One Of Us Speaks: Increments of Aggravation
Hey guys. Woah, Big Al, huh? All right! Well, see ya later.
At the moment millions of Arsenal fans are going through something akin to the Clockwork Orange’s Ludovico Technique, only this experiment’s being conducted by the doctor from Human Centipede. Are your limbs restrained and eyeballs sitting moistly? Then we’ll begin.
It’s a tricky session today. Below are some items and images for you to assimilate. We’ll start with the most bearable:
1) Arsenal sits 15th in the table. Not a single away win this season. We’ve been without Vermaelen for most of the campaign so far; Jack Wilshere hasn’t played a minute of competitive football, and Sagna just broke his leg. We had to leave him there, prone by the touchline, coated in the spittle of the pasty-faced, malnourished drones that scrape out a putrid existence downwind from that bulging white and blue fungus.
And you know, that filth’s going to erupt if they’re above us come May.
2) The big decisions do not go our way in 2011-12, just like they didn’t last season. A table has been drawn up to show where we’d be if those incorruptible gents in black did their flipping jobs properly. Go on, take that table all the way to Soho Square; they’ll listen to what you’ve got to say I’m sure, and then we‘ll all be able to celebrate our conjectural second place.
3) We flopped with late bids to sign just about every mid-range European midfielder with a trace of imagination and craft, and were rushed into a raft of signings who probably wear their jerseys to bed and still gaze into the mirror with astonishment, thinking, “Blimey, I play for Arsenal, I do!”
OK, OK, that one’ a bit harsh.
4) We can’t afford to compete at the top any more and nobody cares. Manchester City have evolved from rich muggins, paying big for our scrap, to predatory loan sharks: “OK Arsenal you’re still a bit short this year? Never mind then, we’ll just take that RvP off your hands and call it even.” We’re just going to have to wait for these bastards to get bored of watching us jig for pennies.
Oh, you were holding out for Financial Fair Play, were you? You thought they’d make it watertight, eh? Forget it buster. By the time it actually kicks in Man City and Chelsea will have picked up enough momentum to break that tether – don’t think UEFA are going to do anything about the Etihad sponsorship deal.
5) But you’re not allowed to look away, damn it, keep watching. Because they can’t wait to heap the misery on, and you can’t get the hell away from it. Tune in to a match with zero Arsenal interest, like Scotland against Spain, and you get Gary Lineker moistening his new Clark Gable moustache and urging Mikel Arteta to talk him off by slandering his new teammates and manager.
6) Oh, and what’s this? It’s only the Manchester United match for you to enjoy again. Look, it’s Wayne Rooney’s celebrating yet another goal against his favourite opponent. Let’s have another close up of his jug ears, puffy cheeks and tiny little eyes contorted with ecstasy.
Right, that’s quite enough of that!
Off the pitch we seem to have the strange honour of epitomising both football’s past and its future, but not its present. In fact the here and now has us a bit befuddled. After all, this is a time in which Adebayor can claim the moral high ground over us without irony. We’re sort of scratching our heads, trying to take in the sheer craziness of everything around us – the ever-rising wages and transfer fees, the humungous sponsorship deals that we can only dream of.
And when you look at our glitzy shell of a stadium you have to admire the shabby elegance of our situation. Sitting in this magnificent, unchristened cruise-liner – a grand monument to an Arsenal that never actually happened, because the game had already “done changed” before we moved in, and might not change back in our favour any time soon.
Anyway, I’m no realist, so don’t know all, and am not sure what’s going to happen to us. But I do know this team will start to mesh. If the players that we’ve recruited aren’t world-beaters, then it shouldn’t be much to worry about. They all look competent if unspectacular, but didn’t exactly cost the earth, and our manager has a good record when it comes to coaxing latent talent to the surface.
In Coquelin, AOC and Frimpong we have youngsters who compare well to any that have broken into senior team under Wenger, but when they get there they find themselves in a group battling through a severe crisis of confidence. Still, it’s certainly a more experienced team than we’ve known in recent years, and it’s the older hands who are going to steady this ship.
And what do we get out of it? For the time being any joy you might derive probably won’t be from vicarious achievement, because there isn’t much to be had beyond the small victories.
Rather it’s in memories, friendship, togetherness and those shared moments of pain and joy. In the flesh it’s the heart-stopping roar of thousands of like-minded people joining in celebration and belting out songs. It’s in giving hell to the villains, who won’t be mentioned by name here. They think we’re doing it for them – wrong; it’s for us. It’s for our own unity.
There’s a lot of satisfaction these days in following the careers of the youngsters; watching them find their feet for the u18s, seeing them turn pro, vie for places in our first team squad and become stars.
And the rest of the time it’s the laughs, even if a lot of that’s been from gallows humour recently, and sharing the fun with people from all over the world.
Posted on October 14, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 185 Comments.