After that Leicester City match I wrote of in my post I heart Arsenal, everybody felt it was a performance that signaled intention. It was a performance that would catapult us to the top.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The loss against Barcelona signaled only that continuation in the Champions League is unlikely. We pretty much knew that when we drew them in the Round of 16. I don’t think anyone looked at that 0-2 result and felt it was especially ominous.
Then we had the Premier League match against Manchester United on Sunday, a team that could barely be scraped together, with an average age of about 19. They beat us comprehensively and we looked terrible, from back to front and from side to side.
Today we played Swansea at home. Swansea often does well against us, even at the Emirates and even when they’re having a bad year. I’ve had an uneasy feeling about the impact of the Manchester United match since Sunday, and that ramped up before the Swansea match. Still I hoped for a positive response.
It was not to be. We scored first, but Swansea managed to equalize before the half. Yes, directly following a blown referee call, but c’mon lads, the whistle had clearly not blown. Why we hesitated is a mystery for the ages.
And then Swansea scored again. We lost 1-2 at home, to a team currently in 16th place. Three losses in roughly a week.
Yes, Leicester City faltered a bit yesterday coming up with only a tie against West Brom. And Tottenham failed today, losing to West Ham. And Man City lost to Liverpool, a massive 3-0 drubbing. And, yes, technically we are still only 6 points off the top, and technically still in 3rd place, as we have been for weeks.
These things mitigate the damage of the past week, but they don’t change the reality of the situation as I see it now.
This isn’t the year.
We’ve been dealt the best possible hand for winning the league and we have blown it in the worst way possible, by doing the hard things very well, and the easy things very, very poorly.
It bums me out tremendously to admit it, but it is clear: It may be mathematically possible for Arsenal to win the Premier League, but it isn’t actually possible.
The inaugural replacement of the Gooner Triumphal Feast is soon to begin: the Gooner Dinner of Doom & Despair. If we can but choke it down.
Not sure what we’ll eat (do we eat the dish of the worst performer or of the opponent who most effectively destroyed us?), but here is the mood music to accompany our meal.