Monday 29 August 2011

8-2? Losing 1-0 in injury time would have been more painful

Man U 8 Arsenal 2
Words: 370. Estimated reading time: 1 minute 20 seconds.
Yes, the scoreline is shockingly dreadful but with the team we had to field yesterday it’s not bringing tears to my eyes.

Only five of yesterday’s team would start in our first choice XI and one of the replacements, Coquelin, is third-choice never mind second. Meanwhile Man U, though missing Vidic and Ferdinand, were otherwise pretty much at full strength, had two extra days to prepare and are on a roll.

So while 8-2 is obviously embarrassing, I’d be getting far more concerned if our strongest side had been shown up. During the beating and even now, I’m not actually that upset. Losing 1-0 in the final minute would have been much more painful.

I imagine I’m a minority. Many supporters will find the result an affront to the name of Arsenal. Perhaps I’d agree if I was there in person and could see the true awfulness of the performance. But perversely, it makes me want to show my support even more – it takes a brave group of individuals to come back from such a public humiliation and they need our backing.

Don’t jump out of the transfer window, Arsene
The calls for Wenger to go will now increase in volume, in both senses of the word. He needs to take his share of the blame for not bringing enough reinforcements in, his handling of the Fabregas/Nasri sales and his general lack of tactical appreciation. But to sack him just for a performance like that when so many players are missing would leave a sour taste in my mouth.

Essentially our season starts in two weeks’ time. The hope remains that enough business can be done in the transfer window to address our faults. The handling of the summer spending is a whole different issue which I intend to deal with once it has closed – that may be the moment where my spleen will be vented, rather than today.

One thought comes to mind now, though, and is probably one for the conspiracy theorists. If yesterday’s thrashing is adding to the board’s thoughts that Wenger’s time is up, are they really going to let him spend all of the transfer pot?

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