Making Sense Of Munich Madness And Wright Is Wrong
Since the thumping of the spuds in February and our subsequent climb into third place, I felt there was a lull in the negativity that seems to perennially accompany Arsenal Football Club, not only in the media but also on ‘true’ supporter websites – the people who feel more entitled to have their opinions heard because they hold a season ticket or one fanshare in the club.
While these sites still managed to find something adverse to say even in victories, the venom with which these verdicts were delivered appeared to have lost some potency. Unsurprisingly, that cynicism has returned in full measure now – Chelsea’s Champions League ‘triumph’ the latest catalyst for another round of everyone’s favorite recreational pastime, Lets-Have-A-Go-At-The-Arsenal.
First, let’s get one thing absolutely clear – Chelsea are arguably the most undeserving and fortunate winners of the Champions League ever. And I don’t write this with any jealousy or bitterness – they fought hard and played to their strengths. They could have crumbled against Barcelona but they held firm, they had a plan and they executed it.
Undeniably though, they were aided in this effort by huge slices of luck – not just in the final but all through the knock-out stages of the competition. In a season where we got some idea of how Alice must have felt on her first visit down the rabbit hole, it was fitting that Chelsea won the European Cup – and I am not for a second begrudging their fans for what is definitely a historic moment for them.
We’ve had our own slices of good fortune this season – the win at Liverpool was achieved without playing particularly well, Szczesny should have been sent off against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Koscielny was lucky to escape punishment against Norwich. Sometimes in football, there’s only a fine margin of luck that separates glory and disgrace – and all teams should enjoy the glory when luck falls their way.
What annoys me though are the pronouncements made by so-called Arsenal ‘supporters’.
Chelsea’s instant-success philosophy has NOT been vindicated by winning the Champions League. They are still facing a massive overhauling at the club with most of their squad well into their thirties. Yes, winning the European Cup will help that rebuilding but their league form, where they tried to play football, is suggestive of the struggles that await them in the near future. Also, lady luck has a way of seducing you for a time and then kicking you in the balls just when you start enjoying it, so don’t expect good fortune to last for any team for too long.
Ashley Cole did NOT move to Chelsea for this, he went for personal gain. The fact that they did win the coveted trophy just gives him a reason to justify the move, more to himself than anyone else. Still, he left Arsenal of his choice and what he says and does doesn’t bother me at all.
What does bother me is when a legend like Ian Wright goes on Twitter to call Arsenal fans ‘mugs’ in defense of Ashley Cole’s statements. Maybe Wrighty has an agenda I am not aware of because there have been other times too when he seems unhappy in our victories and gloats at our rival’s achievements. While he did make a lame effort at an apology later, it’s disheartening for me personally because when I first started following the club it was Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright that got me loving the Arsenal.
I guess these are just by-products of our seven-year itch and when we do win a trophy, everyone and everything will be forgiven if not forgotten. But presently, let’s not make more of the Chelsea victory than what it is – pure divine intervention in a season of glorious uncertainties. Let’s do the right things at Arsenal and hopefully the rub of the green will favour us someday soon and help us achieve our own glory.