I had a bad feeling about the Chelsea game but I still put on a brave face to watch it. We’ve become a joke against those rotten Blues, season after season and game after game. There is no way that we should have lost that game even after the state of our midfield being what it is and we still managed to lose it with Per Mertesacker of all people coming to the red card party brewing in the lore of Arsenal Chelsea derby’s.
We’ve taken a long hard look at ourselves and our title expectations in the mirror, we Arsenal fans have. Every year we do the same, top of the table for a few days and every Gooner in the world starts dreaming of a trophy. Most years we fail to stick it out at the top when the going gets tough, failing to live up to the standards expressed in the saying, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. However this year when I take the long hard look at our title expectations in the mirror I cannot shake of the distinct feeling that this is the year. Surely the quality of a title winner resides within the billionaire chest of Mathieu Flamini, the heart of our favourite Chilean Alexis Sanchez, the artist feet of Mesut Ozil or the heavily protected head of Petr Cech?
Indeed it does and for an illustration of why we need only look at our loss last weekend. The impact of Petr Cech cannot be overstated and I will let you go this piece from Arseblog about what Cech did after the game had ended, that shows his winning mentality and focus. It talks about how he has changed the Arsenal team and in particular the defence, hats off to Andrew for spotting it and talking about it in his post really.
Mesut Ozil’s winning pedigree has never really been in doubt. Being a German in the 2014 World Cup winning squad and part of the 2nd Galacticos era at Real Madrid means he knows very well how a big challenge must be undertaken. I would like to bring to your attention a moment from the second half of the game which might stop all your whining about how Ozil has not been impacting games as of late. Deep in the second half, Ozil receives the ball just around the centre circle and looks for runners ahead of him, there are none, so he tries to push ahead himself. He beats a man and goes sideways before beating another and getting pushed to the by-line but he tries to get back into the centre and takes the ball backwards in doing so, again beating a man for no good reason. Here’s the thing that is interesting about this play of events- Mesut Ozil doesn’t try to beat people for the fun of it, but even though he was out of runners to pass to and there was no forward outlet available, he was still trying to make something of it. A second later he holds onto the ball too long and is dispossessed somewhat roughly by a Chelsea man who leaves him sprawling on the ground. Think about that for a second. Mesut Ozil on the ground after having tried to dribble his way through an opposition midfield. Who’d he do that for? He did that for the Arsenal. Respect Mesut Ozil, I say this to all those who say he doesn’t try hard enough- He tries a damn sight harder than those in the stands or those like me in the comfort of their homes thousands of miles away.
Mathieu Flamini really cracks me up with his positioning in games, as if Wenger told him that he was CF as a joke and something got lost in translation between the two. The man was possessed, flying kung fu kicks and fancy backheels were pulled out of the rusty locker of forward play from which he must have summoned that 20 yard volley against Spurs in the League Cup. I really felt he might score as he had done that night but alas it was not to be and we landed up in third position after Manchester City went up to 2nd on GD. However the gist of the matter is that we have players coming back from injury every other week starting sometime in February (judging by the schedules Wenger gave and leaving some space for the legendary Arsenal ‘setbacks in training’).
What I’m trying to say to you guys, many of you faithful but fickle members of the Gooner family, is best encapsulated in this tweet from me about the game afterwards and before.
A bottom half team nicked points off of us again. Same old story. Nothing to worry folks. We’ll come back from this. #COYG
— Sohum Sen (@ArSensei_Sohum) January 24, 2016 (After)
You got to take a controlled look.
https://t.co/0JZw0mC4WT Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
— Sohum Sen (@ArSensei_Sohum) January 24, 2016
You got to stay optimistic even if you don’t feel so good.
Disappointed with the result… Great team effort and attitude down to 10 men … plenty of points to play for ! Let’s keep going! #COYG
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 24, 2016
Also, here’s Petr Cech’s take on the matter. In reply to some recent criticism of my fellow writers on Gunners Town, I shall say this- “Cech says there’s lots of points to win yet, Cech’s a league winning keeper of pure class. You ain’t! End of.”
I hope everybody gets the message. On we go to Burnley. COYG.