Patience is a Virtue that will be Tested
No sooner had Olivier Giroud scored his first than I was leading the Toronto Gunners in, “Que Sera Sera… we’re going to Wemberley.” Once the match ended my mind instantly went to what’s next. Unlike many of my cohorts it was not, I wonder who we will face at Wembley, or “I hope we don’t get Citeh,” but rather, who is Arsenal’s next opponent (and dreading to pay my bar tab). Up next, Tottenham Hotspur.
I bypassed Bayern Munich because I’ve publicly agreed with anyone who suggested that we deprioritise the second leg. I’m not suggesting that the tie cannot be won, but I would not risk the Premier League on a match against the best team in the world this year, especially when we need two away goals at a minimum to force added time. I moved straight to the scum this weekend. While I would love a Champions League title, we would still have tougher competition to get to that final than we would to win the Premier League. While it was only a year ago, nearly to the day, that Arsenal won 2-0 in Munich it took a monumental effort, one that could deplete the energy tanks of the players.
Focusing on the Prem is keeping me sane. My twitter timeline Sunday was full of dread (when the draw was made) and then FA Cup final memories (after Wigan dispatched Manchester City). With the first two comments maybe people were caught up with Wembley and forgot that the semi-finals are played there as well in the FA Cup. Then I realised that people were discounting a team that has trumped Manchester City twice in two years in the world’s oldest cup. There are those preaching sanity and that’s where this blog comes in, to remind everyone not just to be wary of Wigan but also to remember that we have been waiting and wishing to be in striking distance of the Premier League for a while.
With a game in hand that will not be realised until after Arsenal play Chelsea it is going to be a mental grind for the players to handle the task. A win against the scum will likely not change the distance to the league leaders who play woeful Aston Villa. A win against Chelsea will only move us to four points back, which makes the seemingly easy task of toppling Swansea at home a little more daunting. If Arsenal take the full nine points by the end of play on March 25th, the Gunners would be one point back of Chelsea (City would still have one game in hand) and riding a domestic four match win streak before hosting City.
Risking a little bit less against Bayern Munich would assure that the legs are fresh for the Scum, which becomes the key match to keeping domestic momentum moving forward. Rather than delight in the FA Cup, which is far from over, remember that we have five Premier League matches before our semi-final date with Wigan and it all starts against the scum at shite hart lane.
Arsenal Canada Chair