Eyes Of The Gooner Nation On Old Trafford

Well, it’s here, big style. Tonight is one of those nights. We need everybody to put their hands up at every opportunity on the park. By that I mean, don’t leave it to a team-mate. Take responsibility. Go the extra yard, even when their lungs are about to explode.
I think we need a draw or at the very worst a one goal defeat with at least one away goal tonight, preferably two. We also need to play as much of the game as possible in the opposition half. We also need tactical discipline and for the players to be switched on mentally at all times. Mistakes cost at this level. United are beatable. Spurs looked in charge last Saturday in the first half at Old Trafford. A dodgy penalty and they went to pieces. Credit to United they simply rolled over our neighbours after they got back into it. Spurs are still a mediocre side though.
United will go for the throat at the slightest opportunity. We’ll need to stand up to them physically. We got run over by Chelsea at Wembley and at Anfield in the League. We can’t afford that tonight. If United want a war we’ve got to put the tin hats on and dig in the trenches. We’ve got to earn the right to play.
I’ll be honest. I want the Champions League so, so badly. I’ve dreamed about it ever since I was a kid. I don’t only want to win it once, I want to establish a dynasty as Real Madrid, Internazionale, Milan, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Liverpool have in the past.  I will however settle for just one before I’m nailed in my box. I also want to go on and see Arsenal crowned as World Club Champions.  That said, I’m still smarting from our FA Cup exit though. Maybe it’s my age but the Cup means so much to me. I know many Gooners don’t give a monkey’s about it but I care about the old girl. Deeply. Still, that’s all in the past now. We’ll worry about our approach to the FA Cup next season. Too late now. You can’t jog backwards, as Peter Hill-Wood would say. Well, you can actually, but it’s a recipe for crashing into things.
As if playing United at Old Trafford in the Champions League semi-final wasn’t enough it now appears that Kieran Gibbs is a major injury worry for tonight. Oh joy. What on Earth have we done to deserve this persistent injury curse? As the old blues song goes, if it wasn’t for bad luck, real bad luck, we wouldn’t have no luck at all. With Mikaël Silvestre all but certainly out along with Gaël Clichy and William Gallas, I can see the bloody Gunnersaurus getting a game at the back. And Bacary Sagna still recovering from a virus. I’m just waiting to be told he’s got swine flu. Carlos Vela has been checked for viral infections having recently returned from international duty with Mexico where the outbreak is currently centred. Although he was suspended for their home game against Costa Rica he was in Mexico City and travelled with the team down to San Pedro Sula for their away game against Honduras before returning to Blighty. An outbreak of swine flu would be just about our luck at the moment.
Turning to events off the park as I go all squishy whenever I think about tonight, chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis will be presenting his vision for the club and answering questions from Arsenal Supporters’ Trust members next Monday week 11 May 2009 at 6.00pm at the Grove. The meeting is however STRICTLY AST members only. There’s your cue.
It’ll cost you just £2 a month if you pay by standing order (you choose which day of the month to pay) or £30 a year if you pay by debit/credit card or by cheque. Life membership (which is available on-line) costs £250. Aside from all the other benefits and having a voice on critical ownership and governance issues at the club, you become a part owner of the Trust’s mutually-owned Arsenal Holdings shares. Your very own thin slice of Heaven. All for  just £2 a month. Sign up today. You know it makes sense. The excellent Gooners who sit on the AST board put a lot of time and effort in on our behalf, for which they receive not a penny. They deserve YOUR support and cash. Doesn’t matter whether you live just around the corner from the ground as I do or at the other end of the Earth. AST has members all over the planet as well as in all parts of Britain and both sides of the border in Ireland.
Last night saw Chelsea grab a scoreless draw in the Nou Camp against Barcelona. Barca had most of the game. Particularly in the first half, and missed an absolute sitter at the end. That gives the Pensioners the edge at the Bridge next week. Let’s make sure it’s not another Yoonited v Chelsea Final as in Moscow last season. Even if we have to do it with the walking wounded.
The Gooner Republic expects every man to do his duty! Charge!
Keep the faith!

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