Do you know what I like? I like, after Arsenal play, being able to read papers, watch highlights shows, talk to people, face the internet and generally go places without being abused. What I like even better than that is being able to laugh at other teams while I go about all this regular people business. It’s been a rough time for Arsenal fans over the last season or three, most often found hiding than out and about facing down the world, but with results as they have been lately there has been none of that. Not that I ever really hid, but I do wonder if I would have found it so hard to get back to daily blogging had things been a little bit easier in my absence. True, I blogged through tough times before and withstood abuse, but when you step away, sometimes it’s just that little bit harder getting back when you know that not only do you have to find something to try and be positive about but that you’re also likely to get dogs abuse for doing so.
Anyway, I digress. Basically, all I wanted to say with that opening paragraph was that it’s been a nice 36 hours since we won and every other fucker around us didn’t.
Next in Arsenal’s crosshairs are Aston Villa and McLeish. I don’t like him. Could it be because of his Birmingham days? Perhaps, but mostly it’s because he’s a horrible little man, not quite in the Tony Pulis camp of blurghness, but give him a few years.
This should be the part where I write about how we need to keep pushing forward, need to keep building on our forward momentum while others stutter but I don’t feel I need to say that. You know it, I know it, but, more importantly than all of us, I feel the team know it. For years now we’ve listened to them talk about learning lessons that they simply refused to learn but this time I *think* they’ve finally got it. I don’t want to say I *believe* they’ve got it because, well, you know, once bitten and all that, but something tells me we have genuinely topped up our spirit level.
Team news will filter out throughout the day no doubt so there’ll be more on that in tomorrow’s blog. For now though people are still talking about Wednesday and how we managed to defend when we’re supposed to be, well, crap at that sort of thing. Kos said “It is not just the four defenders, it is all the team,” and he’s right, it is the whole team. If one person doesn’t do their job well that’s a hole which can exploited and no-one likes to have their hole exploited. It’s good to keep that sort of thing plugged. Least that’s what they tell me.
For the amount of times we caught Everton offside I don’t remember the uniform raising of arms from the back four which, as all Arsenal fans know, is integral to defending well, so if they could work on that in training as well it would make me mucho happy. Another thing we seem to be working on in training as well is corners. There’s no point beating around anyone’s bush here, we have been absolute dogshit at corners for a long time, but we seem to be getting relatively decent at them. Like defending, it’s amazing what practicing these things in training does for their effectiveness on game day. I don’t want to say that we *weren’t* practicing corners all this time but it sure as hell looked like it at times. The same with defending if we’re honest.
But we’re learning. All of us. Some of us are learning to trust again and some of us are learning not to be so smug with our ‘told you so’s.’ Arsenal are a happy family once again. Three more points against Villa and we might seem like we’re enjoying a family acid trip rather than all reaching for the Kool Aid which seemed like a real possibility for some earlier in the season.
It’s never a bad thing to be an Arsenal fan, but sometimes it’s better than others. I’m still basking. I know it’s *only* third place and I know there is still a long way to go, but when you consider that some people genuinely thought we could finish around tenth place it’s nice to enjoy the lofty heights of being the best team in the country. What? Don’t you know that teams from Manchester don’t count? This league is ours baby. Don’t you ever doubt it!
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