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Now More Than Ever

Now More Than Ever

lads and ladettes, it's good to be a Gooner. You know it is.

There comes a time in a season when the team goes through a rough time and we become upset, fickle, smart-arse, greedy, desperate, sad, self-pitying so-called experts on all things related to Arsenal and forget that we need to stick together and give our all best in any form and shape possible with one goal in our minds: to lift the team up. I see myself in those categories, too, although at different points of time.

This down-hearted mood is evident at the Emirates both in visual and audio. A very small section of fans can be heard singing throughout the game, I assume this is the die-hard contingent that follows the boys around the world, unfortunately scattered around the beautiful stadium. The rest are set with their elbows on their knees, some with watery eyes, struggling between the angry and the sad because their beloved team is not giving them what they came for - a 'sexy' brand of football, plenty goals and three points to take home.

Immediately we see the 'analysis' masters asking for heads to roll: Ade should be off coz he is ultimately crap and inconsistent, Hleb is a circus pony, Flamini is actually nothing special, Nick should be playing coz he is promising, AW has lost it, Eboue should be sold, Cesc is overrated, we need a left winger (duh!), and my personal favourites a tall centreback (Matt Taylor the Butcher springs to mind) and a holding midfielder (?!). Of course, the inevitable 'shopping lists' follow immediately, usually containg famous 'brands' such as Eto'o, Benzema, Van der Vaart, or the more general categories 'a goalscoring midfielder', 'a freescoring forward', or the footbaling cyborg that is 'a striker who scores 1 goal from 1 chance, not like Adebayor'. Interesting.

What people fail to realize time and time again that this is a team that has gone against every prediction launched prior to the season, against every expectation of any honest Gooner who had they been offered this position with 9 games to go prior to the season, (we) would have bitten their hand off with no hesitation. What people also fail to realize is that the team being slated (including Eboue) is the same team that produced amazing games, results and comebacks, and with this slump has proved the most obvious fact: they are human. Arsene Wenger is human. Emmanuel Adebayor is human and has an ego. William Gallas also. Cesc Fabregas, too. The non-signing Matthieu Flamini as well.

Another point is that this season is everything but over. It could be in a few weeks, and then it could not. That's why football is a magical game. Where is our role as fans/supporters in this? Gooners have done marvelously in showing teeth to Usmanov and Dein, have behaved impeccably when going abroad for CL games, supported the team with vocal venom on all away games, reacted with grace when beaten (the whole 4 times), and constructively depicting the sad state of affairs at the Lane. So where now?

I say relax. We will have time to analyze at the end of the season. It is big balls time and we as fans have to show that as well. For all those going to the Grove, week-in week-out if u think moaning and booing at your own team helps at this stage of the season, go ahead. If not - sing up for the Arsenal!

It is great to be a Gooner!

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Date:Monday March 17 2008
Time: 6:58PM


I'll second that G4L. Win or lose, it's great to be a Gooner!
17/03/2008 19:53:00
Good article, I like the whole tone of it. As for those reactionaries calling for Eboue to be sold...they are absolutely right.
Professor Calculus
17/03/2008 19:59:00
here here...
fran merida
17/03/2008 19:59:00
i don't want eboue to go. what if Sagna picks up an injury next season? i personally don't rate hoyte in the same bracket as sagna or eboue so we need eboue to be there in the squad. and no matter how much the fans hate him, Arsene still keeps playing him and keeps faith in him, so he must be doing something right..
17/03/2008 20:14:00
I don't want Eboue to go either luckys. In fact he's one of my favourite players. It won't be long before he starts adding some goals to his game, then the moaners will be as blind to the annoying aspects to his game, ala Manure fans and media to Ronaldo. He's also one of only a few players we've got who looks for a blast on goal before another pass. That greediness will reap benefits sooner rather than later, mark my words. I wonder if the guys in the redsection could be granted special permission to take in some African drums to bang throughout the game. That'd at least create some atmosphere in the quieter moments of the games.
17/03/2008 20:40:00
Lets all not forget we do have the best midfield duo, cesk and flam, best full backs sagna and clichy and best striker in the prem in ade. We have a lot to look forward to this season. We need a consistently scoring hleb and injury free rosicky/van p and walcott to win our trophy back.
17/03/2008 20:48:00
I know how most of us feel after those 4 draws, I feel the same. I caught myself screaming "get that ****** out of the game" referred to certain individual(s) for a number of times. My mind is split on Eboue, mainly because I've eaten large chunks of the humble pie served hot by AW, when it came to my least preferred links in the squad Senderos and oh yes, Matt Flamini. Realistically, if Rosicky and RvP were fit, Eboue would not be in the first 11. He is a decent squad player that we all love hating. Yes the bloke dives and cheats probably once or twice every game, but so do certain English 'hardmen'. As LD mentioned in the last match report, he probably wouldn't get a penalty if he was decapitated in the box - he had legitimate calls for one last game as the defender was actually holding his shirt and pulling him back. What is important is that this is his first full season as a wide midfielder, and he has shown glimpses of an energetic player that takes on defenders and can put a good cross in. He was excellent as a RB for a couple of years, and as luckys mentioned, provides cover for the excellent Sagna. Amazingly, he is the only Arsenal player that I can remember, who managed to generate so much negative critics from his own fans. There have been many of those who were just plain untalented (Cygan, Stepanovs, Grimster the Legend, Malz, etc.) but even they were able to squeeze a few good, funny or encouraging words from the AFC faithful. I hope he is aware how we perceive him.
17/03/2008 20:49:00
Since I've been Mr Doom merchant lately, I thought it only right to front page this piece. Basically,compare nowwith this time last year,much better isn't it? We've got massive games coming up, but hey, Tottenham don't. Big clubs have to play big games to be successful and I'd rather be preparing for my trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge than watching Jermaine Jenas.
Little Dutch
17/03/2008 21:18:00
On a separate noteand on my favourite subject (me), cheers to everyone who voted, very humbled
Little Dutch
17/03/2008 21:23:00
big balls time indeed
17/03/2008 21:24:00
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