The way I see it - The Phoney Russian Franchise v Arsenal

Last updated : 04 February 2010 By Jason Hogan

I wish I had a fraction of the resilience Tony McCoy has. He is not only a great jockey but also an Arsenal fan to boot. I remember watching him have a horrible fall one day at Cheltenham. The initial diagnosis was that he broken his jaw. 45 minutes later, McCoy not only rode again, he won a hurdle race (complete with broken jaw and all) in a driving finish.

I remember marvelling at his feat. Still, these jockeys are very tough, very brave and downright bloody crazy to do what they do. I wondered to myself how he felt when he broke his jaw. Did he didn't feel sorry for himself? Not at all. He just got on with it. So, having had a few days to come to terms with Sunday's defeat, if he can get over that (a broken jaw) within three quarters of an hour then why can't I get over a defeat after three days?

I hate ManUre more than just about anything else in this world and nothing would have given me more pleasure than seeing us give them an endless kicking. The fact that we didn't leaves a lingering ache which hasn't totally subsided. Although the pain is beginning to subside, my anger certainly is not and even now, I would be sorely tempted to hand every Arsenal player a one-way ticket to a boot camp that was so hellacious they would feel as though they have been f*cked by an express train by the time it was all over.

The Arsenal lads made a mockery of the supposition that they were highly paid professionals and too many bad decisions were made at the wrong time. For example, on the offensive side, Arshavin was at fault for example when he got in to the area and elected to shoot instead of passing Nasri who was all alone.

In fact, we did have more shots and more corners during the game. As we all know stats do not always tell you the whole story. And they certainly do not tell you of our inability to compete or our inability to defend properly.

If ever there was an open and shut case for gross negligence then the Arsenal lads would have definitely assumed liability. Their second and third goals were classic examples of what I mean.

Denilson may have got ran back in the face of a counter attack but he was marking space instead of marking a marauding Wayne Rooney. As for the third goal you could have taken your pick from a good four or five players who were guilty of allowing Ji-Sung Park the freedom of North London to score.

In other words we were guilty of ball watching and passing the buck defensively. Too many players were guilty of saying "After you, Claude" and were waiting for someone else to take responsibility when that responsibility should have been a collective one.

The word on the street is that Wenger was absolutely hopping mad in training. Well. if Wenger had anything about him he would have made sure that the players all had double training sessions and would have watched re-run of the game and all the gory details between the sessions. And believe me, that would have gone on at least until the following Wednesday.

Players would be named. Players would also be shamed for shelving their responsibility. And they would all be expected to chip in for mass refund to the fans. After all, given the extortionate prices paid to watch them the fans surely deserve much better that they got.

If you would have asked me where we go from here after the game I would have shrugged my shoulders totally at a loss. Given time and consideration, I now think we are faced with a simple choice.

Either we shrink away and wilt under the torrential verbal battering we have taken and continue to take from the press or the media or we stand up to the verbal battering, ignore the verbal wounds and fight.

One thing is for sure, going in to Sundays game, the Arsenal players should certainly be asking themselves, "When faced with a choice like that, what would Tony McCoy do?"