May 2012 and finally through a difficult season, and I think in one foul swoop, this sums up the season perfectly – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only (Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities).
As for my thoughts, high, lows and indifference abound, so I’m going to try to make this simple.
Pills – Transfer policy.
Thrills – Chelsea, Spurs, AC Milan.
Bellyaches – Man United, AC Milan, little league teams.
The Bitterest Pill:
In essence Arsene Wenger’s ‘Make stars, not buys stars’ transfer policy works. It just starts to unravel when Cesc Fabregas and Samir Na$ri, two ‘made stars’, leave before the programme has come to fruition. It especially goes pear shaped when the two aforementioned stars leave in the last week of the transfer window, giving very little time to find suitable replacements. Everyman and his dog knew full well that both were leaving, but Arsene stood firm either hoping it would just go away or was just being plain stubborn to the last minute. The resultant four ‘panic buys’ of late August have pretty much paid off, with the exception of Park Chu-Young, who, lets face it, can only be an Inamoto style marketing ploy.
The Curious Case of Andrey Arshavin bugs me a bit. The timing of the loan smacked of mismanagement and deep down I don’t think we ever gave him a decent run in his favoured position to show the world his true talent. This was shown in the second half at Milan. With a limited bench, we had to result in calling on the services of Park and Marouane Chamakh. If Andrey had been available, he would have been a much better foil for Robin van Persie.
The good thing is that Arsene looks to be addressing this situation. With a busy summer ahead at the Euros and LDN 2012, the window of opportunity to sign players is limited and the early locking in of Lukas Podolski is a wise move.
For a team, allegedly ‘not up for the fight’, we came back from the brink in some remarkable games, to show that this team does have vertebrae.
Date: Saturday 29th October. Location: Stamford Bridge. Victims: Chel$ki
My personal memory of this game is clouded by an excess of alcohol. Watched in The Town Hall, Balmain. 2-1 down at half time, the revised odds flashed up on the screen. 12-1!!! For an Arsenal victory. Hindsight is a b!tch. A 5-3 victory and the alcoholic blur was increased through to the very early morning.
Date: Sunday 26th February. Location: The Emirates. Victims: The Spuds
After 35 minutes our season was finished. Undeservedly, 2-0 down at home against the pretenders, nothing coming off in front of goal, yet another keeper playing a blinder. Then over the next 30 minutes, the confidence, the free flowing football and the goals returned. The Spuds were put in their rightful place and order was returned to the universe.