That describes us very fittingly at the moment. And our hopes this season. We appear solid superficially, but hold it against any bright light and you realise how thin this wafer really is.
An injury to Gibbs meant Santos came in. It seems almost ok, right? because he is an ok player and makes some decent interceptions and forward runs. But tactically it completely compromises us. Had this been the last game of the campaign I would have played TV5 at LB. We already have a slow player in Mertesacker who makes up for it with his Kasparov like game reading and really long legs. Another slow player whose lungs are smaller than the warning on a cigarette packet means we were on the back foot from the beginning. If a guy cannot run back and save his flank then he should not be wearing a football jersey and definitely not ours. We want tireless 90 minutes out of you and that’s not too much to ask for 1995 now is it?
Norwich realised this weakness yesterday. Point of breach. And they pressed for it. Meaning Cazorla sat deeper and drifted to the left. “What is Cazorla doing here, defending at LB again, where is Santos?” – asked someone on twitter. Unfortunately even the cameras could not find him.
In our current squad there are only 2 genuine game changers. Cazorla and Theo. And both didn’t turn up yesterday. Cazorla sitting deep and left, and being anyways blocked by opposition could not do much. And while Arteta tried to pitch in to defend and help matters at the back, it meant our incisiveness was left to the mercies of a highly talented Ramsey. But lets not blame him. He prepared for a general outing along side Arteta, do a little tiki-taka and pass it to Cazorla, who in turn would shoot or slip it brilliantly to OG. 3-0, no problem. Norwich who? etc etc. Unfortunately it didn’t quite go as per the script. He was left alone in the giant hole in the middle. I remember thinking at that point, even Cesc would have been useless today, with no one else to play with in the middle. Ramsey is no Messi and I am not defending him, he was shit as usual. But it was not his fault alone. While others were rather quiet, Gervinho was his headless chicken self again. OG felt like someone fresh from france in an Indian village where no one speaks french or English, and doesn’t care about his good looks either. He was left alone again and wasted as a player. Not enough service, not enough crosses to him. Then why fucking play him? He wants to play, everyone can see that. But if our game plan is not allowing that, then either it is wrong or we’re just too stuck up about that piece of paper on which someone wrote 4-2-3-1 once. Plan B in America means a contraceptive pill. Plan B in Bangalore is a cheap Pub. How cool! They know about the concept of Plan B and even named a product after it. Very clever. An adjective that you couldn’t use for Arsene last evening.
All this is just because Gibbs had an injury and it so severely compromised our play. And this is how thin our hopes are. To elaborate further, allow me to present a hypothetical but very likely scenario.
1. Gibbs comes back from injury, and Arteta receives a straight red out of frustration (12 points in 8 games kinda frustration) in the next game. Just imagine playing without him right now. huh.
2. After those 3 bad / average results Cazorla gets his first real kick from Tiote and AW says, he’ll be “2-3 weeks”. (Now just imagine playing without Cazorla)
3. Cazorla comes back but at the cost of Mertesacker who finally stretched a bit too much for his “2-3 weeks” of gym time.
We are now in January 22 points behind leaders, and in 10th position. A very realistic scenario. And I have not even included the Theo contract situation and Jack/Diaby setbacks etc. All those things which should happen to neighbors but only happen to us.
But in a way we deserve it, because we are so wafer thin. We really have no real cover for Gibbs, Arteta, Cazorla, WS and Theo. Not that these are the 5 best footballers on the planet, but remove one of them and we’d see a dumbfounded effort like the one last night.
“Oh c’mon just a loss and its all so negative” #ficklefans, #loveAFC , “RT this if you are proud to be a gooner!” – I think I am going to take a printout of all those retarded SM messages and wipe my dog’s ass with it. That’s all its good for. We lost to Norwich goddammit. Its a big fucking deal. Not a big fucking deal if we had won 5 of the earlier 7 games, but a gigantic fucking deal if we have recorded only 3 wins so far. We are only 2 points better off than the last season at this point so just put the horse shit we are floating in, in perspective. Its 7 years without a trophy. The fans are tired, they want to win. They are frustrated. With the transfer market. With Gervinho/Ramsey/Santos/Vito and with Plan A. What can these hungry, dejected fans do but rant? They are hurt, they are howling.
Last night you could identify 4 kinds of fans. 1. The hurt and howling dogs. 2. The smart cookies who fled the scene like last night in a flash. 3. The real sweethearts online who were trying their best to make things lighter for others. 4. And the fools who were slamming the rants.
If you’re ranting about a rant, that makes you a ranter, you ranting rant! So show some empathy to the fellow gooners next time. Or do the ‘smart’ thing. I don’t imagine the scenes would have been same if we had just won the CL last season. But RDM would have been sweating profusely right now.