Sometimes weekends come along and they suck. Like last weekend. Losing to Newcastle while Manu grabbed a late winner and Chelsea won as they tend to do most weeks.
Then you have weekends like the one just past where everything goes better than you could have hoped for. Arsenal put in a gritty, determined performance away from home against one of the so-called bigger clubs, Man United failed to win, and Chelsea were humiliated at their own ground by one of the so-called ‘lesser’ teams.
The result is a lot of very happy Gooners and Arsenal moving clear in second place in the league and cutting the Chav’s lead to two points.
As we have witnessed recently, when Chelsea and/or Man U have dropped points we have tended to do so also, therefore not being able to capitalise. The key to this is to make us play first, or, if that’s not possible, ensure the team think that Man U and Chelsea have both won. That way, we know there is no room for error.
What? It could work. Don’t you think it’s important that the week in which we went before Chelsea is the week we didn’t drop points when they did?
Nah, me neither, it’s just one of those coincidink things that are wont to happen in football. Nice when it benefits us though huh?
But did it? If you’d been listening to the Sky commentators, or those on Talksport, the BBC, or ESPN you would have been forgiven for forgetting that we are actually in second place and ahead of Man United for all they seemed bothered with was how happy Chelsea losing was going to make Sir Alcho. I lost track of the number of times I heard it on Sky and was inundated with tweets with people reporting the same across all the spectrums. Somehow, even though we are in second place having had what I consider to be a tougher run of fixtures than either Chelsea or Man U, to most people commenting on the game outside of Arsenal, this is merely a blip which will be corrected over time and should therefore just be ignored.
Do you think it would be that way if we were Liverpool? (I can’t use the Spuds as an example as there is irrational hysteria attached with every mention of them in the press these days). Don’t be silly, if Liverpool were in second, and had a start to the season like we have had, then you would be hearing about how ‘this could be their year’ even though it hasn’t ‘been their year’ in the league for 20 years.
Which brings us to how many times the commentators managed to remind the watching public that Chelsea were currently undergoing an injury crisis and (I guess this is what they are hinting at) can be excused for not doing all that well.
Let’s look at this shall we?
Yesterday Chelsea were without Lampard, Essien, Terry and Alex. The Arsenal equivalent would be, I guess, Cesc, Song, Vermaelen, and Koscielny. Or, if you want, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Van Persie, Diaby.
Wait a minute! Isn’t that EXACTLY who Arsenal had out yesterday?
Ok, so you say that those four players are not of the same quality as the four chavs missing, I’ll humour you on that. How about last season when for practically every match Arsenal were without between eight and eleven (nearly all) regular first-team starters? Do you remember the period when we had NO centre-forwards, NO left-backs, using out third choice keeper, our fourth and fifth choice centre backs, and had also lost Cesc, Song, and Diaby?
Do you remember? I sure as hell do! One of the arguments I made was how would Man U or Chelsea cope without eight first team regulars (no Cech, Terry, Alex, A. Cole, Lampard, Essien, Drogba, or Anelka). Well, this season we are seeing how they cope with only four of those eight missing.
Will Arsenal get the credit for still managing to finish third last season? Would Man U or Chelsea have even been able to maintain a place in the top four missing a MINIMUM of eight key players for most of the season?
Of course they wouldn’t.
So what of this year? If we are to say that one player out for one week = 1 player match missed, then Chelsea have missed a total of 49 player matches, Man United are slightly worse with 59. Arsenal have been without a whopping 89! That is more than any other team in the league at a time when most Arsenal fans will concede we are currently undergoing our best spell for player fitness since the dinosaurs roamed the earth (Gunnersaurus doesn’t count, I said dinosaurS, plural).
Do you hear any of this being reported?
Of course you don’t.
So what is it? Is it an anti-Arsenal bias? You would be forgiven for thinking so. Cue MOTD2 this week featuring Lee Dixon. I mention him because he was very quick to tweet last week that he had tried to get MOTD the show Henry’s horrible challenge on Arshavin in the ‘interests of fairness’ but had been told there was no time. Surely this week he would rectify that by showing the unpunished assaults of Heitinga, Pienaar, and Cahill? Don’t be so stupid. They did, however, make sure that they showed Song’s challenge on Pienaar on the edge of our box which was not given, even though it was neither reckless nor dangerous, it was simply a stupid, clumsy Song challenge.
Heitinga KICKED three of our players before he received a yellow. Pienaar nearly snapped Sagna in two in the first minute and Cahill flattened two Arsenal players by ensuring he flew in to them with his knees when challenging for an aerial ball. Not one of them was shown.
I suppose we should be thankful that they didn’t show Cesc’s booking, but I guess they really couldn’t because how can they continue to lead people to believe he is a thug by showing that he got booked for being trod on and that the ref actually had his back to the incident, booking Cesc because the Everton crowd have been brainwashed by the media to believe that Cesc is likely to tackle you like the bastard lovechild of Joey Barton and Ryan Shawcross.
Did you hear the boos aimed at Cesc? I’d be surprised if you didn’t because you could hear little else at Goodison (apart from the Arsenal away fans) but they made their hatred for Cesc known – and that was BEFORE he was booked for having the audacity to get trampled on.
It really gets me going.
Did you notice?
So is there anything we can do? It would seem not. Hundreds of you complained to the BBC over their biased coverage midweek and nothing was done, This, in a day and age when only a handful of complaints can pull a TV show from the airwaves. All there is for us to do is keep supporting Arsenal, and remember that when we do win, when we do start picking up those trophies, how sweeter it will all taste because we have done it in spite of everything and with no help from anyone.
What a sweet day that will be.
Perhaps we should thank the media for making it that way?
Interesting from Twitter:
RT @OptaJean: 765 – Bacary Sagna has played 765 minutes for France in 2010, the most for an outfield player this year. Braids.
RT @Orbinho: Andrey Arshavin has five goal assists to his name this season, more than any other Arsenal player in the Premier League.
RT @Orbinho: To update the fact from earlier this week, Arsenal have picked up more points away from home than any other Premier League team (14).
Useless fact of the day: Arsenal have had a total of 229 shots this season in the league but only 36% (83) have been on target.
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