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Calm down! Arsenal are still Premier League title challengers despite opening game loss

Srikant Nair
570   //    14 Aug 2015, 19:29 IST
Arsene Wenger premier League West Ham Loss
Arsenal were tipped as title contenders at the start of the 2015/16 season

It was just game day one Arsenal fans, not apocalypse now.

Moan moan moan, lost against West Ham... moan, moan, 11 years no Premier League trophy... moan, moan, no Benzema... moan, moan, Wenger tactics... moan, moan, Giroud is terrible... moan, moan...

You can tell football season is here when you start hearing people flooding support forums with the usual post-loss moan. Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave or have been overly obsessed with protesting against the ban of fun things which take under two minutes (read: Maggi & Pornography) you would know that Arsenal lost their first game of the season against West Ham.

It was quite devastating for most of us Arsenal fans, given that, with the hype surrounding us pre-season, you would’ve been forgiven for expecting us to win the Premier League, the Champions league, the FA Cup, the World Cup, the US Presidential Elections and Irina Shayk.

Now I know, I know we could never win Irina Shayk lets not get ahead of ourselves.

The full picture and the backlash

Chelsea concede Swansea Draw Fabregas Matic Oscar Costa
Chelsea were held to a draw by an inspired performance by Swansea

We lost our first game to a sprightly and committed West Ham, who, credit where it’s due, wanted it more and were better than us on the day. I guess, if you had to, you could put it down to certain individuals, but I believe the entire team can look at themselves and realize it was not a very good performance. From Cech at the back, to Giroud up front, not a single player can honestly hold up their hand and say they had a very good game.

Here is the thing, though. It was game day 1. The first of 38 Premier League games and many Champions League and FA Cup games. Teams are ideally not at their best level physically and mentally  coming into match day one. Let us look at some of the other results on matchday one and two. Chelsea just about hung on for a point, United had a pretty terrible game against Spurs but got lucky with a Kyle Walker own goal, they managed one shot on target all game, yes, City were probably the only team to put in  a half decent performance and even they had an extra day.

Just one loss, right? You would think people would remain optimistic.We can still go ahead and challenge for the title, like everybody insists, right? Wrong.

Twitter and Arsenal supporters pages everywhere went crazy.

‘Wenger offers no tactical input, sits there and frowns when the going gets tough’ says one, ‘We are rubbish, going to end fourth as usual’, says another. ‘Enough is enough, sign Benzema or Resign, Arsene’ pleads yet another ‘loyal’ fan.

You would easily be fooled into thinking there were 5 games left and we were out of every competition worth fighting for.

Arsenal fans’ negativity

Arsenal Fans Negative Loss West Ham Crystal Palace
Arsenal fans have displayed some negativity on fan forums following the defeat against West Ham

I completely agree that everybody has the right to have and express their opinion, but so much negativity? The thing is, you visit these forums after we win and there is complete silence. The same naysayers just wait in their little dark holes, waiting silently till the team loses before they can slither out and hiss out vitriol against everything to do with the club, starting with the manager. If you do this every time we lose, at least have the decency to praise the club and manager when we win.

Managing incredible expectations is impossible at a club like Arsenal. One ‘supporter’ in his long rant, actually wrote that he was angry that the ‘Invincibles’ team of 2003-2004 didn’t win the Champions League that year. How ‘tactics’ were to blame for not winning the Champions league.

This, for the team that did something no other team in football was able to achieve – an entire season undefeated! You must wonder if they will ever truly be satisfied by anything this team and manager will  ever be able to achieve. You just know if Arsenal win the Premier League this year there will be fans saying, so what, we still haven’t won the Champions league. We achieve European glory and they will be annoyed we were so good and still couldn’t manage the treble.

I strongly believe in the Arsenal team this season. They will turn this around and when they do, I just hope all the moaners and negative nancys out there will come out and acknowledge it rather than stay quiet and wait for the next failure to come out.

But, this probably won’t happen and I hope I won’t be the one who has to say there they go again, I told you so. Prove me wrong.

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Srikant Nair
Arsenal fan.Eat,breathe,sleep,talk sports.Closet comedian.
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