It’s late, I’m hungry and the thought of waking up early tomorrow morning (more like later today) for school, along with all the mandatory responsibilities that goes with it, just won’t go away. And it’s not an appealing thought, by the way. It’s like a little scratch on the roof of your mouth that definitely would heal if you could just resist the temptation of exploring it with your tongue; it’s just there, mocking you, and its’ only purpose is to annoy you. These habits of mine (never sleeping when I should and drinking coffee when I shouldn’t – perhaps they’re somehow related?) will drive me crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the only time of the day where I can isolate myself from the outside world and escape to my desolate hideout and place of meditation – my room – and get my thinking done. And I like thinking. I tend to think alot about Arsenal, as well as football in general, and sooner rather than later I usually convert my train of thoughts into articles for this very site, so hopefully you like my thinking as much as I do. It’d be more convenient for everyone that way.
Tonight my topic of careful consideration has been moving on and leaving your once haunting ghosts behind you; dispelling old myths that were once thoroughly attached to the club in question, like an umbilical cord to a newborn, through sheer will and actual accomplishment. We’ve seen it happen right before our eyes these last weeks. We witnessed it when Liverpool finally beat Manchester United for the first time since the invention of the wheel. But they’re not the only ones that have sampled the sweet ambrosia of progression and development during the recent weeks. Arsenal have successfully put the myth of being easily intimidated by the northern, more physical sides to bed. Hopefully once and for all, but, considering the current media treatment of Arsenal, I doubt it. But there’s more to it than that. There is another generally accepted “truth” about Arsenal that have been – still only hopefully though – successfully disposed of. We have travelled up north with remarkable regularity with our young, fragile and frail squad and we’ve beaten the ghosts of our past – and doing it in style, despite missing a handful of chances every game – while, at the same time, carrying the weight of our ridiculously long injury list, meaning that our squad isn’t lacking in depth. At least not to the extent that it has been depicted by the, so called, football experts.
Imagine Manchester United, or any other team with a manager that instantly will be declared a genius for not failing after spending big money, having the same impressive goal difference we currently have after the very same fixtures with their equivalents of Rosicky, Nasri, Diaby and Eduardo on the treatment table. No Ronaldo, no Nani, no Carrick and no Tevez. I for one can see the headlines in front of me as soon as I close my eyes and merely think about it: “Admirable team spirit and collective performances will win United the title for a third consecutive year. And boy their manager is mighty smart.” They’d be getting the headlines we’re currently not getting. Now, I know that I exaggerated a bit, I do know that only 5 games have been played so far (and only 4 for United) – but hopefully you get my point.
It hit me like an atomic bomb, and I do mean that in the most positive way imaginable, whatever that might be, when Wenger, on his post-Bolton press conference, reminded the world that “we still have alot of quality at home”, despite playing football that commentators and neutral onlookers described as “awe-inspiring” throughout the remainder of the day – with half our first team squad. The lesser (at least in terms of quality) part of our squad, too. The same chunk of players had even endured an extremely busy playing schedule the recent weeks, involving several difficult physical challenges on the road as well as international duty.
Who would’ve expected someone like Eboue to, in the void of Rosicky, step up in the way that he has done? He’s been one of our most consistent performers this season, and that’s not even debatable. When I look at the lineup and see his name on the right wing I can actually visualize him running past defenders – with the ball, I might add – and doing something useful with it. I might even go a little bit crazy and assume that he will score. No, wait, just kidding. That’d be blasphemy. But Denilson is coming of age and is already putting in PFA Young Player Of The Year-Performances whenever he pleases, Walcott is turning into what we all thought, or at least hoped, that he could be and Almunia has definitely impressed me so far. The squad doesn’t look that bad after all, does it? Arsenal seem to be breaking their old bad habits without breaking a sweat – perhaps I should too. Good night.