The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn

darkest hourSo we turn the corner into the second half of the season. The point where the real title contenders start to show their hand. Traditionally we’ve been left in that slipstream. More familiar with Man United’s newfound malaise than our own newfound headiness.

But as we cast our collective eyes over the table to see Chelsea & co ratchet up the pressure at the summit of the league let us turn our attentions and fixed our glare upon Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa.

This game is the reminder, the keloidal scar although benign and concealed by infinitely better performances, that represents an irritating itch, all the more apparent as Witton Station & Villa Park come into view.

Remember the apocalyptic landscape witnessed at the end of the first game of the season. People looking on in a mix of bewilderment and disgust as we contrived to snatch defeat from the claws of victory.

ArsenalFanTV captured the toxic mood of the moment, encapsulated by THAT rant. The camel was broken. And our own Moh Haider articulated the feeling of discontentment with the punch line “You get what you pay for.. unless you’re an Arsenal fan,”

Moh vents his frustrations

Moh vents his frustrations

At that point we hadn’t spent a penny on an incoming transfer.  The start of a season which was supposed to be filled with optimism.  But the blue touch paper had been lit.  Arsenal were living atop a tinderbox all summer. We all knew one slight change in the atmosphere would set the place off.

But they say the hour is darkest before the dawn.

Wenger and the Board showed maybe we were too quick to accuse them of regression & tightfistedness. That was only our defeat in 20-odd games, surely no need for kneejerk reactions.  We’d pursued a number of big name targets over the course of the summer, so intent was most definitely there.

Indeed after we dispatched Totteringum, watching his post-match interview Wenger had that mischievous twinkle in his eye. Something I hadn’t witnessed for some time. As though this time we’d truly amazed. Shortly after he produced Mesut Ozil out of his magic hat. On the back of 4 victories; 9 goals scored for the concession of one.  Who saw any of that coming after Ashpocalypse Now?

It's all in the eyes

It’s all in the eyes

Wenger admitted earlier in the season there was “a revolution” among the fans. All points lead to the Villa game but, let’s not be naïve enough to think Ozil was secured simply because the people threatened to storm the Bastille. Plenty of planning had gone into place. The fan reaction may have served to put an exclamation mark on the need to buy big.

Whatever the reasons we can nominate Aston Villa for a BAFTA in their performance as supporting cast.

Let’s hope we begin the calendar year in far better fashion than we began the football equivalent. There’s less time to put things right.

A win could further signal a greater revolution, a new dawn, one we’ve not seen since Monsieur Wenger created the Invincibles.


Up the Arsenal!


One Response to “The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn

  • It does make me laugh that many of your fans were calling for the manager’s head when you were in the middle of a league run in which you won 16 drew 3 and lost 1! If that happened at Villa we would be getting the prayer mats out!

    It was a surprise but not a massive shock when we beat you on opening day as we had been playing really well for a few months at the end of the previous season. I would be amazed if we managed a result tomorrow. We haven’t actually played well in about 4 months, all of our players except Gabby are out of form and to top it all off we have 4 out of 5 centre backs injured. If you can call Herd a centre back.

    Comfortable victory for Arsenal with at least 70% possession.

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