First Away Loss 2-1 ; )

No, I didn’t watch the game. Not at all. Was busy keeping tabs about something to do with my profession.

From what I’ve gathered from the Arsenal Mania forums – the usual knee-jerking and reactions were to be found with generous ounces of profanity and classic examples of a rush of blood to the head to serve with that. From what little I could gather from the ESPN highlights, it’s not enough to paint the complete picture of the result.

Since I won’t degrade and make myself look stupid by analysing something I did not watch with my own credible eyes, I can only say that from a mental point of view, the team has been on a downslide since the Man Ure game and it is showing. Two hard-fought wins over Reading and Aston Villa did not mask the fact that the team hasn’t been in the sort of commanding form since the earlier days when the likes of Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur were swept away with determined effort. Why they are in this sort of situation is best known to Wenger alone. Not us.

Many point to the fact that the midfield engine wasn’t at its peak with Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini, Aliaksandr Hleb and Abou Diaby out on the crock list. But what is all that forum posts which made mention of pointing venomous fingers at Gilberto Silva and Lassana Diarra in midfield. I mean – no one likes their team to lose and what more to a team struggling for form and for league points. But what is clear is that a cornered beast fights hardest and Middlesbrough did just that. Simple. You win because you wanted to win.

If there is anything to go by, an away game is always difficult and the hosts with nothing to lose will fight for points and they did today. But I do think that with the transfer window still a fair bit of time away, the team may yet drop more points before some reinforcements arrive. I don’t know what sort of player the Arsenal is needing right now since that is Wenger’s job but I still think that it’s not healthy that Arsenal fans are (unrealistically) willing the team to go unbeaten this season and then start all that bitter talk about the team after a loss this season. It’s disheartening that injuries are threatening to rip apart all the hard work so far but then injuries don’t just happen without reason. Cesc Fabregas, Flamini and van Persie have been playing their socks out since the beginning of the season. With Wenger seemingly stubborn not to ‘disrupt the rhythm of the players’ and sticking with more or less the same team week in, week out; then it’s probable that injuries are just something waiting to happen. We’re just human after all with all that wear and tear on the tender parts of the limbs. So don’t be surprised that the team who has played in almost all the matches so far are finding themselves more vulnerable to the niggling injuries from here or then.

Again, I’ve not forgotten how disillusioned I was with the team during the 2005/2006 season when the team wore the Highbury redcurrant kit. They lost so many games that I’m not alone in wondering whether the Arsenal would lose out on a Champions League place. But going unbeaten throughout the season is simply a record for ‘the Unbeatables’ of the 2003/2004 season. Even with Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell and Co. at their peak, the team could still lose against the weakest of opponents if it wasn’t their day. My point is – you can field the strongest team on paper but on the field, it’s probably down to skill, luck and determination. I don’t believe that the statistics would lie when Middlesbrough were in comfortable command of the match at their home turf, scoring 2 goals and only letting up at the stroke of 90 minutes for Rosicky to score. By belittling the lower team and insisting that winning is a goddamn right is being a retard.

So, imagine all this fuss kicked up by the imbecile sports media with:

"The team is going to suffer now. Morale is at all-time low; Gilberto and Jens Lehmann is threatening to leave; the youngsters cannot cope with the loss and would be so disheartened by the defeat now."

Name me a team in recent memory which hasn’t lost a single game in the history of modern sport and yet clinch their domestic league titles other than the Arsenal. For all of their apparent triumphs, Man Ure lost some games but won the league titles for the good part of the 90s to some in the 2000s. I won’t remember how many because the mere thinking of Man Ure holding the league title aloft is just as disgusting watching a documentary of Pol Pot’s infamous skull-cabinets in Cambodia and their circumstances.

I’m, saying that  – let the season roll. To be very truthful (as Leidartikel has always strived to be), the Arsenal has already performed way above what most people, (including myself) have predicted. They have done very well to be where they are right now, still in the Premiership challenge and still able to kick the Man Ure where it hurts. Just thinking of Arsehole Ferguson chewing gum with his red nose at furious bursting point is giving me early New Year joy. Go Gunners!

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