Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Promised Land

Due to an illustrious schoolboy athletics career which led to a couple of medals, some silver pots and a damaged spine I'm stuck in the Charlie George position while the family are clapping Tony's return and the boys against QPR. I made the mistake of performing that difficult move of 'getting out of a car' and my back said "NO" quite loudly.

So I'm relying on Twitter, Arsenal player and Soccer Saturday to furnish me with information. It's a very odd feeling being so close to the ground while joining the thousands across the globe online. I feel a bit lost. I've no idea how we are doing. I've no idea who's playing well and who isn't. Jay Bothroyd has just nearly scored. We sound a bit lethargic. Shaun Wright Phillips sounds like he should've scored. Come on Arsenal. 12 minutes gone and this is aural torture.

I got to half time relieved I was stuck in bed. I left the Wolves game furious and frustrated so another draw with a team in the bottom third at home would relight those emotions. Too familiar too. The second half has brought me news of TV limping off and Walcott failing with a 1-on-1 with the keeper. Arsenal player sound frustrated. Twitter is a land of gloom. We really need to wake up or get used to UEFA cup football next season. QPR are now improving and I can hear the crowd groans.

But wait! RVP TO THE RESCUE! That's improved the back ache and sweetened the tea. Yet we are still worried. 1-0 to The Arsenal is never enough nowadays. Arsenal player commentator is getting over excited about being back in the top 4. Premature qualification and counting unborn chicks. Shut up mate.

6 minutes to go and I'm sitting with thousands of Gooners on the knife edge again. Spuds are 1-1. Chavs are 3-1 down. Man u lost. We need to take advantage. Gervinho misses a chance. QPR attack. This is hard work.

The iPhone peeps. Full time and we've won with a Tony Adams tribute 1-0. The Arsenal player is still going. Finally they catch up. We've won 1-0 on there too and worldwide Gooners are happy. Twitter informs me Arsenal have won their first game of 2012 (in Australia!) A good start to the new year despite us having to wait for the Fulham struggle in the UK.

I look back on 2011 as a poor year for The Arsenal & I say that as most of our memories are bad ones. We've lost Cesc and (whatever you think of him) Nasri. Cesc was a massive loss. Nasri going not so much but it sent out a message that we can't hold off Man c. The Milk Cup final was the pinnacle of shitness. The performance, the cock-ups, the in fighting among Gooners over the management and certain players. Football is a passionate game but I witnessed Arsenal fans fighting over Arsene's suitability and a punch up after someone abused Bentner. All during a cup final when we needed to be together. It was a horrible result, day and experience. This carried on right up to losing to Villa on the last home game. The atmosphere that day was poison. The misery of the summer and the rushing and panic on transfer deadline day wasn't very Arsenal and led to the worst start for decades. All was not well. Yet, tonight we finally sit in the promised land. Results went our way today and you have to doff your caps to how we have hauled ourselves back to the top 4. After the start we had it looked gloomy but the goals of our clever clogs captain and the back 4 losing their comedic timing means we seem to be turning a very large corner. There is still a lot of work to do and that means spending in January. Let's be honest, we have one striker worthy of the name. The others are either average or useless. And Henry is not the answer. I'm as excited as the next man and woman but if he's our only 'new' striker we are in trouble. We are scraping past QPR while dropping points at home to the likes of Fulham & Wolves. Arsene needs to pull something out of his magic hat. He's done it before. He'll do it again. He has to.

So trophyless 2011 please sod off. We'll keep the 2-1 vs Barcelona and the 5-3 vs the Chavs but to be honest you can take the rest with you. My new year wish would be to see signs of that beautiful team we once knew. The team that everyone wanted to watch. Add to that some help up front, cut out the bloody injuries and sprinkle some ruthlessness about the side and it could be a very happy new year indeed.

Happy new year Gooners wherever you may be. Up the Gunners.

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