Friday, January 14, 2011

Letter from Iwo Jima

"West Ham lie at the bottom of the league table, we will just turn up and win the game, simple. We've done that against Leeds, beat them 4-0 and Ipswich, we hammered them 10-1. It will be a trivial task to repeat that performance." 

No, please stop thinking like that Arsenal! This complacency has costed you...well extra matches but unbearable pain to us. There are people who pay and travel to watch you play and there are people, like me who remain awake at ridiculous hours to witness the lovely footie,  which you're supposed to play. The last week has been difficult to both sets of supporters and the results are unfair given the effort we put to watch our team. Everyone of us is sad, some have stopped eating, some have stopped talking to Mancs friends, some have stopped shaving and some have been weeping for days. The misery is widespread and it just can't be captured in words.

But for a moment forget about us. The question I want to ask is that as a team do you like to lose? I guess no, but then why doesn't it look like it when you play. Why do as supporters we feel that some of the guys don't put the required effort. I will not take names but Arshavin and Bendtner are good for a start. We understand that none of them are playing in their favorite position but the desire to win/succeed transcends all that displeasure. Nick had earlier claimed that he should start the games for Arsenal but looking at his last two performances we certainly don't agree with him. He has been sub-par even by his standards.

And what can we say about Andrei. His performance graph has gone down like an inverse exponential curve. He was magnificent when had newly arrived but now looks completely disinterested. What's the matter with him? If he's not happy he should talk to Arsene, he may not know so please somebody tell him. As supporters we will be very happy if he can be his normal self again and play like the Arshavin who used to destroy teams with his precise shooting and crisp passing. Ohh how I would love it...

But the problem we now face is deeper, it's not about one or two players, it's about the team as a whole. Against Ipswich you guys were supposed to maraud them. But what we witnessed was more of an army running on donkeys trying to run down a herd of elephants. You guys were slow and ugly to watch. It was as if nobody wanted to take charge of the performance, take the game by the scruff of the neck and win it. You're going about it quite aimlessly and at the end, deservedly lost. I'm not sure whether it hurt you but it certainly did a lot of damage to us. We've been trying to fathom the reason for these shambolic performances and figuring out the possible mental block but are unable to lay our finger on one.

There could be many plausible justifications and explanations for this Jackyll and Hyde attitude but none of them would appease us. What we would love to watch is you guys playing in those red and whites and destroying the opposition as they come. We would love you to do some soul-searching and recall the belief that we showed against Chelsea. And once you find it, keep it as it will be needed in the cup ties too. Don't forget that we're very close to winning a silverware, no matter how small it is. It could very well be our stepping stone to bigger things in football. If not for anything else, at least play for that glory.

1. I'm not writing this from Iwo Jima. 
2. Ipswich score, courtesy Sian.

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