ARSENAL CANNOT WIN EVERY GAME by Uche
When the referee blew the final whistle yesterday in our game against Swansea, I was surprisingly calm. It was not because the game meant nothing to me or that I expected us to lose. I guess something in me finally recognizes after all these years that it will be foolhardy for anybody to expect a football team today to go unbeaten all season.
That a team has improved and looks to be finally capable of challenging for a title does not mean that they will not lose a game once in a while. Even the biggest cynics concede that this Arsenal team has improved. We have won games that we would have lost this time last year and we are on course to beat last season’s point total of 73. From the look of things as well, we stand a good chance of retaining the FA cup. (ADMIN COMMENT – Err Uche we actually got 79 last year, but we still would have come Fourth with 73….just!)
When a result like this happens, there are many ways one can look at it. Being angry and irrational is one option. Being disappointed but optimistic is another. I choose the latter and I have my reasons. This team played well yesterday in spite of the opposition’s water tight defense. We did everything but score goals. Make no mistake about it, Swansea did not come to the Emirates to play. Their game plan was not to get beaten. Chelsea had a similar game plan when we played them a few weeks ago and the thing about playing a team that does not want to play is that it makes your job difficult. If Arsenal chooses not to play as well when we face a team like Madrid or Juventus, we too can be hard to break down. So I think that it is important for us to put all of these factors into consideration when reacting to this result. Critics have accused Arsenal fans of going absolutely bonkers when their team loses and they are right. One defeat is all it takes for a few to dig out their ‘Wenger Must Go’ banners and that can be terribly childish and ridiculous sometimes. An Arsenal team that has played some of the most breathless football we have seen in the Premier League with a ten game unbeaten run cannot suddenly be rubbish overnight.
If Real Madrid can lose a game after spending 260 million pounds on Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema and Rodriguez, I will be calm and humble when my Arsenal team loses the occasional game. Swansea got lucky. Period. On a different day, they would have lost that game 4-1 or 3-1. Fair play to them. A goal is a goal. They scored and we didn’t. They have earned their three points after being absolutely battered by Arsenal. So I will take this one on the chin and look forward to the next game. No I will not ridicule Giroud, Ozil or any other Arsenal player for that matter. They do not deserve it and have done enough this season to earn our respect and appreciation. If not that we are trying to be classy as usual, we will be pointing to the one or two well-deserved penalty calls against Swansea as one of the reasons for our defeat. Swansea players shoved and pulled Giroud, Alexis and our other offensive players each time a cross was whipped in from a corner kick. But the referee and the technology at his disposal could not capture that.
But like I said, we will take this one on the chin and accept that however good a team is, sometimes the result of a game just does not reflect their quality and efforts. So on to the next one. Peace.
Lagos – Nigeria