FA Cup final, Alexis, Cesc and the summer that was
I’ve been meaning to write a blog since we bloody lost to Bayern Munich and everything went crap. Then it all became happy and trophy-drenched and then after that we just couldn’t stop buying players. Life was hunky dory, Chilean and chunky of thigh.
Suddenly it’s the end of August, raining, deadline day is but a week away and we’re well into the swing of the league (if you consider last minute victories and last minute salvagings of points swinging). How’ve you been?
It’s quite frightening to think it’s been over three months since the FA Cup final and possibly the best day of the last 10 years (2005 wasn’t a patch on 17th May 2014). Since then Arsene Wenger has signed a new deal (good), Bacary Sagna has spent a lot of time sitting down (bad), Thomas Vermaelen’s five year pursuit of a sun tan has begun, our relationship in my head now over (weird, terrible), and Fabianski has moved to Wales. Didn’t it feel like we’d be together forever the day of that parade? It was so bizarre not having anything else to worry about. I swore more in that game than I’ve ever sworn in my life, Aaron Ramsey’s goal wasn’t in the SLIGHTEST bit enjoyable because we still had so long to go until the final whistle and then when Fabianski went turbo Almunia, well, that’ll be the traumatic trigger event doctors ask us about 15 years from now when we’re all diagnosed with something dreadful. But we’ll always have those Wembley memories and frankly that makes it worth it.
We went to the Tolly after, where pretty much everyone was out of their tree, wearing their wobbly boots and standing at an obtuse angle. And it was so great! There was no second leg fear and no goal difference worry. The only question was ‘So what time we getting here for the parade tomorrow?’ A wonderful weekend.
The good days continued with the day of the kit launch and the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Arsene Wenger appearing in the mist of the Thames. It’s like Puma invaded my dreams and took notes.
The World Cup was crap, obviously, for England. Of course it was, we’re English. Beige, beige, Jack slating England. I wanted Colombia to win, and that was before Ospina joined the ranks, but it was not to be and we were left with just the three World Champions in our team. I was so happy for Mesut because when Real Madrid went and bloody well won the Champions League I was all ‘Oh but now the FA Cup won’t mean as much’ but now he’s won the World Cup and nothing will ever mean as much so he might as well just try to win everything in a relaxed, languid fashion.
Imagine how it’ll be when we win the Champions League? Actually let’s not kid about that as we’re back to business now and were really quite crap in the first leg of the qualifier against Besiktas (see what I mean about second leg fear?). Add in the injuries to Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud, and the suspension to Aaron Ramsey and you have quite the Udinese 2011 on your hands. Trying not to think about it too much at the moment because I slightly fear our luck might have run out this year and I really, really don’t want to be watching us play Rictus Groin 1764 or whoever the hell we’d get. You just have to hope the power of the Emirates will send us through.
Obviously Cesc broke my heart in June; that was a low point. The most hurtful thing of all was knowing he wanted to come back but that we didn’t want him. In Cesc you’ve a player who probably would have stayed forever had he not had that one itch to scratch. So off he went, trying to scratch that itch for three years before realised that actually, he had no nails. Some would say there was a whiff of tail between legs syndrome but given we were pants when he left and he was great, I still don’t blame him for going and I still very much do blame us for not taking him back.
The news didn’t hit quite so hard this time, partly because most of us knew it was coming. I was about to start a phone interview when I got a text saying ‘It’s official’ (literally as the goddamn phone was dialling) and let me tell you now, thank God for Dictaphones because who knows what the heck that person and I discussed in that 20 minute conversation. I have a feeling it was go-karting, but I can’t be sure. I largely felt sick. I will feel sicker when he wins them the league.
And on that jolly note, let’s look forward to the match tomorrow. It’s going to be rotten like old apples, but I have a small amount of faith we’ll have enough to overcome them. It’ll be difficult if the referee is as bad as he was last week, and it’ll be worse if they score at any point whatsoever in the game… although god if they don’t it might go to penalties and I was about to delete this part now but well it’s out there now and I’ve jinxed it and I’m sorry.
Please Yaya. Please. Benfica… Benfikta… Benfiktas… Besiktas… see there is no difference, just do as you did then!