So that week rolled past fast, complete with two excellent days off school. Thankyou banks, thankyou wedding – I could get used to these three-day weeks. I can’t believe they moaned about them in the 70s. OK, so there was crippling industrial strife, high inflation and not enough electricity to chuck about, but I could handle a bit of candelight here and there so long as someone remembered to keep the internet meter stocked with 20p pieces.
The last royal wedding on such a scale was of course in 1981, when Arsenal were at the start of a barren trophyless run of eight years. It included losses in the 1980 FA and Cup Winners’ Cup finals but zip else. History tells us nothing much happened until 1987 – a few changes of managers aside. How, in 30 years, will history measure the years between 2005 and [insert year when we next win a trophy]? Obviously, the stadium move, first ever European Cup final and change of ownership will feature in the memory banks. But will we wistfully recall the consistency of sitting at the top table, domestically and in Europe, year after year? Or will it just feel like XX barren years? Who knows, eh.
Anyway, a bit of a heavy one for a Sunday morning.
Wenger was his usual forthright self in his press conference. To be honest, you could pick apart a lot of what he said if you were in a cynical mood – which I usually am these days. I find it a bit frustrating listening to him at the moment but what else is he going to do ahead of a big game than stick up for his charges? It’s the right thing to do.
Three wins against Man Utd in the last 17 appearances does not make pretty reading. Today, Utd are in the midst of an impressive end-of-season run that neatly juxtaposes with our unimpressive fizzle-out.
Can we raise ourselves for this one? Form is against us and with them. Looking over our shoulder at the prospect of fourth place or worse should be motivation enough, you’d hope.
You never know with this team. Now that the title pressure has evaporated, we may pull off one of those handbrake off performances.
We’re certainly overdue one.
Either way, it’s always one of the best home games of the season to be at. The sun is out. The old routines kick in. Come on!