Is this real life?
As I am currently doing my best to recover from the long holiday weekend chalked full of foolery I have to ask myself the simple question of, is this real life? What a week for the Gunners! We’ve qualified for the Champion’s League group stages, put together a string of league wins, and even made the shock signing of the summer! I say again, is this real life?
The Champion’s League has been locked up for us and we did it in commanding style, winning our qualifying round 5-0 was exactly what we needed heading into Europe’s top competition. It came at quite the cost however, losing Lukas Podolski for what now appears to be 3 months with a torn hamstring as well as getting a few bumps and bruises to other players due to the amount of ridiculous challenges those savages from Turkey got away with time after time at the Emirates. In the days to follow our qualification we went into the first pot of teams ready to be drawn into the 8 different groups. I must say, I was incredibly nervous, fearing the worst because let’s be honest… we’re Arsenal and we never can catch a break. I took the first two hours of my work day to be incredibly productive and sit there to watch the draw. Well worth it in my opinion. Seeing the Arsenal drawn right off the start and placed into Group F for some reason made my heart drop… Why? I don’t know. Marseille joined our group and that to me was a bit of a relief knowing that we could have drawn Juventes, PSG, or Milan. At this point my palms are sweating and it’s time for the third team in the pool to be selected. Before it even starts I pray “anyone but Dortmund”. Maybe I forgot to knock on wood….. Fourth team to be selected, “ANYONE but Napoli”. Ugh. I suppose I have nobody to blame but myself. How do I feel about the draw? Could be better, yet could be worse. In my opinion there are tougher groups, Group B and Group H for example are no walk in the park. My thoughts after the draw? We’ll make it out. *knocks on wood*
Sunday morning, oh what a glorious day it was. I get into bed at around 4 AM and set my alarm for 7 AM, oh the things I do for you, Arsenal. I get up, stumble downstairs in the hotel lobby, and find the closest bar to sit down with my other Gooner buddy and force the bartender to turn the television to the North London Derby, effectively making every television (at least 30 of them throughout the bar) show the match. As the happenings from the night before slowly start to fade I am giddy with excitement. WE LIVE FOR THIS GAME. I could only imagine how mental the other Gooner’s were going at the Ship. I was there in spirit boys. I knew from the moment Santi forced Lloris into a save off his first magical freekick that we were going to win this game. And then, the man of my dreams, Olivier Giroud put himself in the perfect spot to use the outside of his left boot to squeak it home near post. I went absolutely mental in my seat, frightening my waitress as she reached over me to refill my water. What a move from the team, what a finish from our striker! The rest of the game was a beautiful team performance… we defended as a unit, we pushed forward as a unit, and we won as a unit. Carl Jenkinson said that “the last 5 minutes of the match were like war”. Our boys knew how important that match was and they dug in and got the result. 1-0 TO THE ARSENAL! 1-0! What a day! Could the weekend get any better!? Why, yes, yes it can….
Transfer deadline day found me sitting in my chair watching a stream of SkySports coverage for 3 ½ hours. There had been plenty of “reported” news of us singing so and so and talking to this guy or that, but nothing official.. until the final hour of the window, the hour that made all of the sleepless nights and frustration worth it, we sign one of, if not THE most, promising young playmaker in all of Europe. Mesut Ozil. My heart fluttered, my smile uncontrollable, is this real life!? YES! The details of his signing were incredible. Convinced to sign due to the influence of our manager, his desire to develop his career at Arsenal, the comfort he felt from his teammates and those who were working with him from the club. This signing is just the beginning of a brilliant future for our club. Ozil is the type of signing that makes other world-class talents want to come play at Arsenal, the type of signing that shows “we’re ready”. What a monumental moment for the club that we love! Bring on the league, bring on the cups, bring on the Champion’s League! And to those who oppose us… be afraid. We’re the boys in red and white and we’re FUCKING DYNAMITE.
Until next time,