Arsenal 4 – 1 Norwich. I just can’t stop loving youuuuuuuuu.
What a beautiful time to be alive. There’s almost nothing to complain about these days. It’s an unsettling feeling, but one I could settle into very easily.
I used to be an optimist, and I think I still am, but years of supporting Bad Luck Arsenal have instilled in me a fear of the inevitable terribility that is sure to head our way. I thought it might have finally arrived this season when I woke up – yes, woke up – to find Arsenal 1-0 down to West Brom away a few weeks back. In my defence, I had just done that half marathon I’ve been going on about since the dawn of time.
I didn’t MEAN to fall asleep, but a combo of knackeration, knee shreddage and BORING FOOTBALL had sent me off into the land of nod. Jack might have salvaged us a point from that horrible performance, but it was still a match to miss.
Then again, anything would have been a comedown from the Tuesday before and Napoli at home. It’ll be one of my favourite European games for a long time. The first ten minutes were very cagey, but while we grew into the game, Napoli got next to no more of the ball than in those first ten minutes. They’ve not played any good teams, they said. They’ll regret it when Higuain scores a brace against them, they thought. They were wrong on both counts. Not only was Higuain sidelined through injury, but we still haven’t played a very good team, because they really weren’t very good.
Two weeks Interlullin’ later, and it’s Norwich at home. Giroud’s touch for Jack’s first goal was so beautiful that I didn’t even notice how great the rest of it was until I watched the replay 64 times. Oh me oh my! ‘One of the greatest goals scored this season’, oh f you and your faint praise. And then Ozil scored a header. Little Ozil, awwww ain’t he just the cutest. Such an unassuming little genius.
As for Aaron Ramsey, well, I can’t quite believe what we’re seeing. Of all the players we had and have, he was always the one I wanted to succeed the most and not just because of the difficult career he’s had so far. But the progress we’ve seen this season is so ridiculous that if it turned out he’d been injected with comet dust blood, I wouldn’t be surprised, you know. There was a point yesterday (the ‘Zidane’ moment, yeah), when the entire crowd went “OHHHHHHHHHHH NO HE DIDN’TTTTTTTT’. Wtf Aaron. Why have you been storing this away and can you reserve some of it for Man United when you come up against Ugly van Greybald please?
But anyway, back to Jack, he of the smoky lung and controversial view. First of all, LOL at the story his PR people gave. I used to work in a bar frequented by many Arsenal and Spurs players, and there were at least two Spurs first-teamers who constantly smoked in full view of everyone. Did anyone bat an eyelid? No, because they were irrelevant and shit. I don’t really have an end to this story except that I wanted to grass on some Spurs players and call them irrelevant and shit hahahahaha but anyway his views on Januzaj were right too.
Besides the absolute arrogance of England and its fans thinking Januzaj would be best off playing for England (such an illustrious history of trophies and success, lest we forget), there’s the problem of everyone having to be so excessively politically correct these days, that his point was completely blown out of proportion. Imagine moving to France aged 16 for career purposes. Would you now feel French?
A few days after he’d offended the planet, one newspaper ran a column insisting Jack was wrong for ‘backing down’ over his views. In the related articles section was another column from a few days prior, opining how wrong his views were in the first place. The man cannot win, except these days he can all the time because he plays for the motherfucking Arsenal and while beige, beige England and its fans might not appreciate him, we do and always will. (I feel safer saying things like this these days, because who’d leave us? We’re great, everyone is staying forever.)
One of the things that has hurt over the past few years is the loss of beautiful football and the insistence from all around that we are now nothing but an average side. It might still be early days, but eight games in and everything is going swimmingly, and in a beautiful fashion. It could all get ruined beyond recognition next week and beyond when the difficult games really kick in, but I can’t remember the last time we entered a period like it in such great shape. We have options, we have in form players, we have spares on the bench, and most importantly of all, we still have the best manager in European football.
PS. Read this and try not to cry. I had to close it and come back to it when I felt more emotionally ready. Not saying it’ll happen this season (it won’t, but we are going to win the Champions League), but ohgodohmygodohahhhhhhhhhhoh.