It’s been a chastening opening to the season for Arsenal. We’re only three games in and they’re already playing as if avoiding the drop from the Premier League would represent a decent season for them.
Without question it’s not an experience their squad of fully-fledged internationals and World Cup winners are used to. But do their official squad portraits, as seen on Arsenal.com, give us a glimpse of what’s going on inside their minds right now?
Let’s take a look…
The Czech Cech is seemingly the only employee of Arsenal Football Club willing to bollock his teammates after abhorrent performances if the fallout from the Anfield shambles is to be believed, and that’s reflected in his official photo; he looks just as shocked about it as we are. A man who must be thinking he’s getting too old for this sh*t.
“Right, all you suckers listen. I’ve got a gun under where this image is cropped. I’ve wanted out for two years and if you don’t put me on the transfer list next time, you’re all getting it. Or just play me in the Europa League, whatevs…”
Oh dear, he’s not in a good place is he? I mean, sure, he’s in a place earning £60,000 per week for doing precisely nothing offer than laughing at contract offers below that figure, but still – it’s all relative, eh? Arsenal fans can still probably sympathise with those immensely saddening eyes – he looks like how every Gooner feels about their club on the inside right now.
Due to hang up his boots and become the headmaster of Arsenal’s Academy next summer, the man who’d have no trouble whatsoever doing the 100m in a blistering 47.8 seconds is clearly pretty smug about knowing his escape route from Wenger’s dressing room has been finalised. Lucky bastard.
Arsene Wenger’s greatest defensive signing since Mikael Silvestre looks as if he could burst into tears at any moment. Whether that’s because of the pain in his troublesome Achilles or the fact he’s got another three years to run on his contract, we’re not so sure. But for the love of God, someone get this man a tissue before it’s too late.
What’s up Nacho? You look like you’ve seen something horrifying, your deadened eyes going straight through to your soul. Oh wait, no, you’ve just come straight out of the defensive briefing session from the training ground. Our mistake.
Stark bewilderment is etched all over poor Aaron’s face. It’s almost as if someone’s asked him not to keep running forward at all times and to continuously discard his defensive duties in midfield. How dare they.
He’s only 25 but has already had a career’s worth of injuries, so there’s only one reason why Jack could have that little cheeky grin on his face: he’s clearly relieved to have safely made the walk from the changing room to the photo studio without breaking a leg. Good on you, lad.
Ozil is capable of footballing art on his day, so it’s only fair to treat him as an artist in his own right. The famous French artist Edgar Degas once said: “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Mesut’s squad photo, however, seems to be yelling: “Football is easy when you have Cristiano Ronaldo in front of you, but very difficult when it’s Danny Welbeck.”
Poor Santi. He’s probably had as grumpy as that expression on his face ever since last November, when Arsene Wenger said he’d be out of action for two weeks. It was at that precise moment he knew he wouldn’t play football again for 18 months.
The look of a man every bit as shocked as Arsenal fans when they realise he’ll be sticking around at the Emirates for yet another year. Although he also looks a bit pissed off he’s not allowed to have a sliding tackle photo as his profile picture.
If ever Arsene Wenger needed final evidence as to why he should really let wantaway forward Alexis leave, it has to have been the moment the club photographer snapped this. Look at that face, those eyes. A broken man on the precipice, looking ready to end it all… and just say, “F*ck this, I’d rather set up a club formed entirely of football playing dogs than play a minute more for you, Arsene.”
Alexandre “#LacaNewSigning” Lacazette looks somewhat internally tormented here. It’s almost as if all the new club excitement has died off and he’s realised he’ll be stuck at right wing-back before he knows it. In fact, that’s definitely what’s happened.
There’s only one thing going through this handsome bastard’s mind: “I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard. I am a handsome bastard…”
Theo’s ever-so-slight smile here has all the hallmarks of a man who knows he only has another year to wait before he can inexplicably hold Arsenal to ransom for another £100,000-per-week pay rise and get away with it. What a time to be alive.
“Errr… was Mesut in here this studio earlier? Was he moaning about the fact I’m not Cristiano Ronaldo again…?!”
Look at the f**king state of Perez here. He’s so obviously not committed to the Arsenal cause that he’s actually turned around and tried to escape halfway through the f**king photoshoot. Absolute shambles.
“Catalyst for change? Well, I believe we changed absolutely our kits, no? Mwahahahahahaha – you’ve got little bit two more years of this you. Top, top quality years.”
Poor old Arsenal, eh? They might want to think about getting these photos redone with big smiles the order of the day. Although that might be near impossible if their current run of form continues for much longer.