D’s Diary of a Season 20/21

Week Two – Winning Ugly and Carabao Conspiracies 

Saturday 19th September 2020

Arsenal 2 West Ham 1

Well, I suppose one way of looking at it is that there’s nothing quite like a performance like that to bring you back down to Earth.
Winning ugly. Not pretty, but a whole lot more attractive than losing ugly.
Don’t know about you, but this didn’t come as much of a surprise at all. I’ve seen this film time and time again over the years. Well, maybe not the exact same film, but similar films that don’t always end as well.
You can look at it one of two ways, I suppose it depends on whether your glass is half empty or half full. Playing poorly but finding a way to win a game that you probably should have lost, is exactly what any team that wants to be successful simply has to be able to do. (If your glass is closer to three-quarters full, you can probably slip a “stuff of champions” in there as well.)
The other, glass half empty view, is to wet your little pants and whine like a big fanny about how much we need to spend in the transfer market, cry that Arteta keeps picking that player you don’t like, tell everyone we are going to get slaughtered by Liverpool next week and generally embarrass yourself.
I’m sure there’s some kind of middle ground as well, but I’m not sure how that would fit in with the glass analogy. Also, when was the last time anyone was arsed about middle ground anyway? We’re all too entrenched in shouting at each other on the internet these days.

I watched the game through a live stream on Twitter, and it was quite an experience. The Arabic commentary was, erm, quite lively to say the least.
How this geezer still had a voice by the end of the game, I don’t know. If you’re old enough to remember Jonathan Pearce on Capital Gold back in the day, then just imagine what he would have sounded like after dropping a couple of grammes of speed.
Fair play, but I had to mute him in the end as he was giving my arsehole a headache.

Anyway, the game itself!
As I say, it wasn’t the greatest performance by any stretch. You don’t need me to tell you that, so I’ll not go on about the game too much.
It’s difficult to think of many bright spots from the game really. Lacazette’s goal was very good. It was great to see Eddie get the winner, and the way we worked the ball for the late winner was very good too.
Oh, and I had a lovely brie and salami baguette.
The best part of the night for me, though, was Mikel’s reaction at the final whistle. He really does “get it.” The handsome bastard even trumped my baguette.

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Leicester 0 Arsenal 2

I don’t generally write much on a Monday. For me, Monday is all about going to work and getting Monday out of the way as quickly and as painlessly as possible. F**k Monday, basically.

That Monday vibe seemed to last a couple of days this week, such is the way of the world right now, and all of a sudden, it’s Wednesday. We have a game at Leicester in the Carabao Cup tonight, which I had actually forgotten about. In the same way that I don’t do Monday’s, I don’t really do the Carabao Cup much either. Not unless we win, of course. The rules of the Carabao Cup are pretty much along the lines of those of the Community Shield, as described last week.
In case you missed that (hang your head in shame!) it goes like this: if you lose - it doesn’t matter, it’s a worthless competition anyway. If you win – it does matter. Simple as that.
You can look upon the Carabao Cup as a kind of novelty competition until the semi-finals. Get to the semi-final and shit gets real. Unless you lose the semi-final, in which case it’s just real shit, and it goes back to being a novelty competition that doesn’t matter.
Should you win the final, it’s a trophy as important as any other. It’s actually compulsory for men of a certain age to mention on Twitter that George Graham’s first trophy as Arsenal manager – a win that acted as a springboard for further success.
Should you lose the final, well…..you get the idea by now, yeah?

These games are also good for outing the closet conspiracy theorists among us, as people use the team selection to analyse things that aren’t there. Saliba’s exclusion being the subject of raised eyebrows on this particular occasion.

Mate, it’s a League Cup game, not the f***ing X-Files. Give it a rest, eh?

Our progression was secured thanks to a 2-0 win and it was nice to see Eddie on the scoresheet again. Not sure about that little tantrum after the first goal, though. We scored, mate! Mind you, it could’ve been worse…. Harry Kane would’ve claimed that one.

Anyway, job done, which means a trip to Liverpool in the next round.

Which leads us seamlessly into the next game.

Six points was a welcome, yet vital, return from our opening two games when you consider what comes next. Monday night sees us take on Liverpool, the only team of the modern era to win a league title that came with a free asterisk.

Apologies if I’ve mentioned this before, but I absolutely, wholeheartedly, one hundred and fifty percent detest Liverpool. Most Arsenal fans of my generation I know feel the same.

It’s why you’ll never hear any praise for them coming from my direction, and why it bugs me to see any praise for them from any Arsenal fan. Even if it is for Jurgen bloody Klopp. Yeah, yeah, he’s passionate on the touch line and all that and sometimes does a funny in an interview. Yeah he would’ve been a great replacement for Arsene Wenger and yeah we can lament how different things might’ve been had we got him before they did, but we didn’t. Look, I’m not telling you what to do – you can sit there lapping up Klopp glop if you want, but as far as I’m concerned, he can get in the bin with Kenny Dalglish, Steve McMahon, Michael Owen and Sonia.

Here endeth the lesson.

Until next week.

Up The Arsenal.