I’ll take the blame.
Lay off of Arsène or Nacho or Flamini. They did their best, especially when such cosmic forces were arrayed against them. It was me who mucked it up. I should have known better than to tempt the cruel winds of fate. See, I jinxed us. The jersey you see there to the left? That’s my lucky jersey. It’s a 2004-05 third kit, and every time I’ve ever worn it, we’ve won. Every single time. However, for the Southampton match, I decided to wear the yellow kit, thinking I’d match up with the lads and all. To be frank, the lucky one was getting a little gamey, and I figured it was due for a wash after Friday’s match.
Little did I know that I’d cost us two points. I’m not even superstitious. Heck, I cross under ladders on purpose. I spill salt without tossing a bit over my shoulder. It’s just the kind of guy I am. I live life on the edge. Escalators? I don’t use the handrail. Milk? Straight from the carton, no questions asked. Expiration dates are a conspiracy to make us buy more than we really need. Besides, what’s the difference between “too old” milk and “just right” yogurt? I mean, when you really get down to it.
It was with that attitude in mind that I thought I could safely launder the jersey. After all, I would still be wearing an away-kit. It’s not that I underestimated Southampton. Not in the least. Sure, I predicted a 2-1 win, and, for a few minutes there, I was feeling like the smartest guy in the room (we won’t go into how being alone in a room boosts one’s chances of being the smartest one in it). Yep, for a solid two minutes there, I was feeling like a genius.
More to the point, I was starting to feel like I had a new lucky jersey. Ah, sweet hubris, I know you all too well. Just as I was caressing ever so gently this lustrous, yellow kit—not unlike gold, now that I think of it—along came Lallana, that ne’er-do-well, to ruin things. He is my Tiresias, the one who sees without seeing. In one blinding moment, he showed me that, to quote Tom Waits, “the higher that the monkey can climb/ the more he shows his tail.” I had climbed too high, friends, and exposed myself for the fool that I am.
I’ve cost us two points and for what? To don a fresh, clean, jersey instead of the sodden, fraying, odorific one that, for all I know, is more responsible than Giroud or Ramsey or Koscielny or Szczesny for delivering us to the top of the table lo these many weeks. Was it a golden fleece? No, it seems not.
I’ve been laid low, and I’ve learned my lesson. I just pray that Gooners will forgive me. From this day forward, the blue third kit will be my hair-shirt. I will wear it with humility until I am forgiven. Even then, I shall continue to wear it, despite the winces and cringing of those who besmell it. It is only when I am forgiven that I may wash it, perhaps in the Thames, and only after that will I wear any other on match-day.
Bless me, Gooners, for I have sinned. I am ready for my penance.