Then two came along. After years of mockery, of jokes about trophyless seasons, Arsenal has now seen the FA Cup in succession. There seems to be a change in mood and atmosphere. Arsenal is now buzzing, the Emirates stadium a place that is once more being conditioned to the habit of winning. Pre-season trophies such as the Barclays Asia Trophy and the Emirates Cup are adding to this, while just like the FA Cup, the traditional English season curtain -raiser — the Community Shield — has been won back to back.
It thus begs the question, can the Premier League title be conquered?
It is a question that invariably points towards Read the rest of this entry
There will always be that performance at the Camp Nou.
The 2010-2011 Champions League First Knockout stage. The second leg between Arsenal and Barcelona in Catalonia. Underneath the starry skies and upon the canvas of the European stage. Inside the amphitheater that forms Barcelona’s majestic football stadium. Amidst the brilliance of Lionel Messi, within the kaleidoscopic passing of Barcelona and beyond the controversy of a Robin Van Persie red card — there was Jack Wilshere.
The then 19-year old showed why many had Read the rest of this entry
At the end of it all, Arsene Wenger seemed relieved. As he walked up the Wembley stairs to accompany his team accept the FA Cup, it seemed as if all the pressure was now off. The tie was off, presumably too strangling to still be kept on while the coat was nowhere in sight, presumably too heavy to wear. The top button on his shirt was open, the heat presumably too much.
A relief as cumulative years of pressure culminated into one defining moment. After nine years of trophyless seasons, here at last was a trophy to Read the rest of this entry
Rarely is a Champions League group stage game of such overall quality and of such high significance.
That could be because of a seeding system that precludes the Champions League draw. The rationale for seeding is to keep the giants away from each other so that less superior teams get eliminated early on. It thus forms the truism of Champions League football. The more it progresses, the more exciting it becomes as big teams clash in titanic battles.
For the fan however, it forms a somewhat anti-climactic opening Read the rest of this entry
If calls for ‘Wenger Out’ had intensified before the first North London Derby of the season, the match itself proved to be a reincarnation of what used to happen before Arsene Wenger came in.
In the George Graham days, 1-0 to the Arsenal was a familiar score line. It proved to be once more as Tottenham Hotspurs became Arsenal’s latest victims. Arsenal’s resurgence since that opening day defeat to Read the rest of this entry