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Arsenal Defy The Odds By Losing To United Reserves

Normally I try to stay as positive as possible about my beloved Gunners. Indeed you might remember I backed us to win the title at the start of the season, such was my optimism at the time. As the turn of the year brings another inevitable slide into mediocrity, I have now cashed out that bet (for a profit I might add). And not before time.

The complete surrender at Old Trafford this weekend was as inevitable as it was frustrating. From the first minute it looked like we had just turned up to make up the numbers. United have so many injuries and were playing half their youth team, they should have been there for the taking. Instead Arsenal just roll over to have their belly tickled. It really is as if we don’t want to win the league. This is our best chance in a decade. Where is the fight, the belief? And what makes it even worse, if possible, is that we might be handing the title to bloody Spurs!

Before the match we were the bookies favourites to win. In fact there were a load of bookmaker offers on Arsenal to win the match, a sure sign that they are confident and that they expect a lot of people to be backing us. I had no problem resisting the temptation to do so, and anyone who did would have been tearing up their betting slips before half time. An 18 year old who had never played a league game before made out first choice defence look very silly.

In the end I think losing 3-2 actually flattered us. United were better than us all over the park. And it’s not as if they’ve been particularly great this season themselves is it? I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of talk over our “mental strength” and be told we’re lucky to be making the top 4 again. And in a way that is true, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. The point really is that if we really intend to make a serious challenge for the title ever again, we simply will never get a better chance than now. And instead of meeting the challenge head on, we seem intent on throwing it away. Frustrating is not even close to describing how I feel.

I’m just glad I cashed out….

Patrick Howard

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