By Daniel Brock
I wonder if Arsenal fans respond to adversity in their everyday lives the same way they do when the team hits a bump:
“OH MY GOD, I’VE BEEN IN A FENDER BENDER.”
Is the car drivable?
“YES – BUT THERE’S A SCRATCH!!!”
Does the other driver have insurance?
Well, just get it fixed next week.
“We’re low on peanut butter. HONEY, I TOLD YOU TO BUY MORE PEANUT BUTTER. YOU DID NOT BUY PEANUT BUTTER. I AM NOW FORCED TO EAT A HAM SANDWICH. I WANT A DIVORCE!!! WIFE OUT!!!”
You get the idea.
That’s much what Twitter looked like yesterday during and after the 5-1 mauling at Anfield, a performance so abject that it made hotel construction in Sochi look gold star. (Even 8-2 had the rationalization of a ludicrously shaky lineup. Yesterday was probably our best available 11.)
Down 4-0 inside 20 minutes, the score line still flattered. Liverpool were irresistible. We were insipid. It was harrowing, horrifying and humiliating, a trio of adjectives that also rightly describe Arsene Wenger’s post-match tumble, a collapse that conveniently personified our 90 minutes of hell.
So, what to make of it?
Well, first of all, the season isn’t over. Our title challenge isn’t over. Nothing is over. And many, many people on Twitter and in the media would do well to remember that.
Seriously, pull it together, you babies.
Big setbacks earlier in the season have spurred mighty responses. The chance to right the ship presents itself in midweek in the form of Manchester United. Then it’s Liverpool again in the FA Cup and, as we all know, Bayern Munich the following Tuesday.
Anything can happen in the league this season; there’s a good 20 twists and turns left there. The Munich tie, meanwhile, is over two gut-wrenching legs.
It’s the Liverpool match, for me, that could go a long way in defining our season. A win sees us through to the quarterfinals and avenges yesterday’s atrocity in one fell swoop. (And I always would have taken a win in that game ahead of the league game at Anfield, as if they were mutually exclusive.)
A loss (particularly in the vein of this recent one), however, and it would maybe be time to start complaining about a lack of peanut butter.
Let’s literally see how it plays out.