Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City
What can I write that won’t make us all teeter over the edge again and bash our already bruised heads against brick wall, or wail uncontrollably? Well I suppose it’s fair to say that a sending-off after nine minutes makes any game impossible to judge properly. Going down to ten men that early in a match tests the mettle of the meatiest, most blow-your-own-trumpet of sides, and we are neither especially meaty nor enormously capable of the correct utilisation of our brass instruments. By the end of the match we came out of things looking rather dishevelled – though having managed at least to do our shirt buttons up – and having done what we often do these days, which is asking as many questions as we manage to answer.
And I will add that we perked up quite a bit in the second half and showed some character and a bit of vim, with Jack Wilshere excelling, even if we couldn’t get a consolation goal (Giroud should have at least nodded an effort on target, and the otherwise invisible Walcott hit the post).
But by and large what I took away from it all is that we remain as far off the pace as ever, as inconsistent as always and still some distance from hitting upon the elixir of continued success. The team that Wenger rather baffling called ‘quite complete’ is nothing of the sort. (I hope that may have been lost in translation).
Timid, lacking in both authority and concentration are three ways of putting it – Wenger’s way of putting it in fact – and just how can that be? Why are we so timid? Where is our authority? Why are we not concentrating, for the love of god, against the current champions of England? For what reason does our confidence ebb and flow as rapidly as the Thames? There’s only so much pointing fingers you can do at the players before the finger inevitably swings back towards Wenger.
In the first half we were poor before Koscielny got sent off, and we were poor after he was sent off too. We should have rolled up the old sleeves and scrapped like hell to weather the ten v eleven storm, but instead we pressed the timid button by mistake. Had we played like we played in the second half from the moment Koscielny got his marching orders, who knows. But it’s all if, if, iffety iff.
Look, I have no idea what to make of things anymore. The team can be up, it can be down, it can be flying around. But it can totter out the blocks too.
So despite all that there really is only one thing for it, and that’s to come again and put myself through the mill once more.
Wednesday night, you say?
Don’t mind if I do.
Fortify yourself in advance, you say?
Might be a sensible idea.