There are moments as a Football supporter in which you can truly question the reasons behind devoting so much time and effort into following a team. In moments of the past, I’ve found myself pondering that very question, scratching my temple and proclaiming aloud, “Why the fu*ck do I subject myself to such torment?!”.
The game we all love is known to frequently show herself as a cruel and unforgiving mistress. However, as is always the case, there is a flip-side to that coin – a flip-side that is beautiful, wonderful, heartwarming and comprehensively answers the question above.
Yesterday’s performance and victory perfectly encapsulated that joy, that wonderment, that glorious euphoria and warmth you get from being a part of something experienced by others on a global scale.
Podcast cohort and good friend of mine, @TheDanielCowan triumphantly neglected a wedding to drive over to my place in Gloucester and we watched the game, along with my girlfriend who is proving herself a spectacularly good omen, accompanied by the heavenly taste of a Pieminister pie. It was the perfect set-up to what turned into the perfect performance.
From the moment the game kicked off, to the last remaining exchanges up until the final whistle, Arsenal dominated Aston Villa. Even typing the word “dominated” feels inadequate, as if there should a new word invented just to accurately describe how comfortable the day was – let’s say ‘Ultradominatronic’…
Arsenal were ultradominatronic in the final against Aston Villa and emerged 4-0 winners.
I like the sound of that and it should be noted that I created the word when it inevitably becomes a global phenomenon.
It truly was a fabulous performance. When they progressed in the semi-final against Liverpool, I thought Villa would prove very tough opponents and we’d be in for a nerve-shredding match to rival last year’s victory over Hull. 10 minutes in and I knew Villa weren’t going to get a sniff, and barring a couple of highly dubious penalty appeals when the game was beyond them, they did very little.
That’s not to be derogatory to them. Not all. We were simply too good on the day. All of our ‘big’ players stepped up to the plate (Why am I using baseball metaphors?) and glowed. Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey danced with majesty around the centre of the park, Walcott justified his selection with industrious, intelligent play to compliment his excellent opener and Sanchez scored an absolute fu*cking thunderbolt to make it 2-0 – every time I watch that goal back on a replay it appears to be travelling faster.
It was Mesut Ozil that stood out for me. Our German friend has often been singled out as a liability and other such dross by lazy journalists simply because he has something of an idle demeanour. I love watching Mesut, the guy is a twinkle-toed magician. What stands out for me more than anything when I observe his play is that he can make even the trickiest of skills appear effortless.
Yesterday he shone. He was simply mesmeric and at the centre of the majority of our attacking play, starting moves flowing with some truly jaw-dropping moments of skill. He may not have hit the heights of which he is capable at Arsenal yet, but as times goes by and he appears more settled we begin to see exactly what he is capable of. Next season could be a treat.
So, folks. We end the season as worthy winners of consecutive FA Cups, we now hold the record for winning the competition the most times and Arsene Wenger equaled the record a single manager lifting the trophy. Not at all shabby for a days work. Watching back through these wonderfully edited highlights of the game, I’m filled with enthusiasm and hope for what we can accomplish next season. Whethe ror not you feel this season represents progression is something of an irrelevance to me. The potential is there for all to see and I choose to believe we can grow into a title winning team.
The following weeks and months over the summer are sure to be seemingly interminable and filled with poppycock. Our transfer actions will be discussed, regurgitated, analysed, dissected, questioned and lamented until the participants are blue in the face. Such is the nature of the off season.
I’ve every reason to believe we’ll do some good business before the big kick-off. Things are looking extremely promising. All that remains for me to do to draw a line under the 2014/2015 season is to write my customary in depth season review and that should be with you tomorrow, so keep an eye out.
Before I sign off, I thought I’d point you in the direction of something written by @JokmanAFC – Jok was at the Emirates screening and was fortunate enough to be one of those that made his way onto the hallowed turf, the jammy little c*nt. Have a read of that article about his exploits on the day.
So, why not post your thoughts in the comments below and tell me how you watched the game and exactly how you feel. I’ll look forward to reading a few when I get the chance.
That’s all from me today. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.