My friends (and most of my enemies) will tell you that I’m a calm, rational, easy-going person. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I keep my life on an even keel no matter what s*** may happen. But whenever I see somebody on the street wearing Manchester United gear, my blood starts to boil. There’s something about the club that gets under my skin. It’s not logical; sure, they have a couple of detestable players on their squad, but so do other teams. It’s the resentment that builds up when you have a sibling that’s always a bit better than you, better looking than you, more successful than you, etc. No matter what you do, you always come up a bit short.
The 1-0 victory back in May (thanks to Aaron Ramsey http://youtu.be/0A1MueHEGUI ) offered a brief respite from my torment, but all that pent-up anger came back to the surface after today’s humiliating defeat at Old Trafford. I know this isn’t healthy; so I did a quick Google search on “anger management tips” and found some useful advice from the Mayo Clinic (full list here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anger-management/MH00102):
- Take a timeout
- Once you’re calm, express your anger / think before you speak
- Identify possible solutions
The first one was easy; I waited 8 hours before writing this post. On to #2…
The following items made me angry today:
- The Arsenal starting XI. (Who the hell is Coquelin??) Thanks to an increasing number of suspensions and injuries, we fielded a team that would have had trouble playing against Man Utd’s bench players, let alone their starters. I was angry before the game even started; not a good sign.
- The comedy of errors that led to Man Utd’s first goal. A year later, our goalkeeper and defenders still don’t know how to communicate with each other in order to safely and swiftly remove the ball from the danger zone. We sorely missed Vermaelen today.
- Robin van Persie’s feeble penalty kick attempt. First of all, he telegraphed where he was going to kick. Secondly, there was no pace on the ball. I expected much better from such an experienced and prolific goal scorer. Could have tied the game at 1-1, instead we soon went down 2-0. In any case, RvP is not to blame for today’s loss.
- Patrice Evra’s headshot on Theo Walcott that went unpunished. I shouldn’t have been surprised, since the referee was Howard Webb (the same ref who lost control over the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final).
- All of the football “experts” calling for Arsene Wenger to resign. Even if you were to replace Wenger with Sir Alex or Mourinho or (insert famous football manager here), you wouldn’t have much success with our current lineup. It’s all about the money, or lack thereof. I read today that Manchester City has invested more than $1 billion on players in the past three years (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/edin-dzeko-scores-4-goals-as-man-city-thumps-tottenham/article2144849/) and we simply can’t compete with that budget.
- 3 games, 3 red cards. Gervinho, Frimpong and now Jenkinson. It’s hard to win with 10 men.
- The incessant gushing over Manchester United/Wayne Rooney/Ashley Young/Ferguson throughout the match by the biased television commentators. I’m not going to mention the specific channel, since they’re not the only offenders. Could we have a modicum of professionalism please? Arsenal fans subscribe to your channel too.
Possible solutions? We have to address the depth issue by bringing in experienced players. It’s obvious that we can’t afford a “world-class” player, but at least sign somebody who’s over 22. We desperately need to bolster our defense. Squillaci is so low on the totem pole that Wenger started Traore and put Miquel on the bench; we need one, perhaps two more experienced defenders. We need a win against Swansea City on September 10. An 8-point deficit is not insurmountable, and it’s still early in the season.
Well, I actually do feel a bit better now. I’ve bookmarked the Mayo Clinic site, as I might need a refresher course on January 21.