In the aftermath of the harrowing nightmarish early kickoff on Saturday, there were a couple of memes doing the rounds which made me shake my head and laugh out loud in a weird self deprecating frustrated “why-us” kind of a way. The memes fit completely with my lame sense of humor, yet they made fun of Arsenal, so I was at a loss to react. Add to this the fact that the defeat was still too fresh, and I didn’t know which way to turn.
One of the memes had three pictures, the first one had Arsene Wenger shouting “Don’t let Suarez score”, the second photo had Kos and BFG pumping their fists and saying “mission accomplished” and the third photo had Arsene with his head in his hands.
The second meme also had three photos, first one had Mourinho with the caption “The Special One”, the second had Pellegrini with the caption “The Tactical One” and third had Arsene with the caption “Five One”.
I leave you now to shake your head at the sheer apt genius humor behind these two memes and the sheer pain both of them caused me (and all of you)!
But on a more serious note, the Liverpool defeat leaves us rather scarred and demoralized, but it’s important at this juncture for both club and fans to not lose sight of the bigger picture and support our team in getting to gettable goals.
1 – We as a club, supporters and team alike, need to move on from this “we are going to lose” mindset. It’s a game, and Liverpool were masterful even though we were dismal. It seems as if they were playing Playstation football and we were playing Nintendo football. However, this defeat does not take away from the fact that we are second in the league (by one point), still in the FA Cup and still in the UCL. Last season at this point in time we were crying about qualifying for the UCL.
2 – Arsene will do what Arsene does. As someone who works in Marketing and has to make decisions everyday which people don’t agree with, I can empathize with Arsene. At the end of the day we have to have faith in his ability to sort the team out. After all, barring our games against the big teams, we have done rather well. Oh and we beat Dortmund too. So one dire horrendous (add your adjective) game does not make us into a bad squad or Arsene into a loser manager. He is not. He is a smart man who makes smart calls. The smart calls have a certain degree of success, I’d say in the high 90s and it’s a good percentage to operate from. Let’s have faith in him and in the team. If he did not buy in the January window he had reasons. We have to have faith in that. We should not lose sight of the fact that he is the decision maker, not us. And we must also remember that hindsight is forever 20-20.
3 – If we go back to the start of the season, I think all of us believed that a cup was a realistic hope of breaking the jinx, and yet we have been led down the garden path with dreams of an EPL Championship! Well let’s put it all into perspective. For me, the way forward is about making sure we beat United and Liverpool to make sure we stay in the hunt in both the EPL and the FA CUP. It will also give us much needed confidence to take into future games. In fact I’d say the FA CUP is a more realistic silverware hope than the EPL. Having said that, if we lose in one we may lose in the other. Form is connected, so we need to fight on in both fronts. United must be defeated, if for nothing else than for the fact that I want to see the Dutch Skunk (who once upon a time I had a lot of respect for) be on the losing side. Then Liverpool at home. We can win both. We just need to get our head straight.
Sadly, I’d say the UCL has to go. I’m not sure we have the squad to focus on three fronts. And UCL is not winnable (I hope to God I’m proven wrong). Bayern is beatable yes, but not worth diverting resources from the FA CUP and the EPL.
4 – Perspective. The Liverpool game was utterly abject (add your own adjective here), but listen, we have all seen how momentum can carry a team. The first goal was offside, the second one was bad defending and then Liverpool went from strength to strength and we collapsed. My only problem is that we let our heads drop. Heck, we could have been 5-0 in 20 minutes. I want to see a reaction, and all the noises I’ve heard from the team and the manager suggest that they want it as well. This is the only time I can remember in recent history when Arsene has indirectly even blamed himself.
So, let’s not vilify but let’s hope! Let’s back this team and let’s keep believing! It’s got us this far, why can’t it carry us a little further?!