Sunday, February 20, 2011

Get A Grip Arsenal fans...At Least You Don't Support The Mets

Arsenal fans watch Arsenal defeat Barcelona 2-1
This past Wednesday, Arsenal hosted Barcelona at The Emirates in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.  Barcelona is considered the best team in the world and is pretty much made up of the Spanish squad that won the World Cup this past summer in South Africa.  Arsenal went in to the game knowing its past history with
Barcelona having been knocked out of the competition by the La Liga leaders in the quarter-finals last season and losing to the Catalans 2-1 in the 2006 finals.

So what did Arsenal come out and do just several days ago?  They came back from a 1-0 deficit and won the first leg 2-1 while keeping Lionel Messi off of the score sheet.  It was a monumental achievement that has had fans, pundits, journalists and football fans all over praising Arsene Wenger and his team.

Then today, Arsenal visited League One Leyton Orient in a 5th round FA Cup match.  With the fixtures coming thick and fast, Arsene Wenger rested a number of first team players knowing that Stoke awaits in mid week, the Carling Cup final is next weekend and the small matter of a second leg Champions League match at the Nou Camp is quickly approaching.

Arsenal dominated possession and went in to the final moments of the match up 1-0.  To Leyton Orient's credit, they didn't stop battling and they scored a goal with just a minute left in regulation.  A bummer?  Yes.  Annoying?  Yes.  The end of the world?  No. 

Van Persie puts one past Barcelona
It was amazing to see so many negative comments by Arsenal fans on Twitter and other message boards after today's game.  Four days ago these same fans were heaping praise on the team.  Unbelievable.  Chill out folks.  Arsenal didn't lose.  They're still in the competition.  Yes they'll have to play another game, but give them a freaking break.  Remember, they are still the only team in England alive in four competitions and just beat BARCELONA 2-1.

Arshavin scores the second versus Barcelona

Let's have some perspective. Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League every year since 1997.  They are one of the most successful clubs in English football, having won 13 First Division and Premier League titles as well as 10 FA Cups. In addition, Arsenal hold the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and are the only side to have completed a Premier League season unbeaten.

Do you need another point of view?  You could be a fan of the New York Mets.  The Mets are about to begin their 50th season and have won just two championships.  They appeared in the finals on two other occasions, most recently losing to the hated crosstown Yankees in 2000.  That was more than painful.  That would be like Arsenal losing to Tottenham in the FA Cup Final and having to listen to their fans celebrate and trash talk forever.

Then in 2006, the Mets went to game 7 of the NLCS with the chance to return to the World Series (yes my non American friends I know it's a bit presumptuous but it is called the World Series).  With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, one of the Mets' best hitters, Carlos Beltran, struck out LOOKING with the bases loaded.  Since then it's been a long torturous downward spiral.

Relax Arsenal fans, at least you don't support the Mets
The Mets famously choked away division leads in 2007 and 2008 and since then have finished below .500 the past two years.  Going in to this season, the Mets are a lock to be mediocre as the team's owners haven't spent a dime due to losing tons of money in Bernie Madoff's ponzi schemes.  Add to that, the insane contracts that the team is stuck with; $12 million to horrible Oliver Perez and $6 million to the gimpy Luis Castillo.  If money wasn't an issue, these guys would be long gone.  These deals make Chelsea's signing of Fernando Torres for 50 million pounds look like the deal of the century.  Yes, they paid a lot, but at least the guy can actually play.

So my fellow Arsenal fans...chill out, get a grip and take a reality check.  Arsenal are in the Carling Cup Final, 4 points off the top of the EPL, lead Barcelona 2-1 going in to the second leg of the Champions League last 16 and STILL ALIVE in the FA Cup.  Remember, you could be supporting the New York Mets.

One other enjoyable football moment this week:  Watching Chelsea crash out of the FA Cup to Everton with New Jersey's own Tim Howard saving from Le Sulk Nicolas Anelka and the one and only Ca$hley Cole skying his shot and thus eliminating his team from the cup.  Karma is a bitch.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. You should have thousands of readers and a six figure job at an international publication. The Pulitzer Prize is coming.