After suggesting the cup final will be contested between the best two footballing sides in the country, Cap’n Pat has added, “Maybe they [Chelski]don’t play the best football”.
Yes, I think that, on our day, we are a fantastic footballing side, the best I have ever seen at Highbury, and I don’t think we’ve had a bad season at all – far from it. But how well have we really played this year? We kicked the season off in style, taking the unbeaten record to 49 games, and we’re looking very good again now, but we spent several months playing without much fluency at all, and we’ve once again flattered to deceive in Europe. West Brom at home, Palace and Bolton away – how good was that? I know injuries had much to do with this, but there’s no getting round the fact it took us yonks to get over our first league defeat.
It’s funny though how things have spun round. From being a side roundly derided for being ‘boring’ in the 1970s and 1980s, we’re now holding a torch for attractive football. We always took a perverse pride in the stodgy nature of our football under George Graham. Not any more.
Perhaps that’s Arsene’s greatest legacy (apart from a new training ground, new stadium, new fitness regimes, and restructuring the club from the bottom up) – the fact that, as fans, we now only accept beautiful football.