If you logged on to this website in order to read something original about Arsenal, then I’m afraid you’re going to be sadly disappointed.
In fact, in my opinion, if you log on to any blog about Arsenal today, you will struggle to find anything that hasn’t been written before.
Even if the words themselves are in a slightly different order, it’s reached the point where us Arsenal bloggers have thought every thought and offered every opinion available on the current side and there’s virtually nothing left to say.
If I was to ignore what’s gone on over the last 5 or 6 years and talk about today’s performance at home to Blackburn then I would probably have to emphasise that we played too slowly from start to finish, seemed to lack a leader on the pitch and there was not enough desire to win a game which was vital in order to keep us in the title race.
But if I did say all that (and then spend several paragraphs expanding on the points made) then you would inevitably find yourself leafing back through past posts on my site, frantically trying to convince yourself that you’re not going mad and that you really have ‘read this one before’.
That’s right – today was a repeat. A repeat of almost every home game, bar about 5 or 6 notable exceptions, of the last few seasons.
When we moved to our lovely comfortable new stadium, little did we realise that we’d be so relieved that the seats were comfortable enough to sit in, without getting up for any reason, for a full 90 minutes. Arsene Wenger, for his part, assured us that the new stadium would have a significant positive impact on our style as we would have the extra space required to play our expansive game. It hasn’t.
We have now managed a paltry single goal in our last 3 home games at a crucial stage of the season against Stoke, Sunderland and Blackburn.
This team is not going to win the league this season. Or next season if we continue to play like we did today. Or indeed any season.
If a team wants to stop Manchester United or Chelsea from beating them, they have to try and tactically outsmart the opposition AND play out of their skins for 90 minutes. Even then, they may well find themselves completely outplayed and beaten anyway, wondering what happened.
Every man and his deaf and blind dog knows how to stop Arsenal. Yes it is quite hard to actually do, and that is why we’re near the top of the league. But if you are well organised and committed then you’re more than half way there.
Watching games like today is getting so predictable and boring that it is no wonder that us Arsenal fans have such a bad reputation for being so quiet. It’s hard to get excited when you can’t shake that feeling of deja-vu as we pass sideways for 87 minutes, bring on a couple of extra strikers, play them on the wing and pretty much fail to create a proper chance in the entire 90 minutes.
Teams that come to defend like Blackburn did today quite often tire eventually and make a mistake. However, preventing our attacks on days like today doesn’t take much effort at all and I think Nelsen, Samba and the rest must have so much energy left they probably feel they could play another game immediately and get rid of some fixture congestion so they can have a week off.
At this point I realise that, despite having nothing to say, I have said quite a lot. All of it fairly negative and all of it very depressing. Today was depressing but we’ve seen it all before. Nothing ever changes. We’re not bad, we’re just not good enough to win the league. Again.