I am an overseas supporter of Arsenal FC and like others I have been worshipping the North London club and everthing that has to do with it since Thierry Henry mesmerized me in the early part of 2000’s. And ever since I started following them there has always been a sense of hatred over one particular English club, a club I hated more than Arsenal’s direct rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. It was Manchester United, but when I questioned myself why I hate Manchester United so much, I didn’t really have any answer. Maybe it was because they have reached a whole new level which Arsenal will never achieve under the current management or may be due to some other reason.
It’s like when you hate something so much but you don’t know why. But what I can confront successfully is how I respect the club and Sir Alex Ferguson. No matter how much a person can dislike them, their professionalism and passion of the club and manager stuns everyone.
Tuesday night’s game against Real Madrid was a perfect example of that. When Nani was sent off, Ferguson rushed down the stairs in disbelief and had a rant over the assistant referee. He followed it up by prompting the home crowd to sing and cheer like never before and Giggs on the pitch did the same. This is who they are, a team which never loses it’s spirit and the Will to win a game.
Apart from these inspirational acts, Ferguson put on 3 strikers – adding to the tactics that he crafted to perfection from the start of the game. He made a legitimate full-blown attempt at securing a victory against an unfair disadvantage and never accepted the defeat, which came damn well near to at-least securing Extra Time.
These acts of team spirit and passion will make any Arsenal fan think of Arsene and what he would have done in such a situation. First of all his pre-game interview would be quoted as: “We have no special plans for Real, we’re just concentrating on ourselves”, a view that is so very flawed. Post-red card, he would’ve had a few words of concern with the 4th official who doesn’t care and back to sulking in his chair? A few water bottles would have been broken and a couple of hopeless substitutions who will replace players who were having a real impact on the game.
All I can hope for the Bayern game is that the away fans go wild and Arsene takes inspiration from Ferguson’s hearty attempts to grasp a desperate victory. And if Arsenal lose, which they will most probably, Arsene will be unfairly scapegoated and fans will question his dedication.
We don’t know what he does with the team off-camera but he seems like a coach with a laissez-faire approach on the pitch and who’s reluctant to make on-the-spot decisions, waiting for half-time. That probably influences the general media’s views about him. But I know there’s more than that to Arsene Wenger, all he has to do is show it on the pitch. Come on Arsenal