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We’re all flaming miles behind City

OPINION: In the fallout from defeat at Brighton, Arsenal fans took to social media to express their despair over Arsene Wenger – and the futile pursuit of the league leaders

08 March, 2018 — By Richard Osley

I SWITCHED on my phone, stupidly, looked at the information superhighway and immediately wished I hadn’t.

Arsenal had lost to Brighton, and there were images on social media of Arsene Wenger falling over on a beach, spinning around on a repeat cycle. Somebody had a picture of a big popcorn tub and told the internet: “Me, waiting for ArsenalFanTV, like.” Then there was a little cartoon dog. You may have seen him before, he’s nude but for a hat, sat at a table drinking a cup of tea, while the room around him appears to be on fire. “This is fine,” the caption said; “Arsenal fans right now” added the tweet.

All of this was even before you could scroll down to Piers Morgan and the growing squad of rabid Wenger Outs. Put it all together, and I think we have arrived at a universally acceptable definition of “laughing stock”.

You know what they say about bullies, though? They may have been bullied themselves once – their taunting behaviour comes from a great insecurity. It’s an inferiority complex. The onslaught of “this is fine” cartoon dogs is fuelled by the fact they’ve all been there. This is their moment. A moment which, if you take a glimpse at the Premier League table, might not be sounding as triumphant as it does. For this is the best Liverpool team we have seen in a while, Manchester United are supposed to have got their heads turned the right way again under Jose Mourinho and Spurs, well, this is presumably the best Spurs team we’ve seen in the colour TV age.

And yet none of them have challenged Manchester City for the league title. United, stumbling about against Crystal Palace the other night, are currently 16 points off winning the league – there was a time when this would be unimaginable. Liverpool, scoring all those goals and Jurgen Klopp dazzling up the smiles, are 18 points behind. That’s loads. And Spurs, the best Spurs team since any of us can remember, they are a full 20 points behind the league leaders. There were times when they were rubbish and closer, points-wise, to the top.

Arsenal are miles and miles behind, but that doesn’t make being simply miles behind any better.

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