I just don't know what to expect
It's been awhile since I have not looked forward to a game. Getting skinned by Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea all least all occurred away from the Emirates. The beatings took place in front of our stalwart away fans who usually make the best out of the worst situations. Fans at Emirates, as we discovered at halftime during the Swansea game can be less forgiving and more impatient.
Some fans on Twitter have talked about protesting before and during the match Saturday. I always have wondered how that kind of thing affects players. Knowing fans are that unhappy with possibly your performances, the club, and their manager can't be inspiring. I'd think it'd be depressing and hard upon which to build any momentum. People are upset though, and rarely in those times does good sense prevail.
Tuesday's draw wasn't one due to a bad performance, per se. The squad performed similar to the way we have after our Liverpool and Manchester City losses. We played cautious with a little left over feeling from being shell-shocked. We actually showed some determination against the Swans with coming from behind to be winning 2-1. It was a gaff in front of goal that provided our opponents a draw. Some say the ghost of Birmingham made an appearance. I don't entirely agree. The cup final loss was due to a miscommunication between a green Koz and a green Szcz. Flamini's own goal really was a fluke, with its fault lying at the fact that our fullbacks were all the way upfield and isolated due to the substitutions (what happened to "bring on the fullbacks"?). Poor tactics and positional discipline were at fault because they allowed the counterattack to occur in the first place.
So, what can we expect today? If the pattern continues its run, we should have a win. However, there are some other factors present today that were not when we won against West Ham and then Liverpool in the FA Cup. Eight injuries to important players is incredibly impactful. Our bench will consist of promoted reservists and recalled players who were out on loan. Our striker is running with lead legs and feet. I saw desire from Ollie on Tuesday. His body is just no longer complying with his will. And lastly, I think our boss and club are seriously considering their futures together. If the squad has any grit left in their weary bodies, that alone should inspire them to play their hearts out. For many, Wenger has made them into the players they are. For others, he has given second chances to play at the top flight of European football.
All in all, it makes it difficult to not want to watch the game without my scarf in front of my eyes.
But, I will watch. Like all of you. A good performance today is imperative to build confidence for a FA Cup semi-final win. That trophy is exponentially growing in its importance, isn't it?
That's it for now. Let's Go You Gunners. I'll see you all on the other side, and have a good one Gooners.