Ok! So, here we are! 10 depressing and empty days after the Sp*rs defeat that engulfed my life in darkness, misery and suffocation. So much so that I nearly choked to death as I lay distraught in the abyss of gloom and doom.
Yeah, I am exaggerating a bit, but life without Arsenal is as dull as ditch water. Plus, to add to the misery are watching teams like Manure, Chelsea, Sp*rs and Liverpool going head to head over the weekend. It truly has been a painful week, and what’s more it could get even more painful tonight.
These are very strange, perplexing times as an Arsenal fan. Even though you are watching the games every week, there is always a bit of glumness about watching the team these days. Be it the way the crowd reacts to under performing players, or the players under performing themselves.
This tonic of negativity is spreading its hallucination all over the club. Everyone from the chairman, to manager, to kit man, to Chuba Akpom, to the salesman at Armoury, to Gervinho’s glistening forehead. The English media vomits crap like no one else, and it has started to get on my nerves, to be surrounded by such lack of common sense.
The headlines that come out these days, titled “Arsenal – Club in Crisis”, to “Jack Wilshere – Is it time to move on” and such monotonous skulduggery in the press is extremely maddening.
Take for example those rumours of some Arab consortium looking to takeover the club. Reports that Stan Kroenke will be paid double the amount he had initially paid for investing in the club, with actual figures quoted. Where do these figures come from? Who are these conmen. It takes some official word from the club to refute these rumours eventually, and the world becomes a better place to live.
Speaking of negativity, today we face a humongous task of overturning a 3-1 home deficit, at one of the most intimidating stadiums in Europe, Bayern’s Allianz Arena.
There have been miracles in the past, for example Deportivo beating Milan way back in 2003/2004, and all of that. There have been instances of teams coming so very close, before some Dutch strikers decide to showboat, and throw away the chance. You know what I am talking about. And then there was yesterday. Barcelona trouncing a frightened Milan side 4-0. Surprising how Milan always manage to find themselves at such extremes.
But, this is Bayern we are talking about. That lean, mean, bloodthirsty, well-oiled, efficient, synchronized…German giant called Bayern Munich. They may be without players like Frank Ribery, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng and Bastian Schweinsteiger, but yet they posses quality replacements like Arjen Robben, Xherdan Shaqiri, Dante, Daniel van Buyten, Mario Gomez…I should probably stop.
While on the outside, I keep saying a miracle is going to happen, Gervinho will unleash the beast inside him, Arshavin will turn into a Russian Antonov and steamroller Neuer, and Mertesacker, well, he will just become as tall as a beanstalk and crush Gomez with his bare hands; deep inside, I know that we are on the verge of getting knocked out, worse, we could be humiliated by a cricket score!
Prioritizing is key at such moments, and quite clearly, the manager and the side, even the tea lady knows that beating Bayern by 3 unanswered goals in their own battlefield, is like hoping that Mona Lisa walks out of the frame and scares the bejesus out of Alex Ferguson, so much so that his howling could be heard as far as the villa of Jose Mourinho in Madrid.
The race for top 4 is our best hope this season, and still quite achievable. Thank you, Liverpool, Luis Suarez and Jermain Defoe for that wonderfully crafted assist. Swansea could be a sterner test than Bayern tonight. Yes, you heard it here first.
That said, hope is a funny thing. However small the flame of hope may get, it refuses to extinguish itself, and maybe it is the spirit among us that keeps it alive. Before I get too philosophical, let’s have a look at Arsenal’s selection options.
Jack Wilshere is definitely out of this one, ruled out unfortunately for 3 weeks, and it goes to show how much of strain he has had to put on his ankle. Or both. Apparently, it is his other ankle this time, and surely something of a concern. Last time that happened, he was out for a season.
Apart from that, bizzarely, Wojciech Szczesny has been rested. Must be exhausted pulling those balls from the back of the net, after Gervinho and Arshavin had a small shooting session, just for fun. The manager says he is being rested mentally. I can understand. Must be really suffering from mental scars to see Gervinho scoring past you.
Apart from that, the ‘positive’ news is that Kieran Gibbs is back in the squad, even though Sagna misses out. Diaby is still forever 3 weeks away from returning. Lukas Podolski will not get a chance against his former employ…tormentors, as he recovers from a knee injury. And, add to that rumours that Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla could be rested from having taken a rest.
Here is how I expect the teams to line up.
Doesn’t look too promising, does it. Sorry for all the cringing you had to go through whilst reading the names Fabianski and Gervinho. I had though of including Diaby as well, but in my mind, he failed the late fitness test as well. I would have preferred Damian Martinez in goal, for comic relief. I loved watching him fly around like a helicopter with no wings, in the 7-5 game against Reading!
Thomas Vermaelen has called for belief in the squad. And, I too have belief in the squad. All I am asking lads, is a solid defensive performance, something to build on for a grandstand finish for the rest of the season. Give it your all. Qualification is probably too far fetched to achieve now, but a strong committed, non-suicidal performance, and I will be alive.
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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Go ahead you lazy bum, that’s all I ask of you!