Ups and Downs: A Story of the Joker and the Ox

It seems as though games against Manchester United are becoming a ritualistic wake up call to Arsène Wenger and the board, that things need to change.

It’s like every once in a while on a dreary Sunday, Wayne Rooney pokes his ugly head into Arsène’s kitchen. Must go something along the lines of:

“We’re gonna trounce ya come Sunday ya frogger!”

“I see now reason not to believe in the quality of our players, and I do my best for signings and-”

“Yeah, yeah we know. The Arsenal way. Chalk up another loss then, yeah?

As horrible an attempt at humor that is, there must be some psychological stimulant after a United game. It must click in Wenger’s mind that no, in fact we aren’t up to the standards of the Manchester pair, and we might need a bit of a rethink in order to have a shot at competing with teams that have more to spend, and less to lose.

At the beginning of the season, the Gunners were misfiring, and quite badly. With the lost of two of our best players and the usual chants of “Spend some @$@%! money!”, things weren’t exactly looking up. Our starting line up decimated with injuries, we faced the titans of Manchester, Fergie’s henchmen. We were absolutely slaughtered in every way imaginable concerning a football pitch. Goal after goal because of inexperience, fear, and frankly, bad luck. Never before had we had a worse start to the season, and I couldn’t see anyway out of such a dire situation.

Then a funny thing happened. We signed players. Splashed real cash on guys who can make a difference. Not just unheard of prospects from the Armoury broom cupboard, but experienced internationals. Mikel Arteta for 10m, Mertesacker for 6m, Santos for 6m, and a whopping 15m on Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. We began to win games, we got stronger and stronger every time we stepped out onto the pitch. The players began to gel and form a proper understanding of each other’s game. Van Persie decided to hang up his injuries in the back of his mind and hit the form of his life. Our beloved club was restored to its rightful place in the top 4. 

Sure, we’ve stumbled along the way, but at one point, we had taken more points from our mirrored fixtures from the season before. We are very much back on track, and had a good chance at the FA Cup, and are still in the fight in the Champions League despite being four down. RVP isn’t sponsored by Adidas for nothing.

One thing we really need to be careful about at this stage is rotation. Resting key players will go much farther than just the next month, but even the next season as we have Euros coming up, and countries being notoriously hard on their players. With injuries at present to Per Mertesacker, André Santos, Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere, we’re going to need every fit player we have to step up and make a difference.

We’ve come down from being two down at WHL, we’ve just beated Liverpool at Anfield, now we’ve got Milan. With some luck, we could have a proper second leg on our hands. Stay positive, and up Gunners!


I’ve got more articles on the way, stay tuned and please follow me on my Twitter account @MarshallArsenal!

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