Fellow members of the Aaron Ramsey fan club, welcome. I return today after having been buried under a landslide of textbooks. In fact, I’d still lay amongst spines and appendices if not for St. Poldi answering my prayers and temporarily bestowing me with the power of his left leg. The books have been properly punted now, so it’s high time I write something about the Arsenal.
Games have come thick and fast as of late and the players have started to show signs of being human. Just signs, mind you, so you and I are free to believe that Per is really a four hundred year old Ent from the Black Forest in Germany (if we so choose). But yes, lots of games have been played. I’ll discuss each competition one at a time.
Domestically, WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE and we are proving that we can win in a variety of ways. The win against Norwich was the first time that Arsenal has scored more than three goals in a competitive game this campaign and the win against Palace was a scrappy ten men display akin to how Arsenal secured Champions League qualification last season. The ability to win all three points, no matter how many strikes hit the back netting or how many players are left fighting for the red of North London, is obviously crucial. A winning mentality will be needed for the somewhat doomy run of fixtures that loom. The 2012-2013 Barclay’s Premier League concluded as follows: 1. Wankchester (Red) 2. Wankchester (B₤ue) 3. Chavs 4. Arsenal 5. Sp*rz 6. The Toffees 7. The place where The Beatles are from. We play five of the teams from that top seven in our next seven league games (keep in mind that the top seven that I’ve just listed includes Arsenal, so it’s more like five of the top six). It’s time to start winning big games.
Also domestically, but more shit-tastically, we have been eliminated from the “illustrious” Capital One Cup. It’s crazy. Just last year we lost to an eventual cup finalist in Bradford City FC, and this year we’ve lost to the lowly Chelsea. Oh, how the mighty Arsenal have fallen, it gets worse every year! In all seriousness, if we had won the Capital One Cup and nothing else this campaign, I wouldn’t be satisfied. I never like to see us lose, but if our elimination results in more rest and as a result makes us even marginally more capable of winning one of the other three competitions, I’m content.
As for Europe, well, we all know where we stand. There are two tickets to a dance that four clubs are dying to attend. The four clubs must duke it out until only two are left standing. Three of these clubs are evenly matched, while one has less of a chance than Chamakh on a breakaway (sorry, Marseille). With that being said, I expect Marseille to spoil the hopes of one of the other competitors. They’re not going to roll over and crash out with zero points. When you consider that they represent Arsenal’s only remaining group match at The Emirates it becomes clear that the lads will have to follow through with what is expected of them. Here’s to hoping it’s that Italian club with the stupid Times New Roman crest that gets tripped up and stumbles out of the competition like Higuain on wet rocks. (See what I mean here.) I may or may not be a little bitter about their transfer antics, but that’s only because I was so desperate for a new face other than poor Yaya Sanago. I look rather silly now, for I forgot what a beautiful face we had in Giroud. Anyway, three teams are even on points and there are three remaining games for all, so there’s really no room for excuses. It’s time to start winning big games.
Finally, I’ve reworked my favourite poem of all time, “IF” by Rudyard Kipling. You probably know it, and if you don’t you should read it here, it’s much better than anything you’ll read from me. Anyway, I tried to keep the original prosody while changing the subject matter to represent Arsenal. I’m an English major and sometimes this sort of thing just ends up on a page when I’m procrastinating or have writer’s block. Enjoy!
IF you can keep your voice when all about you
Are losing theirs and holding back their spew,
If you can trust the crest knowing we’ll come through,
And still pull on that kit that reeks of brew;
If you can watch and not be tired of watching,
Or being defeated, do not feel lost,
Or being doubted, don’t give way to doubting,
And yet follow A-F-C at any cost:
If you can scream – when just TVs can hear you;
If you can wake – and still proceed to dream;
If you can watch from your pub and the pitch too
And in each setting, get behind the team;
If you can stand for a full game’s duration
Despite wayward strikes urging you to faint,
Or monitor a game’s live-blog translation,
And scream “Arsenal goal!” without restraint:
If you can remember all our great winnings
And the shoulda-beens that ended in loss,
And the legends that wore the cannon’s markings
And cheer the current squad played by the boss;
If you sing that you’re Arsenal till you die,
Your song will carry on when you’re long gone,
So sing and let it echo through the night sky
This is Arsenal – this cannon rolls on.
If it’s the Clock End and class that you’re used to,
‘Or Titi’s finishing and Bergkamp’s touch,
If neither Sp*rs nor other foes can mar you,
Because, in truth, they don’t amount to much;
If you’re like the lads and push on with real grit
And you’re atop come the shrill whistle’s end,
Yours is the Club and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’re a Gooner, my friend!
Come on Arsenal. Shove a big win down Brenda Rogers’ disgusting throat.