If you’re here to read that the Arsenal season is over, stop reading.
If you’re here to complain about purchases that could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve happened in January stop reading.
If you’re here to have a moan about the keeper, the midfielders, and the defenders stop reading.
If, however, you watched Arsenal come back from the dead and cheered like an away supporter, read on.
If you know that despite Manchester United’s lucky 1-0 win to Bolton, and Arsenal’s unlucky 2-2 draw, Arsenal are still in the title race, read on.
Because the fact remains that Arsenal are in the title race, however improbable that may seem. The Londoners have a game in hand and while it is against Tottenham at Wet Fart Lane there was something special about the comeback today that should give you hope. Five points down, yes, win the game in hand and the game against United and then what? Oh yes, 1 point ahead.
On a day when our keeper nearly cost us 3 points, our much maligned left winger saved Arsenal’s season with a moment of pure brilliance. On a day when our defensive midfielder had a nightmare, our manager showed some steel and yanked him, changed formations, and saved Arsenal’s season. And on a day when West Brom had a mere two shots on goal and both went in, when so many people thought it was going to be “groundhog day” all over again, Arsenal did the improbable and bundled the ball over the line for the tying goal.
Make no mistake, Arsenal could have and perhaps even should have won this game despite missing six of their starting XI in Cesc, Song, Dj Rou, Vermaelen, Walcott, and Szczesny. A late trip on Sagna was as clear a penalty shout as you will see all season and yet somehow it was missed or perhaps Attwell just didn’t want to give it.
Arsenal now have 9 games left and 27 points to get and they need to build on the mental toughness they showed today. Arsene put it this way:
At the moment, the team needs mental toughness and to support each other, that’s what you need. We are not in a disastrous situation and not to feel sorry for ourselves – we are in a position where we have to be attracted by what we can achieve. We went out of cup competitions, but what is at stake is a championship and that means that the team has been the most consistent. When you want to be consistent you have to deal with disappointments.
Some fans could learn a thing or two from that last sentence. I know some of the guys who traveled today and I have to applaud them, they know how to deal with disappointment. Down 2-0, the season seemingly lost, and all they did was sing louder than at any point in the match. Those people are supporters.
It’s easy to sit on your couch, switching players in and out of your fantasy team and vent frustration on twitter about Denilson. It’s easy to complain that Arsene should have bought Joe Hart, Huntelaar, Joke Hole, Gary Cahill, Boaz Myhill, Hugh Manhill, Hillman Halfunicorn, or whomever scores highest in your fantasy football league but the away fans this season have shown me what it really means to be a Gooner.
Next time you hear them shouting the Arsenal boys on as the season is slipping away at some shit ground hundreds of miles from home and you’re tempted to go on twitter and call people delusional who believe in this team. Ask yourself… Are you a Gooner?
746 — Number of attempted passes by Arsenal (Arsenal’s Premier League season high)
659 — Number of those passes from open play (Arsenal’s League high)
651 — Previous League high for Arsenal (against Stoke)
90 — Number of misplaced passes from open play by Arsenal
87 — Total number of crosses, free kicks, goal kicks, corner kicks, and throw ins Arsenal attempted
80 — Number of misplaced passes from open play by West Bromwich Albion
64 — Percentage of completed passes from open play by WBA
29 — Number of interceptions by WBA
326 — Arsenal passes first half
5 — Arsenal shots first half
295 — Arsenal passes second half
12 — Arsenal shots second half
12 — Number of consecutive League games without a defeat for Arsenal
7 — Number of goals Robin van Persie has scored in his last 7 games
0 — Percent chance that I am going to say something negative about Squillaci, Denilson, or Almunia.
Ground rules: 1-5 = Dr. Clownshoes, 6 = Tiger’s Blood, 7 = Adonis DNA, 8 = Winning, 9 = high priest Vatican assassin warlock, 10+ = a drug called Charlie Sheen.
Almunia: 3 — Unlucky. Tried to spring the offside trap for the second goal, just a little late.
Koscielny: 8 — Didn’t do much except pass at a 95% rate, win all 5 of his tackles, and go 6 for 6 in aerial challenges.
Squillaci: 5 — I’m convinced that Arsene Wenger should buy him a hearing aid so that he can hear the shouts of the players around him.
Clichy: 6 — Got forward for 9 crosses, only completed 2.
Sagna: 6 — Got lost and conceded the first corner. To be fair, I think he expected Denilson to cover that player. To be fairer, he should have known better.
Denilson: 4 — I feel bad for him because he’s clearly lacking in any sort of confidence at the moment. I’ll be surprised if Wenger plays him again this year.
Ramsey: 6 — Despite an obvious lack of fitness showed plenty of drive forward culminating in a near goal off the rebounded van Persie header. Kept possession exceptionally well and completed 37 of 39 passes but looked a bit tired at times. Will benefit from two weeks more training.
Wilshere: 8 — Ran the midfield but just couldn’t quite find that incisive pass to open WBA’s defense. Would have scored a 7 but being that he’s the England captain (in the future) he gets an extra point.
Arshavin: 8 — Scored a goal that only Arshavin could score, switching the ball quickly from the right and lashing it home with the left. Worked hard but showed some fatigue toward the end when some crosses went horribly wrong. Would have scored a 9 but had a point deducted for previous games where he appeared to not try enough.
van Persie: 9 — Arsenal’s most constant threat. Had several great shots that were just saved or just missed. Had one comedy moment where his free kick went into row Z.
Nasri: 6 — Was isolated when he played on the right, got more involved when moved centrally but played a lot of covering and couldn’t get forward enough to be dangerous in the second half.
Wenger: 7 — 5 for the first half, 9 for the second. Started with Denilson because Arsenal need bodies in the run-in. Rightly abandoned the project at half time and brought in the hard working Chamakh. I suspect his patience with certain players has worn thin. Don’t be at all surprised to see several guys pick up “injuries” after the Nationalism break.
Chamakh: 8 — Worked hard, had a good chance in the air saved, and set Arshavin up for the first goal.
Bendtner: 5 — Brought on to change the game in the 58th minute, didn’t do much of anything.
Away Support: 10 — You’re not as fucking punk as these fans, poseur. In fact, if you even tried to go to a game with them your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.