Posts Tagged ‘Diehard’


Billed as the match that would end the trophy drought for Arsenal, and dully kick-start the chase of an unprecedented quadruple; the match started with high pace and flare. Analysts didn’t give Birmingham a chance at all. Nobody did. It was more of a ‘favourites vs underdogs’ duel. Everyone I spoke to including critics (Man-U fans) was more of predicting the goals Birmingham were going to concede; and not a question of who would win. And truly I also somehow knew there was no way, even against all odds, Arsenal was going to lose. I have heard people say Man-City are the team that is under pressure the most to deliver silverware. But ask Mr. Wenger and true fans like I am and the answer is Arsenal. Why? We are a top flight club that plays good football, is always in the Champions League and yet for the past 6 years there is no trophy to show. As if this is not enough, statistics indicate Arsenal commands the greatest following in terms of fans world wide. Isn’t this enough to be under pressure? Worse still…Arsenal makes profits every year. Why don’t they capitalize on this to buy Top-class players who are used to winning and possibly inflict this winning mentality on Arsenal? Sometimes I question the motive of Arsenal Football Club…oops Arsenal PLC!
Nevertheless, the match went on. Cesc Fabregas was injured so he was in absentia as was Walcottt. Arsenal fans must learn to accept that this is Fabregas’ team. Arsenal never really plays the same without him. Cesc is a genius who reads the game quite fast. He creates chances, keeps possession and is a natural leader. Arsenal however, seemed to defy the odds and they were playing like they really needed the trophy. Birmingham is not a small team and everyone was aware of this. Zigic their talisman did not disappoint, he used his towering height to capitalize on Arsenal’s defensive frailties at the back. (This should be cliché for Arsenal fans by now). 20 Minutes, 1-0 to Birmingham. I was not really worried considering we were playing quite well. Before end of the half we had equalized through, Van Persie-who else would? Maybe Nasri…but he’s been below par since Van Persie returned. Come 2nd half, we took over and as usual we missed a host of chances. Solution: Wenger brought in Chamakh & Bendtner for RVP & Arshavin. At that moment I knew we were doomed. The end was beckoning and I had a feeling we were headed for extra time. Aww, I was wrong. Koscielny had other ideas. He screwed up and game shot. It was painful and hard to swallow. If only it was another play who blundered! Having been so good this season, why at this moment? Had it been Denilson, Squilacci, Diaby or even Clichy… we could have understood. So once again, we were the laughing stalk of the town, world!!!
It was really hard to analyze what went wrong. I pity Wenger who thought he had done everything right. Was it down to poor tactics? Wrong selection? Lack of winning mentality? Bad luck? I don’t know. All I can say is that this is going to last for some time. It will certainly affect the players. Barcelona at Camp Nou beckons, Man-U both In the FA and Premier League and Spurs at White Hart Lane. These games will determine our season. Gone are the times when we depended on other teams’ performance for our destiny. Time to rise to the occasion. The Birmingham match was the most realistic chance of a trophy. We could have daydreamed of winning all the 4 but it wasn’t going to happen…as fate would have it. The Premier League is still realistic bearing in mind Man-U have some tough games ahead. But this depends on whether we stay consistent. Our UEFA dream is under Barca’s custody, while the FA is quite straight forward- beat Man-U and go on to win the cup. All these depend on whether Fabregas stays fit. With the support of little genius Wilshere, Solid Song, skillfull Nasri, and the great RVP… we can afford to HOPE & PRAY things go well. I am a passionate Arsenal fan and if we go this season without silverware, I will be really disappointed and perhaps I will begin to accept that we will never win a trophy. I would also urge Fabregas to kindly leave this bunch of underperformers and join his dream club Barcelona. The next few weeks determine a lot for Arsenal and I am desperate to see what unfolds. The lads should forget what happened at Wembley and go for what is remaining. This is what will redeem them and restore the trust of their fans. Go GUNNERS!

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