Monday, 14 April 2008

Manchester United Vs Arsenal 2-1 13th April 2008

Well, I am feeling gutted and don't suppose that's too surprising really. The team I support, Arsenal has just played football at another level have shown that their footballing intelligence is operating a higher level than any other team in the country.

We are, though, about finish the season again without winning anything and whilst that does matter, it is not true that nobody remembers you unless you win. The dutch team of the seventies will always be remembered for playing total football although they lost 2-1 to Germany in the UEFA European Football Championship of 1978.

That's a bit of a consolation but our weaknesses too are evident: the lack two or three experienced players; the need for a galvanising captain; Wenger's unwillingness to buy established, mature names in the football world.

Whatever his shortcomings, however, the fact of his ability and craft as a manager is beyond doubt. How sad, then, to hear the treatment given to him by some Manchester United fans in the stands. Football songs can be intelligent, funny, topical and incisive. They can also be slanderous, negative, nasty and mean. Their songs about Wenger are unrepeatable and horrific. Another favourite was a song about Eduardo's injury suggesting that he will walk like Heather Mills as a result of his injury.

I guess I am asking myself: well, what did you expect? And the answer, I suppose, is that I don't see why fans cannot afford a degree of respect for one another and that the domain of humour should not include abusive personal slander and laughing at the tragic misfortune of others.

The thing about the Eduardo injury is that it really hurt Arsenal fans, myself included. It wasn't just the seriousness of the injury in terms of his career, how gruesome it appeared and obvious pain and discomfort it must have caused him though. Seeing the fragility of a talent just coming to terms with the premiership cut down by misfortune, our hopes for this year seemed to die that day. Maybe our hopes were too fragile.

It is enough to make you have a few days off football and just focus on something less emotive, like geo-politics. Only joking. I am going to lay down my burdens, down by the riverside.

I ain't gonna study war no more....

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