Right, a lot has happened over the last couple of weeks since I spoke to you last so let’s get to it…..
The Return of The Crimewatch effect
I don’t wish to go over old ground too much, but in the aftermath of the victory over Man United at Old Trafford, I felt the need to remind everyone, myself included, of something I’ve mentioned a few times before, namely The Crimewatch effect.
Firstly, an explanation of what this is; you know when they do one of those Crimewatch reconstructions, and the victim always says “you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you….” and, well, it has.
If you’re as paranoid, neurotic and superstitious as I am (which, let’s face it, as an Arsenal supporter you probably are, even if you don’t know it yet), then you will look at it like this; “well…..if I do think it’s going to happen to me, then it won’t….”
Now, let’s relate this to Arsenal.
How many times have you said “Oh we’re never gonna win this game” in the hope, deep down, that somehow saying that will have the opposite effect?
You have, you know you have.
Perhaps you still do it because once, years ago, you said it and we won.
(I think it was against Sampdoria in the Cup Winners Cup that did it for me)….
When the draw was made after we beat those cheating bastards on the Monday night, you were all saying “we’re getting Liverpool” weren’t you?
I certainly was, and when we drew Reading or Bradford, I actually celebrated. I’m sure it was just the emotion of the night getting the better of me, but I celebrated like a Tottenham fan that’s just learned they’ve won control of a fucking arch.
This was the moment I almost let my mind run away with itself, as I had visions of Steven Gerrard lifting the FA cup, crying tears of joy, while I made my way out of Wembley for a good cry myself, with my inner Crimewatch voice telling me “you never think it’s going to happen to you”, all the while forgetting the fact that we have to win the semi-final in the fucking first place in order to lose “The Gerrard Final 2 – This Time it’s Personal, Berry.”
Anyway, let’s take it back a few weeks to when the quarter final draw was made, and Roy Hodgson pulled the face of a man who’d caught his pubic hair in his zip whilst drawing us away to Man United.
My twitter timeline looked something like this….
That’s it, we’re out
The complete opposite to the reaction when we drew Monaco in the Champions League, actually.
There were quite a few that were quietly confident that we would win though.
I was, which made me very uncomfortable, and as the game went on I turned to my wife and said “I don’t know why I do this, I really don’t”
That was when we were 2-1 up and just entered injury time, and I was mentally walking down a dark alleyway in the dead of night saying to myself “it’s going to happen to me, it’s going to happen to me….” over and over again.
Anyway, I don’t want to go on about this too much, I guess what I’m trying to say is this;
DO NOT MENTION THE FINAL!!!!
I know it’s difficult, and we have got probably the best draw we could’ve had, but I want you all to think it is going to happen to you right up until the final whistle blows on April 18th or beyond the final whistle if last year is anything to go by.
Remember the Crimewatch effect, people.
If you needed any reminder of what getting carried away with yourself can do, you didn’t have to wait too long, as the result at Old Trafford followed by a home win against West Ham, followed by Chelsea dropping points the following day sent the imagination into overdrive.
The word “momentum” was even mentioned…….
Even worse than that, was the appearance of another “m” word, as #MiracleInMonaco began to trend worldwide, as millions of Gooners across the world began to believe that this momentum would carry us to a miracle – a momentous miracle in Monaco to send millions mental.
I must admit, I never really wrote the tie off after that third goal went in at the Emirates, even though I uttered the words “that’s it we’re out” as it went in….(see above if you’re not getting this yet….)
So, to sum up; compare the attitudes in the lead up to both games, as well as the reaction to both of the draws, and you will find the real reason that we were knocked out of the Champions League – YOU.
Thankfully, I could tell from watching the game at Newcastle on Twitter that you all learned your lesson, as you spent the whole of the second half “expecting” the inevitable second half equaliser which of course never came.
A lesson that didn’t last long though, as the feeling that the title race was “back on” the following day caused Hull’s goalkeeper to make one almighty fuck up and gift Chelsea a winner.
Again, all your fault.
In all seriousness though, it may be the hope that kills you, but it’s also the hope that makes being a football supporter what it is.
We are on a really good run at the moment, and if all you would rather analyse the second half at Newcastle and find something to moan about rather than look at the many positives, and even allow yourself to dream a little, then quite frankly I feel sorry for you. Still, each to their own, I guess.
Personally, I’m going to spend the rest of the season expecting the worst, because after all, you just never think it’s going to happen to you do you?
We have an international break now, so I’ll speak to you in a couple of weeks.
And please, don’t have nightmares…..
Up The Arsenal
I should tell you a bit about myself. I’m not a stat man or a tactical genius, and you certainly won’t hear my opinion on Arsenal Football Club finances. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, it’s just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, some do this very well but, for me, football has always been about what’s on the pitch, watching the game, discussing it over a beer with your mates after, then going into work on Monday morning either gloating or defending your team to the hilt, resisting the temptation to punch the token deluded Tottenham fan in the throat. Oh and my Dad and brothers are all with the Dark Side…