That’s right, not only were we “the better side” in our comfortable 2-nil loss to Chelsea (comfortable for them), we also possessed the noble virtues of unwillingness to shoot more than 5 feet from goal and, most importantly, not trespassing into the stratosphere that exists 6 feet off the ground in order to contest for one of the numerous crosses floated in toward our pygmy striker (we did of course commit a slight breach of etiquette in this area later in the game, but it wasn’t really noticed as Nicklas was only on for less than 10 minutes). All credit to Arshavin, however, because it must be said that what he couldn’t do in the air he certainly tried to make up for on the ground. The same goes for the likes of Nasri and Fabregas, but you got the feeling after about 30 minutes that the only way they were ever going to trouble Chelsea’s behemoth defense was by standing on each other’s shoulders and catching one of our umpteen corners scrum-style before throwing it into the Chelsea goal. This, unfortunately, is illegal.
In all seriousness though, the one virtue we as Arsenal supporters can proudly claim after Sunday’s game is the refusal to champion a juvenile, self-seeking, pathetic excuse of a captain like Chelsea fans did on Sunday as they cheered every touch of the weasel-faced, uncontrollable teenage libido that is John Terry as if he had just returned from the crusades. Their captain’s actual conquest? Having an affair with the girlfriend of former Chelsea teammate, best friend and all-around nice guy Wayne Bridge. And here I’d been naively idolizing a guy like Dennis Bergkamp for leading a quiet life of professionalism and fidelity while at the same time spearheading a revolution of dynamic, flowing football for the duration of his 11-year career at Arsenal. Then again, I guess when your club’s “greatest ever player” was a striker who scored only 59 goals in 7 years you have to make do with a captain that honors himself and his club by urinating on night club floors and cashing in on unsanctioned stadium tours.
Despicable crude oil merchants aside, Arsenal still have it all to do on Wednesday against Liverpool, whose performance has at least graduated from shambolic to mediocre. The bad news is that this is the one team against whom Andre Arshavin can finally do damage all by his lonesome, which of course means that after we win Arsene’s going to be beaming with pride in the post-game while extolling the virtues of his stranded-midget formation (that’s a 4-5-1, to the layman). It doesn’t matter, a win’s a win and with both Chelsea and United squaring off against notable opponents in Everton and Villa respectively, a victory against Liverpool could resurrect our ailing title bid as we’ve got no one to face now but mid-table fodder and perennial underachievers Man City and Tottenham.
It must be noted however that any success in our upcoming fixtures will require our back line as a whole to get their act together (maybe stop trying to augment the offense on every other play). Surely by now Almunia’s seen that his days are numbered after the allegation that Wenger tried to buy Thomas Sorenson, so hopefully he’ll start turning in the performances of a lifetime in a bid to save his career. YOU certainly would if your only alternative to playing first team football was walking this glorified rat everyday…
As predicted, Fox Soccer Channel’s intermittent embargo on Arsenal games begins tomorrow so you’ll have to resort to the dark art known as “streaming the game” to watch Arshavin do something similar to this against the Reds for the third time running. We’re hoping he just scores but a little poo on Stephen Gerrard would go a long way in cheering me up this week. One can only hope….
Get behind your team tomorrow and stay tuned for a new Arsenal Review USA podcast this weekend!
Come on Arsenal!