Sunday, November 2, 2008

2-0 to the Stoke

"Great hostel once again. The location is not ideal, but its only a bus ride away to the city. While I was there, I just sat and admired that 6 kittens sitting on my lap. What a great experience!!!"

- icejaxx, a former lodger at the Butterfly Hostel

Bucharest is a distinctively ugly city. It's grimy and industrial, and the whole place seems worn-out with age. But there's also beauty here. You've got monasteries hidden beside communist apartment blocks, tree-lined streets and Victorian buildings which retain their dignity despite being covered with soot. It's impossible to make a city this large completely ugly. 

However, my favourite thing about this city are the kittens from the hostel. There are three at the moment, from a litter of six. They have sharp claws, they pounce on your food in the kitchen, and they're always underfoot, but you can't help but love them. They're just so cute. 

I'm watching the match at the moment. It's only half time, but it's been such an abject performance that I'm calling it now - Stoke City 1, Arsenal 0. 

It's disappointing. After Wednesday's debacle, I thought Wenger would've done something to solve our defensive inadequacies. But we conceded the goal via a Rory Delap long throw. It's irritating, because after two years, you would've thought our susceptibility to deal with aerial attacks would have been addressed. 

We're playing Cesc, Song, Denilson and Diaby in midfield. There's something un-Arsenal about that. The Arsenal I know plays with pace, directness and crisp, one-touch passing. And we can't play that way if we're playing four central midfielders at once. We tend to over-elaborate without Walcott. 

But back to the kittens. They're not really kittens anymore. They're half-grown cats who still try to act like kittens because they know it makes them look cute, and if they look cute, then gullible backpackers like me will give them a bit of their lunch. It's manipulative, but from their point of view, if they can get away with it, why not?

That's an allusion, folks - our "kids" and the Butterfly's "kittens". 

At the moment, the punters on the gunnerblog forum are wallowing in an orgiastic display of self-loathing and mutual disgust. But I can't do that. It's still the Arsenal, after all, and they're still my team. I feel very, very disappointed, but they're like a bunch of half-grown kittens that steal your food and scratch your lap. Despite their faults, you can't help but love them. 

Now it's 2-0 to Stoke. And van Persie's been sent off for ramming into the goalkeeper. Fucking hell. Those kids of ours have VERY sharp claws. If they don't grow up soon, they're going to be cast out with the other strays. 

Don't have the mental fortitude to continue with this post. Here's the kittens, though:

No comments: