Well, I don’t know about you but the nerves are really kicking in ahead of the United game.
So much so this week that I needed something to take my mind off of it this week, so rather than enjoy the fact that we won at QPR, our first consecutive away win for a while, I’ve decided that the first part of this week’s piece will be totally dedicated to analyzing Mesut Özil.
After all, I’m sure you will all agree there’s not been enough of that in the last few weeks.
I will make up my mind about him first, then I will either dig up some stats, or look at some stats that someone else has dug up which I will either ignore, or use selectively to fit in with what I’ve already decided.
I’m not sure what I’ve actually decided yet though, I’m going to see what most people are saying this week and either go along with that to save me thinking for myself, or go the other way and write the biggest steaming pile of shit and nonsense you’ve ever read, just to be contrary, in the naive hope that this will convince people that I must know what I’m talking about.
If I decide to go down the “he’s lazy” route (which, ironically, is quite lazy in itself), I will totally ignore any information that suggests he covers more ground than a lazy player would, and will simply counter with “yeah, but he don’t look like he’s bothered / look at his body language”, or “for £42 million, I expect him to do more than run around a lot”, also known as the Ashton Method.
If I decide the opposite, I will ignore everything other than stats, to the point that my life completely revolves around stats, and my life has been taken over by stats, only I don’t realise because there are no stats to prove it.
“Was there something wrong last night, darling? You seemed….tense…”
“That’s where you’re wrong. If you look at my heat map, I covered a lot of ground around the edge of the box.
That counts as an assist as you finished yourself off….”
Seriously though, the Özil “debate” is a perfect example of why it’s so difficult sometimes to take people’s opinions seriously.
Especially if it’s an opinion that people refuse to shift whatever he does, good or bad.
We all do it, and I’ll hold my hands up and say I’ve done it myself, and I’m not exactly on the fence as far as Özil goes.
I justify it with the excuse that I didn’t spend countless hours at school trying to convince other kids that Martin Hayes was better than John Barnes just to be told years later that Mesut Özil is “shit.”
While we’re at it, let’s not stop at Özil.
Pick a player you don’t like, slate him to the point of no return, so much so that you’re forced into ignoring them playing well then wait for them to have a bad game and pipe up again.
Keep on doing this until you’ve completely lost the ability to enjoy football whatsoever, apart from the consolatory smug satisfaction you get from going on Twitter and reminding everyone you told them so.
After all, football isn’t about enjoyment any more, it’s about being right.
While we’re at it, do you think there’s any chance a player can have a bad patch, or even a poor few games, (come to think of it in some cases one poor game!) without it casting doubts over his future or something?
Obviously social media is to blame for this, having taken over our lives to the point that you can’t have a real life conversation with someone for longer than two minutes without looking for the “like” or “favourite” button.
Have. A. Fucking. Day. Off.
Anyway, rant over.
The nerves are kicking back in now, and tonight is a massive, massive game.
Win and we are at Wembley for a semi-final, and beating Man United in a quarter final is nothing to be sniffed at, however you view their form at the moment.
Still, no reaction will surprise me, given that there are STILL Arsenal fans that suggest we were lucky to win the FA cup last year as we “scraped past Wigan” and “were 2-0 down against Hull, almost 3-0 down if it wasn’t for Gibbs clearance off the line.”
No offence and this is just my opinion, but if coming from 2-0 down in a cup final is “lucky”, and ignoring the teams we beat on the way to the final, then there is probably no hope for you.
It’s what Tottenham fans do.
That was another rant wasn’t it?
Anyway, here’s hoping we do the business tonight, and if nothing else, at least we’ve pissed off a load of people who are missing Eastenders.
If we do win, please try and enjoy it, and if we lose, there are plenty of stats to dig out, and plenty of draft tweets to be sent, no doubt.
Up The Arsenal
Islington born and bred, Arsenal through and through. Supported the Gunners for all of my 46 years (so far!) through thick and thin.
Clickbait: Life as a Modern Football Fan – released 2019
Currently working on my next book – Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown), Arsenal 20/21 – A Diary of a Season – due for release Summer 2021.
I will back the club I have in my blood to the hilt and I don’t care what you think about that. UTA.
AGAINST MODERN FOOTBALL.