Here’s something to cheer up my fellow Arsenal supporters. It’s true that the team has been imploding since the 22-game unbeaten run ended; but let’s put it in context. Yes, they’ve been poor, but they’re certainly not at the level of ineptitude that is the New York Knicks.
The NBA’s ninth regular season match in London took place Thursday night at the 02 Arena. It featured the Knicks and the Washington Wizards. A load of Premier League players were in attendance to take in the action including what seemed like half the Arsenal squad. The Gunners were well represented by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira, Alex Iwobi, Matteo Guendouzi, Emile Smith-Rowe, Mohamed Elneny, Hector Bellerin and Shkodran Mustafi.
Hopefully the Arsenal contingent enjoyed the game, but also took away a lesson from what they saw. The Knicks can always be counted on to embarrass themselves and this match proved to be no different.
I had to laugh when I read the match report from Marc Berman in the New York Post. The headline alone sums up New York’s NBA franchise: Knicks go all the way to London to find new crushing way to lose. The article begins:
The Knicks proved they can just as easily choke in the fourth quarter in Britain as in the United States. This time, the Knicks did it on a buzzer-beating goaltending call against rookie Allonzo Trier.
Dominating play and a pleasure to watch for three quarters, the Knicks fell apart late as the Wizards stole a 101-100 victory in an O2 Arena thriller.
The way the Knicks lost this game reminded me of a lot of the ridiculous ways that Arsenal have been defeated and blown leads in recent years.
It’s great that the squad are united and took some time off to enjoy the NBA match together. Despite the fact that it was basketball and not soccer, I hope that the players learned something from watching the Knicks lose. The lesson: it’s necessary to hold a lead and finish off the opponent if you want to be a winning team.