Another Saturday Without Arsenal Football and Thoughts on Fergie
After what I would regard as one hell of a week in my workplace, I wait for a lovely Saturday like this but alas, my dear ol’ Arsenal won’t be playing any game today because their proposed opponents, Wigan Athletic, play in Wembley against tournament favorites, Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
This ultimately means that the Gunners would play some Tuesday night football against the FA Cup finalists and would have to secure a vital win if they intend to play some Tuesday night football next season. I’m sure you get my drift.
Since Arsenal’s nervy win over Queens Park Rangers, it has been pretty quiet from a Gooner’s perspective with the exceptions of tidbits from the manager and his players. Arsene Wenger preached about how his team showed great focus, Wojciech Szczesny lauded his team’s defending and 20-goal Theo Walcott spoke about his desire to qualify for Europe. In the wake of Walcott’s early goal, the official site published a piece analyzing the effects of early goals scored by the Gunners. Good stuff.
Elsewhere, the previous maligned Aaron Ramsey received some plaudits for a change, as he won the player of the Month award and the site also published a tactical analytical piece focused on his newly-found resurgence.
Moving out from Arsenal related stuff, the much-anticipated game in hand (finally) took place in Stamford Bridge and Chelsea secured a result that appeased all the gods in the land. However, the game will be forever remembered for
Gareth Bale’s brilliance Emmanuel Adebayor’s wonder strike that confused a hapless Petr Cech, everyone in Stamford Bridge and probably the watching football world.
Despite the fact that Adebayor left and became a ______ (fill in the blank), his quality can be undoubted and he showed the little class he had on Wednesday. In all his 62 goals for Arsenal, that amazing strike against Tottenham and the scissors kick against Villarreal leave very fond memories in my head. The draw has seen the pendulum swing to Arsenal’s side yet again and the Gunners will only have themselves to blame if they fail to qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.
Many Arsenal fans are looking forward to the summer for more reasons than one as they’ll hope to see fresh blood at the Emirates with the much talked-about “deadwood” flushed out of the club to free up wages as well as getting some funds from their potential sales.
The Independent has reported that Arsenal is linked with Borussia Dortmund’s energetic fullback, Lukasz Piszczek as a long-term replacement for the aging Bacary Sagna. There’s also some crap about the Gunner’s linked with Shrek but I’ll take that with a pinch of salt.
Unless you have no access to the Internet or you’re living in a top secret cave like Sebastien Squillaci, you must have heard that Manchester United’s longest serving manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has announced his retirement after 27 years of a trophy-laden career.
As expected, the response has been overwhelming with many football figureheads waxing lyrical about the ‘greatest manager in the English game’. His trophy haul was astonishing and he was a true model for consistency in the Premier League.
He earned my respect when he sold Cristiano Ronaldo and let go off Carlos Tevez (both players scored over 60 goals in their final season with the club) and still managed to retain the Premier League. We all know what happened when Chelsea let go off Didier Drogba and how things panned out for Arsenal when that bloke with the little boy inside departed for greener pastures.
His fellow managers have paid their tributes and expected, they said all the nice stuff.
Arsene Wenger reserved special praise for his eternal rival,
“I would just like to pay tribute to an unbelievable achievement and a fantastic career.
“Basically the achievement is immaculate, when you look at the whole structure and consistency of the achievement. It is, of course, something exceptional.
“It is difficult to imagine English football without him, but it’s now a reality and a fact. Of course the next manager has to fill in and show he has the dimension to do that. It is a big task for the guy who comes in….Cool Story
We already know his successor, the good ol’ David Moyes, that managed to keep Everton in the top half despite having a shoestring budget. He even qualified for Europe in 2005 and lost narrowly to Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup final. The Scottish bloke was the third longest serving manager in the league, behind yours truly and the imminent chewing-gum gobbling retiree.
It’s also heartwarming to know that he has never won an away game against Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal…and I hope it doesn’t change anytime soon 😀
Moyes’ arrival could aid Arsenal in challenging for at least second place. I doubt Moyes will make an instant impact so Fergie’s retirement will give us a chance to get our foot in the door next season. Only if we bring the required talent to do so however.
Wigan’s Roberto Martinez has already been linked with the Everton job, but he has openly stated that he doesn’t give two fledgling *coughs*.
Back to Fergie, his rivalry with Wenger was out of this world and both sides always played with fire in their bellies when they clash, irrespective of the competition.
While it was customary for Arsenal and Man Utd to play twice in the Premier League every season, there were also clashes in other competitions, with fiery encounters in the FA Cup and of course, that ill-fated semifinal clash in the 2009 Champions League. After Manuel Almunia’s heriocs in Old Trafford, Kieran Gibbs’ infamous slip allowed Park Ji-Sung to increase United’s lead. I still have nightmares about CR7’s long range free kick and the counter attack they used to put the game beyond doubt was reminiscent of Arsenal in the days of the Invincibles.
Many Arsenal fans won’t forget the 2005 FA Cup final anytime soon but that 8-2 mauling in Old Trafford would still stand out as one of my worst days being an Arsenal fan, I must confess. The taunts were unending and the shame was very unbearable.
Despite the shiny glittering career he enjoyed in Man Utd, Ferguson, like the Red Devil he is, had a bad side and he exhibited it a couple of times on and off the field. I’m in no mood to describe every detail but I sincerely hope that the Howard Webb chronicles will end for Man Utd now that SAF is out of the picture.
Arsenal and Chelsea fans be like,
“Sir Ferguson has retired? We are truly sorry”
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