We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve had some run-ins. It’s been a rocky road, stretching back.. oooh, many a year now. And let’s be honest (because at this stage of the season there’s no room for any of those mind-games that Sir Ferg sets such store by) for much of our relationship, you chaps had the upper hand. Certainly in recent memory, I can think back fondly to the Champions League quarter final in which a young Wayne Bridge put you out of Europe as the starting point for a good run of form against you. Before that, the pickings on the Blue side of the garden were slim.
But times have changed. Where once the journey to League points was a straight and narrow road that led directly to Stamford Bridge, it’s now become something of a road less travelled. After a season that started so promisingly – and didn’t you play some nice football, what with the passing and flicking and things like that? – we now humbly suggest that your League form has rocketed up Diarrhoea Drive and the manager has forgotten where the handbrake is. Don’t be upset. It happens. There’s always next year.
Having said that, we’d like to ask a favour. You see, we understand that you’ll be playing Manchester United this weekend. And so we’d like to ask for a wee indulgence. Honestly, it’ll do you no harm at all. You might even enjoy it.
We’d like you to win, please.
Yes, we appreciate the conundrum this poses for a team in which Nicholas Bendtner plays an ever-more pivotal role. And yes, we understand that you’ve had dozens of players out injured and, should you have had full access to your squad for the duration of the season, you wouldn’t be in this pickle. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? After all, neither of your serious title challengers had any real injury / international commitment problems this season. Tch… the luck of the Arsenal, eh?
What must be especially tricky for you, as a team, is to come to terms with the fact that you have the power to affect the title race… but only in passing. In passing… see what I did there? See, you’re a passing team, and… oh, never mind. Point is, this game on Sunday could well turn out to be the crucial one. Never mind the game at Stamford Bridge at the end of the month: if you can take the three points off Ferguson – and, let’s be honest, the Cup result isn’t exactly filling us with confidence – then the injuries to Vidic and Ferdinand and a nothing gap could see Chelsea nick it. So we guess the question is, who would you rather won the League? The Mancs, who have beaten you to it so, so many times before? Or Chelsea, who are only down the road and would probably let you come and look at the trophy whenever you want. Assuming you ask nicely.
Think hard, Arsenal FC. Avram and Ferguson are counting on you. You’re going to have to let someone down. It’ll hurt, but think of it in the wider context. And, like we said, there’s always next season.
Although, come to think of it, didn’t you say that last season?
The team in Blue.