Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So help me ...

Arsenal have Hull at the weekend - away this time. Three points, please. No less. 

We are clinging, desperately clinging (with broken spears and shattered shields as Ray Hudson would call it on GolTV) (watch it, you won't be disappointed, in spite of the fact that it's ol' Jose Antonio Reyes doing the scoring), to our hopes of landing the absolutely necessary and bare minimum fourth spot in the league. And now, with seven unbeaten (eh, not all bad, eh?) behind us and Chelski sputtering in front of us, if we keep winning, we can climb.

The last time Arsenal faced Hull, the Tigers were flying high and looking like world beaters in the early stages of the season. Up 1-nil, Arsenal lost at home, straight off of a 6-nil romp in the Carling Cup, by giving up 2 to the premier league newcomers ... a 2-1 loss and an early look at how the season might go.

If we come out the same way on Saturday I will absolutely lose my mind. It'd be nice to just have a few goals for fun - like it should be, with a smile even. Rather than the all-too-familiar feeling of a massive weight being peeled off of you at the 85th minute (time and time again). This team needs to put it into gear and slam the foot on the gas straight away. Rev it up, baby. Let's get it going. The last two matches I've watched were Arsenal's terse 1-nil over Bolton, and Liverpool's dour, and referee dampening, 0-0 against Stoke (and about half of the Manchester United vs. Chelski match, before I began to feel imposed upon). As Robin van Persie said (a man who once claimed Arsenal's football came from another planet), it's not football when it's played like that. 10-0-0 or 0-10-0 formations? Piss off.

Hell no. Get after it lads. We can only hope for a statement, and maybe even a couple of goals? Why not, right? Hull have been slipping away in a hurry and Arsenal have been forging a bit more of a new identity of late. Granted we've not been reaching for great heights, but there's no ignoring the fact that the side seems to be coming together in an interesting way ... leaders are being born in a hurry. Now for that creative and incisive edge that is needed to open up, or brush aside, the team bus that'll be parked in front of the Hull goal.


Carl said...

I am expecting the hull bus parked right in the center of the pitch with lots of dirty play. They will take a page from Stoke and rub a ball with a frakkin towel for half the match or some other gambit of time wasting we have yet to be dazzled with. Maybe Samuel Ricketts will put out the sun and literally get a case of the rickets. Dean Windass will show us where his surname comes from. Whatever, I just hope Arsenal can play football and not have to chip away at a everyman behind the ball snore fest reminiscent of Italian footballs Catanaccio style then try to sneak one in. It has been shown the only way to beat that crap is to get supercreatuve and drop bombs on them from all over like a certain middle east country whomping on another smaller middle east country. Read the papers and you will get my analogy. Don't expect the Man U scum to get it due a general state of boorishness.

Jim said...

Windass is on loan. Not sure where, but it's a lower-division club.

Also, Hull, win or lose, doesn't park the bus. Their version of caution is more of an aggressive counter-attack. At home, I'd fully expect them to go for it. They have nothing to lose.

If they're parking it, that would mean they've given up on what's worked and have started the "hold on for dear life" approach to avoiding relegation.

Hell, it's working at times for Stoke.

Colin said...

I gotta say, Jimbo, while Hull didn't park it early on, I think at this point they're gonna start.

That's the trouble. And in that trouble it shows two flaws in the Arsenal.

One, we couldn't beat them earlier when they actually attempted to play football. Hull were playing good and honest football and getting points for it. We gave it a go, but our defensive structure was too weak to gather any points.

Two, at this point, they'll have stopped playing football as they're sliding down the table and they'll start thinking, hell, we need points. And for the Arsenal at the moment ... the creative incision to get those points, to break down the defence and to notch the necessary goals ... well, I think we all know it's lacking.

That's why I'd like to see these newer leaders step up and make it happen. And in that group I'm including the likes of a Robin van Persie. The lad is trying, against all hope, to prove that he's a vital member of this team now. He can not only score goals, but he can lead and provide the inspiration for more out the others around him. I, we, have to hope that he's capable of pulling this off. We've called him, to this point, someone short of capable delivery in the crunch of it all, but at the very instant, with Arsenal lacking that final step, Robin has raised his hand ... if only in the post-match comments ... but for now, that's a lot more than others have offered, and we need to look to him to be the man who will take that step.