I don’t really know what to say after yesterday. Well, there’s plenty to say but nothing new. The performance, the result, the flow of the game, were all oh so predictable. I don’t like treading old ground and it’s boring reviewing many different matches in exactly the same way. So I’m going to try and keep this fairly short.
Darren Bent opened the scoring on 12 minutes with an expertly taken goal. The “60,000” in the ground were silent but not through shock. At this point in a normal football match, people would be expecting a response. That’s not the Arsenal way nowadays. 3 minutes later, Villa doubled their lead. The returning Thomas Vermaelen slipped, while his team-mates played Bent on-side and the boyhood Gooner made no mistake in burying his second of the day. On a side note, we’d win the league with Bent – he is lethal in the 6yard box and with the chances we create…arrgghh its frustrating to even think about. That’s a conversation for another day though.
From this point on, the once again predicatble pattern of play commenced – camped in the opposition half as they protect their lead. Sideways pass after sideways pass along with a handful of refereeing blunders made the rest of the half frustrating, as per usual. RVP once again was pretty much the only bright spark of the match, hitting the post after a wonderful piece of skill to fool Collins. Also, if anyone didn’t see this recently, you might want to take a look – I suggest the ground staff put one less coat of paint on the posts next season.
The crowd, some of whom were camouflaged with the seats, voiced their discontent at the interval and rightly so. Chamakh came on at the break for the dismal Squillaci and the Moroccan was awesome. Well, probably not that awesome, but the extremely un-awesome performances from everyone else made him seem super-awesome. He seemed to have this strange thing called “winning mentality” when he came on. It looked like an Arsenal player cared and wanted to make something happen. Unusual concept indeed.
Anyway, the half panned out as we’d expect. Chamakh got a goal, it was ruled out for no reason whatsoever and from what I saw, Bendtner was booked for being 10 yards away from the play. I think it’s a similar rule to that “kicking the ball at the goal = yellow card” one that we witnessed at the Nou Camp. Fantastic officiating.
Van Persie poked one home late on but the game was gone. A poor result but one that in all honesty, I struggle to give a flying monkeys about. It meant nothing; my attitude would’ve been the same if we won 10-0 or lost by 7. I’d have much sooner watched Wigan-West Ham. A vaguely interesting stat that came from the game is that Aston Villa have now taken more points at the Emirates than any other team.
I can’t really muster much more on the game and any Arsenal fan will know the feeling. On to other matters, the Black Scarf group had a march before the game and I hope this will be just the beginning. A lot of people are mistaking what they are actually trying to do – it’s not an Arsene out campaign.
This is all about the ridiculous way the fans are being fleeced, day in day out. The ticket prices are unbelievable (hence the chants of “6%, you’re having a laugh” during the match), the merchandise is horribly over-priced, there are two new kits almost every year and even things like food prices and ticket booking fees are infuriating.
The stadium is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it has been built for the rich. There are plenty of fans that will fill out the ground no problem now, but the big problem Arsenal will face soon is that the youngest generation won’t go to matches. At the moment, Junior Gunners have the same privileges as Silver level which is great.
But if their parents only have a Red membership, it’s useless. How do they expect 8 year-old’s to go to a game on their own? Those families are at an immediate disadvantage because by the time Red members can purchase, the family enclosure is sold out. This in turn means kids have to pay the same as adults when they’re anywhere else in the stadium. Basically, if a dad doesn’t have Silver membership, the cost of one match for him and his son is around £100 for tickets alone.
Over the summer, I’ll blog more about the financial situation of the club and it’s fans but I better end it here for today. Thanks for reading and if you have any comments, feel free to tweet me with them or leave them below. I’ll be back on Thursday with part 3 of my posts on the summer transfer window.