Four, five? Senses working overtime

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I think I would perhaps be enjoying this fourth-place run-in a bit more if Arsenal were a little less in the wanting zone. I’m finding it hard to prefer this new-found gritty football (‘unremarkable’ as the Independent have it, though they also admired our ruthlessness) over its free-flowing predecessor. But it’s no use forever harping back – this season and perhaps the last one too have been marked by a less flamboyant style of football. That’s diplomatic speak – you can interpret it how you like. Besides, I’m with L.P. Hartley on this one. The past is a foreign country and all that.

It used to be said that even when we were no longer winning stuff, we were still playing the best football in the league. That accolade has been quietly filed away and I am having to fast re-learn the art of grinding one-nils. We’re certainly defending better than we have done in ages. Mertesacker and Koscielny are impressing, Sir Chesney has come back in re-focused and there are options on both defensive flanks.

(PS – I wonder what Sir Ches’s dad thinks now? Credit where it’s due because dropping him worked).

The late George Graham era is so long ago that the mind plays tricks, but I basically remember it as being trillions of one-nils, with all of the goals coming from Ian Wright. It felt a bit like that last season too with almost forty goals coming from one player, but we’ve had to share things around this season. In this period of impressive results but limited goalscoring, we’ve had six different scorers sharing our last eight goals.

Even though his form has not been great, we’ve missed the waving arms and focal-pointiness of Olivier Giroud. Podolski can’t do that, Walcott can’t do that, and of the other two Arsenal players who could fulfil that role, one has forgotten how to play football and is warming the bench in east London and the other prefers coming out of nightclubs with his trousers at half-mast and driving the wrong way down streets.

We’re heading towards the relay finishing line with one baton pass to go. That baton pass has to go in our favour and if it does we need to run our arses off to the finish line. It’s a scenario with too many ifs and buts at the moment and I’d be lying if I said I was enjoying it.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. digitalfirstaid

    George Graham is still alive…

  2. East Lower

    Haha! But his era isn’t…

  3. Adrian L

    I’m not exactly filled with XTC ahead of the next few weeks…

    That aside, who do you think is right: those who say we’ll probably struggle into 4th and then not buy anyone or those those say missing out on the CL will mean wholesale summer changes which we desperately need? Or both or neither?

  4. East Lower

    Good question. I think for the first summer in ages we won’t sell anyone we don’t want to – so that’s a good platform to build on and I think whether we come 4th or 5th we will be spending.

    I suppose the caveat is that we say this every summer but there’s not a single person out there who thinks this team has hit Wenger’s expectations. We’re drifting. And if Wenger cannot see that then you have to worry, don’t you.

  5. PDDD

    Here’s another question. If Arsene has refused to spend his full transfer budget for each of the last 3/4 years (and unless all of Gazidis, Arsene & Hill-Wood have consistently lied to us then we know he didn’t) why on earth do people think he will suddenly spend his full budget this summer just because it’s allegedly much higher than he’s previously had? The logic of it totally escapes me.
    Let’s face it : we know nothing more now about what major signings in what positions are needed than we did last summer. He chose not to spend then so why spend now ?
    It’s completely unrealistic to expect Arsene to change. Until there’s a change in management, we are going nowhere. And that isn’t going to happen for at least another season……

  6. PDDD

    Congrats on the ‘promotion’ to…….have to say very surprised given the constant positivity generally there….

  7. East Lower

    I like to think my negativity is ‘measured’…

  8. PDDD

    Absolutely…..still amazed though. You can normally measure the negativity on at exactly zero.

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