'What was actually wrong with Arsenal?' my friend (a Manchester United fan) asked, more in condescending tone with a cheeky grin as we watched how Arsenal, fighting in four fronts with high spirits after they defeated Barcelona just a fortnight a go, now reduced to a title race, which they seemed had all the chances to win it (3 points behind with a game in hand) but lack of evidence to actually prove that they can.
Back to the question, 'what's wrong?', most Arsenal supporters probably would just say 'nothing' or stay silent. We had a good season so far actually, compared to the other big clubs(Chelsea, anyone?) so the 'fact' (Apologies, Senor Benitez) is there's only one team in English Premier League that are slightly better than Arsenal (the Red Devils, of course), knocked out from FA cup in Old Trafford (Leeds had won here before but in the past edition ,if I'm not mistaken) and blown out of Champions League by the juggernaut Barcelona( El Mano against Real Madrid already, it meant 'the hand' indicating 5-0 scoreline). So why with all the fuss? It's just that Fleet Street(the English media) been on their usual modus operandi, making a mountain out of a molehill. Expect fireworks when Manchester United (hypothetically) knocked out by Manchester City, obliterated by Barcelona in Champions League and pipped to the title by Arsenal only just by goal difference(or was it games won, not so sure here). They (the media) would smell blood and make a lamb chop about it.
Amidst those rainbow-tinted arguments, there's no denying that the sole disappointment is the Carling Cup final loss to Birmingham thanks to these two naive players, Koscielny and Szczesny (I bet you've never heard about them before they join Arsenal).
|Dumb and Dumber (harsh, I know)|
Let's make it clear. Carling Cup is the most least sought after cup, anyway and Arsene Wenger made it clear about it before the final. But this is the FINAL, against a perilously relegation-threatened Birmingham (no offense, by the way) so there's should be no excuses at all. This is the only source of my regrets as Arsenal could had end their drought, but worst of all, they crushed their own supporter's hearts.( I was laughing hard by the way, it's true, ask the PSL director).
So, in my humble opinion only, was there something wrong with Arsenal? Is there something wrong with a club that making profits every year?(Manchester United, Liverpool , Chelsea even Barcelona are still in debt, Manchester City should be actually). A club that consistently challenging for top honours? A club that always play a vibrant attacking football? A club that constantly unearthed brilliant players from nowhere? (Fabregas, Vermaelen, Sagna to name a few.) Was there anything wrong after all?
The answer is.......
Continued in Part Two.