Sunday 26th September 2010
My walk back to my transport after the majority of home games takes me past the junction of Gillespie and Avenell Roads and looking up to Highbury's famous East Stand and the marble halls within it always brings back all those wonderful memories of wonderful trophy-winning nights and the celebrations that follow.
We have absolutely no chance of adding another chapter to our trophy-winning history if we don't turn up in games until the 75th minute! I use the word 'if' intentionally as fortunately for all of us this is a rarity, especially at home.
Sometimes you just have to put your hands up and admit we were well beaten on the day. That was the case on Saturday despite what the scoreline suggests.
Listening to one of the football phone-ins our bias for the teams we support was so obvious. Us Gooners were represented by fans bemoaning our poor performance whereas Baggies fans were right to be celebrating their historic victory by praising their team’s efforts.
Nobody mentioned arguably the correct analysis that it was a very large combination of both. It was comfortably the worst I have seen us play for a long long time, especially at home but I would be wrong to not give our visitors credit for what was a fine performance.
One player took more stick from our home support and if I'm honest I have to admit to being a bit sick of it. He has been nothing but committed and professional since joining our club and deserves nothing but our full support. After an excellent start to the season under extreme pressure Manuel made a glaring error on Saturday and as often the case with a goalkeeper we paid the ultimate penalty. It is so easy to pick a scapegoat and some of us Gooners are experts at that. They seem to forget however, that all those representing the red and white (except maybe one or two) could not walk off the pitch with anything other than their head held low.
The highs we hit on Tuesday to the lows of Saturday afternoon demonstrate that you are only as good as your next game.
That comes on this occasion with a trip into the unknown for most of us as we head to Serbia and our second Champions League encounter.
Writing these notes at Luton Airport, all our group are pretty downbeat after Saturday.
Football has a great habit of lifting you back up again, we all hope Tuesday is the latest occasion.
Right... to the bar!
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