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Complacency, and The Results There Of !

A guest post for Tim, @foreverheady, a braver man than me.

I changed my seat at half-time. Pleased with the two goal lead I paused the TV, put the children to bed, made a cup of tea and then went back into the sitting room – and sat in a different place. I knew at the time I shouldn’t do it, but I thought it wouldn’t matter: the job was surely done, and I waited to be entertained. The Emirates crowd were of the same opinion I reckon: after Alexis’s wonder free kick the antiphonal chanting began: North Bank, Clock End. We are only those things when strolling to victory, when all worry is gone.  When Oxlade opened up his body Thierry like to make it three the players’ celebrations told us that they thought it was over too.

Except nobody had remembered to tell that to the Sporting Gods – or rather, we had all forgotten the essential rule of Tragedy, that pride comes before a fall and the one thing that is guaranteed to irritate Fate is misplaced Hubris.  Suddenly the players stopped doing what they had been doing so well, and showboated a bit: not much, to be fair, but enough for Anderlecht to take control of the midfield. Defensive duties were left undone as player after player sought to join the attacking party and feast on the adulation of the crowd. It seemed suddenly as if everyone and everything had forgotten their proper jobs, and as shape was lost so the chaos began.  Attackers didn’t track back, midfielders forgot to challenge and mark, full backs and central defenders pushed forward worryingly, hamstrings abandoned their primary purpose, managers sat back when immediate action was needed, linesmen forgot to check for offside, London autumn turned monsoon and still the crowd partied as if it was, if not quite 1999, at least the last time we had bossed lesser European opposition.

Lear-like, Monreal stumbled, and this time the ref saw all too well: the keeper sent effortlessly the wrong way and suddenly, as clear as day, the third goal became inevitable. It is virtually impossible to take your foot off the pedal in sport and then reapply it at will: the mind-set has been changed irrevocably and momentum ceded fatally to your opponent. As far as the players were concerned they didn’t need to do any more: the game had already been won, except of course it hadn’t been and the fat lady was a long way from singing the praises of the greatest team the world had ever seen. And so the crowd’s heroes who were carrying all before them suddenly had feet of clay and became a group of anxious and worried young twenty year olds, all too aware of their own vulnerability. The only thing that surprised me about the game was that it ended in a draw.

 

And so the recriminations began, and the insults cascaded down on The Arsenal.  Useless. Weak. Tactically naïve. Shambolic. Spineless. All the good things that happened in the first 60 minutes washed away by North London rain and the bitter tears of dashed expectations, replaced instead by anger and bile. But if in the Anderlecht away match you had thought that the result didn’t count because it was won in the last minute, and only papered over the cracks of a sub-standard performance, then how do you react to last night’s game? Only a draw, but that doesn’t matter because for large parts of the match the arsenal were very, very good? No, that would be absurd, because a match is a full match and needs to be played for all 90 minutes before the prizes are given out – and woe betide any team who think it is over before it really is.  And if you as a spectator thought at any stage last night that you could chill because the game was safe, then to my mind you are as bad as any of the players who relaxed prematurely. And if you did worse than that, and changed your seat, or moved from your positon, or ignored any of those important rituals that the Gods think so important, then you really need to take a long hard look at yourself and realise that like it or not, we are all in this together.

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70 comments on “Complacency, and The Results There Of !

  1. Limey I think Chambo’s form at the end/beginning of the seasons was definitely more physical then mental. All about the conditioning. But I also expect both him and Walcott to be really inspired from playing alongside Sanchez. Gnabbers too. Good times! Even though the last game was a draw (IBSF again).

    People were confused why Walcott didn’t come on for Chambo, but the staff have to be very careful with such an important player. The plan there is to probably let him build up some more over the break with some minutes for England. I don’t understand a lot of what Hodgson has done but he’s been good with Walcott and Chamberlain, and reasonably good with Wilshere – though if he doesn’t realise that St.Jack is his best attacking midfielder then he is in trouble…I’m not complaining because playing deep for England should only make Jack a better player for Arsenal. Someone just needs to give him some videos of Arteta, no need for Alonso!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Random thought for the day:

    The only WOB who I ever heard make a reasonably sensible suggestion for the next Arsenal manager (that’ll be in at least two and half seasons time then – sorry WOBs!) suggested Pellegrini, before his move to City. Oh well. I suppose you can’t win ’em all. Hehe.

    The only other modern managers who are fit to lace Arsene’s boots in my humble opinion are the infamously temperamental Biesla, and of course the more chilled out Ancelotti. The same Ancelotti whose most famous game is probably the 3-3 against Liverpool!

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  3. We will stride past ManYoo DC next season in the club rankings as their last final appearance in 2010/11 will drop off the scale and their 30+ points with it.

    If you look at the figures and if Mancs fail to get aCL place they may well drop below Spuds in the UEFA club rankings.

    How unlucky would that be ?

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  4. we have enough numbers in our defence as far as i think. but there is nothing wrong with another addition though. the problem is that we have a wretched luck with injury. what if we buy and the player gets injured. it is very possible. we replaced sagna with debuchy but we have to play chambers and bellerin because he is not available. there has to be a major reason behind the injuries. apart from referees allowing our players to be kicked, there has to be some reasons behind the injuries. even ospina has only been able to play twice since he arrived. must we go and buy another goalkeeper?
    even though i believe wenger didnt buy chambers as a center back, but he has prformed better there than some that we bought in the past for the same purpose. squil and silvestri come to mind. we have teams in europe that use young players who are very capable as their third central defender.madrid and barca are good examples. our main problem is the tough luck we have with injuriy.
    the funny thing was what we said about fabregas and ozil before the start of the season. fabregas being injury prone and ozil being the more healthy player. but now we have the supposedly healthy player injured while the injury prone is doing the damage to defences in the league. do i mean we should have bought fabregas? no. not really, because if we have bought him we would only have succeded in stopping chelsea from topping the league. i’m confident that by now he too would have been injured.

    the only area i want an addition is in the DM. lets get one and keep chambers as back up to per and kos while we develop bellerin in the right back position. dont forget jenko is not out of the club yet.

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  5. It is silly that Europa league matches are weighted the same for co-efficient purposes as CL matches. No sense in that.

    I actually agree with the new seedings idea of rewarding league winners. It is called the Champions League but on the other hand a team line City should be able to get out of this group, same with last year. The year before they were in a terribly difficult group, but they have just been underperforming. We had the hardest group last season despite being a pot 1 seed.

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  6. Layksite,
    It’s the hacking and not much more the the hacking. Debuchy. Arteta hasn’t really played properly since Ba stomped on him. Wasn’t even called a foul. A niggel coming back from a stomp like that is fairly common. Especially when the temperature drops as it did this week! So, unrestricted hacking increases the risk of follow up niggles, plus putting more strain on the rst of the squad.
    Same as Gardner’s bruised bone (broken bone) in the he build up to the 2010 WC which basically ended the F Word’s time at the club – wasn’t even called a foul because he wasn’t protected playing for AFC like has been already playing for a petro club, you almost can excuse him for the appalling conduct which followed that injury. Almost. The contrast with Van Persie in their final seasons however destroyed any credibility he had remaining for me. And underlines the job done by Arteta and the BFG in the camp after their arrival, after the two big stars had left (see Tottenham and Liverpool).

    The recent Gazprom game was the perfect example of all this, the F Word clearly received more protection from the MOB representative then say, Sanchez in that game. Or Özil. Can’t deny the contrast because it’s undeniable, but IMO that’s a debate for elsewhere where numbers in this topic has been looked at.

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  7. Will Jenkinson be able to get himself into the England squad this season?
    If he does that’ll be seven Arsenal players in the squad, with Theo and Gibbo the oldest!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fin: “Fernandinho earned the rare distinction of two yellows after coming on as a half time substitute. Fernando is no Mascherano. Are City D**Med?”

    Fuck me, a referee actually gave Fernandinho a booking. I hope Premier league referees saw that and start booking Matic and Oscar more often.

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  9. Poor Pelligrini – he managed to get little old Villareal CL semi finals and Malaga to within seconds of the same yet at Citeh he is marooned at the group stage

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Unlucky with your Maribor tip Gains, they came close to an upset. Though I can’t deny that Hazard’s pelanty made me smile. A little bit of a dent In his confidence, some overplaying and condescension from his manager to come. Hopefully like Robben before him he’ll get fed up with the special one and be asking to leave before the end of the season!

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  11. Fantastic news I’ve just read that Giroud will be back in training next week! Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. im gutted that just as Hayden could start to put pressure on getting a fisrt team place he gets a six week injury….typical.

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  13. Fantastic news indeed Passenal! Boss says he’s back next week. That Shad fella sure looks like he knows what he’s doing!

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  14. wenger again telling ramsey to go back to the basics. it means we’ll soon be seeing him scoring goals again, bacause his strength it to arrive late in the box not to stay permanently in the box.

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  15. Layksite

    We need a few midfielders to stay in the middle of the field, like Arteta does superbly.

    Jack might get 2 more games with England sitting in the deeper role – he looked very assured doing it last month – it’s nice to see the experiment being done without any risk to Arsenal’s competitive games.

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  16. Will Liverpool put a dent into the Chav’s ego’s tomorrow?
    Jose will have his excuses lined up – early kick off, 2 days after away game in Europe, yada yada – no one cared when we had the same problem travelling to City last season.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hopefully Liverpool’s resting of many players midweek will pay off when they play against the Gazprom guzzlers.

    A couple of injuries for the six Chelsea defenders in their. Squad, some unpunished hacking by Liverpool by a friendly official wouldn’t go amiss. Normally I wouldn’t wish injuries on an opponent, but it is Chelsea.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I was asked by a mate to come up with a song for Alexis and wanted to know what people thought
    This here’s the story of Alexis Sanchez
    Who moved from barca to the famous AFC
    He knows how to play and he knows how to fight
    And all the defenders were beat out of sight
    Sing, Alexis, Alexis sanchez
    He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
    Alexis, the black superman
    Who calls to the other guys I’m Alexis catch me if you can
    Now all football fans, you’ve got to accept
    There ain’t no flies on Alexis Sanchez
    He fills the stadium wherever he goes
    And everyone in there gets to their toes
    Alexis, makes all keepers fret
    You watch me shuffle and I’ll put the ball in your net
    He moves like the black superman
    And calls to the other guys I’m Alexis catch me if you can
    We say he’s the greatest that football has seen
    The lightweight champion who’s held in esteem
    His feet are so quick, his shot is so hard
    Which proves he’s the king of the pitch by far
    Sing, Alexis, Alexis sanchez
    He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
    Alexis, the black superman
    Who calls to the other guys I’m Alexis catch me if you can
    Sing, Alexis, Alexis sanchez
    He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
    Alexis, the black superman
    Who calls to the other guys I’m Alexis catch me if you can



    tried to fit the chilien superman but I dont think it works.
    This is something Stew would be good at TBH

    Liked by 2 people

  19. My wife and I met Muhammad Ali at Heathrow airport. She managed to get his autograph and offered him and his minder a ‘refresher’ sweet. Ali, I cannot get enough of that man. Truly the greatest…..

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Good effort a_or_b – “Alexis, Alexis Sanchez, he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee”.

    Like

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