Sunday, October 31, 2010

November: The Month From Hell

Tonight, Odhran steals an idea from Myles Palmer as the theme of his post.

As long as I've supported Arsenal- since the days of bungs and cocaine addictions- they have been shit in November. And the next month could make or break this season.

The first half against West Ham was sadly familiar in its lethargy, its lack of tempo, and we can be grateful that the opposition lacked the adventure to test that rickety back four.

To be fair, Arsenal did up their game after the interval. The visitors, while dogged in defence, were far from watertight; Robert Green however had one of his rare good days and kept Arsenal out until the final knockings when after seven years of flattering to deceive Gael Clichy finally produced a final ball worthy of the name. When he cut in ono his weaker foot, I was expecting the now horribly familar excited slice into row Z; instead he dinked a lovely cross into the goalmouth for Song to gleefully head in. The Hammers defence had completely gone missing, probably buying into the Arsenal stereotype and anticipating an ineffective pass across the edge of the area.

Funnily enough, good as the cross looked, Green just froze when he should really have claimed it. In fact that probably sums him up- on his best day, he'll keep you in the game... until he costs you the game.

Sub-par performances can still contribute to a sense of momentum when they are capped by late winning goals. After the resounding result at City, there is the temptation to believe that Arsenal have turned a corner but we have said that many times over recent years and as yet nothing tangible has been found around any of those corners. Except maybe a few head-on collisions with juddering disappointment.

So now we are faced with the start of a long, hard winter- the dreaded November looms.

Some dirty looking fixtures. Wolves and Everton away in the space of a few days. And the home derby with Spurs- who, while inconsistent, have a vibrancy on their best days that few English teams can match at the moment (and they have Gallas, who's bound to score). The month from hell will be rounded off with a trip to Villa- and Wenger doesn't have a great record against that doyen of dourness, his pal Houllier.

No comments: