Wither now Arsenal?

Recent off-season events involving Alexander Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor have put me in mind of a couple of musical numbers from classic movies. Groucho Marx performing, “Hello I Must Be Going” in Animal Crackers, for one. The other is performed by Jimmy Durante in The Man Who Came to Dinner (one of my all-time favorites). For our younger readers, just think of The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” video.

Depending on how much of the blather surrounding these players you’ve consumed, they both have either professed their love of Arsenal or disparaged (“dissed” as the kids like to say) the club, are committed to staying or want to flee the club for greener pastures.

So where does this leave us? If they stay, how should we regard them? I’ve previously expressed my mixed emotions about Adebayor. If Addy continues his goal-scoring ways, then all will be forgiven, but should he or Hleb get off to a slow start, or commit some lapse in concentration that costs us a match, and I would not be surprised to see the faithful turn on them.

Arsenal supporters are a fiercely loyal bunch, but woe to the player who does not show the same loyalty, or worse, disrespects the club. Ashley Cole, once, a revered member of Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, is now “Cashley Hole”, possibly now the most-reviled ex-Gunner, because he compounded his traitorous transfer to Chel$ki, with some very pointed digs at his former club.

While “where will the goals come from” is a concern, more troubling is how we’ve done nothing to shore up our central defense.

No one expects Philippe Senderos aka “Wrinkle Dog” (as he is known in our house thanks to his perennially-furrowed brow) to live up to the standards set by the former owner of the #6 shirt for Arsenal, but a few less cringe-worthy, hold-your-head-in-your-hands, curse-out-loud moments from him this season would be helpful.

Elsewhere on the squad, we have to contend with Arsenal’s resident drama-queen, Emmanuel Eboue. Whatever promise he once displayed has long since been eclipsed by his match histrionics.

He was so convincing in his reoccurring role as the groveling Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Predjudice, that he could be set upon in the penalty box by Ronald & Reginald Kray themselves, and no referee would give him the benefit of the doubt.

But before you, dear readers, slip into despair, remember the bright spots that are Clichy, Sagna, and The Artist Formerly Known As Cesc, who now goes by a symbol that simply denotes him as, Euro Champion.

Believe, that Eduardo, our own Bionic Man, will return, better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster. Trust that Wenger acquisitions, Vela and Ramsey will live up to expectations, and throw a little salt over your shoulder that Robin van Persie will play an injury-free, complete season.

Because, if you’re anything like me, come kick-off on August 16th, whatever concerns, reservations, or off-season angst festering in your belly, will slip away, as belief that we can win it all, escapes your throat in the form of a shout, C’mon you Gunners!

Until then, we wait, watch, and worry.

Cheers, Mark

Comments are closed.