Good morning Positive fans (and friends),
Every one of you saw the game. Every one of you was delighted to see us take hold of the initiative from the opening moments of the game and barely relinquish that vice like grip until the 94 minute. There was no trace of nerves. There was no inkling that our back three had not played together 40 times this season, a model of concentration, a pattern of clockwork efficiency. The sneering references to Granit Xhaka as the season’s worst purchase confined forever to the dustbin of media punditry. And Alexis ? He may stay, he may go, but I can recall no player savaging the opposition at Wembley with such persistence and inexhaustible imagination. Mesut “disappears” in big games …… “Nickin’ a living” ?!?! You will have your own favourites and moments of the day. And yes it really could have been 5 or 6 goals.
It was a tense afternoon, no point in denying it. The first time since the 80’s that we have gone into a domestic Final as the clear under-dogs. Every one of you then watched our players cavort, our fans scream with joy, and saw that Arsene had grown six inches in the space of 24 hours. Football that we could enjoy, a victory to be relished. Every one of you was as proud as I was. The record is set down, forever.
Is there more to say ? Probably not but I am in the mood.
Of our opponents ? I do not think Chelsea were that bad. While they had played far fewer games than us this season I think the had emptied their ‘tank’ over the League season. They did not have it in them for one more battle and Wembley is a big pitch with no corners to hide in. I thought Pedro was good and so, in his own lunatic way, was Diego. I shall miss the ugly, cheating, vicious bastard for reasons I don’t understand myself. Victor Moses’ red card was a pleasure in itself. No Chelsea fan I know, or even have read on social media, had any doubts that it was the right decision and the proper punishment. May the force be with the referees in the opening weeks of next season.
One thing that did strike me yesterday, during the game and with about 10 minutes to go, 22 superb athletes who have each invested years of their lives to be here today, looking at the stadium, the fans, pacing my domestic technical area, frantic, feeling the tension, feeling the COMMITMENT. Whatever I pay for this, whatever anyone pays for this, for all its faults – it is WORTH IT!!
I attach below a copy of a picture I have had in the desk draw for a while. It is Avenell Road before an Arsenal and Spurs game in 1948. It occurred to me, in the light of Stew’s references to the unbroken line of the fan, and of era and fashion, success and failure being twin imposters, and Gf60s earliest attendance, it is best out of the desk draw today.
I shall leave it there. I suspect we have a busy week so enjoy your Sunday.