Tuesday, 15 September 2015

DRAMA IN THE ECL


The Champions League, the Holy Grail of club football, a tournament that the Arsenal probably should have won in 2004 given the qualities of the team and the clubs that made the last four. A Trophy that the Arsenal were close to winning in 2006 had the game been XI v XI: but them’s the breaks.
Since those halcyon days of the early 2000s our club has failed to get anywhere near to winning the trophy and to be fair it has been pretty much monopolised by a small group of clubs, but both Liverpool and Chelsea have defied the odds and taken the trophy home in this fallow period for us. In fact it has been a long time since an English club won the Champions League/European Cup by comprehensively outplaying their opponent (Probably Liverpool back in the day) in a final, all the victories have had a slice of drama about them: late winners, late equalisers, missed penalties and glorious comebacks, and maybe that’s what it takes for an English team to triumph again.
The Arsenal have had great moments of drama to clinch domestic honours yet in the big one we have missed that little bit of good fortune/fate.
They say that you make your own luck but sometimes, just sometimes it’s about the stars aligning if you will and that is something no one has control over: or do they. Soljskar, Gerrard, Drogba all stepped up and quite possibly the managers to grab the trophy that was slipping out of their grasps. Do we have players and a manager that can repeat this sort of event?

Fact is that this season’s Champions League is probably going to be contested by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich so a moment of drama may be what it takes for any one else to win it. Maybe it’s our turn? Let’s get out of the group stage and roll the dice.

Monday, 14 September 2015

IT IS WHAT IT IS


Let's be honest, this season feels like a false start and the redeeming feature is that (Man City aside) the other teams that we would be expecting to be competing with have also had stuttering starts. It's the home form that is the immediate issue and beating Stoke may have been a pretty good opportunity to get back n track.

The disappointments, realistic criticism and hysterical over reactions to the transfer window situation all have to be put on hold as this is the squad we have and thats that.

The key thing, until January at least and probably after, will be injuries and specifically injuries to Giroud, Walcott and Coquelin. Until an effective crystal ball is invented we just have to keep our fingers crossed. Of course some would say that an educated guess would have helped a couple of weeks ago but as I've said, whats done (or not done) is done.

The first real test will be at Stamford Bridge: that hive of scum and villainy, next week and to an extent there will probably not be a better time to play them if we go into the game off the back of a victory. As much as we are not clicking, neither are they and more so than us they seem to have deeper issues at present.

Those voices that say "get behind the team that we have" are stating the obvious and often confuse criticism of the manager with criticism of the players. No one I know boos our players or slags the off from their Emirates seats and those that do need a reality check.

We have the squad that appeared in the recent Squad photo and for better or worse they now need to get on with it with our full support. What is also true is that the manager we have, we have for better or worse and supporting him may be a tough call for many: that's where we are at the moment, let's see what happens.

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