|Arsenal fans watch Arsenal defeat Barcelona 2-1|
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|
|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|
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.