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Random ramblings about Arsenal. 

Filtering by Tag: ManU

Liverpool Match Is the Season’s Lynchpin (for Now)

SJS

By Daniel Brock

(@rockandbrock / @charsenewenger)

The largely stagnant draw with Manchester United was neither a fantastic display nor result. Our attack was tepid and most of the midfield static.

The entire affair was lukewarm. The footballing equivalent of gruel.

Please, sir, may I NOT have some more.

Arsene put the performance down to nerves.  I’d suggest running players ragged (necessitated by a lack of reinforcements) probably had something to do with it, as well.

So, it wasn't a bellowing response to the Liverpool beat down, but on the positive side, we regrouped defensively, Mesut Ozil put in a spirited shift and we got a point.

With 12 games left, the title is up for grabs between five sides, and I suspect there will be high drama and ridiculous results in the weeks ahead.

The Liverpool match on Sunday, however, has much greater feel of immediacy to it. There is unquestionably much on the line, possibly our entire season.

There for the taking are a spot in the FA Cup quarterfinals and a quick response to the evisceration at Anfield. Win and we might just kick on for some silverware. (Especially considering Chelsea or Man City will be exiting the competition shortly.)

In the cataclysmic category is the possibility that we devastatingly get put to the sword for the second time in a week by the Scousers and lose what’s likely our best shot at taking anything from the season. (And, good heavens, the bloody carnage that would take place on Twitter.)

At my most optimistic, I can barely see us getting a result from the Bayern match next week, but coming off 5-1, a home draw and being dumped out of the FA Cup, prospects would be radioactive-wasteland bleak.

It is, as they say, up for grabs now. Well, on Sunday.

Notes and Observations:
- We need to talk about Jack.
- Donde esta Podolski?
- We're one off the top.
- We're six off fifth.
- “Two Shoes” Flamini is coming back (HUGE for the Liverpool tie)
- We’ve got fewer runners than an understaffed restaurant.

A game - not all - is lost

SJS

By Daniel Brock

(@rockandbrock / @charsenewenger)

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?

“FULL COVERAGE!!!”

Well, just get it fixed next week.

“GAAAAAAAHHHHHH.”

Or:

“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.