well until Kos' back goes into spasm and he limps off in agony. I've had that injury twice & recognised it. My goodness it's painful. If it's what happened to me he'll be out for a while & will be suicidal with what's on daytime televsion.
The midfield was all about Frimpong Tiddle Eye Po. He looks like Mr T (or considering his age, the man from the snickers (Marathon) adverts.) His obvious inexperience worried me yet he looked OK. He's obviously going to be a huge (literally) talent. He was holding beautifully but was so pumped up he probably deserved 2 or 3 yellows and a red. 2 yellows & only a 1 match ban was a result in the end. Who plays against Manchester's second team is a mystery.
The bench looked like a children's party. Not a lot on there to change a tight game. Rumours about Punch and Judy at half time to keep the little ones quiet in the dressing room are unfounded however RVP is a doubt for midweek after slipping on some spilt jelly and ice cream. Half the squad left carrying wash bags. The other half left with party bags while news filtered through that the Man U game will now be shown on CBeebies not Sky.
We can analyse the players, performance or formations all night but I think there is a wider issue here. At the start of every season fans have their hopes clearly marked in their minds. It might be a good cup run or safe from relegation. The problem we have at The Arsenal is our expectations are, if not Champions, very close to Champions every year. We have come to expect to be up there and as we play in the ££££ league every season then maybe the brief is being met. However, we can all see that this squad of players is just not good enough (yet) to give the title a realistic go. They will not win the league and I think that's the first time I've felt that so strongly under Arsene. We all know we will face injuries and suspensions over the season and this squad, as it stands, is not equipped to deal with it. After 3 games it's not equipped to deal with it.
The other question that keeps popping up is, 'Are the club as financially secure as we are led to believe?' Is the squad being filled with cheaper promising youngsters as we can't actually afford anyone else? If we make no significant signings in the next two weeks what other reason could it be? Arsene's faith in such a thinly experienced squad can't be that strong. We will be found out.
My immediate concern is Wednesday. We need to be picked up (a nice uplifting signing would do that!) and make sure we don't face the horrors of Thursday nights on Channel 5. That's what the spuds do. That's not for us. Great expectations again?
Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed Twitter today. Straight after the match I was very down on the side and got loads of abuse from the rose tinted brigade. After a large roast dinner I was more positive and got abuse from the doom merchants calling me deluded. There is an Arsenal civil war going on and I pray the club do the right things to dampen this. Also, we are all supporters of this fine club. A bit of arguing or disagreement doesn't make you any less of a fan. I'll support this lot all my life. I'll follow them to the non-league if that ever happens. That doesn't mean I have to like everything that is happening. This squad is too light, too young and too inexperienced to give both mancs and the chavs a good run for their money this year. We will not win the league and we could be facing Wafer Cup nonsense very soon and I don't like it.
Maybe that's all we can afford. The sooner I accept that the better.
- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone.