Theo Walcott injury spells the end of Arsenal’s season? Step forward the saviour: Alex Manninger

Forget the prayers! We need a rallying call…

Step forward a Manninger!

Theo Theo What's the score?

Priest – “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of the 2013/14 season for Arsenal Football club…..”

Dan Dan the Arsenal fan – “Whoa, whoa, whoa, just hold onto your trunks there Padre… what do you mean? The passing, we’re only half way through ffs.”

“But alas dear bretheren, with the medical internment of young Theotrica Walcottius, your season has now ended. It is written.”

DD – “Well bless my language Padre, but that’s utter bollocks… We’ve lost loads of players, Theo included, throughout this season, and it hasn’t halted our progress to the promised land/the holy grail, whatever way you want to biblically describe it. The faith is strong in this bunch. Stronger than many of the previous disciples that my great leader has assembled. No I feel sorry and pray for young Theo, as he is one of the good guys, a young married man, baby on the way, still hasn’t played at a World Cup, for one reason or another, he hasn’t got a camouflaged Aston Martin, and he doesn’t carry a washbag with him, everywhere he goes, but to say his bad fortune will send us to the depths of hell, is as farfetched as some of that book you preach  from. Yes it will interfere, yes it is not ideal, and yes he was playing well, and looking more comfortable in his skin than he ever has, but I cannot accept this group isn’t strong enough to overcome it.”

“Ah young disciple, I see the positivity and the goodness of The Leader is strong in you, but sometimes reality has to be accepted, we must just sit back and hope and pray.”

DD  – “Well I’m sorry, but as you do when you go to visit the Papal one in Rome, you can kiss my ring. As I say, it makes it more difficult of course, but, Jesus never said  the road to the promised land would be all expensive perfume, lingerie and expensive hotel rooms. Sometimes it’s days without showering, dirty pants and a 1 man tent, but the end result is the same and the pleasure is exactly the same if not better. There will always be adversity, but we must take it as penance, grit our teeth and move on.”

“I pray for you, I really do, and hopefully your faith will be rewarded.”

Hats off to Dan Dan the Arsenal fan. He got the right attitude. Looking on Twitter last night and seeing the obituaries being written by our own fans was, well, to be it mildly, a bit fucking sickening. I’ll let them away with it, and put it down to shock, except of course the snowball just kept growing today, gathering pace. I think it’s lucky that our players don’t have the same attitude. Us fans have been demanding our players to grow a pair of balls over recent years. To man up. Well people, I think it’s time to practice what you’ve preached. Grow a pair.

Yes, it’s terrible news. Yes, it’s a major blow. Are we fucked because of it? Maybe? Or maybe I’m too thick or too optimistic, but I think not. But no matter how many replacements you dream of signing, no matter how many #YNWA’s Theo gets, he’s not coming back anytime soon. It’s a hard old station, just as winning a league or a trophy is in the modern era, so let’s deal with it, stay behind the team, hope Arsene and co. aren’t panicking like yourselves, and move on. Three points against Aston Villa is the next step. Then, three points against Fulham. And so it goes on.

Signings may or may not come. A new face might or might not make the difference in winning the title/cup, or maybe the answer lies within. Maybe the answer is already playing with us, just waiting for their chance.

In my headline I said, step forward a Manninger. I don’t mean the man himself ‘A Manninger (Alex)’. I mean someone like Serge Gnabry, The Ox, or who knows, to step forward as Manninger did in 97/98 when all seemed lost, and make a name for themselves, and carry us onwards to hopeful glory.

For those that don’t know, in 97/98, while trailing Manchester United by 12 points, David Seamen got injured, “END OF THE WORLD”, even more so than this scenario we have at the moment. In stepped a young keeper who only joined the club in that summer of 97 for £1m. “We’re fucked mate”, “that’s that season gone”, “ah well, it was good while it lasted”, all the usual stuff was to be heard. Not only did he step in, he went on a run of six clean sheets in a row, then a club record, culminating in a victory over United, which proved to be his last game before Seamen returned from injury. (he also made four or five FA Cup appearances), well as we all know, we went on to win the double that May, and even though he’d only played seven league games, and 10 were needed for a medal, a special dispensation was made as he had such an impact on the title-winning season.

Alex Manninger 04

That’s what I mean by step forward “a Manninger”. Now as I say it could be Gnabry, Ox or who knows maybe even a Carl Jenkinson on the right wing, who knows. Also, we’re all looking at the young guns to be our prodigal son, but who’s to say it won’t be Tomas Rosicky.

Let’s not forget also that in our Champions League final campaign, we lost Ashley Cole. Step forward a Manninger – Mathieu Flamini. You see, there’s a space available now, for someone to come in and write their name into our own folklore, our own bible.

I used the church and biblical reference earlier, just as a means to make a point, but who knows what the footballing Gods have planned. One of our players could be destined for greatness, and this could be the springboard, the catalyst to that greatness, it’s just up to them to grab it.

Lastly, who knows, maybe Theo gets divine inspiration, or the effects of the YNWA’s rub off on him, and he gets back playing within three months. Who knows? It’s possible; I’ve seen many names mentioned today that made it back in that timescale. Maybe he himself could be our Manninger. That one is bit farfetched, but if everyone else can look into their crystal balls and tell me that Diego Costa can be so brilliant for us, or Julian Draxler can be a centre-forward guaranteed, then I’ll look at my own ball and make up my own shit.

So let’s wait and see what happens. Maybe the boss buys, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe we get the Manninger we hope for from within, or maybe we fall short because none of these things happen. But let’s not head into games like a lot did versus Aston Villa on the first day of the season, thinking that we’re fucked just because we haven’t bought somebody. If Uri Geller can bend spoons through TV screens just using positive energy and vibes, then a stand or stadium full of bad vibes isn’t going to help one bit, or suck the ball into the net.. (ooh a bit trippy there). We’ve got enough Hansens, Shearers and Lawrenson’s writing us off, we don’t need our own fans writing us off too.

So let’s unite, whatever path we take, whether we dip into the market or not. Let’s try our damnedest to win the thing for Theo, for us fans, and of course let’s not forget, for Pat Rice. We’ve a lot of extra reasons to go and win it now, and I for one know that our current squad as is, without any additions (not saying some wouldn’t be welcomed) will give every inch of their being to try to do so.

Well there you have it. I haven’t wrote a word in weeks, but had to do this one before the clouds of doom smothered us. Every cloud can have a silver lining.

Keep the faith.

Until the future.


John Woods

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2 Responses to Theo Walcott injury spells the end of Arsenal’s season? Step forward the saviour: Alex Manninger

  1. foreverheady January 10, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    What a great article. Wonder who the hero will be? It might be as simple as Giroud, Podolski and Gnabry. Any news of Ramsey?

  2. Walter January 10, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Bloody Brillant!!

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