Thursday, December 3, 2009

Even my nephew can't roll over like the Arsenal

My nephew George learned to roll over last week. It's a big landmark for a baby. It's the very first step towards independent locomotion and freedom. It opens up a bigger world for him; life is no longer the polarising dichotomy of "up" and "down" - there is now a left and a right as well. 

All in all, it's very exciting. 

Watching him roll over the other night made me realise what an incredible tricky thing it is. My sister-in-law lay him on his stomach at first, and propped him up on his arms. Then he started to topple over on his side. He looked like he was doing it easy, but then he got stuck as he lay on his side. He started kicking out a bit to flop over, but couldn't manage it. He looked a bit like a turtle stuck on its back. 

I've been assured that he's rolled over three times already, but it's still obviously a little tricky for him. He hasn't got the knack of twisting his hips with his back muscles. But he's young, and he'll learn in time. Rolling over is natural part of the human condition. And if he needs inspiration with regards to rolling over, he's got the Arsenal as potential role-models. 

Even my nephew can't roll over like the Arsenal. 

We lost again last night. 3-0 to Man City, who comprehensively out-played our youngsters. When you add this to the 1-4 defeat to Chelsea over the weekend, and the 0-1 defeat to Sunderland last week, it's pretty depressing. Nobody rolls overs like the Arsenal on a losing streak. Not only does our first 11 not show up at matches; even our reserve players are starting to not show up. 

Where to from here? 

Well, the glaring deficiencies that were apparent at the start of the season are all still there. We still don't give a fuck about defending. We still don't prepare for set-pieces. We still don't have a strong squad. We still have a lot of young players who fold in pressure situations and who don't have the guidance on the pitch that they deserve. 

What's going to happen to fix the problem?

We're going to get a new striker in January. Other than that, not much. Arsene Wenger believes in developing a squad in a natural way, which to him means not buying the players we need and not coaching defences. So we just let our player develop naturally.

Just like my nephew George, we're going to get a lot of practise rolling over. 

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