Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random musings

"It's only worth doing if it's challenging."

- Claire, from a while back

It's the lull before the storm, and we're all getting a bit anxious about the match on Wednesday. Gibbs is a promising left back, but you wonder if he can do the business against Ronaldo. Djourou should be back in centreback, and hopefully Silvestre is back on the physio table where he belongs. We've a bunch of paper tigers at the back, and we're hoping Man Utd don't realise it.

Kolo Toure made the observation that no one expected the Arsenal to be in the semi-final of the Champions League. He's got a point - during January, we were in freefall and doubting if we'd qualify for the Champions League. And now, we're 4th in the Premier League and we've made the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League. That's a remarkable achievement when you consider it was done with a shallow, callow squad that wallowed in self-pitying mediocrity for half a season.

However, when you step back and reflect on the season, you're left wondering at what might've been: IF we'd bought replacements for Flamini and Hleb; IF we'd bought Arshavin at the beginning of the year instead of midway through; IF we'd bought ready-made players instead of ill-prepared kids the backbone of our side. It gives you a headache if you think about it long enough. The bones of a dominant team are present, we just need some more quality signings to flesh it out. But Arsene Wenger likes to do things the hard way.

After all, it's only worth doing if it's challenging.

It's something that Claire said that night in Dubrovnik. And every now and then, when I'm sunk in the humdrum of everyday life, it hits me square in the face. She was right. There's very little point in staying in your comfort zone. It's only when you're extend yourself that you realise who you are. It's only then that you become alive. 

I'm stuck in the middle of something at the moment, and it's tearing me apart. I can't sleep, I can't eat, I feel nauseous and I've a slight migraine above my left temple. It's much like the symptoms I get after a bucketful of KFC. And it's much like the symptoms I get just before a big game. I'm not sure what's the cause. It could be stress. It could be indigestion. But it could also be the start of something big.

If we topple Man Utd, if we front up to Barcelona in the Champions League final, how great would it be to realise we'd done it with a bunch of kids that everyone had written off just four months previous? It'll be a vindication of everything Wenger's said these past few years. It'll be so sweet. 

It reminds me of something Kennedy once said:

"We choose to go to the moon. We chose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of hour energies and kills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. "

Okay, it's just Man Utd, not a man on the moon, but still.... c'mon Arsenal.

No comments: