Stone Cold Friday: Welcome to the Arsenal Rollercoaster Ride
Before we launch into today’s post, anyone who wants to ‘rent’ a Season Ticket’ for 2010-11 should contact Ashitey on email@example.com PDQ. The deadline is today.
Also, a note that the ACLF Fantasy Football League can be found at http://fantasy.premierleague.com. Once you have logged in and entered your team, click on the ‘Leagues’ link you can find on the right of the page. Enter the code 755155-171684 to join the private league.
Anyway, emerging from the mist like a hero in a novel written centuries ago, here’s Darius with the first of this season’s Stone Cold Friday’s.
I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am that good old fashioned Wengerball is back on the menu. Every summer, I’m convinced that the Arsenalitis I and thousands of others suffer due to lack of proper football is more vicious and more brutal than the time I decided to quit smoking cold turkey.
I’ve consulted long and hard, high and wide as to whether I should change my customary pre-match rituals for the season. With my better angels shouting down my resident demons each time I try to contemplate some of the suggested (and sometimes insalubrious) rituals, I find myself praying and hoping that perhaps the only rituals we need are those that appease the injury Gods so that they can smile down on us this season.
A lot has been said in the summer about what the manager and the club need to do to change our fortunes during this campaign. I get the sense that there will never be a satisfactory consensus as to whether Wenger has done enough to give us the best chance to fight for the title.
Right across the world, passions are running high within the Gooner nation. Many will still have the memories of the anti-climax of last season at White Hart Lane and the DW stadium etched firmly in their psyche. Those 2 matches against the Spuds and Latics were a representation of the pain that millions of fans endured when the team capitulated on the home straight having fought a gallant battle for most of the season.
And yet as the team stand in the tunnel on Sunday and stare firmly at the “This Is Anfield” sign strategically placed to intimidate the enemy, you can’t help but wonder whether the demons of the seasons past have been slain and buried and that the boys are ready for the new campaign.
I think it’s fair to suggest that Liverpool is as nervous as we are because firstly, Arsenal is unpredictable; and secondly, we do love scoring at Anfield. Liverpool though, has pride to play for and that makes them a very dangerous proposition. I find it hard to believe that they’ll have as bad a season as they had in the last campaign.
Nevertheless, it’s certainly not a game for Arsenal to fear, and it’s exactly the sort of game that has the ability to galvanize the Gunners for the first stretch of this campaign.
Last week’s visit to Warsaw left many an Arsenal fan baffled and not knowing what to expect, especially when we had our first choice back 4 on the field; and in the second half, all our full backs. Having sailed through the preseason, the match against Legia shocked many out of their comfort zones.
My sense is that it was all part and parcel of our world renowned rollercoaster ride. The kind that makes the hairs at the back of your neck stand up; the kind that makes you hide behind the sofa when there’s 90 seconds to go and we are still looking for that winner or equaliser.
It’s the kind of ride that makes you scream in ecstasy at the sublime and scintillating attacking football that is delivered with panache; yet leaves you in despair as you feel like punching through the telly and bitchslapping all our defenders and goal keeper for letting in a shocking goal.
It’s the kind of ride that makes you proud and privileged to have watched a team grow and mature together; yet still test your patience and resolve with the inconsistency that comes with development
It’s the kind of ride that keeps you shamelessly smiling all week when the Arsenal win emphatically; yet when we lose, you feel that you don’t want to face your peers at work or down the pub, and will only get out of your bunker after the next game when the team can salvage a modicum of respectability.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the damn rollercoaster ride.
To Hell with those pundits and hacks who sit on sofas in the TV studios with their cheap Mataland suits and tired clichés that they pick from the bag behind the sofa. Let them continue to suggest that Arsenal won’t challenge for the title unless they buy 2 or 3 world class players.
News flash: Arsenal doesn’t buy world class players, we build them.
To Hell with the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal fans who are more content spending their energy whining and moaning about competing with financially and morally bankrupt football clubs.
News Flash: We believe in Arsenal and the ability of the club to win and win in style, and without losing focus on the vision of the club.
I hear some people complain and moan about the fact that players are leaving and we aren’t replacing them. How better to replace them by turning to our rising stars like Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Emmanuel Frimpong, Craig Eastmond, Havard Nordtveit, among others?
Our time has come and this is our season with this team.
Many will jump and suggest “…but surely Darius, we’ve been here before and we still aren’t there yet and we need 2 or 3 world class players…”
I would suggest, get your ticket, jump on the rollercoaster and let’s enjoy the ride for the season.
There used to be a time when supporters were supporters; and customers demanded their consumer rights and the right to moan by virtue of spending their hard earned money. I forget at what point the lines became blurred and Arsenal accumulated customers who didn’t like the look of the roller coaster and rather than get on the ride, they decided to stand on the sidelines and throw stones at it because they didn’t liked how it looked and ‘had the right to throw stones at it’.
So he’s got that off his chest. ’til Tomorrow.