Arsenal Still Have Eyes On The Prize Mar10


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Arsenal Still Have Eyes On The Prize

After Tuesday’s defeat, there seems to be a bit of disquiet brewing among some sections of Arsenal support. I say Arsenal support; what I’m specifically referring to is a section of Arsenal followers who predominantly make their presence felt online. Whilst none of us were satisfied to lose to Birmingham in the Carling Cup, or get turned over in the Camp Nou, I think the current squad are victims of their own relative success.

I know that losing as favourites in a cup final and falling in the round of 16 in the Champions League doesn’t represent the level of success we all yearn for but, just two short weeks ago, we were in all four competitions; we were the only side in the country who could boast as much. It could be argued that this led to unhealthy expectations amongst our supporters, whipped up by a media frenzy designed to build us up and knock us down.

If we’d dropped out of the Carling Cup early on, after another bunch of 17 and 18-year-olds had given another nod to a future of great promise, we’d have entered the New Year in three competitions, just as was expected. A couple of months on, a defeat to Barcelona, might have been viewed for what it was; a defeat against the best club side in the world, albeit in disappointing circumstances.

As it stands, we remain in the two most important domestic competitions and we retain as good a chance as we’ve had for a few years.

Saturday is hugely important: if we win that, we will be installed as favourites to lift the FA Cup. We will then, perhaps even more importantly, have little more than a game a week in the run in whilst United will most likely have the latter stages of the Champions League to occupy them.

I reiterate that I’m not trying to say that going out of any competition is a good thing, more that the fact we made it to a position no other club could boast meant that those sections of our fans that are so intent on winning a trophy thought it was a foregone conclusion. The fact that you support Arsenal doesn’t entitle you to the reflected glory a trophy brings and we all must realise that.

Hacks such as John Cross – who I have time for – suggested otherwise today, yet his employer is in the business of selling newspapers, so of course he will fuel this particular fire. It’s worth noting that Trinity Mirror has lost nearly 90% of its market value since 2005 and are desperate to hold onto, and gain new, readership. Read into that what you will.

Arsenal are still well placed to end the drought that plagues the club. Conclusions about projects gone wrong and tactical or emotional weaknesses are not to be made now; we are still on course.

Keep The Faith. In Wenger We Trust.