They say Arsenal has it. Arsène Wenger challenges his players to prove they don’t have it. So, what does this monster called an inferiority complex look like? Isn’t it a nebulous affair? If you asked Jeffrey Skilling from his 10 by 8 piece of real estate he calls home at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery Alabama, Jeffrey would know the answer. You do remember our Jeffrey, he of the “You’ll know it when you see it” Enron infamy. He would tell you that an inferiority complex is like pornography, you’ll know it when you see it.
Another way of looking at it is this. In the last 5 years, Arsenal has only won 11 out of the 51 matches against the current top 6. We’ve lost the last 7 out of 8 at Stamford Bridge and failed to keep any clean sheets. In those 8 matches against Chelsea away, we’ve conceded at least 2 goals in each game. But hey, there’s always a brighter spin on things. Arsenal has beaten Chelsea in the last 3 out of 4 games. Victor Moses and Pedro might have helped by conspiring to reduce their team to 10 men on two occasions, but you can’t refuse to take the win if it comes. There was of course the curious case of Thibaut Courtois fancying himself as a penalty taker extraordinaire.
But We Have a Tank, Don’t We?
I don’t think you can get any more engrained in the psyche of Arsenal fans than the way Sead Kolasinac has. Granted, we’re only a few weeks in, but what more can he do to prove he has to be one of the first names on the team sheet. Throwing in an equalizing goal at Wembley and at the Emirates ain’t shabby at all. Wenger of course has to play him at left back or LWB depending on whether we play 4 or 3 at the back. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
After the match against FC Kóln on Thursday night, my friend decided she was going to nickname our Bosnian tank ‘Kalashnikov’. “A straight shooter” she says, as she looked up from playing Online Blackjack Canada. No nonsense, keeps to the simple things he’s good at, and does exactly what it says on the tin”. And it showed after his entry at half time. Alexis was more confident with the knowledge that there’s a tank covering his backside. And it can attack too.
Case No. 14092017: Arsenal and 1. FC Kóln vs The People of Football
For some reason, I can’t stop thinking about the UEFA prosecutors presenting this case before Judge Judy. She would know what to do. The Germans seem to have exhausted the crimes in Article 16 of UEFA’s regulations, and Arsenal being charged with crimes against Football fans in Article 38. UEFA do like charging people. I suppose the fines fill their coffers.
Thursday’s case was that of poor planning. You live and learn from it, and given how fluid the situation was, it all ended up being all right on the night. I think we sometimes forget that the fact the game went ahead was because of the great work done by the Police, stewards and other support staff, and all under very difficult circumstances. It might not be as pretty as everyone wants, but the football isn’t always pretty, is it?
Look Ma! It’s Li’l Jack Willy
I had almost forgotten that jack Wilshere could play in an Arsenal shirt. Glad the circus of the transfer window is done with. He’s a resource and we can use him if he’s not collecting air miles flying in between the pitch and the medical room. I also think he can still be more effective as he plays with better quality around him.
Europa League does offer a genuine chance for our squad players to get real pitch time this season. It was great to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles get a full stretch out with Reiss Nelson also getting an 8 minute cameo in prime time. Arsenal should use the group stages to stretch the legs of the squad players. If mixed with experience here and there, we certainly can make it to the next round.
Given that right now, Arsenal are the favourites, and in the view of many, the strongest team in the Europa League, it doesn’t make sense not to take the competition seriously. Stronger teams will drop down from the Champions League in December. By playing a mixed but strong squad, we will also be giving our key players enough rest so that their energies are focused on the Premier League.
Go On, I Dare You
Meanwhile, there’s just the small matter of tomorrow’s trip to Stamford Bridge. Despite having lost 7 out of our last 8 away at Chelsea, there’s a bit of optimism. We’ve beaten them in 3 out of the last 4. I will remain positive. I will throw my full support behind the team and squad. Surprise us folks. Smash and grab 3 points. We need the points, but I’ll take the bragging rights too. One point will still be a good job.
Have a great weekend good people.