Monday 16th May 2011
There is no doubt it would be fair to say all us Gooners cannot wait for the season to finish. Two wins since February and only three clean sheets in our last 12 games tell the story even if we don't analyse everything else.
Speaking to a Man Utd season ticket holder I know in the week, he was the first to admit his side have played poorly or at best average on many occasions this season. In the majority of those games however, they have remained at 0-0 for long periods, often with his team grabbing a winner late on.
This for me has been the major difference. We know we can score goals, or at least create plenty of chances in the majority of games. For me however, even when dominating we have been caught too often at the back.
Yesterday was a perfect example of my point. In the first half an hour we were very poor. Not just because we conceded two goals but more that we simply weren't at the races all over the pitch. In that situation however, it is of paramount importance to keep the game scoreless.
For the last hour we completely dominated, created lots of chances, had a blatant penalty and the resulting sending off turned away and a perfectly good goal disallowed. In a game like this one however, RVP's late goal should have been enough to take the three points.
Yet again we lost the game in the opening stages due to poor defending.
I might sound a bit like our manager here but I don't believe we can point the finger at individual players all of the time. Of course, there are particular mistakes, human beings can always make these but for me it is all about how we deal with each part of the game collectively.
One player doesn't defend, the whole team does and certainly in recent weeks it is an aspect of the game where we have failed on far too many occasions.
The frustrations we all feel as fans came out very clearly on Sunday and with the chance to qualify for the Champions League yet again the minimum we can achieve it demonstrates more than ever how our expectations have changed down the years.
Our last season at what will always be remembered as our spiritual home saw us all in a massive celebratory mood having scraped a Champions League spot on the last game of the season against Wigan.
Since moving to our new home we have come close on numerous accasions but that silverware still eludes us. For each and every one of us that is becoming increasingly frustrating. I don't think there is a Gooner in the world that doesn't know that.
We all have the right to approach that situation in whatever manner we see fit... and I hope you accept that includes me.
Historically, other people have always enjoyed knocking our great club, Gooners of an older generation will confirm that. Many have always believed it was borne out of jealousy due to the Club becoming the biggest, most famous and successful back in the thirties.
This 'grief' if you like, has always made us Gooners stick together and by doing just that we have enjoyed many periods of success, something that grinds even more with those who enjoy to kick us.
Even though like each and every one of you I have my opinions on every aspect of our Club, our teams and our fans, I am of that 'ilk' that I would rather we all did stick together and leave the knocking to other people.
But that's just me.
We are Arsenal.
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