Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Porto tonight

I believe we have not to make too much of it. We lost the game, but we have enough strengths within the club and within the team to deal with that."

- Arsene Wenger, with regards to the Hull game

We're playing Porto tonight. 

A couple of days ago, Wenger was on the warpath. He'd finally had had enough of abject performances against teams we really should be beating. And firmly in his sights was the defensive partnership between Gallas and Toure, and our susceptibility from set-pieces. 

Today, Wenge's mellowed. It was bound to happen. Wenger's a bit too close to the project to see what the major flaws are. Yep, he's right in that our strengths can cover our weaknesses. But the simpler solution, surely, is to plonk an experienced head-kicker in the heart of defence; someone who can be relied upon NOT to lose concentration against weaker opponents. But it's not going to happen. 

Tonight, expect a committed performance from the Arsenal. Expect dominance, even. We'll do well against Porto, and we'll win comfortably. The press will laud us again, and the players will vow never to backslide again.

And this'll go on for another five, six games, until we play another small side who we really should beat. And we'll slip up, and blow our chance to win the league. And we'll be just as angsty and disappointed... and the cycle will go on. 

It's cold and rainy in Oslo. And it's playing with my state of mind. I'm beginning to wonder whether it was such a good idea to come up this far north. It's pretty and all (hills, fjords and trees are a nice combination), but I'm getting real tired of this. 


It's a bit later. 4-0 to the Arsenal, and I'm not surprised. It's so strange to see them back on TV, however. I remember the feeling of being in that stand and singing those songs, and I miss it. Watching it on Tv, you've got a funny feeling that you're being jibbed of something important. It's a feeling that is compounded when you're drinking a 62kr ($12AUS) pint of Guinness while doing so. 

Norway is very expensive. 

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