They say that when you’re angry, you should count to ten before you react. Take a breath, think about things, calm down.
But I can’t. I’ve just got home, the game finished over an hour ago and I’m still absolutely furious. I’ve got a computer and a blog and I don’t give a toss if anything I write in the next few minutes is utter rubbish or makes any sense to anyone. I don’t care if I swear, make grammatical errors or piss anyone off. I’m angry.
Arsenal Football Club is falling apart. No, scratch that – it’s fallen apart. The club has been in the process of falling apart for the last 8 years and in that time, no-one – not one single person – has done anything about it.
I remember talking to fellow fans a few years ago about what we needed to do. Back then, we needed a defensive midfielder. Maybe a captain.
Years have passed and we still need those things. But now, we also need 2 centre backs, a goalscorer, some goalkeepers, a new medical department, a new manager and some different people to run the club. Every season, it’s the same problems as the season before but with some more added on. Nothing ever gets improved. We, as fans, have been conditioned to aspire to our team doing precisely the same thing as they did the season before, gradually getting less and less good at it and clinging on for dear life to past glories that are rapidly fading into the pages of the dustiest of history books.
The Manchester United team that have just beaten us 2-1 – and let’s face it, we were lucky it wasn’t 3-0 – was probably the worst United team I have seen in the last 25 years. Defensively, they were all over the place, their midfield – Di Maria apart – looked ordinary and one of their strikers (Robin van Persie) did nothing. After a decent 25 minutes, we crumbled into dust and ended up making them look good. We can’t score goals and we have a fucking joke of a defence.
The only player who didn’t contribute in the first half was Aaron Ramsey. In the second half, none of them did. 10 players went from a fairly good performance into a dirty, stinking pile of shit within 15 minutes.
Back in the later years of the George Graham era, I remember being this angry with Arsenal because we were so rubbish. But in those days, we knew why that was. We had players like Ian Selley, Glenn Helder, John Jensen, Chris Kiwomya, David Hillier. Today, we have some of the best players the club has ever had and yet they are a joke. An absolute joke.
Some teams are greater than the sum of their parts. This team isn’t any more than the sum of my farts.
To put it simply – and, admittedly, emotionally – they are just pathetic. I’d really rather have had Hillier, Selley et al out there tonight than that shower of utter shit. If you are a hugely talented footballer, with the world at your feet, given the chance that millions of kids around the world would kill for and you can’t be bothered to pick your head up and at least try and run around when your team are a goal down at home then you should be thinking about leaving it to someone else.
I sound like I’m blaming the players but the club is rotten from the top to the bottom. We famously have the highest ticket prices in the country, our medical department is so badly managed that it often only takes the slightest blade of grass at the wrong angle for a player to get injured, the manager has too much power and has lost his way, the youth system has only provided fast, skilful wingers for the last 20 years, despite our constant need for stronger, more defensive personnel, the board is happy to treat the fans as customers whose cash returns need to be maximised at every opportunity and the players have given up.
It’s very rare that you feel that you can’t support your own team but that’s the way I feel right now. When Di Maria missed his chance to make it 3-0, I wanted him to score. It feels like the club needs something to go very, very wrong before anything is done. Am I even sure that anything would change if something _did _go wrong? Is it too late already anyway?
Manchester United have problems – big problems – but I am fairly sure that they will be rectified in the next year or two. Arsenal have had the same set of problems for the last 8 years and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were still talking about them in another 8 years.