A brief foray into football

It’s been quite a dramatic year for us Arsenal fans. Written off at the start of the season, Wenger’s youngsters were supposed to struggle all year and even lose their place among the “Big Four“. Instead, they topped the table for two-thirds of the season, playing on the way some of the most exciting football ever to grace the Premiership. Of course, it’s all amounted to nothing. As has so often been the case with Wenger’s teams over the last couple of years, they crashed and burned. Having first thrown away a generous lead courtesy of the worst spell of form in living memory they then proceeded to be knocked out of the Champions League by (yawn) Liverpool last week under quite hideous circumstances.

I mean, what justice is there in this universe when your team can create a goal like this in the 84th minute and still lose to a team as interminably dull as Liverpool?

Then, yesterday, losing 2-1 to Man Utd ended any slight hope there might have been of still challenging for the Championship. Yet again Arsenal took a lead and spectacularly failed to hold onto it.

Their profligacy is reckless and extremely frustrating, but it’s still preferable to the turgid, machine-like predictability of Chelsea or (again) Liverpool, who are to the Beautiful Game what King Herod was to infant welfare in the first century.

It is therefore with great reluctance that I hope Man Utd go on to win the title. I despise them and their purple-faced windbag of a manager, of course, but at least they play decent football and are not an empty shell of a team with no culture, no history and no soul like Chelsea – little more than a Russian oligarch’s concubine. As for the Champions League, I’m backing Barcelona all the way.

But next season? Please, Mr Wenger, can we have a little less potential and a little more… actual?

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Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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