An Arsenal supporter gives up


I went in for a root canal two years ago. That was better.

I earned a 42% in high school math while wearing a shirt that had the number 42 on it. That was better.

I had a relationship end on the TTC in front of a drunken man who had urinated himself. That was better.

There are moments when you consider how frivolous professional sport is. I’ve done myself no favors, cheering for a group of shit bags that constantly manage to disappoint me in spectacular ways. This was one of those days when it hit once again. It’s not worth it.

It was a game worth watching, especially considering the relatively dour fixtures elsewhere. For the neutrals, Fulham’s comeback spirit will be lauded. As it should be. Facing a two goal deficit thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, the Cottagers were about to lose another London Derby. Ian Darke broke out his bullshit machine, uttering ‘what a difference a week makes’ just before Dimitar Berbatov got one back for the visitors. Berbatov’s excellent ball in led to Fulham’s equalizer, Alexander Kacaniklic the recipient.

At the half my spirits were low. Another weak defensive display — this time at home — from the Gunners. We’d be lucky to escape with three points. It got worse.

Mikel Arteta dragged Bryan Ruiz down in the penalty area. By ‘dragged down’ I mean slightly tugged. I can’t fault Phil Dowd for the decision, when looking at it without the benefit of replay Ruiz sold it well. Berbatov made it 3-2 on the ensuing kick. On a side note, Berbs looked positively giddy today. For the trials and tribulations we endure as fans it’s worth considering what this is: a game. Dimitar was having fun out there. I could learn something from him.

Giroud notched his second of the game, once again connecting on a ball from Theo Walcott — who was terrific. Sanity saved. 3-3 and feeling fine. Surely there’s another goal to be had.

Arsene Wenger substituted Andrei Arshavin for Walcott nine minutes later. Though Arshavin has been relegated to irrelevancy, he’s good for at least one excellent through ball a game. Remember Sunderland-Arsenal last year? Thierry Henry’s last gasp goal that stole a victory for Arsenal was made possible by an excellent Arshavin cross.

He did it again, this time hammering the ball into Chris Baird’s arm — harsh decision, but Phil Dowd is an idiot so it’s okay. Mikel Arteta stepped up to take the penalty. And he missed. Of course he did. He had converted 12 of 15 penalties for Everton, but this was his first attempt for Arsenal. Good things don’t happen when there’s a narrative to build.

With 16 points from 11 games this is Arsenal’s worst start in the ‘Premier League era.’ Fulham continue to play a brand of exciting football that should be cherished by footy fans across the world — hyperbole, yea I know.

What I will take away from this game is a reassuring fact I learned long ago. Fandom is going to kill me.