DB’s Season Diary – Week 5
I thought it best to let the dust settle on Sunday’s game, and the fun and games in the aftermath, before I finished this week’s piece, in the hope of at least trying to put some perspective on things.
You haven’t read anything from me since before the North London Derby, and as the objective of this diary is to cover the roller coaster of emotions we endure during the season, let’s carry on from where I left off there…..
Over-confidence has never been something I’m all that comfortable with. I mean, the poor sod on Crimewatch never says “you know what? I bloody knew that was gonna happen to me” do they?
No, it’s always “You never think it’s going to happen to you…” So I try and look at it in the way that if you do think it’s going to happen, it won’t.
Obviously, I’m not belittling the victims of serious crime here, I’m just analogising using the worst case scenario. I found myself loosely applying that analogy before each of the last three games.
This started in the pub before the Spurs game, when I found people were far too confident for my liking. Let’s be honest, North London derbies are rarely enjoyable affairs, in that the fear of losing to that lot creeps up on you during the week, and has pretty much consumed you by kick off.
I’ve been over confident and subsequently disappointed, or at least come close to soiling myself, too often in the recent past to ever be comfortable going into any game, let alone the good old NLD.
Birmingham in the Whatever it Was Called That Year Cup and Hull in the FA Cup Final are the two that spring immediately to mind. (I’ll admit to not being that confident before the Wigan Semi Final.) So, I went into that game with my usual cloth touching apprehension…. and….. well, we didn’t lose anyway….
Enough has been said about that game now as I write this on the Wednesday of the Galatasaray game, so I’m not bothering with it here, there are two more games to cover this week.
Which brings me nicely onto the Galatasaray game……
I can’t really gauge if I’m / we’re confident or not with this one at the moment (I haven’t got to the pub yet, mind.) Maybe it’s because so many have spent every day since Saturday banging on about how we’re gonna get F’d in the A by Chelsea on Sunday that the importance of this game has slipped people’s minds.
The mood pre-game was generally one of apprehension once more, like not wanting to commit to being confident or not, (Until someone chucked a couple of flares in the Tolly anyway), because let’s face it, if you’re over-confident and we don’t win, it’s pretty much your fault.
Turns out that being 3-0 up at half time banishes any worries you might have anyway. Still, when Wojciech Szczesny got sent off and they pulled one back, don’t tell me you didn’t have a St James’ Park flashback.
In the end it was a rather good performance against an admittedly shit Galatasaray side, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. If you’re gonna be pissed off about not beating Spurs because they were shit, at least give us some credit when we beat shit.
I thought we clicked pretty well, and it was a real confidence booster for Sunday.
Well, for about five minutes anyway, until it was time to go back to speculating about how many Chelsea are gonna smash us by, secretly hoping for the “Crimewatch effect.”
In fact, I’m now almost convinced those out there who sound like they’d be ok with us losing just so they can say they were right, and so they can go off on one again, are only doing it for the Crimewatch effect. Almost.
This all gets rather confusing and, if I can put my serious head on for a minute, quite frankly I find spending a week talking about getting slaughtered by Chelsea a bit embarrassing.
Yes, we could be in a better position squad-wise, but have a bit of pride for god’s sake. By all means go into one if we do get beat, but for me part of being a football supporter is about thinking your team will beat anyone, any time.
You can use the “being realistic” line all you want, but realism can take the fun out of anything in life, especially football.
Now I’m worried that little rant will balls up the Crimewatch effect, so onto Sunday….
Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0 – Arguments and Counter Arguments…..
Argument: If Gary Cahill gets sent off the whole game changes.
Counter Argument: We were lucky that Laurent Koscielny didn’t get sent off. And Danny Welbeck. And Calum Chambers.
Counter counter argument: If Cahill goes, then those passages of play may never have even happened.
Counter counter counter argument: you can’t blame the referee for losing to a top side yet again. We didn’t have a shot on target at all.
Counter counter counter counter argument: I’m not blaming the ref, I’m just pointing out how useless he was. You could also mention the amount of fouls Oscar got away with before he got booked.
This particular argument then goes back to the beginning again, and it ends up like standing between two mirrors. (Ever done that? It’s cool!)
This can also be applied to pretty much anything that occurs during the game, and going through them all here won’t help. Here’s a couple more for you anyway…
Argument: Chelsea’s persistent fouling went largely unpunished and allowed them to break up our game.
Counter argument: We need to be tougher and not get pushed around. Play these teams at their own game and not get bullied.
Argument: You can’t applaud Welbeck’s challenge and complain about Cahill’s, nor can you condone Arsene Wenger for pushing Jose Mourinho, we can’t keep criticising Chelsea for being a scummy club and then applaud when we do the same.
Counter argument: Yeah, but you just said….oh for fuc…..
And round and round we go.
So much so that I’ve used the word “counter” so often, it comes up with that word in predictive text for anything beginning with C. Which could be interesting…..
So, which of these opinions and arguments are right or wrong? The answer (in my opinion, of course) is that all of them and none of them are right or wrong. It’s football.
For every argument there will always be a counter argument, for every opinion, a different opinion. What’s more, they’re pretty much the same arguments and debates we’ve had since way before social media took over the world.
The only difference is, sadly, that some people will form their “opinion” from what is today’s most popular opinion, through fear of losing credibility among their peers, or losing followers.
Not that there is ever anything wrong with changing your opinion, and if you can show me someone that has never contradicted themselves in their life, I’ll show you a liar. It’s the obvious, transparent filp-flopping that really grates.
We didn’t have that problem debating about football down the pub years ago. It’s not like you’d have people start following you down the road if you said the right thing.
Well, not unless you were in some weird pub anyway, but you get my drift.
For what it’s worth, my opinion on Arsene pushing that little slimeball is that I would pay money to watch him do it again. Over a cliff. Because, putting everything else to one side for a second, Jose Mourinho is a counter…..
Anyway, time for a rather timely international break, after which we will all be hungry to get The Arsenal back in our lives, which is really what we’re all here for.
Up The Arsenal
Islington born and bred, Arsenal through and through. Supported the Gunners for all of my 46 years (so far!) through thick and thin.
Clickbait: Life as a Modern Football Fan – released 2019
Currently working on my next book – Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown), Arsenal 20/21 – A Diary of a Season – due for release Summer 2021.
I will back the club I have in my blood to the hilt and I don’t care what you think about that. UTA.
AGAINST MODERN FOOTBALL.