Is the kinds which leaves you delusional. You don’t remember anything about immediate past or your surroundings. Or how things and people are, around you. In reality.
A boring, non-drinking example of this is an Arsenal fan. Not all of them. But quite a few. Quite a lot of them actually. Who think Ramsey+Podolski+Giroud > Xavi+Iniesta+Pedro. But that’s stretching it too far isn’t it. In reality we are not even top 4 if the squad as of today was to be considered. I request you to read this article by AngryofN5 , where he talks about who is really world class remaining at Arsenal today. The answer to that is no one. We have a squad of lots of ‘below average’ players. That by my definition is someone even spurs wouldn’t buy. Jenkinson, Park, Ramsey, Frimpong, Djourou, Fabianski etc, and then there is a list of ‘average players’. who lets say is someone Liverpool or Spurs might want to buy viz. Arteta, Vermaelen, Sczenzeny, Arshavin. Then we have 1 or 2 players who are above average. The recent buy Cazorla, Wilshere(not proven, but potential exists) , add Koscielny & Sagna perhaps and that’s it. So with 4 decent players and lots of average and below average players we feel we can win something this term? Hmm… being honest is difficult here. How RVP could muster 30+ goals and how AW could manage our 3rd spot last year in nothing short of a miracle. But miracles don’t happen quite often do they?
And before you start losing your temper over ‘how the hell is Ramsey/Jenkinson below average’ , think once again. Think of the invincibles’ team. Think of Henry & Vieira & Pires. Would you put Ramsey in that team? Will he even make the bench? I doubt it for most players in our current squad. And that’s why I say we are a squad full of average and below average players. Finishing 3rd is the new 1st and finishing above Spurs is like FA cup. No wonder our best players leave. Sometimes its not just money & trophies. Its the joy of football. Will Cesc enjoy his football more at Barca. You tell me. Will RVP enjoy his football more at Man Utd. You tell me.
Our economic realities (stadium loan & wage structure) mean that we will continue to buy average players like Gervinho & Giroud, and hope they turn out to be gems. (Newcastle did this with aplomb last 2 seasons). While the rich clubs continue to buy proven stars. And that is the difference really. Of their 5 purchases in a season may be 1 will disappoint, and from our 5 purchases we hope 1 can carry the rest of the squad.
Arteta for instance is a very useful player. I love him and his contribution last year. But he is no Cesc. If we had signed Sahin and Wilshere were fit. Would Arteta feature. No gents. We’d play Wilshere Sahin & Cazorla in the middle and Arteta would be on the bench. Because that’s what he is. A good back-up plan. Mikel Arteta is the acceptance of our falling standards. Just how Song was from Flamini. It is this acceptance of lowering of standards that is hurting AFC the most. You can go through each position and you’ll see if we’ve really replaced Lehman, Cesc, Vieira, Henry, Pires. Or have we just made replacements as ‘almost as good’ spare parts.
For reasons known to everyone we couldn’t get Sahin this year. I really wanted him here. Not because he would be a good replacement for Song. But because he could have arrived and along with Cazorla improved the overall quality standard of the team.
Of course there is the Swansea argument to this. Money is not all that you need to make a good squad, and a well oiled machine. Chemistry trumps talent etc. Agreed. But then we are playing with chance & luck. And that’s not a road we can go down being AFC.
The biggest delusion unfortunately today is that we are still playing the best (looking) football in England. And sadly we are not. Very sadly. This hurts me the most. Turning up for each game clutching my badge, I look forward to exciting football. But all I see is headless chicken aka Ramsey and Ray Charles on the wing making a complete fool of themselves. Where is the one touch football. Where are our triangles. Where are the quick 1-2s. Our beautiful football which we’ve been so proud of all this while has sadly slipped through our fingers in the past few years. Open your eyes and look around. Take a reality check. Or just watch highlights from a City or Chelsea game. How far off the mark are we? You answer it. Many fans in Asia think Arsenal are now boring and Spurs are more exciting to watch. Really!!!? I never imagined i’d hear that in a million years. But I did. Wanted to punch him, and myself too. To me this is worse than not winning a trophy. Did you notice people saying Swansea are the new Arsenal. You did, didn’t you. And of late have you heard anyone comparing us to Barcelona. Not that I remember in last 2 years.
I am not a pessimist. I believe in Wenger. When he has the means he will get us the trophies too. But what about the real joy of football. I want to hear “Wow! outstanding pass, move & goal. So typical! So Arsenal! Such a Joy to watch” Will Arsenal come back to what it was known for? Its football? I really hope so.
And because its a long piece of venting I expect myself to chalk down my season’s expectations and predictions. Here it is: 4th position (barely) and no trophies.
Have we ever been scared of a Stoke visit? Check your TL you’ll see. Off!