Optomistic Gooners Knocked For Six
Straight after England smahed the Aussies in the 2005 Ashes series, all the pundits looked to the next series 'down under' with great optomisim, and at around 1.30am this morning Steve Harmison's hook fell straight into the hands of Glen McGrath for Austrailia to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Not suprising was it? But still gutting nevertheless.
As Julio Baptista connected with a sumptuous Theo Walcott cross I couldn't help thinking that Arsenal had turned a corner. They'd come back from behind in a home fixture and ridded ourselves of one of the albatros' around our neck. Surely this would be the year to break the Bolton 'hoodoo'.
Judging by the poll results on our Vital Arsenal site, there were a fair amount of Gooners who, like me, thought we had the fight to finally get one over Fat Sam at the Reebok. Yet once again Bolton have condemed our season to fighting for scraps from the table.
We have to be realistic, the title, for another year, is gone, all that remains is a search for domestic and European cup glory. However I don't envisage the titanic struggle for a Champions League spot that we encountered last season, far from it, now the pressure is off, I think it should be a relative stroll in the park.
All the teams up and around 3rd and 4th place are, with no disrespect, beatable, and as such, are all beating each other, meaning that even after our horrendous run of form, victory over Wigan in our game in hand see's us move back into thrid spot.
The probelms that mounted for us last season occurred due to our terrible away form (which has improved this season) and the fact that Liverpool were well up there and occupying 3rd spot, leaving the teams below duking it out for one place, but with us at the head of a chasing pack for two places, there shouldn't be a problem.
Arsenal generally find form in the new year, it is, and has been the case for as long as I can remember, and it is also, traditionally when teams such as Portsmouth, Bolton & Reading tend to fall by the wayside.
We need now to look at the rest of the season in a positive manner, work the players hard in preperation for next season, a season when the team should have gelled, the new boys settled in and some guts instilled into the players.
Make no mistake, there are more than a few creases that need to be ironed out, but our time will come again, and sooner rather than later.