By Andrew Watters
(For those of you that have lived in a cave for the past few years and haven’t seen Game of Thrones, looking at you caveman Dan P., the following commentary definitely won’t make any sense and may also contain a few spoilers but the books and show have been out for years so tough luck. It probably won’t make much sense to the rest of you either but pretend it does for my sake.)
This might seem crazy, but hear me out, I liken the Premier League to Game of Thrones and Arsenal to the noble Stark family. Much like those lovable, gullible Northerners, we’re always trying to do good and follow the rules (FFP, playing pretty football, not overspending, etc.) but being taken advantage of by the Lannisters and Boltons of the league (Chelsea, City, Costa, Liverpool not selling us Suarez, etc.) We haven’t had our patriarch beheaded (RIP Ned) and there’s been no Red Wedding but we’ve had our fair share of betrayal and heartache (looking at you RvP and Cesc). We also have our own handsome bastard, not literally like Jon Snow but we have Giroud the HFB.
Like the Stark family, we keep thinking we’re out of the woods, that we’re going to win the battle and take back our rightful place at the top of the realm, but then something else happens and we’re back to the same old familiar place in the top 4, kind of good, but kind of disappointing. We’re all frustrated with our performances, the officials (I personally would love to see Mike Dean sent to the wall or somewhere far far away from our matches), not buying another defensive midfielder or striker or anyone besides Cech, the permanent injury bug, and a myriad of other things that seemingly always leave us just short of glory. I know it all seems bad and that the sky is falling, but I think it could be much worse and things aren’t quite as terrible as they seem. It’s a long season with many episodes and we’re just getting started so don’t give up on it yet.
For one, our form isn’t that terrible. Yes we lost this past weekend but the match was dead even against last year’s champions until the incident right before the half and West Ham walloped City this past weekend so that opening loss doesn’t seem too terrible now, does it? I admit I have no clue what happened in Zagreb, but I don’t care too much about the Champions League and prefer to focus on the league. It’s still early in the season and we’re definitely in the thick of things. I think Sanchez needs a break as this summer seems to have taken a lot out of him, but I think the rest of the team looks good for the most part and is starting to get into the form we finished last season with. I’d love to see Theo and Giroud play together as that seems to work really well for us and could provide the spark we’re missing with Sanchez not playing at last years’ level. We’ve got some big matches coming up and I think we still have it in us to rise up and challenge. Upcoming matches against Spurs and ManU will be big for momentum and showing we’re serious about winning the league.
Long term we don’t have it so bad either. We could be lowly peasants like Tottenham, wanting to be royalty but forgotten about and living in the slums and wishing for a great castle like the Emirates. Or what about Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest? Once noble teams fallen into the dregs of the relegation zone and lower leagues. We’re not talking about past victories while no one deems us relevant anymore (looking at you Liverpool) and we’re definitely not blue cheating scum who stab people at weddings or don’t let people on trains (Roose Bolton and Chelsea).
Like the show, I think this season still has plenty of surprises and the good guys always come out on top. I fully expect Arsene to be flying around London on the back of Gunnersauraus (he’s basically a dragon) in the near future with plenty of silverware so keep watching and enjoy the show you Sooner Gooners.
With love, from (stupid) Florida
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