|"If Only I'd Spent £250M, We Could've Been As Crap as Man U"|
Yet whatever your opinion and no matter how certain you might be that le Prof is long past his sell-by date, we shouldn't become the sort of parents who are constantly berating their partner to try and influence the children. Nothing good will ever come from this!
For all his failings this summer, Wenger has been somewhat unlucky (although we should expect nothing less by now) and if he's able to make good on his promise to strengthen the squad in January, I can't help but feel that if only according to the law of averages, the current team will eventually come good. Albeit that sadly, should it happen, it appears increasingly likely that it will be far too late in the day for anything but the feint hope of a decent cup run.
Watching the Villa v Soton game yesterday, I heard it commented that seven of Koeman's side have started every game this season. Similarly, I heard exactly the same thing said of Mourinho's team in the radio commentary of their impressive display on Saturday. Football isn't rocket science and surely this statistic and the fact that these two teams have been the only consistent sides in the Premiership is no coincidence?
Despite the dismal outcome, there were some promising signs on Saturday and our defeat to Man Utd certainly wasn't for the want of trying. I've watched plenty of games where I've been left disgusted by our failure to win because I just didn't feel that we've wanted it enough. But you couldn't fault the effort on Saturday and as a result, although we witnessed the customary (and IMHO disgusting) "fire drill" before the final whistle, there wasn't the expected barrage of booing from those of us who did remain to the bitter end.
As Mertesacker and a couple of other of the usual suspects with the maturity to comprehend the value of showing their appreciation to the more devoted amongst us who pay their wages, lingered for a few moments to applaud the faithful, despite our devastated misery, the majority felt obliged to return the compliment, in the knowledge that they'd given everything over the course of the 90 minutes.
Additionally, despite all the obvious criticisms from the pundits about our defensive naivety, while I might agree as far as the sucker punch of Utd's first goal was concerned, in truth, I've got no problems about us conceding the second. Personally, I would've been far more disappointed if we hadn't thrown the kitchen sink at trying to turn the game around. To my mind, getting caught on the counter with five minutes left on the clock is always an acceptable risk, when you end up chasing the game in this fashion.
The hilarious sight of Jack Wilshere more belly-buttoning than head-butting Fellaini happened right in front of me and at the time I assumed he'd be lucky to escape with just a booking. It's therefore more than a little ironic that for once, I was left praising Mike Dean for using his discretion. How often have I been left bemoaning a ref, for thoroughly spoiling a high-profile encounter such as this, by reacting by the book to a momentary rash incident, where no real harm has been caused.
Instead of which, quite frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by the way Dean handled it and I only wish more referees were able to apply some common sense to this sort of petulant temper-tantrum, rather than immediately producing a red card and instantly ruining the spectacle for the watching millions.
However, as it turned out, since we lost the game anyway, Dean would've actually done us a favour by sending Jack off, saving him from the subsequent injury and us from losing, currently our most effective midfielder for at least a couple of months and just as Jack was beginning to find the sort of form that's expected from him!!
Trying to find some sight of a silver-lining to another depressing injury cloud, on the basis that to date Ramsey's form has been so poor compared to his fabulous feats of last season and the fact that we never seem to get the best from both him and Wilshere whenever they play together, hopefully Jack's enforced absence might give Aaron an opportunity to shine.
Similarly, Giroud's late strike might have been scant consolation, but this instantaneous thwack on target was a sight for sore eyes, as evidence of something that's been sorely missing in Olivier's absence.
With Dortmund coming to us on the back of an even worse run of form than our own, I sincerely hope we capitalise on their lack of confidence, by laying into the German side with the same sort of intensity that we witnessed from the opening whistle on Saturday.
And hopefully this time, with just a little more luck on our side
Keep the faith
One Egg Is An Oeuf, Obviously Six Defenders Ain't!
|Fortunately Fellaini's Afro Not Nearly So Sharp As His Elbows|
|Hands Up Who Thinks I Should've Been Sent Off|
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