… and the screen went blue, right before Rooney missed his penalty. Someone had cut the projector feed. I felt like throwing my beer bottle at the idiot blocking my view, who was randomly looking around, doing nothing. Turned out to be a plain-clothes cop from the nearest station here to shut the joint because of noise from the 80 or so gooners present. Its fucking 7 pm in Bangalore I thought. At this moment some 5 chutiyas must be doing pandal-puja on loudspeakers. Dance bars would be readying themselves for another night of perversion. Some rapist must be getting drunk in a seedy, dark bar. And his killer must have just returned from duty. A random movie producer might be explaining to extras what it takes to be in his movie, and some bureaucrat must be signing a document to pimp out our infrastructure. Amidst it all, the place that the 5 foot nothing plain clothes cop felt like displaying his power is an innocent football game viewing!? I am not a local and don’t speak the local language otherwise I would have been the first one to make him ‘understand’.
(*Pandal Puja – is where people block roads to create temporary stalls for worship in the name of festivals
**Chutiya is Indian slang for an idiot
*** Dance Bars are cheap illegal strip bars)
I almost felt like a Manchester United fan in an Arsenal bar. Seriously I was surprised at the local men & boys around me who sat silently without protesting. These are what you call Wenger-boys is it? A bit too french eh? I mean how sissy are we. People come and piss all over us, and we keep fucking rationalising everything… “oh may be he really had to go” … “piss is not that bad, I let my gf piss on me” … “70% people get pissed on in their lives” … “At least there was no blood in it..” … oh Shut up!!
Some hardcore yelling and negotiating (gimme-my-money-back kinds) got us crowded in front a tiny 32″ TV in the bar below. On a condition that we make less noise that a cat’s sneeze. I am glad we all didn’t collectively fart and get arrested. We silently sipped our beers making hand-finger gestures at shrek and prick. Now, you must be thinking what a fucked-up situation it is to be and why not get out? But its not really very different than any other gooner’s situation anywhere in the globe. Silently, frustratingly, helplessly… suffering.
However late the news hits home. However long you avoid it. However late you finally accept it. Its always bitter to swallow. Truth. And I imagine when you add to this bitterness, the stickiness of your elongated denials’s ego, it must taste like reptilian semen. You can have it once a day, but I am not having any. No Thank you.
The last few weeks have been most uncomfortable for everyone. Big questions splitting our insides isn’t it? The moment we have been all avoiding since 2007/8 is here. We are where we are, not by accident. But by choice, and by gradual slip in standards. Its been building up without doubt, and the defeat to Utd was almost a tipping point. If you’ve been hibernating and missed the gooner pulse, just check your TL. Gone are the matchday S/O. Cheerful predictions and slogans/acronyms with all caps. The fence-sitters are finally baring their teeth, and the cute sparrows have all flown away.
Here are some truths that I am enlisting, if you disagree you’re likely to be fed reptilian semen any time in the near future.
1. Arsenal are a mid table club.
(top 4 is a myth, there are top 3 clubs – who are fighting for the title, then there are relegation battlers and there are clubs like ours)
2. Arsenal are a feeder club.
3. The chances of us winning anything this year are slimmer than you eating a spider in your sleep this year.
4. Arsenal GKs wouldn’t feature in the top 50 in the world.
5. Olivier Giroud (I like him) is no RVP and there is no evidence to prove that he is better than Bobby Zamora. Gulp!?
6. Chelsea, City and Manchester Utd play more attractive football today.
7. Chelsea & Manchester united don’t really have ‘Cunts’ in their teams anymore.
8. At this moment you are thinking funds, money, might etc. ? Ok how about Dortmund and Shaktar? What… no comeback?
9. Arsene is stubborn and continues to play same formation which is useless, toothless, pointless, thoughtless and basically less in any respect. Same stubbornness about tactics. 10. The blending-youth logic is flawed. If you look at stats. Its a mere excuse for more business profits.
11. There is no player in the Arsenal squad who you could argue is the best in the league in that role (forget world)
12. We have no reason to feel superior to Liverpool, Spurs or Newcastle.
13. Teams have stopped fearing us altogether.
14. Arsenal football club is a business first and a football club later. Here is a demonstration of falling standards:
LB : Cole > Clichy > Gibbs > Santos
DM: Viera > Flamini > Song > Arteta (make-shift)
CF : Dennis > Henry > Persie > Giroud
GK: Seaman > Lehman > Almunia > Woj > Mannone
Clearly we’ve been exchanging Gold for silver+cash.
15. Arsene doesn’t know best. He can argue the best in the league. But his game plan is as predictable as Kelly Brook’s blouse. If he wondered OG could have replaced RVP, he could have just asked a 12 yr old. If he wondered we’d never miss Cesc, he could have just asked a 12yr old. If he wonders Ramsey can play on the right wing, he could just as a 12 yr old.
16. FFP will not change anything for Arsenal.
17. All the players who left us for a better (or richer) club had the right to do so. Not everyone can be Giggs or Totti. Get over it.
18. The amount of mediocre players plus deadwood we have (listed below) is another question mark on Arsene’s ability currently.
19. Newcastle and Everton have been doing better transfer market business. And Newcastle’s rise if there for everyone to see.
20. We’re playing shit football, but yet manage 60K+ seats every game. Tells you that the PR is stronger than coaching. (See conspiracy later)
May be we are Reds and whites for a reason. Because we have Red full-blooded talent and then we have white-pale performers. And here is how I truly rate our players, and whether the Arsenal of my dreams would KEEP or let GO of them. Tell me if you disagree.
1. Woj – Average player, no special talent, but for his height. Stands out among our other GKs for confidence, which sometimes works against him. Not even top 10 in EPL. He should ideally be an understudy. (All other GKs are terrible as back-ups, ok for 3rd choice. But not as back ups) – KEEP (but only as understudy – Other 2 can GO)
2. Gibbs – Is no Cole. No Evra. Average player and fitness is a liability. – GO
3. Koscienly – Top Notch. Worldclass. – KEEP
4. Vermaelen – Top Notch. Worldclass. Suffering from seriously shitty form. – KEEP
5. Per – Tactically Great. Is slow, but great reader + tall. – KEEP
(Not rating JD & SS, pls FFS)
6. Sagna – 29yrs old. Demotivated. Reliable. Good player. – GO
7. Jenks – Most promising youngster. Currently average player. (could be great) – KEEP
8. Arteta – Average player, working his socks off, and has stretched beyond his potential and past. Which makes him indispensable currently. Very disciplined and efficient. Not very creative. – KEEP
9. Coquelin – Understudy as DM. Promising, but not there yet. Far from it. – KEEP
10. Frimpong. – All balls no brains. Poor talent. – GO
11. Podolski – Average player. Thor-footed Fighter. Can’t create and dribble much. – GO
12. Cazorla – Worldclass player. – KEEP
13. Ox – Average player. Very inconsistent. If he’s got some special talent, then I am yet to see it truly. – GO
14. Theo – Good player. Bullet. Finisher. Game changer. – KEEP
15. Gervinho – Poor talent, embarrassment – GO
16. Diaby – talented but serious fitness liability – GO
17. Jack – Average player currently. Confident. could be one of the greats – KEEP
18. Arshavin – Past expiry – GO
19. Chamakh – Ask wenger about him. I feel bad for him and OG, because these 2 don’t belong to a single striker system.
20. Eisfeld & Gnarby – Talented, promising – KEEP.
21. Rosicky – Broken and past expiry – GO.
22. Ramsey – Poor talent. Hardworker. Bad decisions on ball. – GO
23. Santos – …. are you fucking kidding me?
So in sum I am keeping about 11 players of the 25. Which is essentially like saying we have zero depth. Which is another truth.
There might be no clear solutions right now. Which players to let go, or if Arsene’s time is finally over. But we can at least make a small beginning by accepting the truth. Because unless you the fans don’t get over the “we are the best team in the world yay!” schoolgirl yelps nothing is going to change.
I am of the firm view that the primary objective for Arsenal Football Club is to be a successful business. (Not many disagree today). In Arsene Wenger, AFC don’t have the best coach in the world but the best money spinning machine. Starting from him exploiting French FA’s loopholes, to then buying young (but promising) talent from other clubs, he has almost broke the cash register. Unfortunately it didn’t last forever, others have caught up, and done a Toyota to him. The world followed and other managers are being better at it. Wenger has not been able to stay ahead of the game he started himself. Now he is trapped between a rock and a hard place. On one side are the loaded, star studded trophy buyers, and on the other are Alan Pardews who are outdoing Arsene at his own game.
As if in a movie we are being played again, like gullible audience. “Oh poor Arsene…” “….you see his hands are tied” “….Injuries you know…” “Its not Arsene, its the Board who are the bastards”. AFC has managed to create a good cop & bad cop. Where Arsene is being crowned as the purist, frustrated, loyal and selfless genius (who pockets a cool 7.5mn pounds a year).
I have a question. If Arsene is really so frustrated and thinks the board is not supporting him. Why not walk out? And be happy doing what he wants to do elsewhere? He is too french for this Arsenal-till-I-die shit trust me. Only fans can rightfully say that, because only the fans really mean it. The truth is that it is a cover up for Arsene’s poor performance and mistakes post 2005. Trying to buy cheap and make superstars has backfired far more often leaving him and us with a bloody nose. Denilson, Chamakh, Silvestre, Park, Gervinho, Fabianski, Squillaci, Santos, Bischoff… and many more in the list and some in the waiting list of this list. He has bought poor and given them more chances than a club of our repute can afford. Now he is playing the helpless, hands-tied, I-mean-the-best and we all want the best for AFC card. Of course good-cop, you’ve fooled plenty with it. The seats are still filling up at Emirates. How long will this go on? Not very, if you ask me. The camel’s back is broken.
Tactics must be backed by talent:
Clearly I am quite angry with Arsene. Because I put the entire blame on him and not the Board. The Board is a scapegoat. An imaginary punching bag. The errors are all Arsene’s. He is the strongest man at AFC and has the might to bulldoze his way on a few things. He never once said “Ok guys, you know what… I fucked up! I should have thought of a back-up for injury contingencies.” …or.. “Yeah I agree I bought some really poor players…”
And neither does he stop being stubborn about his formation and tactics. Podolski out wide in a 4-2-3-1 is as useful as Piers Morgan on twitter, or Ramsey on the right. I mean has he really lost it? May be not. He is perhaps going for the tried and tested. But dear Arsene, what you forgot was that its not Nasri or Pires out wide. Who were exceptional talents and can play anywhere. If you’ve got a midfield like ramires-oscar-mikel-hazard-mata, then by all means try all formations you want. 406, 370, 271, whatever the neighbour’s toddler can punch on her kiddy calculator, try it. What you forgot dear Arsene is that when you exchanged gold for silver + cash, you lost this option. Your stubbornness might still pay off if we still had a flamini-cesc-nasri-arshavin-rosicky midfield. Because they are all exceptional talents and can play anywhere. Even if the opposition predicts your game plan (which these days is really like catching the 9am train which leaves at err… 9am), you can still come out as winners because of the exceptional talent. who can produce moments of brilliance anywhere, anytime.
United we stand, divided ‘they’ fall:
Arsene said during the last AGM that the modern media is fragmenting fans. Its dividing them into sections and turning them against each other. True. But hang on… isn’t that wonderful from the club’s perspective. The wiser ones calm down the eager ones. The opinionated battle each other, and are spent just by typing. The cowards keep quiet and the angry ones are out-casted. Is there a better way to rule our fan population? You tell me. Fans are baying for each other’s collars, when they should really be standing outside Emirates for a protest. Boycott Armoury & online purchases. Stop going to games. Stop singing. Imagine if we were really all together and acted on it. A collective sigh could bring down the terraces. But we are not Stoke or Liverpool. We are the Arsenal. Refined, “classy” and helpless.
I apologise to you all if this rant has gone beyond your levels of tolerance. I love Arsene too, but I love my Arsenal more. I want change, and I want to leap out of mediocrity. If Arsene does not change his ways very quickly, there’s is no point blindly supporting the cash register.
The last and the bitterest of all truths is that, just like Arsene , Arsenal football club do not have a Plan B either!