WARNING: BELOW ARE THE WORDS OF A MISERABLE MAN
Itâ€™s funny: up till now, Iâ€™ve taken our league and cup defeats on the nose. For the most part, I accept the transition thing. Last night, however, really got me down. Iâ€™m feeling very glum this morning.
The thing is, this is no longer a blip, is it? At what point does it become a crisis? For the umpteenth time this season we simply havenâ€™t turned up to an away game, and that really, really hurts.
The experienced players arenâ€™t playing, and the youngsters are either not yet good enough, or burdened by the weight of having to do all the work. Some of them might not even be good enough at all.
Last night, the usual culprits just didnâ€™t do enough: Gilberto sprayed passes to everyone except his own team, Pires did nothing, Ljungberg was not much better and Henry â€“ even taking into account a lack of service â€“ had a very poor game, one of the least effective I can remember.
Only the terrific Jens Lehmann covered himself in glory, though Flamini tried hard at left-back. Left-back!
Eboue, for all his African Nations experience, is an absolute rookie, and it showed last night. Adebayor looks a good prospect, as does the benched Diaby and of course, Fabregas, but thatâ€™s the point: we have lots of â€˜prospectsâ€™ playing alongside underperforming experienced players, and not surprisingly, itâ€™s just not working.
Forget that it was a late, late goal that sank us â€“ the fact is, we deserved nothing from that game for doing nothing for the best part of 70 minutes. We got what we deserved – though Lehmann did deserve better.
Wenger last night ruled out a top two position, but come on, thatâ€™s not the real question on most peopleâ€™s lips â€“ namely, can we make fourth still? On that performance, no. Four league defeats in six is relegation form, not the form of a team confident of hitting fourth.
I will cheer up, donâ€™t worry. Itâ€™s just frustrating, isnâ€™t it?