Tottenham lost, at home, back in August, 5-1. Edin Dzeko scored four goals. Tottenham won’t be winning the League title, but they have looked pretty good, including a 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool, since then. Arsenal? Remember that 8-2 historic day at Old Trafford? Well, despite Arsene Wenger’s words, they won’t be challenging for the title as well. It’s a Manchester thing. But they have won five straight matches, including a huge 5-3 win today at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea.
And Manchester United? The scars from the 6-1 loss at home to Manchester City will be there forever, but tomorrow is just another day, and Javier Hernandez usual efficiency from close range, very close range, was enough to secure a 1-0 win at Goodison Park, a ground which hasn’t been very welcoming for United in recent years.
These thrashings have very short effect. Eventually, each year that Alex Ferguson and Manchester United went through one of these famous defeats – the 5-0 at St. James’ Park, the 1-4 against Liverpool at Old Trafford and others, they come away with the title. Good managers, those who have job security, like Arsene Wenger, like Alex Ferguson, like Harry Redknapp, have the backing from ownership to keep the ship from turning over.
Arsene Wenger needed some time, but the panic phase is over. After all, teams in the same league aren’t six goals apart from each other. The big results do go into fan lore and appear big and bright on the rivalry resume, get fans to make up new songs, finding new channels for their oozing creativity. These losses are, were, symptoms, and a rare outbreak of a problem the losing side has. Sometimes a few minutes at the end, when all is lost, make things seem much worse than they actually are.
Arsenal still have a bad, weak, soft defense, with a prone to mistakes goalkeeper. United have a problem with their rotation in the middle of the park and anytime Vidic doesn’t suit up, Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans are rather easy to exploit. Tottenham are freakishly talented, but their key players are too moody, and can disappear all at once for complete matches.
The world isn’t over when you get humiliated. It hurts, it burns, it stings. But it’s just another day in the history of a club. Things can always get better. Or worse, even for the winning side.