One thing about staying in a city that never sleeps is that, you never sleep. The reality that five minutes of delay could be dangerous means you are always on your feet.
It is why I leave my home at 5am every weekday. I leave at 5:45am, I have a traffic that at its peak could take as much as ninety minutes in a four-kilometer stretch.
All these thoughts influence me hopping on the next available bus, probably my biggest mistake that morning. I had jumped on a bus needing life support. Traffic was mild, but the game is the game no?
The bus stops initially just before we hit traffic, a spanner here, another there and we are up and moving. Only that, we create our own traffic because our bus stops in traffic, leaving numerous drivers seething in anger.
“Oga, join me move am”; The conductor beckons. I push alongside him over another stretch, stealing glances at the ladies inside the bus, I have not only boarded a bus on life support, “I don fall my hand” in Pidgin terms in front of those ladies. I stopped caring, I only wanted to get to work.
A reality of corporate Lagos it seemed, but I wasn’t the only “one falling hands”, a continent and thousands of cities away, two teams were doing similar to their fans. Its difficult being a North Londoner these days.
This City is on Life support
The banter seems to be in excess, the battle for worst team keenly contested. There is no joy here. This City is on Life support.
Arsenal are winless since a 3-2 win over Vitoria Guimaraes on October 24, in the Europa League. In the League, Arsenal last won on October 6, it was 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth. Insipid, lackluster, tepid, drab, vapid, bland were vocabularies thrown up.
The Lord of banter gets his thanks from Spurs fans. Why not? Misery loves company. The Lilywhites boast relegation form in the Premier League in 2019. Winless on the road since February. It will be almost two months to the day of their Last league win on September 28 by the time the International break ends.
Spurs have won more European away games this year than in the Premier League. They are one Champions League win short of their League tally this season already, don’t bet against them equaling their league wins on Matchday 5.
The last time the Lilywhites had a poorer start after 12games was in 2008/09, 12points from 12games. They finished eighth. It was the last time they finished outside the top six. They have suffered four losses already, same as the entirety of 2016-17 when they ended second.
In 2018/19, They drew their first game in March, they’ve picked a point five times already this season. In 2017/18, they had two draws after 12games, in 16/17 when they posted similar numbers in the draw column, they were unbeaten.
No Longer Bridesmaids
Spurs are supposed to be the envy of the league, A model for sustainable growth, that beautiful lady everyone wants regardless of her imperfections. The belief that it is because a change is necessary may hold water.
However, there is a schism in targets amongst those in the corridors of power already. Manager seemingly realizing he can’t punch above the ceiling in this system. Elegant playmaker is coveted by more beautiful brides and wants to achieve greatness.
There are cracks in the wall. Same as at the Emirates, where the dressing room is seconds away from mutiny, courtesy; bad management and wrathful fans. Arsenal have been here before.
The resentment is at its peak. This is the worst state after 12games since Terry Neill. Arsenal finished tenth that season. All isn’t lost, the Gunners finished third in 2014/15, the last time they had 17points after 12games. However, the goal difference was healthier and they had played five of the eventual top six.
This season, Spurs, Liverpool, United and Leicester have been ticked off; Arsenal picked 2points from 12. That season it was 3 from 15 at this stage. The thought of losing three consecutive away games to Leicester does hurt.
Arsenal are winless away since Newcastle on opening day. The reliance on Aubameyang is worrying. The Gabonese has won 13points for the Gunners. Take it all away, and Arsenal are rock bottom. He may be captain, but his leadership is already being called into question. An exit is even rumored, probably following the man he replaced, Granit Xhaka.
A poisoned chalice, the board is staunchly behind Unai Emery. The fans see the gem that is Arsene Wenger and realize he had helped stem the bleeding.
North London is sick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Matteo Guendouzi, Son Heung-Min, and Harry Kane are pushing the bus. They’ll lose interest soon enough. At some point, we all stop caring about the ladies in the bus and want to get to “work” in time.
Afterall, whats a footballer’s career without trophies.
Author: Tosin Adesina
A football purist.