It feels like a slap to the face, a punch to the gut, a kick to the balls, a razorblade colonoscopy, a barbed wire catheterization. Call it what you want, it was incredibly fucking painful. There aren’t enough water bottles in the world to capture the frustration that Arsene must have felt during this game.
Which brings me to another point. After the game, Arsene said: “We have to analyse the reasons why we were not sharp enough in the first half. There is no obvious reason because we prepared normally as we always do, but maybe subconsciously [we thought] we would win it.”
I could pull quotes from him after about ten games this season that say something along the same lines. In a number of the games we’ve lost this season, Arsene seems as utterly surprised at the way the team played as do I. Which raises a question for me (actually, a number of questions) – between Arsene prepping the team and the team playing the game, where do things turn to shit? Is it the players being complacent? Is it Arsene not really preparing the team as well as he thought he did? Is it the other team simply playing harder because it’s Arsenal? I don’t know.
And where the hell was the midfield today? I was honestly surprised not to see them playing a game of hopscotch in the middle of the park (or maybe that’s exactly what we saw). But seriously, where the hell were they?
But the reality is at the beginning of the game (and even with ten minutes left in the game), we were completely in control of our 3rd-place destiny. Now? Not so much. It’s very possible we could even finish in 5th place this year (which is where I thought we’d end up at the end of the season based on comments I made about 4 games ago). We are now reliant on other teams losing – team names I’d rather not mention so as not to sully this blog.
Any way you look at today, it was en epic fail of epic proportions epically. (Presumably) this was Pat Rice’s last home game, Arsene’s 900th game and our last home game of the season.
For me, 4 players do not make it onto the epic fail list – RvP, Ox, Koscielny and Benayoun.
For me, this is the one picture that sums up today’s game.