In the 20-some years that I’ve been an aware fan of The Arsenal (aware meaning I wasn’t in nappies and drooling on myself), we have never been as mentally weak as we are today. Don’t get me wrong – we can fire up with the best of them, but the thing that separates from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United is that we only do it when we need a crucial result or suffer a slight in the press. They do it as a matter of course.
This is most recently evidenced in the weeks since our cracking victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day. To stay in the title race, the Gunners had to play 90 minutes of aggressive, disciplined football, and that is exactly what we did. But in typical Arsenal fashion, we went directly into the shitter almost immediately after the whistles blew.
A lovely win over Birmingham excepted, it was one inexcusable draw after another until we lost to Ipswich Town (currently 20th in the Championship) in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi final. Our lacklustre, disinterested performance brought on a swath of criticism in the press, and Arsenal responded once again — this time with a 3-0 dismantling of West Ham United.
If the pattern is at all reliable, we’re due for a letdown against Wigan this Saturday and the vicious cycle will continue until season’s end. Of course, we wouldn’t be in this mess if Wenger didn’t sell away all veteran experience and leadership for youngsters who haven’t the bottle to do more than play beautiful football and model cute shirts on the website.
One way he could fix it is to find players in the Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira mould. But since we all know that won’t happen, I suggest he offer a contract to linebacker Bart Scott of the New York Jets. No, Bart Scott doesn’t know anything about footy, but what he lacks in knowledge he makes up for in white hot, “do it or I’ll fucking kill you” intensity and that’s exactly what Arsenal needs.
Can you imagine Cesc Fabregas responding like this? Can you imagine him even thinking these things? Neither can I. He’s too busy using his captaincy to act like a whinging bitch in the press, and that’s why we’re on year six without any fucking trophies.