Arsenal Results from 8/20/13-9/18/13:
Fenerbache Away: Win (3-0)
Fulham Away: Win (3-1)
Fenerbache Home: Win (2-0)
Tottenham Home: Win (1-0)
Sunderland Away: Win (3-1)
Stare at yourself in the mirror. Stare intensely. You recognize it’s you. Keep staring. Break up your face into smaller sections. Now take those sections and go even smaller. Look at the pores on your face. That scar on your lip. Go smaller. Stare at your cells. Particles. Atoms. Once you stare at yourself for that long the you, as a whole, becomes indistinguishable. I felt this way while I reread last month’s Arsenal Diary.
The anger felt by that Julien carried merit. Everything said was true, at least emotionally. I can now claim that it was shortsighted, but what emotions are not? Look at every break up you ever had. Years away those feelings seem trivial. At the time, they can engulf Pompeii. So I will not apologize for them. This man understood me.
The “month” started with a fantastic rebound in Turkey. The game against Aston Villa showed an Arsenal lost amongst itself. It was pathetic. Against Fenerbache, they overcame. The Arsenal that Godzilla-ed through Asia during their preseason tour resurfaced. They played with venom. They played with a chip on their collective shoulders. They played like fucking Arsenal. Fenerbache is a good example of a possible classic Arsenal loss. The Gunners turned losing in easy games into an art. Last year’s exit from both Capital One Cup and FA Cup to lower league oppositions was downright Van Gough.
The standout during the current good run of form is Aaron Ramsey. He is also the player I’ve spent the most time shouting at over the past two years. Ramsey in 2011-2012 was awful. He battled back from a horrific knee injury to spend that season passing the ball to anyone not wearing an Arsenal shirt. He offset that self-destruction with blasting shots around the perimeter of the net with such aggression, I wondered if the rules of the game differed in Wales.
Last season Ramsey, along with Mikel Arteta, covered the back line as a superb defensive midfield unit. Their tandem performances lead to a strong end of the season and solidified fourth place. He finally came into himself. He no longer jogged the field with a hangdog expression. Now confidence beams from him like a pregnant lady lifting a car off a child. This season he added goal scoring threat to his resume, with 5 goals in 6 games. So much so, that rumor has it that he replaced his entire resume with this one video clip.
Wins feel good. It’s a simple truth to the world. We compete as a species because of it. The wins and current form explained above would be enough to make me happy. Summer Transfer Deadline Day, a holiday that is equal parts Christmas and SAT’s, added a win that wasn’t on the field. Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. A transfer so Un-Arsenal like, that until his first game with the Gunners against Sunderland, I feared disaster. Arsenal bought a world class player. Few players can be called great without argument. Ozil is one of those players.
Arsene Wenger prides himself in brushing dirt off gold nuggets. That’s how he found Thierry Henry and Ashley Cole. Buy them cheap. Make them good. The problem with this strategy is sometimes that clump of dirt is just dirt. This list reads longer than the successes. Ozil’s signing bucked that trend. Wenger went to Fort Knox and bought gold bars. The following assist by in the 11th minute of his first game with Arsenal showed what happens when you purchase purity.
The next month will be tough. A fury of Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup game can easily overwhelm Arsenal. We have a winning squad, but with Poldoski, Chamberlain, and Carzola out to long injures, the team looks threadbare. The player’s willingness to run through a brick wall for one another is the team’s secret weapon. Not our depth….hopefully.
Till next month.