It’s been a long time since I blogged. Lots of travel (both personal and work-related), plus a change in job (which included a hell lot of transition) and most of all, Arsenal’s poor form, kept me away from 11G, something I feel very apologetic about. I sometimes doubted my allegiance towards the lads, as the trend suggested I kept away at a time the team wasn’t doing well. But I’m sure that’s not the case, it’s never been, and it never will be.
Infact the end of this season marks my decade as an Arsenal faithful – a decade filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, the speed of Henry and the skill of Silvestre (remember his 1-2-1 with Messi!?), the vision of Bergkamp (who btw celebrates his birthday today!) and the strength of Eduardo (and Diaby, and Ramsey, etc), the invincibility of Vieira’s men and the ineptness of Cesc’ charges, the calm on Arsene’s face (first half of the decade) and the callousness in his demeanour (offlate) – I’ve been through them all.
That brings me to Arsenal’s recent loss of form, and how! I won’t bore you with the stats or an entailing account of the games, but I can still recall ‘that’ moment of madness between Koscielny and Szczesny. From being the only team in all 4 competitions at the end of February, to the only one which repeated the same mistakes for 6 seasons running, it’s been quite a tectonic journey.
I can go on and on with the likes of FC Barcelona and Manchester United and their dubious ‘winning ways’, but I leave that for my more experienced peers. Either way, history will remember season 2010-11 for who won the European Cup, and not who stuck to his principles come what may; so what he (ref: le boss ofcourse) ended up facing failure all over again.
The fact remains that Arsenal have now spent 6 trophy-less seasons – the day is not far when the idea of a ‘trophy cabinet’ at the Emirates is permanently shelved! On a serious note, although I am saddened by Arsenal inability to close seasons and emerge champions in whatever little capacity, I can still quote enough reasons to keep believing. Again, I would refrain from giving a telling account on how we’re now financially stable (and others are not), we have a robust youth set-up (a lot others don’t), we ‘make’ players (others ‘buy’ them), referees save their worst for us (never against our oppositions), and lastly how we play the game beautifully (and not cheat occasionally to get the job done). A bagful of reason to keep the faith I say.
Moving on, I would ideally want to see wholesome changes at my club. Changes which include doing away with atleast 5 of the first-team starters including Denilson (simply not good enough), Rosicky (respect him, but never been the same post-injury), Diaby (too injury prone for a club as big as ours), Almunia (no point having both him and Fabianski in the squad – ain’t one calamitous player good enough?) and Eboue (love him off the field, but seriously not him please, no offence!)
Off-loading 5 squad players’ raises the obvious question, ‘whom do we replace them with?’ Fellow bloggers (with much better insights than yours truly) have been pitching in for the likes of Samba, Cahill, Parker. Not that I’d sidetrack them, but going for them would supersede the bigger question. Experts, pundits and former players alike, have unanimously pointed out a lack of ‘winning mentality’ being Arsenal’s biggest nemesis over the past 5-6 seasons.
We’ve lost proven winners like Vieira, Henry and even Gilberto – players who know how to inspire fellow team-mates and up the ante when the going gets tough. I doubt if the aforementioned Englishmen are armoured with the pre-requisite credentials. Agree that they know the physical nature of the English game inside-out, and have proven themselves with lesser sides, over a period of time. But pre-assuming that they alone can guide Arsenal back to winning ways would be too naïve a thought in my earnest opinion. The eventual decision rests with boss himself, and in him I’ll always trust.
This brings me to Arsene himself. First things first, exactly how many of you want him out? I’ve got just one sentence for you all, ‘I pity you.’ The man is a legend and sticking to the routine, I’ll avoid going into the details. I just hope he turns a little flexible and slightly does away from the ‘all-for youth policy’ for once. A right balance of exuberant youth (mind you likes of Cesc, Nasri, etc are still in their early twenties) and proven winners (hopefully a couple of new signings) will take us afar.
Here’s to Arsenal returning to winning ways before the season bids adieu. Then lets gear up for changes galore. Cheers!
PS: A decade as an Arsenal fan is simply not good enough. I want a lifetime more of red & white! Fingers crossed x x
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