Week Seven – We are top of the league
and mass debating
The whole reason I write this weekly season diary, and wrote the
pre-season diary before it, is to cover the changing moods and emotions we go
through as Arsenal supporters from day to day, game to game, and week to week.
As this is a diary I don’t just wait
until then end of the week to put fingers to keyboard, otherwise it wouldn’t be
a diary, it would be me typing stuff on a Sunday. Which would be a bit shit
really. (Stop your sniggering).
I feel the need to emphasise this
point as I’m putting fingers to keyboard on Sunday morning, and the mood at the
moment is better than it has been for a long, long time.
At the moment, we sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League after a
hard fought 2-1 win away to Swansea City, and I really can’t see any negativity
anywhere at the moment.
I think we’ve even passed the “Where
are the WOB’s and the Ramsey haters now?” stage. I can even sense the doubters
among our fan base starting to realise that this could really be our time.
I have been craving for a long time
now for us to start pulling in one direction, and adopting the “I told you so”
attitude, while very understandable and one I have taken myself more than once,
is in danger of becoming counter-productive.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about
the need to focus our hate outwards, and I even gave you a hate list and a
dartboard. You’re welcome.
Anyway, this was how the week went,
and this is the perfect example, in my mind anyway, of what we go through as
football supporters from day to day…
Earlier in the week there was the
matter of a Capital One Cup tie away to West Bromwich Albion, and at the start
of the week most of the talk centred around Nicklas Bendtner and the team
selection debate that pops up this time every year.
Bentdner is Back, let’s Mass Debate…
I try not to get involved in debates
such as this wherever possible, and once again I find myself sitting on the
fence as is often the case for me in such matters.
I have no problem with debates in football, with Arsenal supporters or those of
other clubs, debates have been going on since I can remember, and are part and
parcel of what is great about being a football supporter.
Sadly though, in this day and age debate turns too quickly into argument, and
the very purpose of debate goes out of the window. People rarely admit to being
wrong these days…
Anyway, here’s my take on it. It’s
just my opinion, I have no intention of forcing it down your throat,
everybody’s entitled to their own and it’s not down to me to decide who’s right
or wrong. I’m not here to give you answers, it’s much easier to give you more
questions instead. I’m good like that…
The Bendtner situation is a bloody
contentious one to say the least. His inclusion in the Capital One Cup tie
against West Brom is if nothing else an unwanted reason to cause division among
an Arsenal fanbase that although still fragmented to a degree, has been a
little more focused and optimistic of late.
It’s very difficult to express my own feelings on the situation, as I find it
difficult to back a player who has shown a distinct lack of respect to the club
and its supporters in recent times.
Difficult because I have a high level of disdain for some of those supporters
who have themselves shown a lack of respect towards the club and fellow
supporters during the same period.
So does that make me a hypocrite if I swallow my pride and get behind a team
with Bendtner in it?
Fuck knows, but I’m of the opinion that we are all hypocrites at one point or
another in our lives, it’s almost impossible not to be as a human being. It’s
your ability to look at yourself and see it that makes a difference. I mean, when I see some people getting on their high horses on Twitter over
this “disgrace” I can’t help but look at some of them and wonder if
they realise their own hypocrisy.
There are still some people out there who seem to live for finding anything
they can to use as a stick to beat the club with. There are some out there who find it acceptable to create banners and stickers
that they know only too well will cause divide among supporters.
There are even some out there who stoop so low as to call Arsene Wenger a
“French cunt” or a “Peado”. Can these people really carry on this way and still get on their high horses
over Bendtner’s behaviour towards the club?
Of course, some will say that the fact we still have Bendtner anywhere near the
club is one of the things they are taking a stand against, and that would make
sense if there wasn’t this underlying stench of hypocrisy and attention
seeking. That doesn’t count for all supporters though, and there are plenty who fall
into neither of these categories that believe he should never play for the club
again, and while sitting on this fence, this is the side over which one of my
legs is dangling precariously.
Then, there are those whose attitude is that if he gets his attitude right,
gets his head down and does a job for us, even if just until we can sell him,
then they are willing to forgive and forget and move on, and this is where my
other leg is dangling. Being able to forgive, forget and move on is an extremely liberating feeling in
life in general, so I don’t personally see a problem with those who feel that
If Bendtner genuinely wants to get his head down, forget about his mistakes and
set about making up for wasted time, can we give him a chance?
That was a question by the way, not a statement, and one I’m sure has more than
one answer. Or more likely no answer at all. The more extreme level of hypocrites will probably never be able to do this, of
course, just in case that means they may have to ask for forgiveness
“Yes, I know I said on Twitter
you would stand aside and watch Wenger rape your kids, but hey can we let
bygones be bygones and enjoy watching Arsene carry that trophy up the town hall
Again, I’m not telling you which of these stances are correct, I’m just putting
them out there as I see them. I suppose the most important question is whether he’s actually good enough, and
at the end of the day the time for debating is before and after the game, what
matters ultimately is what happens on the pitch, which leads me nicely to the
next pre-match talking point.
As contentious a situation as the Bendtner one in some ways.
I’m writing this on the morning of the game, and the debate on whether we go
full strength or play a “weakened” team dominates as much as the
Bendtner one right now.
The manager finds himself in somewhat of a quandary on this one, what with
injuries creeping up on us.
Whether or not it’s our fault for getting to this position due to lack of depth
in the squad is one that’s been done to death already, and not one that will
make much difference right now.
We do have a bit of shit luck with injuries once again though, and it’s some of
our “depth” that is actually injured! I’m a great believer in the importance of momentum in football, but I’m
realistic enough to know that this early in the season momentum can only carry
you so far.
I would love us to win this cup I really would, it’s the first trophy I witnessed
us win in the flesh. It also provided a boost for the club after a lean period,
which provided the basis for a number of successful seasons onwards, so you
don’t need me to point out the comparisons there.
It’s somewhat harsh in my opinion to say Arsene doesn’t take this one
seriously, given our record, although I do understand the despair at just not
giving it that final push in the latter stages.
There is a suggestion that Arsene’s apparent lack of priority for this
competition has an effect on the players’ effort, and I get that, but as a
professional footballer you should be going out to win every game, and if a winner’s
medal can’t motivate you then the blame can’t lie solely at the manager’s door.
The other point we need to consider is the fact that the team we put out might
be good enough to beat West Brom! I would hope it does (or did, once you’re reading this), but I really don’t
have an answer on this one at the moment, and realistically none of us will
until later on this evening.
Like I say, I’m writing this on the morning of the game, so simply looking
further down the page on whatever device you are reading on to see whether it
West Brom 1 Arsenal Won (I think..)
I say I think, as there seems to be a
debate as to whether this counts as our 11th straight away win. I take this as
a good sign, as it indicates people have a bit less to moan about today. Which
is nice. I’m counting it though…
I didn’t see any of the game, so I won’t comment on the performance, but at the
end of the day, we won and we’re through to the next round, where we face
Chelsea. I followed the game on Twitter, which is always an amusing experience and also
another reason not to comment on the performance, as sometimes when following a
game on Twitter that you’re actually watching yourself can make you wonder if
it’s the same one. Twitter penalties are great fun though I must say.
As for Bendtner, I’m looking at it this way for now – he played, got an assist
and scored his penalty. Most importantly, it gave Olivier Giroud a rest, that
suits me just fine. Only time will tell how this situation pans out, but as
long as we’re winning games, and if we are using him to our advantage, even if only
to give someone a breather that’ll do me.
In the meantime I think that we
should all try and make Nick feel loved at Arsenal by growing our hair and
beard like him, get a bit of a trend going like we did with Freddie Ljungberg
and the red streak in our hair. Just me? Ok…
Swansea 1 Arsenal 2 – Top of the league. Again
I said at the start of this piece
that I’m trying to cover the changing moods we got through, and that seems like
a long time ago in itself (1864 words ago to be precise, but you were counting
anyway weren’t you?), as does the mass debating over team selection for the
Capital One Cup game.
Having a look around on Twitter after this game which saw us go top of the
league with no chance for the deluded fuckwits up the road to claim “joint
top”, it seems to have dawned on us all now that we could just be on to
something here. All other results went our way, and in a manner that we can start to realise
that we just could actually be better than some of our rivals.
Some are even close to admitting they may have been wrong, which is great. I
had my moment of doubt after the Aston Villa game, as did many of us, and I
apologise if anything I’ve said this week has seemed negative, it’s not
intended that way, I’m just simply trying to show how things go from one day,
or one game to the next, and anyone who knows me and/or follows me will know I
try to be as positive as anyone on all things Arsenal.
So please believe me when I tell you I’m not one of these who takes pleasure in
thumbing my nose at anyone who has a different opinion to mine, everyone has
the right to face up to their mistakes and move on.
Just shave off that ridiculous beard and get your fucking hair cut you fat