Hopefully yesterday allowed people to get a lot out of their system. There really wasn’t as much anger as I thought there’d be, more a resigned dismay and disappointment that once again Arsenal had managed to pull a rabbit from the hat only to discover the rabbit was, in fact, an Ebola carrying velociraptor who bit us right on the cock.
At the moment I’m somewhat fearful of tomorrow night’s game. On the one hand our away form is decent, we’ve got a certain amount of revenge as motivation for this one, and it’s certainly not beyond this team to spark on the night and win the game and win it well. On the other I genuinely fear the aftermath of a poor result. I don’t mean for what it will bring in terms of comment and opinion, but for how much further it will shake the team’s confidence and fans confidence in them.
Thankfully, within the squad itself, there are those who are looking to lift the team and to get back to winning ways. Wojcez©® is a young man, playing his first season of Premier League football, and he’s looking forward to White Hart Lane, saying:
It is a very good game for us to come back from a big disappointment. We owe it to the fans as well because they are obviously very disappointed about what happened. We owe the fans a result at White Hart Lane.
Not just for what happened yesterday, but for what happened against Newcastle, West Brom, Sp*rs at home, Sp*rs away last season, Wigan away last season etc. If we get what we’re owed in this game we’ll win 14-0. More on that anon, but the young Pole has been talking about the title and whether or not it’s still achievable given United’s lead:
They will drop points and we believe we’re good enough to win every game from now until the end of the season. So we believe we can do it. We go into everything to finish first. We are Arsenal Football Club, we don’t want to finish second and we definitely don’t want to finish third. We just think about winning. We’re only thinking about winning the title, not who is behind us.
However you realistic you view our title chances you just can’t argue with that kind of attitude. We want to see fight from this Arsenal team so there should be no criticism of any player who refuses to give up. It’s whether enough of them share that spirit that’s the real worry.
One man who certainly does is Jack Wilshere who has been talking about how United’s schedule might prove testing for them. Again, I’m not going to fault any player who remains positive, but the proof of the pudding will be in how we perform on the pitch, not how we talk to the media.
Jack has also been talking about the U21 Championships in the summer, which we know he wants to go to, and he’s expressed a desire in next summer’s Olympics. Now, one of the things which makes Jack so awesome his his natural enthusiasm for the game. You can see it in the way he plays and you don’t want to do anything to take away from that. The U21 Championships this summer is one thing, there’s a requirement to let him go if he’s selected, but the Olympics? Give me a fucking break.
For a start, professional players shouldn’t be taking part (even though I’m aware the amateurism of the Olympics is a thing of the long-distant past). There is no kudos, no prestige to playing football at the Olympic games. I don’t know if this is something that’s FIFA sanctioned which means that players selected must take part, but somebody, friend, agent, more experienced teammate, anybody in fact, needs to sit down with Jack and remind him that he’s got years and years of football left to play in his career. He doesn’t have to do it all now.
Getting involved with nonsense-bollocks like the Olympics will do him no favours at all. And anyway, the European Championships are on next summer. Imagine Jack’s schedule from now. End of first full season > European U21s > second full season at Arsenal > Senior European Championships > Olympics. No way. His desire to play is fantastic, and it comes from being so young and loving the game, but he also needs to remember he’s got a duty to himself, and to Arsenal Football Club, to manage his career properly.
I’m sure if there was an official Cage Fighting + 5-a-side + Rollerball tournament he’d want to take part in that too, it doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for him. You would hope that the enthusiasm he has is tempered by experience and common sense. And if there’s any way Arsenal can prevent this from happening then they should. We also have a right to do what’s best for the players whose wages we pay. Put our foot down and tell him if he wants to go to Olympics it will be as a spectator and no more.
There is no Arsenal press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game, which is a bit of a shame, but in recent weeks it seems to have become the norm for midweek games. For the Champions League there’s a contractual obligation to do them, not so for the Premier League it seems. We’ll get team news via an interview with the official site but the difference there is Arsene isn’t likely to be asked too many questions he doesn’t like and can always ask for bits he’s not happy with to be edited out.
It would be nice to hear the manager come out and rally the troops but then, perhaps, he’s cognisant of how hollow words sound at the moment. It can’t be much fun being Arsene Wenger at the moment but his job, which has many rewards, also has certain responsibilities. Maybe the manager going into his shell is being reflected in the team at the moment. I’m not saying a lack of press conference is the reason for our ills but I’d rather see us face things head on, get the difficult questions out of the way, and just get on with things.
Arsene’s relationship with the press has always been fantastic, it strikes me that things are not as fantastic as they once were. And a time when he could use every friend he gets, it seems odd not to engage, especially if there’s a press conference down the road.
So, we’ll have to wait until we get info via Arsenal.com and we can look at who we’ve got and what we’ve got to do on tomorrow’s blog.
Finally for today, I was running a competition on the Arseblog Store to win this signed shirt. It was open to anyone who made a purchase before last Friday. The RNG has done its work and the winner is Barry McKermitt. Congratulations to you and I’ll get the shirt sent asap.
To everyone else who has thus far made a purchase, thank you kindly for your support, it’s much appreciated. And if you find yourself in need of a t-shirt, print or mug, you know where to go. Just placed an order for Velociraptor proof cock helmets too. Better late than never.