March 8 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Arsenal season ticket holder Layth Yousif assesses their defeat at the Etihad and looks ahead to some important anniversaries
Perceived discord in the ranks, concerns finishing second in our Champions’ League group, dispiriting League Cup defeats, misguided souls calling for Arsene Wenger’s head on twitter – I’m not talking about the weekend, but a year ago exactly.
I’m sure many readers will remember our league position twelve months previously: eighth, 16 points behind leaders Manchester United, twelve adrift of second-placed Manchester City.
And does anyone remember losing to Bradford City at Valley Parade? I do, I was there, as were 4000 other Gooners that freezing night. That was also a year ago this week. (Defeat to the Bantams however, remains only the second worst cup upset I’ve seen in the flesh - I still wake up in a cold sweat having seen us lose 2-1 at Wrexham in 1992).
So before you end up feeling terrible about a 6-3 defeat – and believe me we all feel bad - things could be far more unpleasant.
Let’s not forget we’re still top of the Premier League, and are into the knockout stages of the Champions League - with Spurs having lost 5-0 at home.
As for the game at the Etihad, it wasn’t that we played particularly badly, just that City were immense.
I thought Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere worked hard but were overrun by Manuel Pellegrini’s powerhouses - even if our defence lacked its usual solidity shown since Villa. It was also good to see Walcott hit a brace because Olivier Giroud looks tired after a long week/season.
Now, if only Wenger could see fit to buy a world class centre-forward in the forthcoming transfer window…
Co-incidentally, free in the current issue of The Gooner fanzine is a ‘Wow Signings calendar’ – I wonder if next year’s iconic planner will feature a January 2014 signing? I hope so.
Talking of Spurs losing 5-0 at home, December provides its fair share of anniversaries – Chelsea at the Emirates sees the 35th birthday of our never-to-be-forgotten 1978 5-0 triumph at WHL.
Another anniversary this month saw Arsenal’s cult pie shop Piebury Corner celebrating a year on the Holloway Road. It’s been a momentous time for Nicky and Paul Campbell and they deserve all the plaudits they get - not least for their bravery and resolve after the violent events of the Napoli home game.
Happy Christmas - see you at the Chelsea game.
Layth is a long-standing Arsenal Season Ticket Holder and football journalist. Follow him on twitter @laythy29