Awesome Arsenal Enough to Pry Third-Gen out of its Stupour

Before I begin, let me apologise for not only the complete lack of posting for exactly a fortnight, but for also an absence bereft of apology or explaination as to why I was not posting. In short, I could not bring myself to writing down to personal reasons (at least Bacary Sagna eventually revealed what his were, though mine were not nearly as grave), which were a culmination of a number of things, and writing was not possible to prioritise.

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But for now, I’m sure nobody cares about any of that. We are sitting a little cozier tonight, enjoying life with a little more to savour, after Arsenal put in a Bernabau-esque performance to humble AC Milan, redefining the notion of ‘comprehensive performance’.

What you all saw tonight was the removal of all our detractors’ rights to ever lable this team as ‘young’,’inexperienced’ and ‘lacking edge’, for a long time to come. This was a performance that defines an entire club, a game that gave a dying dynasty one last nasty kick before it fizzled as part of its own kick up the backside.

This was a match we’ll all remember for years to come.

The recent slump in form has left us all finding it a bit difficult to get out of bed now and then, but many players did us all very proud last night. At the back, Almunia was assured when he needed to be, Sagna was defensively solid and overlapped as best he could with Eboue, Clichy was simply awesome while Gallas and Senderos’ partnership (Senderos’ coming into form is a very good omen for any European hopes) was far more clinical than our attack was.

In midfield, Eboue was reasonable, though his crossing was below his own standard and his hacked shot once Adebayor let him free was a terrible waste. Theo Walcott came on near the seventy-minute mark, and continued his excellent form by using his pace to full advantage against the tiring Kaladze, and his assist for Adebayor’s cherry-on-the-cake was particularly sumptuous.

A note of mention to Abou Diaby as well – yes, he is a central midfielder playing as a winger (so was Ray Parlour, if you recall), but given due consideration, I stand by the fact that he actually plays this role very cleverly. He’s not your lightning bolt winger waiting to smack in a cross, but sidles along with the ball, keeping possession well while keeping the one-twos popping by, and offloads for others very decently. Had a few moments where he lost possession, but otherwise did just fine.

-{Hleb was everything that fans a season ago did not expect him to ever be.}-

To Adebayor – didn’t you just write the book on how to play the lone-striker tonight, and then some. With Drogba looking to leave England come season’s end, you really will take on his mantle and go exceed it in the years ahead: his link-up play, passing, chasing lost causes, rampages down the wing and shots were all threatening, productive, well-timed and menacing. A terrific performance from the striker who now no-longer gets any stick from any fans…even Spurs fans.

I have left the best ’til last, though. Fabregas, Hleb and Flamini were a cut above what we usually percieve to be brilliant. Fabregas ignited on the big stage, and the team’s play reflected this. Popping up everywhere as the centrepiece of all of Arsenal’s buildup, his goal will be played over and over again for many years. His play today was beyond good, he finally found an aura once more that has left him for a good month and a bit, and maybe now he can finish the season strongly, boding well for the season ahead.

Hleb was everything that fans a season ago did not expect him to ever be. The through-balls were precise, quick, accurate. The dribbling was magnetic, and the tenaciousness was infectious. As awkward as his physical look and appearance may be, his technique and presence is silky and sublime, confident and assured, superlative and simply awesome. ‘Simply awesome’, in as incredible and subtle as is possible with such clichéd descriptions, of course.

-{The club will bookmark this match as a truly special, memorable occassion to be set in oak and gold. }-

Lastly, Flamini. Before the game I seriously reckoned that he would be assigned to hassling Pirlo out of the game, to cut off service to Kaka. How wrong I was – how much more could I have underestimated a player I have had nothing but praise for for most of the season? Flamini did exactly this, but also, somehow, managed to physically shut Kaka out of the match as well. Not just by cutting off Pirlo’s service, but by manhandling and tackling ‘the world’s best player’™ out of the game, while juggling the task of keeping Pirlo in his other pocket. As masterful a performance as was physically possible.

That’s all there really is to say. The club will bookmark this match as a truly special, memorable occassion to be set in oak and gold. Again, we have not won anything yet, but the signs are there that this team has something to achieve this season. Manchester United learned the hard way, and Liverpool proved that to beat Milan, you need to shut down Kaka. What we did today, however, was really special – we beat Milan with our own game, not adapting to theirs’. That is something that must be emphasized.

Because of the fact it can only be the Premier League or the Champions League, or none at all, makes the task so much more real than the overhyped conjecture of ‘how awesome our kids will be’ of three or so seasons ago.

One can only hope that we’ll big ourselves up now, like Manchester United did after thumping us at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. In a competition removed from the Premier League, this match should be more than enough proof we can hold our own in England’s echelon.

Heck, it might just prove we can hold our own in Europe’s, too.

On a side note: a sincere apology to my readers for the long absence. As one of my favourite commentors said – blogging is a 24/7 thing – and as strenuous as it can be sometimes, this is true. Here’s to the blog picking itself up once more, and with it, some awesome form for the club to enjoy.

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6 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, Champions League, Match Reports

6 responses to “Awesome Arsenal Enough to Pry Third-Gen out of its Stupour

  1. Anonymous

    ur a mug

  2. Scooch

    Insightful comment there from Anonymous.

    Great article. It’s a great day to be a gooner today.

    I was extatic last night after the match finished.

    Cesc was incredible and Flamini, who has been amazing all season, surpassed himself. Shit even Theo played well again!!!

  3. martinphoenix

    great to have you back! if you had’nt posted today i would have been worried about you!

    flamini can name his price now on his new contract, and he is worth every penny.
    theo has shown that he has what it takes now. eboue will be relegated to the bench, especially when van persie and rosicky are back.

    great day to be a gooner, after the last two weeks of misery

  4. Stevo

    No other word for last night’s performance than awesome.
    Easily Arsenal’s best ever performance away from home in Europe and Senderos in particular deserves praise with so many people selecting him as the weak link in the side. He certainly silenced them last night with an immaculate display.
    Great article there and glad to see Flamini gets a mention as he was simply sensational, shackling kaka throughout the game.
    This is a great day to be a Gunner following one of the best European performances in recent memory and what makes it even more enjoyable is that the vast majority of people felt we were certainly going out and that Milan’s ‘experience’ was going to be too much for us.
    Just hope we can get ack on track for the league title now!!

  5. the artist formerly known as eboue's hand

    Welcome back Jammathon! Hope you didn’t take my comment too seriously, I’m well aware that stuff pops up in life that has to take priority. Glad the personal stuff isn’t too serious.

  6. Great to see you back. I’ve been waiting a new post from ur blog for weeks. Cheers for Gunners, hoping to see ur new posts, too.!

    -W