Arsenal fans wouldn’t have been thrilled when they realised Patrice Evra was a guest on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
He wasn’t flattering towards us as a player and now as a pundit, he couldn’t wait to kick us when we were down. After watching us lose at Sheffield United he labelled us ‘babies’ something he had accused us of being before.
The idea that he would shake hands with Van Persie on his first day at United and say welcome to a ‘man’s club’ is hard to imagine. To clarify that’s someone who was a captain for us letting a former rival belittle the club he was at for nearly a decade. Could you imagine an Adams, Viera or Henry letting that happen?
Personally, I don’t think it’s professional that someone who works in the same industry should be so critical of others. Surely he should have empathy for when his peers have days where things are not going well? Would he like the French World Cup squad constantly reminding him of where he went wrong in 2010?
The sad reality is it’s hard as a gooner to argue with him. He first used the term ‘babies’ 10 years ago. He’s not repeating that a decade on to be provocative, he can generally make a fair argument that in that time frame we have done nothing to change the perception. When he used to play against us, he came across gunners who had promising youngsters, but lacked experience to help them in critical moments of games and matches. That’s how we became known as having a soft underbelly, no longer feared when we went away from home.
It was too easy to bully us, too many of our ‘starts would be complacent’ we often showed up with the wrong attitude, not battling and earning the right to play. Yes, we looked beautiful passing the ball, but the fear factor had gone.
It’s why some fans got tired of Arsene Wenger; they felt the problems were regressing but under Emery it’s got worse. We still have youth getting a chance, just not as good, there is a question marks about our mentality and doubts about our leadership qualities.
We fear every away game with the events at Brammall Lane no longer a shock but something that happens regularly. Worse we lost our identity. If nothing else, you could rely on Arsenal to play the ‘right way’. If we lost at Bolton it was because they were too physical, at Stoke because we couldn’t defend in the air. Now it’s because we pass the ball sideways, no one moves off the ball, we play defensive minded midfielders more than attacking ones.
So yeah, I was hurt by Evra’s comments. But then the truth does hurt..