I was seething, the fury of conceding a last minute winner is something Arsenal fans are not used to. In fact, Arsenal have scored the most goals in the last fifteen minutes in the Premier League this season. I thought I would wait until my blood stopped boiling before I would write about the game verses Birmingham.
It was a typical fast-paced encounter, but Arsenal missed glorious chances, and nearly let Birmingham in with a miss of the season type chance from Scott Dann, before substitute Samir Nasri put Arsenal ahead. Cue pandemonium. The petite french prince is proving his class, enhancing his reputation with goals, that are breathtaking (remember Porto?). His pace and direct style is invaluable to the team and his contribution since coming back from a broken leg have got better as the season’s progressed.
I heard him and Arshavin talking on the touchline when they were warming up. Arshavin turned to Nasri and said “why make us run with no substitution?”
He then prompted to sprint down and on his return Nasri remarked “maybe 65-70 minutes (the substitution).”
They were both desperate, itching to come on and change the game. Nasri did just that. I thought Arsenal coped with everything Birmingham threw at them but in the last minute, a freakishly stupid goal was conceded. Hands on my head, I slumped into my seat. The game was nearly won. To make matters worse, Birmingham fans were going crazy after the news of Villa losing 7-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, it could prove to be a valuable point, in football, you never know.
I am not going to berate the players really. In reality, when you’ve calmed down, Birmingham is a hard place to come to and Arsenal were without their first choice centre-backs, just like United, when they drew here. Arsenal are still relying on Manchester United and Chelsea to drop points, so not much has changed. It was only a week ago, when Chelsea had drawn to Blackburn, that everyone thought they were out of it. There are plenty of twists and turns still to come but I’m glad that this team, that’s carrying a few players are still in the hunt. Walcott and Almunia and a few others, will play in more games, so we can discuss their future (if they have any) come the end of the season.
Also, about the Birmingham fans. It wasn’t funny chanting Martin Taylor’s name. Or the song about Eduardo having one leg. It was also really silly booing Wenger, considering Bendtnar, Muamba and Seb Larsson have all come from the Gunners. You don’t really want to get on the wrong side of Wenger, as the press found out at the post-match press conference. He really deserves more, and I hope his fleet-footed beauties can deliver this season.