Oh God It's Friday

I will fully admit that I’m not looking forward to tomorrow’s match. With Adebayor and van Persie out Arsenal are missing any real strike force, with Theo out they lack any pace, and with Gallas and Almunia out they might just win, except both of them are supposedly healthy.

*le sigh*

Oh well, we don’t go to battle with the team we wish we had we go to battle with the team we got, right? Who said that, was it me? No, Donald Rumsfeld? I don’t remember, it must be all the champagne and caviar that I ate at the Obama Food re-Distribution Centre (he even spells it all European).

But seriously, no. I’m dreading this game for several reasons:

  1. Because it’s not on Fox Soccer Channel I have to go watch it at Doyle’s, which is great and all but the Arsenal supporters are going to be outnumbered by the fucking Man U supporters, probably 3-1.
  2. Did I mention that nearly half the squad is in the sick room?
  3. The bookies are betting on an Arsenal loss.
  4. If Arsenal lose I have to listen to people tell me that Arsene Wenger should have beefed up the squad, that Arsenal are not a top four team, that Wenger is a sore loser, etc etc. Basically, if they lose it will be a nightmare for the next two months.

So, first, all the Arsenal supporters who read this blog, go to your local pub on Saturday and cheer for Arsenal. Because nothing would be sadder than some lonely 40 year old man in a Flamini strip surrounded by hundreds of Ronaldos.

Second, erm, well, there’s not much else you and I can do. “Wenger knows best,” right? I’m sure he’s got a cunning plan.

Third, after the match, if they lose, and if someone comes up to you and says “my condolences, but your team should have spent £££ this summer, HAR HAR” and exhales a stinking breath of prawns all over your face. You look that big sucker square in the eye and say

“Yes, and you’d still be a Man U supporting cunt.”

Of all the games this season, Arsenal really need to come out and play with passion tomorrow. Get “stuck in” as they say, play hard, play fair, and play our flowing game. We also need to shut down their main attacks of Ronaldo and Rooney and put some steel on Nani.

Tomorrow is a true test of Arsene Wenger as a manager. This team is down right now, there’s no denying that. Injuries are certainly plaguing the squad but he said he didn’t need to buy a striker in the summer because Bendtner and Vela were going to be world beaters. He also didn’t buy in the midfield because he said he had enough players in Song, Denilson, and Eboue. He did buy in the back and he brought in Silvestre who, though he’s a bit of a risk for this game, I suspect the boss brought in for just these types of clashes. And he didn’t buy a keeper this summer because he saw Almunia reading that New Age Self-Drivel and thought “all this kid needs is confidence!” At least until January this is the team we got, Arsene got us into this mess and he needs to get us out.

Starting tomorrow, I want to see which way he’s leading the team. Already the boss is sending up flares that he probably won’t buy anyone in January, because the players we have “aren’t losers.” That means that no matter how cheap Owen is, no matter that The Times has outlined 11 men who would fit the bill in the midfield, I have grave concerns that Arsene won’t be buying. Whether it’s his hubris that’s preventing him from buying, whether it’s his blindness that makes him think that Song is as good as, say, Alonso, or whether there is some kind of financial bind that is preventing Arsenal from buying and the board is just lying to us about his transfer kitty we probably won’t know until May. So, this whole season is going squarely on the shoulders of Arsene Wenger. If we fall to 6th or 7th place then that will be Arsene Wenger’s failure. If we win the Champions League, that will be his success. Win or lose, this is the team he wanted and he will need to bear the burden of their success or failure.

This is, more than ever, Arsene’s team.

Russ hasn’t published the schedule yet for this weekend, but with games that have a kickoff scheduled for 4:45am PST he usually records them and replays them at 7am. I’ll call down there to verify and update the blog when I have more information.

OK, that’s it, except your poll.. which is a bit of an easy one but here it is none the less

Up the Arse!