“I was there, singing my cock off for the team I love, and saw magic unfold on the pitch…”

•March 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Step onto that pitch tomorrow, line yourselves up like you usually do. Let the monumental Champions League anthem blast around the ground. Look around. Catch a glimpse of a few supporters having a prayer. Notice some of them staring into the heavens and vaguely make out how they mutter the words “Please”. Others will have their arms flung into the air with scarves being waved and the famous Arsenals songs being sung. Embrace the panoramic view of striking Red & White all around. And right before the customary handshakes begin, take one last look at the man standing in the dugout with his arms folded. Feel his expectations with every breath he takes.

What’re you going to do, lads? What’re you going to do? Are you going to give up? Roll over?

Are you even going to show up? Or are you going to step onto that (proper) football pitch tomorrow with every intention of having the game of your lives?

Are you going to let another cheap imitation of a referee cock it up? Or are you going to make your own luck?

Are you going to get out there, and be The Arsenal?

I bloody well hope so. See, I believe in you. I’ll be getting up at 4 in the morning for you irregardless, as I have been for every midweek game over the past decade and a half. I’ll be here, 10,000 kilometers away, singing along with the home fans, perhaps maybe louder than some but with exactly the same belief.

I’ve just read up on who’s out for the tie, for both teams, and I’m sure you have too, so I won’t be boring you with that. I have got a rough idea on how I’d want the team to line up tomorrow, but, like Arsene once famously mentioned, I have not managed a single minute of a single game of any single Champions League tournament.

He’s said he’ll be sending the best team out tomorrow, and why not? It’s 0-4. It’s only been 90 minutes, there’s still 90 left. If Milan won it on their shit pitch, we stand a pretty decent chance of winning it on our turf. Call me a dreamer but a 2 goal lead at half time, and both teams could be going “Hang on…” in the dressing rooms.

I wouldn’t be suicidal if we got beaten in the tie. I’d be quite livid if we were knocked out without a fight, though. You owe the Italian side one, Arsenal.

It’s going to be big. It’s going to be buzzing. It’s going to be a capacity crowd at The Grove tomorrow, and I envy every single one of those making up the attendance, for they could be witnessing the biggest night in European football history and sharing the tale with generations to come.

“I was there, singing my cock off for the team I love, and saw magic unfold on the pitch…”

“To the timid and hesitating everything is impossible because it seems so.”

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Samir Nasri, eh?

•August 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Replaceable.

Arsenal Asia Tour, Part Deux: Poker, Drinks, Match Night, Taking The Piss, Winning 4-0.

•July 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Right, let me reminisce the events that took place on the second day…

Well, we played poker in the afternoon. I mean, we had to spend the time somehow, and the sun was absolutely shitting on us out there that day. What better way to have a poker session in the Arsenal Asia Tour than with an Arsenal deck of cards?

Poker Time.

We had a decent time too with loads of laughs and singing a specific player’s name if his card wins the hand. And then there were times like…

Gallas and Nasri in the flop.

Laughed ourselves silly when Gallas and Nasri appeared in the flop. The best was yet to come…

...

Winning a pot with this hand was just taking the piss.

ANNYWAYYY we moved on to the stadium with a little over 3 hours to kick off. We were absolutely buzzing. Alastair, co-founder of Arsenal Singapore, added to the mood with some in-bus entertainment. And nothing says entertainment quite like quality scotch.

Bring on the drinks!

The scotch was a good call too; it made the queuing up for entry tolerable, especially under the blistering heat. And of course, more singing while waiting for the gates to open.

Right, here’s the thing I don’t get. There are signs, HUGE signs on top of the gates, informing people of the things which were not allowed in the stadium. Sadly, explosives weren’t allowed, so I had to leave my C4s outside. Not but lets get serious here. Bottles of water or whatever drinks weren’t allowed. Selfish, but understandable. Horns (and them fucking vuvuzelas) weren’t allowed too. I started thanking my stars when I saw the sign, cuz the horns, however minimal they were, during the training session were just annoying. As soon as I got in, though, I saw a fucking booth specially set up selling more horns. And more vuvuzelas.

More people meant more horns, which in turn meant me wanted to rip more puppies apart. In all seriousness, they are pointless, they really are. They just piss you off, and you don’t get the same pride, joy and ecstasy if you sing along with your fellow mates. We were in for a rough time, as far as being outdone by horns was concerned. We could use the challenge.

Seats were all rapidly filling up, mostly by the local supporters of Malaysia XI, and the Gooners all around the world. I say world cuz we were stunned to see the Maidstone Gooners’ flag hung out. Dedication at its purest form.

Anticipation grew, we were getting restless, we just wanted the game to st… OH WAIT! A MANC IN A UNITED SHIRT! The whole corner of Singapore Gooners stood up in unison, without cue, but with basic instincts. WHO ARE YA?! WHO ARE YA?! WHO ARE YA?! WHO THE FUCK ARE MAN UNITED?! WE WON THE LEAGUE AT MANCHESTER! It was just absolutely rapturous. It went on for as long as that Manc was standing. 2 minutes of seat searching later, he took off his shirt. WAHEYYYYYY!

From then on, it was go time. More Man United fans walked past in their ugly ass shirts, and the more we sang. One tosser in particular stood right in front of us and kissed his badge. The songs just went from NC16 to M18. FUCK OFF YOU WANKER! TWAT! BELLEND! CUNT! Bastard demon spawn. One man came in with a Chelsea shirt. Just as we stood up to have at it, we noticed the name on the back of shirt. Ashley fucking Cole. The nerve! OH ASHLEY COLE! HE’S A FUCKING ARSEHOLE! YOU’RE A FUCKING ARSEHOLE!

It just got better from there. Barca cunts started showing up. We were on a roll, and I’m pretty sure one of them almost cried.

And then! AND THEN! We spotted a Sp*rs shirt. You can’t make this shit up. An old Sp*rs shirt worn by a really old innocent looking man cunt. We let rip. HELLO! HELLO! WE ARE THE ARSENAL BOYS!

We were so impatient we just started taking the piss out of everything. From fake shirts to Pay Your Bills, Pay Your Bills Pay Your Bills! when a couple of lights in the stadium went off.

Suddenly, it was kick off time as the teams walked out on to the  pitch and there was pandemonium all around the stadium. We wasted no time and got singing.

Barely a few minutes into the game, we got a penalty. Jack was brought down and it seemed like Rambo offered him a shot at the penalty, which Jack politely declined. Good thing he did too; a few of us had a wager on the first scorer of the game. I had Vela, others had Chamakh, Theo and of course, Jack. It was One-Nil To The Arsenal, and there was only One Aaron Ramsey.

Singing continued, we decided to involve Rocky and a few other legend into the singing, before Rambo played a ball with the outside of his foot for Theo to lob it over the charging goalkeeper. That ball by Rambo was what dreams are made of. Magical ball.

Vermaelen looked solid for the first half, and as did Miyaichi. The latter had a bag of tricks on him, and was exciting on the left flank. Jenkinson seemed promising but also like he lacked experience as far as charging up and coming back went. Ram-shere showed that the future was bright. I wasn’t impressed the least bit by Chamakh; questionable running and passes.

Second half was underway with plenty of subs. Vela, Denilson, Rosicky, Traore, Mannone, Frimpong, Squillaci and Djourou came on. Miyaichi and Jenkinson stayed on, probably to let the crowd get more than a glimpse of the new signings.

I longed for the day to see Vela score a chip, and when he broke free from the last defenders, most of the people sitting near me yelled it out. CHIPPPPPPPPPPPP! And it was 3-0 to The Arsenal, and I needed Kleenex.

Denilson went off after just 15 minutes, but Colin Lewin seemed to follow him to the entrance of the tunnel, so make of that what you want to. Nasri, Arshavin, van Persie and Sagna came on, the appropriate songs followed.

It seemed to me like Nasri played like his usual self, with many people accusing him of not giving 2 damns about the game. Don’t know how one can make a call, but they did. Robin hardly got the ball sadly, and the same for Andrey. We slowed down about 5 notches for the last 20 minutes of the game, but still allowed Tomas Rosicky to score a header. We only won 4-0.

Game finished and we stood up to applaud the players. The players reciprocated by applauding and throwing out some Arsenal Asia Tour paraphernalia before leaving the pitch. We stayed on for a while longer to soak it all in.

Fucking beautiful.

Arsenal Asia Tour, Part Un: Arrival and Training Day.

•July 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m sorry, I just can’t think of an appropriate opening statement for this post, except that it was a beautiful day. The sun was perched at its highest peak, but it was… Just…

Enthusiasm and all that. The Tweeters: Cheryl (@fezzachezza), Kevin (@sggooner), Cheyenne (@yourroyalsiren), James (@jamesdubya), Terence (@Terencelim123), Pete (@s_tactics), Steve (@noxygen)

Having touched down in Kuala Lumpur all ugh-y from the grueling bus ride, and slightly drunk for some of us, we wasted no time in grabbing a pint. Pints all over, it was 4 hours to the training session. Yes. 4 hours. No. We didn’t sleep. We were already on our way.

This was about to be the Home Of Football for 2 days.

Some local Gooners confused our luxury bus for the Arsenal team bus, and the short-lived excitement on their faces was just hilarious. We got down and started singing a few songs. A few African Gooners responded to our Eboue songs, and the camaraderie that we shared was just a joy to behold. I took one of my favourite pictures of them.

Don't Go Nasri!

Picking a sweet spot for our seats was tricky, to say the least. We had a huge ‘Singapore Gooners’ (Indonesian Gooners had a mammoth sized one. Props.) which took a while to get ready for display. When it finally was, we sat and waited impatiently like little kids on Christmas Eve’s night.

SINGAPORE GOONERS!

Me, Steve, Pete, Terence

Pete: Imagine if Gunnersaurus appeared. Ha ha.
Steve: Hahaha.
Raun: Ha I’d be so overwhelmed I’ll kill myself. Won’t happen though.

And a while later…

ONE GUNNERSAURUS! THERE'S ONLY ONE GUNNERSAURUS!

And then Colbert runs out. And then Peyton. And then Pat Rice. And then some random old bloke by the name of Arsene Wenger (or something like that…) sashayed his way on to the pitch. To describe it as euphoric would be an utter understatement.

Arsene: So Texas Hold 'Em in my room tonight. Say... 10 pm?

The players took the pitch, and we let the singing begin. My God we sang our tits off. From And It’s Arsenal to Hello! Hello! We Are The Arsenal Boys! From Na Na Na Na to Sagna! Sagna! From Oh Rocky Rocky! to We Love You Freddie! We even overlooked the obvious fact of minors being present in the stadium to take the piss off Sp*rs.

Silence filled the air for a bit as we caught a breath. Wojciech was walking over to the goal after a small water break. Kevin (@sggooner, Vice-President of Arsenal Singapore) stood up, flung his arms up in the air, and let rip.

WOJCIECH! GIVE US A WAVE!

The rest of us followed suit, and even before we finished the verse, Wojciech looked over at us and duly waved. Fucking fuckity fuck that felt good.

A few customary drills took place on the pitch as we continued singing, before the players had a practice game amongst themselves. 11v11, three-quarters of a pitch, which would probably explain our passing and movement game. There was good banter going on amongst us. We stood and yelled out One-Nil To The Arsenal! when Chamakh tapped in a Walcott cross-shot past Don Vito. And then we sang One-Nil Please Don’t Fuck It Up! Colbert, Peyton, Pat and a few others played officials, so we’d yell out OH COME ON REF! whenever he called for an offside. When the game slowed down and the players started to cool down, we started singing Boring Boring Arsenal. Good times.

*pant* *pant pant*

The players had a crossbar challenge too. Not a challenge, per se, but that’s what they were going for. 4 goalposts meant balls were flying everywhere so it was very disorientating.

Theo looked the most enthusiastic with applauding the crowd every now and then. THEO! THEO! THEO!

Ryo looked eager to impress too. That boy is quick! RYO! RYO! RYO!

The singing continued to the very end of the training session with Arsene coming up to us for waves. Felt like ecstasy. Best thing? It was only gonna get better the next day.

ONE ARSENE WENGER!

The Blame Game.

•March 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Been a while since I’ve written, and I’ll blame it on the past couple of weeks. There was football. My faith in the beautiful game was questioned by ludicrous refereeing decisions, our own fans getting explicit with the Wenger Out saga, and yes, the fact that we were out of 3 competitions in the fortnight. There was Japan and the stories as a result of it. Then there’s my academic situation which is well under doubts. Can’t win.

We needed to win tonight. Nothing less. No disrespect to Bolton, they’ve been a wonderful side under Coyle, but you knew United were gonna win against them.

The line-up was what I’d predicted, barring Denilson’s inclusion over Tomas, and I was quite satisfied with it. Denilson had a decent, if not brilliant, game against United a week ago, and I’d chosen to believe that he’d turn up for tonight. He didn’t. We didn’t. Not until the second half.

It was almost humorous, how the game started. We went a goal down 3 minutes in via a corner, and poor marking by Aaron Ramsey. I don’t get what followed. PositiveGunner mentioned how ridiculous some Gooners were being, with them crying out for Rambo to finally get a start, and then lambast him and Arsene, for the lack of marking and the decision to start him, respectively. Reedeequeueless. I told my mates one thing, though. Whichever tool was standing right in front of Almunia, he did a great job. He made a nuisance of himself, and got the goal. But, if Mad Jens was in goal (I’M NOT SAYING HE SHOULD’VE BEEN), he’d have killed that guy. Metaphorically. Or maybe really killed him. Anyhooooo, 1-0 to West Brom, and it was gonna be a looooong night.

To be fair, West Brom were disciplined with their defending. Yes, they were. All the stoopid challenges aside. But we didn’t show up. We just… We… BAH! Denilson got booked for doing a Denilson, and Denilson got yelled at by the Gooners for being… Well… Denilson! I love the kid, he’s a brilliant passer of the ball on his day.

We hit the post (surprise) with a van Persie (SURPRISE!) header, and a rebound which Rambo should be converting week in week out. Don’t quite know how one’s supposed to score in that situation, with less than a split of a second to make up your mind, but he should’ve smashed that harder, if it was possible. It might have gone in, or Rambo might have smashed Carson’s testicles with the shot.

I was amazed at the lack of urgency. Never mind ‘lack’, there wasn’t any! Denilson off for Chamakh at half-time, during which Arsene had to give a monumental George Graham-esque team-talks. Nasri played in the middle, and then the urgency showed up.

Dum dee dum...

We’d just squandered a glorious opportunity to go level, and a hoof went up the field, against our goal. Squillaci was against Odemwingie, and the lack of pace in Squillaci had as slightly worried. When Almunia suddenly appeared on the screen, rushing out of the box, we shat our pants. 2-0.

Odemwingie had nowhere to go; Squillaci did a good job standing his ground. If only Manu did the same.

Bendtner and Chamakh’s introduction made a huge difference, and we were back in it with a worldie from Arshavin. Thumped that motherfucker in. Game on! And 2-2 shortly after. Ball bounced about for a bit, and Robin slid in on Meite to squeeze the it in.

It was ours if we wanted it enough. Seemed like we didn’t. United were barely drawing with 10 men, but we all knew they’d nick a win. They did.

1 point gained cuz we came back from the dead. 2 points lost cuz it was, no disrespect, Woy’s West Brom.

So who’re we blaming? Most, if not all, are saying Almunia. I’ll blame Almunia, cuz we were in the game at 1-0, duh. But I won’t go too far as to say Lehmann should’ve started. Mad Jens hasn’t had a competitive game in over a year, and while some of you would be adamant and say ‘He’s just goalkeeper!’, the rest of us have found the Sanity Valve in ourselves to know that only Almunia was gonna start the game. Almunia, our third-choice keeper. Have you seen the other third-choicers in the league?

Manu, you’re not a disgrace. I’ve seen how you’d take care of our young center backs ala Miquel, and you’ve got heart. You’re not a disgrace. What you usually do, however… Is.

Brilliant goal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m infuriated with what Manuel Almunia has done today. And the other howlers? Equally ticked off. Probably as ticked off as I was with Lehmann’s mistakes in an Arsenal shirt. Yes, he’s had his fair share. I’ll blame Almunia, and the our team’s urgency. Or the lack of it.

We were a complete joke in the first half, and again, it made me question the team’s desire to win and all that. Questioned. Not for the first time. And the answer’d always be a ‘yes, they do’. I seek the solidarity in the performances and the celebrations from games like 2-1 against Barcelona earlier, the 3-2 comeback against Bolton with 10 men and the 2-0 win against Milan at the San Siro. They give a toss. But they should be give more than just a toss. They should be giving a fuck.

5 points behind with a game in hand, and 9 games to go. We still play United at The Grove, and it’s all to play for. That game, if it was ever possible, has become more of a must-win.

I’d trust Arsene even if he played Denilson in goal.

Do I think we’ll win the league? Frankly, no. I’ll blame it on the inconsistency of our players and the officials for the game. Do I still believe and hope? Too much.

Do we deserve to win the league? Nope. No one does, actually, but we’ve got 9 games left to prove a point. Now, please, let me cower in the corner, slit my wrists and cry myself to sleep.

Oh PS –> Get well soon, Stu Holden. Haven’t seen the incident yet, but I’ve read that it’s a pretty nastay one.

Massimo Busacca, you are the sperm your mother should’ve swallowed.

•March 9, 2011 • 1 Comment

I’ve lost faith in the beautiful game. I really have, and I’m sorry. I’ve been watching football for 13 years now, and that’s it.

I’m sorry.

Massimo Busacca, you are the sperm your mother should’ve swallowed. What you did last night was worse than what James Franco did while hosting the Oscars. He’s got an excuse; that bastard was high. How about you, Busacca? Abidal had his hand on Robin’s neck, as did Adriano with Samir’s. I’ve been watching the beautiful game for 13 years now, and that is a sending off, day in day out. Instead, Massimo books Robin for mildly retaliating to that hand-on-neck incident.

Credits to ArseTumblr

The referee sees the hand on Samir. Clear as day.

Most of the decisions he made were ridiculous, which were assisted by amazing diving antics by the Barcelona players, especially Dani Alves. He is a pathetic little inbred prick. And when they’d go down to nothing challenges, the cavalry would arrive in the form of cuntfaces, namely Xavi and Busquets, begging the ref to book our players, which the ref duly obliged to.

I told my mate at half-time, that it’d be easier for us to get a goal, than for Barcelona to get a single booking. I was right.

Robin went for Dani Alves with his hands on that hideous face of Dani. He should’ve been off then, Robin. Replays showed Dani wasn’t even going for the ball in the first place. Dirty cunt.

I shouldn’t even talk about Robin’s red. Maybe I should. The game was played in the biggest stadium in Europe, with 95,000 fans jumping up and down, whistling, playing percussion instruments and singing out their favourite team’s name. I do not understand how Robin could’ve possibly heard the whistle for the offside. Never mind that, even if he could, the referee should only be giving Robin a final warning, considering he’d already been booked. You DO NOT send the player off for taking a shot after a whistle blown 1 SECOND before, a whistle that HE COULDN’T HEAR.

Beautiful.

Where do FIFA or UEFA or the fucking FA get these incompetent thundercunts from?

I made one of my life’s most stupidest mistakes by staying on after the game, and hearing the pundits’ comments on the sending off debacle. One cunt said this:

I do not know what Robin was thinking of there. He was being stupid, and he tried defending his stupidity by blaming the crowd’s noise.

I know, right. Faith = lost.

The first goal we conceded was a brilliant one. Cesc tried a backheel in the most crowded of areas, and was caught. Iniesta did quite the shimmy before somehow finding Messi in space. That midget flicked the ball over an approaching Almunia, who the game of his life last night, and volleyed into the open net. Yes, Almunia had a blinder. Coupled with our solid, albeit last-ditch, defending, Almunia kept us in the tie.

Moving on, we didn’t show up today. To be fair, it was tough to. Barcelona’s keep-ball was immaculate, and we struggled to get the ball. And then to keep it. We were outplayed and the shot count read 20-0 in their favour. We had the ball in the dying embers of the game, but our lads were strolling around, with only Nicky B in the opposition half. We needed the one goal to go through. We had nothing to lose, but everything to gain, but there was no urgency.

However, I’m adamant that the game could have been different at 1-1 with 11 men. Shame we’d never know.

Team selection could have been debatable. I had no idea, still don’t, as to why Rosicky was picked ahead of Arshavin. Could’ve been because we’d use Arshavin as an impact player ala 3 weeks ago. Could’ve been because of what Arsene’s seen on the training ground, something we don’t see, and those cunts on the internet should realize that before claiming they could do a better job than Arsene.

Rossa was selected. Don’t know why, but he had the perfect opportunity to tell us so. He didn’t.

Abou Diaby? I’m a fan. A big fan. Amazing technique, but never passes the ball when there’s a need to.

Nicklas Bendtner, oh Nicky B. I love you. Always have, and always will. I fought for you during the darkest of times, and it’s getting really really tough to defend you right now. You had the one chance. The one chance to change the world. Millions begged you to get the first touch right and thump that motherfucker in and let the net ripple, and cause euphoria around the world. You didn’t. You showed the first touch of a rapist. Where’s the superhuman confidence when you need it?

Jack Wilshere, you are a fucking legend. At 19. You will be unplayable in the years to come. I fucking love you.

Cesc, don’t you ever, EVER, blame yourself for a loss again. You made a mistake, a fatal mistake, but that would never replace the good things you’ve done for this club.

I was unfortunate to read the insults thrown at Cesc over at Twitter, and some just made me wanna cry. Nani-style. Alan Davies, the legend, the Elite Gooner, tweeted back a ‘whatever’ to Cesc. I loved Alan. Jay-Z can claim that he’s an Arsenal fan, but Alan would always be the most famous one in my books. All that respect I had for Alan… Lost. To one word. Whatever.

I wasn’t as gutted last night as I was for the Carling Cup final, as much as it surprised me. It was probably because of the manner in which we’d lost both ties. Against Birmingham, it was cruel. Against Barcelona, we deserved it, but every one of us know it could’ve been different if we had a referee for the game. I say a referee, cuz it’s blatant that the cunt with a whistle in his hand last night wasn’t supposed to be one.

It sickens me to learn about Arsene and Samir getting charged for their comments made to the referee, on the grounds of ‘inappropriate language’. Robin made his comments to the camera. What did either of Arsene and Samir say to Massimo? I have got no idea, but I’ll tell you this: whatever they’d said to the referee, was 100% truth. This Respect campaign that was brought up to protect the referees, has been an utter failure. Give respect, get respect. Humanity 101.

I know Robin is livid. He’s incensed. Take all of that anger out on the ball at Old Trafford, come Saturday. We’re still in it for the Double. Beat United and we’re well in for a shot at the FA Cup. The Premier League? We don’t have the burden of the Champions’ League anymore. Fewer games, and dare I say, it’s ours to lose.

😦

That was us, with smiles on our faces 4 hours before kick off. The worst part of last night was looking at the same faces around me all doomy and gloomy. It was heartbreaking.

For the 3rd time in a week, upwards and onwards.

I KNOW I AM, I’M SURE I AM, I AM ARSENAL TILL I DIE!

Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

•March 8, 2011 • 1 Comment

I was on Twitter for most of yesterday, and I was only presented with the news of Song missing out, which would be a huge miss for us in the midfield. Cesc would be there, Jack would be there, Diaby would probably be there. The line-up looked like so:

Szczezza, Sagna Djourou Kozzer Clichy, Diaby Jack Cesc, Shava Nasri Bendtner.

Significant changes to the squad that got decimated by Messi last season.

Then again, with NickyB up top, we’d see balls in the air, over the top, 50 ft crosses from the flank, which really does my head in. Do not get me wrong, it might be a good variation at times with Bendtner’s aerial capabilities, but I do think we’re the best, or second best, team in the world with the ball on the ground. Just turns out we’re playing against the second best, or best, team in the world, also with the ball on the ground.

ANYWAYSSSSS, I left the house to play some football with the mates at night, and when I got home at about 10-ish (2pm GMT), I learnt about some pictures, over on Arsenal.com, showing Robin training with the first team in Colney. Motherf…

At that point, it didn’t hit me that Robin could be featuring at the Nou Camp, he could just be kicking the ball; Aliadiere was there too, FFS. But, some dunderhead thought it’d be funny if he started a rumor of Robin being all fit and ready to feature against Barcelona. The Gooners over at the Twitterverse got hopeful.

How many of you have watched The Shawshank Redemption? Amazing film, no? You’ll remember this quote:

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”
– Red, Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption

Right? I was hoping he’d make quite the amazing comeback, after Matt Law told us it’d be 6 weeks, not 6 days.

A while later, it was confirmed; Robin was in the squad to face Barcelona, and this was me then:

You guys too, right?

Arsene, you sneaky little… We love the way you lie.

Arsene rejected any claims of him playing mind games, or just plain mindfucking, Pep and his Barcelona team. But Arsene, you mindfucked us all. Now we’re so happy and wet.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn?

Every chance that Robin would start, and that’s matched by every chance that he wouldn’t.

Szczezza, Sagna Djourou Kozzer Clichy, Diaby Jack Cesc, Shava Nasri Robin.

Robin’d do well against the new center-back pairing of Busquets and Abidal, who’ve only played there twice season. Kevin points out the Liverpool United game. Vidic’s absence showed how detrimental a new center-back pairing could turn out to be.

Not too disheartened with Song’s absence and Diaby’s inclusion, despite the latter’s aggravating tendency to dribble into players, but he’ll do well in the counter, which I think would be the only way we’ll score. Think Diaby at St. James’ Park and Villa Park 2 seasons ago. Lightning counter-attacks. And if the first leg is anything to go by, we’d know to exploit the spaces left behind by Dani Alves and Maxwell bombing their bollocks forward with every attack.

Cesc’s inclusion will mean a much needed leader in the squad, and order, along with control, in the midfield, both which were missing on Saturday.

If we score 1, they’ll need 2. If we score 2, they’ll need 4. We need to score to go through, unless it ends in a stalemate. I’ll take 90 mins of pure borefest from this game. I wouldn’t mind having to slap myself at 4 or 5 in the morning to keep myself awake.

This part on is going to be quite cynical, but I’m just going to be pragmatic and honest. Quit if you must.

We have to score to win. But do we need to win? If we do not go through *KNOCKKKKKKKKK ONNNNN WOOOOOOOOOODDDDD*, it would not be the end of the world. We’d have gone out to the second best team in the world (heh), and we’d have fewer games. We ARE 3 points behind the leaders with a game in hand, and in the business end of the season, rest is exactly what we would need.

If. IF. IFFFFFFFFFFF. HUGE GIGANTIC GARGANTUAN MONUMENTAL IF.

I do wish we go through, and then the world would realize that we give a fuck. And they’ll start giving a fuck about us. I don’t care if the game ends in a ridiculously boring 0-0 game. I don’t care if it ends 3-2, I don’t care if Robin has sold his body to the devil to be fit for tonight. Get a result tonight, get a result on Saturday and life would be quite rosy…

AND IT’S ARSENALLLLLLLLLLLLL!