Imagine you are Arteta and in your head is a great opera that you want your musicians to perform? You have got the funding and trust of the Opera house owners. You know it is going to be epic but also that it will take a lot of ups and downs, sweat and tears and change of players to get there.
And then you see your team, for once from the enforced privacy of your own home, perform such a great overture, the orchestral piece at the beginning of your great opera to come!
What a joy this must have given him. To see his team put that of his former master under such constant pressure, to play with such bravura and hear his sweet melody in the performances, hear the spectators purr over his team’s clever and silky movements and interludes.
He has had eggs thrown at him, been pelted with derision and raw, unfiltered anger, but Mikel persevered. Some musicians didn’t want to play to his tunes, others simply couldn’t; but those who wanted to and could do it stuck with him and he stuck with them and made them believe in themselves.
Yesterday, they delivered a great Mendelssohn-esque overture to him and the loyal supporters; one that went still flat at the end but offered so many delights and so much promise!
All players were so in tune for almost the entire performance.
Xhaka got punished for a moment of over-eagerness, instinctively knowing that a goal would be scored if he didn’t try to make a last gasp intervention. He got VARed.
Big Gab’s passion was cruelly doubly punished by an unforgiving referee.
Youthfulness/singlemindedness made the fabulously talented Martinelli not see his better positioned fellow players at the heat of a few crucial moments.
So there are lessons to be learnt and compositional tweaks to be made to produce the perfect overture to the grand Opera that will surely play and play at THOF and in venues across Britain and Europe for years to come.
Upwards and onwards fellow Gooners and never forget those lovely overture tunes from yesterday: the day that conductor Arteta, albeit away from the scene, truly announced himself to the World.