Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tim Stillman Column: Time for team and fans to respond

Tim Stillman column - Arseblog

Well, that was all a massive pile of steaming bum gravel wasn’t it? Like ordering a Guinness battered Steak and Ale pie with chips and mushy peas, only to find the mushy peas are actually rehydrated monkey snot and prodding through the pastry with your fork to find the pie had been hollowed out with angry wasps.

Sunday was supposed to be our Stone Roses, our Never Mind the Bollocks, our breakthrough. Instead it turned out more like one of Mick Jagger’s solo albums. Cripes alive, that’s three consecutive cup finals where I’ve swaggered into the stadium like Charlie Sheen pumped full of bull hormones and slunk out again more pained than a Chelsea intern. You just kind of had the feeling that after watching Cesc, Walcott and then van Persie hobble away from the action before the final was done that it wasn’t to be.

Up until the 89th minute, I’d actually enjoyed the Wembley experience more than I had the first time we played at the revamped stadium. There again, back in April 2009, the stadium was full of Chelsea arseholes. Watching John Terry and his band of fuckwits grunted onto victory by hordes of knuckle dragging, sovereign clad oafs is likely to discolour your impressions somewhat.

Pre match, the Birmingham fans were actually pretty good value, we arrived at Marylebone at about 11.30am (we are committed drinkers are me and mine) to find the proverbial sea of blue. The banter in the Castle pub in Harrow had been good natured and the Bluenoses seemed determined to enjoy their day. Such is the life of the underdog I suppose. I really expected us to turn up, clock in and get the job done. I had no issues whatsoever with the team selection, but in hindsight, I do wonder if we just had a few too many players in the line up who had no experience of a showpiece final. The Martins goal, whilst we were well on top, was so utterly ridiculous that it seemed to happen in slow motion. It wasn’t until I saw streams of Arsenal fans head for the exits that my brain would compute what had happened.

Shaolin Eboue

Now we have the residuary news that van Persie is out for three weeks at least. But worry not; shortly the official website will print a story arresting our fears as Le Boss tells us Eboue has been studying with some Shaolin monks. Or that Marouane Chamakh will be like a new signing as soon as the witch doctor we have hired exorcises him and he can finally rid himself of the spirit of Tomas Danelivicius. Perhaps we can get Wayne Rooney to elbow it out of him?

Still, as tempting as it is to bolt ourselves into a dark room and pontificate on the possible maudlin ramifications of Sunday’s defeat, it really is an exercise in futility. There is simply no point in conducting any prognoses until May, there are still three trophies to play for and there is silverware still in this season for us. This is where we the supporters come in.

I’m not going to give you any tawdry platitudes about “keeping the faith” or anything like that. However, the players will be incredibly down and it would be totally counterproductive to start with portent prophecies of doom. We’ve got three barren summer months where we can psychoanalyse the living shit out of the repercussions of Sunday. But as of now, we know not what they are, and there are still plenty more baskets from which to pluck sweet, lovely eggs. So let us not pickle those eggs with our negativity.

For the next 3 months, let’s will our boys on and leave any of our festering negativity until May. If you’re coming to the Orient or Sunderland games, lend the team your voices and encouragement, this is a test of our mettle too. If we show we’re not willing to cave in to the seemingly endless conspiracy of fate against us, then you never know, it might transmit to the players. Even if it has a 0.0000001% effect on them, then it’s worth screaming yourself hoarse for every game now in my book.

Arsenal fans

You know that annoying shit some of you do when you will an Arsenal player you don’t rate to fail? You know, so you can somehow feel vindicated in having told some strangers on the internet that he is the cause of all our ills? “Look at Denilson as he misplaces a pass and toils. Look at that! See, see, I told you! All hail my superior football mind.” Yeah? Well fucking stop that for the next 3 months at least. I don’t care how much the colour of Bendtner’s boots irritates you, this is not Trinny and bloody Susannah, whilst he’s decked in red and white, be at his back, not on it.

I’m not saying you have to love and rate everyone, just do not create an atmosphere of negativity. Not now. We all want the players to haul themselves off back off the canvas, so let us show we are no self pitying bunch of sulking Susans either. In this respect, a replay against Orient is probably not the worst thing in the world at this point, another quick fire game to rinse, wash and repeat Sunday’s trauma from our shiny scalps.

Whilst on the subject of trauma, perhaps I can end on a slightly lighter note by focussing on the misfortunes of those that are unquestionable toss rags. Did anyone see Tony Penis whingeing to the press because Jonas Olsson smashed some Stoke “memorabilia?” What “memorabilia” do Stoke possess? One of Rory Delap’s sweat sodden towels? One of the manager’s memorial baseball caps from the day their squad discovered they could make fire with sticks and dried leaves?

Why is it that the managers who spend the most time espousing the tough guy bollocks are the first to go wibbling to the press like a big bunch of piss your pants girlies the second something totally uninteresting happens in the tunnel? First Moyes, now Penis because someone smashed something in the tunnel. So what? How about showing one iota of that concern when someone leaves your stadium with a smashed leg? Still, to paraphrase Penis himself, I’m sure Jonas Olsson is a “smashing” lad from a “smashing” family. See what I did there?

Meanwhile, Eng-er-land’s finest have been covering themselves in glory again this week. The FA once again showed what a cowering bunch of jellyfish they are by letting Rooney off with a characteristic assault. Meanwhile, one wonders how long it will be before Gazza turns up at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground with a bucket of fried chicken and a fishing rod to comfort another crazed gunman. Maybe next time Cashley, shoot John Terry square in the nuts and do the human race a favour, eh? Anyhow, get your chins up Gooners and until I speak to you again next week, keep it Arse, loud and proud. LD.

Follow me on Twitter –  @LittleDutchVA

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