Monday, December 29, 2008

Silver lining?

The holiday period has mercifully drawn to a close. My sleeping habits will thank me, I'm quite sure.

Arsenal had a fantastic opportunity to collect a very lucky three points at Villa Park on Boxing Day. They were, as has happened too often this year, snatched away in the end by poor defending and a team that wanted it more. How we even grabbed the lead in the first place is still beyond me. Denilson's goal was just a shocker. On the second, my voice failed me. Just utter surprise that somehow or another we snuck out to a 2-nil lead. Until that point, Aston Villa smelled blood from the very start. They were dazzling and really had their foot on the Arsenal's collective throat. But hey, it was Boxing Day, and there were gobs of football on display. 

We were treated to match after match after match, and by the time Arsenal's kickoff rolled around, I was on pins and needles - in full recognition of our tenuous position and the points available against Aston Villa. Settling for a draw wasn't easy. Especially one we didn't even deserve.

Now, in spite of actually snagging all three points against Portsmouth two days later ... that match was even more difficult to make it through. Gallas saved the day with a late header on a corner kick, out leaping David James. If we can get more of the same out of Gallas in the last half of the season, we'll be in a good position to avoid a further fall. And that's a fall that feels inevitable at this point. Arsenal just looked awful on Sunday.

There was no passion to speak of at all. No will.  No force. No class. How they held on is completely beyond me. I do think, however, that we uncovered a bit of a silver lining - or rather, maybe Arsene has gotten a better look at things. I'm sitting here hoping deeply that Arsene Wenger, with the loss of new captain Cesc Fabregas, will FINALLY recognize the holes that are hampering this team and decide to do something about it. We've known all year that Cesc couldn't achieve anything alone in the middle, and now that he's out for what should be the rest of the year, the other holes in the midfield that we've been discussing all year are even more difficult to cover over.

And so it is that the rumour mill is cranking back up into full action. The transfer window comes flying open once again on Thursday and we can all assume at this point that Arsenal will have to pry open the wallet. We know the funds are there, let's go use them!

In the meantime, I'm sure we'll all be scouring the papers for the slightest hint at players we can look forward to welcoming.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I really enjoy how you're thankful the holiday period has ended and you can get some rest - and Wednesday is New Year's Eve.

Ready for that rocking chair yet, dogg?