But in today’s post, Blackburn George asks – exactly who are the real losers here?
I can’t think how yesterday’s result could have been worse.
We lost a game we dominated from start to finish. Blackburn’s solitary effort on goal was struck so badly that it looped into the net via the post. It was a nightmare. But Arsenal undeniably performed below par. Some players were understandably off the pace following extended layoffs and/or lack of playing opportunities. Others just did not seem to have the urgency required to put a poor Blackburn team to the sword.
On the other hand, no player in particular had a stinker.
We were not crap, or even very bad.
Arsene picked a team that should have been more than good enough to win. He later strengthened it further with the introduction of Santi, Jack and Theo. Thomas Rosicky – who was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch – was withdrawn, together with The Ox and Gervinho. I think most would have made the same changes given that Thomas was unlikely to last ninety minutes.
It took a huge slice of good fortune on their part to score and more luck – this time of the bad variety – combined with some poor finishing, for us not to score. Arsene must be livid and desperately disappointed in a team that should have gotten the business done. On any other day it would have. In the words of Lucas Podolski:
Onwards and upwards is now our only option.
Twitter, following the game was absolute carnage. A performance of over-reaction and judgmental cowardice that frankly beggared belief.
Forgotten was the West Ham display.
Forgotten was the comeback against Liverpool.
Forgotten was the brilliance – and courage – shown against Sunderland.
The team and manager were disparaged and rubbished in the rudest of terms. It was, by any standards, disgraceful. In response to some of it I tweeted the following:
“If you can’t get behind the team in the worst of circumstances, you are nothing but a fair-weather glory-hunting twat.”
I thought it then and I still do. I am not suggesting we could – or should – not have done better as a unit. But were we bad enough to justify what followed as supposedly ‘loyal’ supporters turned on their team like a pack of deranged halfwits? No, we were not. Not by a long way. True, it is the second time in the season that lightning has struck in the cup, and that undeniably makes it harder to swallow.
But swallow it we must.
Nothing I saw yesterday has changed my opinion that given a settled Summer and the addition of one or two players, this squad will be good enough to compete both domestically and in Europe. The future is bright, despite what the ill-informed may say. For me, Tuesday simply can not come quickly enough.
I am confident we will see the real Arsenal very soon.
Hopefully we’ll see the real fans, too.