You either believe in this team – or you don’t.
You either believe Arsene is still a great manager – or you don’t.
I do, but I have to admit my faith has been tested of late.
In the context of what has gone before, yesterdays performance was truly exceptional. So lets take a moment to set the scene.
Last week we were embarrassed and humiliated by Chelsea. Humbled by the least humble manager on the planet, and on the occasion of Arsene’s 1000th game,of all days.
On Tuesday we played with the handbrake on and a parachute open and dragging us back. To top it all we scored the most unfortunate own goal in injury time that saw us drop another two points.
Having failed to buy a really world class striker in the last three windows( for whatever reason ) our good striker looks to be running on empty with lead boots having just finished 40 Capstan full strength before kick off.
The depth of our midfield has been tested with long term injuries to 3 or 4 definite starters, including our most dynamic ( The Prince of Wales) and our world class and record transfer play-maker ( Ozil ). The most pacey of pacey players is out for the season and the best central defender in the league has joined them on the treatment table.
Mikel (aged 32) and Tomas (aged 33) who should be being saved for special occasions, are being asked to play every game. And to be fair,in Mikel’s case at least, it is telling.
So, after 19 minutes we go a goal down against the most expensively assembled team in history, having been comprehensively out played until then, and for the remained of the first half.
Be honest, were you fearing the worst ? I was.
What happened next was everything and more that we could have asked for.
Mental strength, resilience, fortitude and togetherness.
To turn the game around under those circumstances was almost unbelievable.
Make no mistake, we were by far the better team in the second period, and in the end unlucky not to take all 3 points. It was a terrific effort and our lads did themselves and us proud.
I love these players but also accept that there are some obvious weaknesses in the team. However, when they show character and skill like that, I can forgive them anything.
I am proud of every one of them. And proud of the Gooners that have stuck by them in the most difficult of times.