By Avenell Dave
So, let me get this straight....this is T*tt*nh*m's best season of the new millennium and Arsenal's worst?
And how did we respond? Football is a funny old game.
From the moment the whistle blew, we looked like a changed team and, whatever Arsene Wenger says, it wasn't entirely down to the pitch.
Even after their fortuitous opening goal, we looked the better side, but while he has a certain amount of credit in his account, Thomas Vermaelen looked a broken man. Missing tackles, missing headers, the leader of our defence was struggling to do anything like defending. And when Modric got the ball deep, he seemed to be able to pull us apart just enough to make clear openings.
Media darling Gareth Bale will get no criticism for his swan dive, but full marks to the team for the way they fought back. There was no panic, no desperate high balls to forwards who cannot play that way, no complaint.
What dismayed me was that at 2-0 down, I saw lots of OUR fans leaving the ground. This was confirmed this morning by my good friend, a steward, who mentioned it to me before I could ask him.
What sort of fan leaves a game when the team are losing, whoever it is against?
Bacary Sagna’s header set the tone for the revival – and I’d already said to my neighbour that we only needed to score five to retain fourth place.
Once that first goal went in, did anyone doubt that we’d win? The belief was back and I couldn’t help thinking just how much in football is down to confidence.
Vermaelen reverted to being the player we know him to be, nipping at forwards and winning everything, while Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Alex Song suffocated the life out of T*tt*nh*m’s so called world class midfield and pulled them all over the place.
RvP’s equaliser was sublime and it says something about Theo Walcott that after frustrating the hell out of all of us with his bad decisions and woeful application, he came back to put the icing on our cake.
It wouldn’t be right not to mention how empty the T*tt*nh*m end was towards the end of the game.
Our fans stayed until the end at Old Trafford when we were losing 8-2 and it says everything you need to know about those mouthy fools that they scarpered with the game well and truly lost.
But here’s the thing. We all make mistakes in life. We’d all have played the Ox and taken off Walcott at half time. Wenger, for all his stubbornness, all his critics and the shortcomings we’ve been lamenting at the club for months, if not years, did what he thought was right and let’s be honest, it worked.
It shut up all of those who said that the power has shifted to the other end of the Seven Sisters Road. And hopefully it reminded the players that when they play with such intensity and determination, they can beat anyone.
I still hold hope for Milan (crazy maybe) and fourth is definitely possible. St Totteringham’s Day is also not out of the question. But it’s up to the players and the fans to get behind the team now.
We’re far better working hard and cheering hard for each other, rather than looking for someone to blame.