The pain and joy of Manchester

On Monday afternoon I was standing in a queue at a Manchester post office. A lady was saying she would love to go to the UEFA cup final but just did not have the money for it. The post office worker said: so you support United? Yeah she said; you too? No he said, I support a proper club, Liverpool. Ah, she said, you better start winning some league titles because you have some catching up to do. We won the CL four times, hey, he said. Silly, innocent banter on a sunny Monday afternoon. I almost joined in to whisper ’49 undefeated, playing football the Arsenal way’, but thought better of it.

Eight hours later a sad, brainwashed fool decides to walk into a crowd of predominantly young and totally elated fellow human beings and blows himself up with the aim to cause maximum destruction. And less than 48 hours after that, the UEFA Cup final has to go on regardless. Sometimes I just don’t get our lives – the way we have to live with this constant knowledge that fellow human beings can lose any value for life and become killing machines; or the way everything just has to go on as to not let them think they won.

I did only watch the second half of the UEFA Cup final and only with half an eye. Mourinho did his usual trick of eliminating any attacking threat Ajax could have by building a fortress around the box. Boring, predictable, but so often effective. A lucky deflection was a priceless gift for the Manchester contingent of labourers; and we all knew that the game was played after that. Mourinho’s team, so toothless in the league (just like us), have added two cups this season and also qualify for the CL.

But the city that is enjoying exceptionally warm weather at the moment is of course not a happy place. No more light-hearted, frivolous banter for quite a while. We just have to face and feel that pain for a while, whether we like it or not.

By TotalArsenal.

No need to comment BKers – just wanted to say this. I am sure 17HT’s final preview of the sseason will be out soon.


6 thoughts on “The pain and joy of Manchester

  • Hi TA and thanks for writing that…Well done and you strike the appropriate notes…

    I’m a bit busy today so no match preview on my end until tomorrow…

    Thanks again…

  • Pity that peace can never reign on earth. My condolences to all those affected.

    We trudge on.

    The big talking point is our defensive crises. Chelsea’s offensive play is hinged on the pace of their front 3 of Harzard, Pedro and Costa and that, to me, rules out Per.

    As a compromise I wish Wenger opts for a 4:3:3 with a dedicated DM in Coquelin. Our full backs play much like wing backs so the essential difference to a 3:4:3 would be a 3rd CD replaced by a dedicated DM. On the alternative Coq plays as the 3rd CD.

    So we have,


  • Um, PE, Le Coq is not a fast player, so putting him against the Chavs is like playing Per.

    Per is also a tall player, so by putting him in the central defense with Holding and Nacho will help us with the crosses. However, Chelski plays quick grounders, which we are weak in defending, so I would hope that Mustafi is fit enough for the final.

    Tomorrow will be the day that determines whether we are up for it.

    I still feel that if we appeal against Kos ban we will have a chance of him playing.

  • Nice piece, TA. May the souls of the young departed rest in peace.

    JK, the club promptly appealed; appeal was rejected so Kos can’t play the final. Was that Mike Oliver’s way of weakening us for the final? If he had given a yellow, there will have been no protest; when you have the ref report describe the tackle as reckless and the player out of control, it makes the FA’s rejection of an appeal easy.

  • Thought to share excerpts of the Ref review by Referee Mark Halsey (who also thought Koscielny’s red card was justified, by the way. Don’t agree, still):

    Martin Atkinson (Liverpool vs Middlesbrough)

    Bamford was clean through and Lovren has brought him down, it’s a clear penalty and a red card. I thought Martin was a bit unlucky, you can ask whether he anticipated play quick enough and perhaps he could have gone left or right to get a better view but Matip ran straight in front of him and it’s blocked his line of vision.

    At that point you would want the assistant (Stuart Burt) to get involved. When a referee gives nothing the alarm bells start ringing, Stuart has a great view, it’s on his side and he hasn’t got an offside to look for. He should have come in and that flag should have gone straight up to tell Martin it’s a clear penalty, all top class officials come in and help their referee but he didn’t come in and help him.

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