A long time since I last wrote a blog, so plenty to say. I have reached my boredom threshold after 6 months with arguments about our ever present Brazilian U21 star, so to Big Nick Bendtner who made FTK eat his words yesterday; he still looks pretty good to me. In fairness to King Kolo, our one not the player, I should probably accept that my insistence that Bendtner was better the Berbatov was wrong. (A season to soon eh mate?) Such are the vaguearies of following your team with your heart not your head, some people will never know that joy though. But on the touches that he showed against the Baggies, you can at least see what I was driving at.
For my own sanity I will also leave well alone those people who seem to think that booing will be “a wake up call” for our manager – like he needs fans to remind him that the aim of the game is to win. I promised myself I wouldn’t dwell on this so I won’t, but just for the record it is really cheap, disloyal, and hypocritical. Arsenal is a club of class and traditions, it would be good if the fans could participate in upholding these traditions. As opposed to believing that they are entitled to be entertained for their money and their silence and can act like spoilt, shallow teens when things don’t go our way. That’s the spirit lads, real backbone in adversity there.
Enough of sounding like the priest at a Hell’s Angels funeral, there is a point to this blog: just how good Manure have been this season. As I mellow into my old age I have developed a grudging respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, he is a football man at least in an age when that is rare. Plus there is no way not to have come to some appreciation for his ability to impose his will upon his teams. This season though Utd have also been a tactical demon, playing the type of intelligent fluid football that previously you couldn’t see anywhere outside Highbury. So much for Quieroz/Kidd being the brains of the operation. He has even learnt how to spend 25+ mil on a player and not balls it up, that is certainly a key to his success.
Defending European champions, world champions and domestic juggernaut another Champions league title would cement this as his best team in 20 years and give them the chance to go for 3 straight and be considered one of the best ever.
We Must stop this.
Never would a victory have been so sweet as ending that dream for Fergie. In all the years I have watched Arsenal the one moment that I cannot forget or move on from, that still picks away at the brain in spite of all glory since, is the Bergkamp penalty miss in 1999. We could have screwed them then, ruined that side and stolen their place in history from them. Forget being in next years competition, we must win this seasons Champions League just to stop Ferguson.
Our season has boiled down to the cups now anyway, we might still get fourth, but that is what it is. A season in the UEFA cup is no disaster or shame, we did it before and made the final, even if we started in the CL. If we are to make some history this year, salvage our season, we need the European cup. We go to Rome in a good position, although our struggles to score leave that looking less comfortable than it might be. Still, rather our position than Manure’s, I would love Mourinho to get a score draw and it might not be beyond them.
Indeed…”cheap”…“ a club of class and traditions”… this piece was ugly from the get go, but I have plumbed some real lows in this article. In spite of that, where do we go from here?
If we get through Roma, we should, a decent draw would be nice. Either the winners from the Porto/Atletico or Pana/Villareal ties would be good. After that everyone is dangerous. Still, I would rather see Barca, Chelsea, Manure, and Liverpool bracketed together  – it is possible – but even best case scenario would probably have us playing one of those before the final. It might be 2. If we have to get an English side though, I hope it is Utd and we can stop them dead and break Fergie’s heart.
I didn’t plan to write a blog that amounts to a bitter fallacy about why winning the Champions League matters just to stop Manure, but so it is. I can see now that a weekend of reading about how good they are and all that they might win has got to me. Frankly if they fail in Europe they will have fallen short and we can see to that. Last season they had 40 goals from Ronaldo, all sense said they wouldn’t get that again. So it was… instead they ground out clean sheets with historic regularity and not whilst playing dour Mourinho style negativity. Compare that with us: we defended so badly first half of the season that despite some fabulous attacking play the entire squad fell into a vortex of self-loathing and incompetence; after that we found some spine to our play and now we can’t score in a brothel. Where in every situation that mob from Manchester found exactly what was needed, we have done the opposite.
The beauty of football is that we get the chance to right this wrong, to redeem ourselves, and it might still be us who ends the season in glory and being praised as on the verge of historic domination. That is what would happen if our young side could win the Champions League this season. With all our youth, talent, superb manager, and infrastructure at this club we could honestly look forward to the clubs most successful period ever.
We are this close: 6 games from history. People can bitch and moan, even boo, all they like. I still see much to play for this season, every reason to encourage the team, rather than denigrate them, and no reason to throw in the towel. We should be united, no pun intended, and focus on what we can achieve, not what we haven’t so far. This should be a moment for resilience – Arsenal have always been at their best backs to the wall – rather than self flagellation and terrace wankers pouring scorn on the side.