Yesterday, on the way to Doyle’s to see the recording of the game, I was trying to explain to my girlfriend why I thought Arsenal might lose to Bolton 3-0. It was simple really, Bolton was always going to defend and hoof the ball forward. If one of those long balls just happened to drop right, Bolton could go ahead 1-0. I tried to explain that Arsenal’s central defense right now is shaky and how they seem very susceptible to this very basic form of attack.
But, I went on, if Arsenal go down an early goal it would mean that they would be even more aggressive defensively and gamble more. This in turn, leaves them even more vulnerable to the one type of attack they are least able to defend and unless Arsenal got a quick goal in return, all of their forward momentum could see them go 2 down.
I also told her that I was worried about one of the Arsenal players getting frustrated by Bolton’s overly physical approach and how the person who retaliates is always the one who gets punished. So, I could see Arsenal going down 2-0 and also being reduced to 10 men.
Little did I know I would be prophetic.
I wish I could say that I saw a 10 man Arsenal would go on to then score 3 goals, win the match, overcome their bogey team, and send the miserable cunts down to the Championship division. I didn’t. I predicted a 3-0 loss to her.
So much for my prognosticating skills.
I say all this, not to brag about how insightful I am. Rather that I suspect a lot of us could have predicted that 3-0 Bolton wins result. It’s an easy prediction, given their recent form, the desperation, the shaky defense, the historical cuntery of Bolton, etc. etc. It was an obvious prediction. The prediction of a fan who is down on his team.
The real supporters wouldn’t make that prediction though. The real supporters always hold out hope that their team can win.
Last year when Arsenal beat Liverpool in a see saw 6-3 match at Anfield I saw a guy keep the faith in his team, and at the time I was dismissive of him. “What a fool” I thought. But now? I’ve decided that he should be an example for us all.
Right now, we should all be proud of this squad. Just like Wenger is. We should be proud to be an Arsenal supporter. Remember this was the team that nearly everyone wrote off as 5th place or 6th place. And this was the team who, for most of the season, led the league. They proved everyone wrong before.
Why shouldn’t we believe that they can do it again?