Well I know it’s a bit late in the day, but let me get straight into it.
That was hard to take, but that’s football. Now let me explain yesterday’s post:
Essentially I felt that we lost the game rather than were particularly beaten. I know that Birmingham won the game and fair play to them for that, but the mistake which led to the Martins’ goal was an Arsenal error. Bad communication between defenders and keepers happens, but if a defender has committed he should lump it. I know I’m not alone in that opinion, and I feel for Koscielny that he had to learn that particular lesson yesterday.
I’ve heard people refer to that incident as one that was about as freak as the classic Nayim shot that beat Seaman. Not true: Nayim’s shot was a moment of cheeky genius, that caught out a great keeper. Martins’ goal was a piece of opportunism presented to him by two very good but young pros. I suspect Martins’ was bought and brought on in the game to snap up half-chances and he duly delivered.
It’s also worth remembering that the first goal came about as a result of a passage of play where Song and Wilshere had a rare moment of misunderstanding which led to a Birmingham corner. Two errors punished in the worst way possible then, but again that’s football. Birmingham should have had a penalty, we had a few chances, both teams hit the woodwork and we struggled to find the rhythm that thuds resoundingly when Cesc is on the pitch.
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that we struggle without Cesc, but I really didn’t foresee Rosicky starting in the midfield three. Arsene no doubt felt he deserved a shot and was ready, but with the greatest will in the world Cesc’s role in this team is possibly the hardest to fill. I like Tomas as a player though, he had a decent game, and I was tiring fast of other Arsenal ‘fans’ at yelling at him (and Arshavin) when something didn’t come off. Let’s not forget he had a good effort go just wide of Foster’s post in the second half, and that could have made it 2-1 to us.
I guess really that’s all I have to say. I know there were travel problems, but the sheer scale of the Arsenal support that left when Martins scored saddened/surprised/disgusted me. I stayed so long I must have been one of only scores of Gooners left, but trips to Wembley shouldn’t be taken for granted, and the sheer joy and sound of the Blues support was a sight to behold. Don’t get me wrong; I felt like I’d been kicked in the chest when the ball left Martin’s boot and nestled in the net, but I was sure it wouldn’t be an easy day at the office, and it didn’t prove to be.
The good news is that we’re still in three other competitions, and another Wembley trip (or…whisper it, two) could still be on the cards. I know the players will be hurting, and perhaps more than some of us who can go into work the next day and disassociate from the emotional depression football sometimes provides. But we fans as well as the players, and all those who work at the cub are all The Arsenal: There are plenty of games to go this season, and more challenges ahead.
Plus, sometimes, sometimes, disappointment will be followed by joy.
Here’s hoping this season proves that the case.