Keeping the faith pays off! by RC
Two days ago Arsenal found themselves 4 goals down against newly promoted Reading within the first half of their Capital One Cup encounter at the Madejski stadium. As if that wasn’t enough, as I live in Manchester, I was greeted with many messages heckling at Arsenal’s embarrassing performance which, of course, didn’t bode well for our crucial clash against Manchester United this Saturday. However, as you may know from my last post, I am an optimist and still believed we could win – so much so that I put £5 on a 42/1 bet of Arsenal winning during half time. Yes I won in excess of £200. This bet wasn’t made in an uncalculated show of affection for Arsenal, not at all – I support the England football team but you most certainly wouldn’t see me bet on them if they were 4 – 0 down. It was made because I have seen great spirit shown within an Arsenal squad many times; last season alone I can recall the Tottenham fixture where we came from 2 goals down to win 5 – 2. The fact that many of the youngsters showed this spirit as well as some of the forgotten fringe players is encouraging for this season and the many ahead and reiterates the points I made in my last article about the excellence of some of our youth players. This game showed us that the hunger and desire to win doesn’t just end with the first team squad but is embedded into all of our players, a fact that is undisputable after Tuesday’s performance. Even Giroud showed a willingness to draw back a 3 goal deficit with the 25 minutes he had to do so, this shows great belief and I reiterate my earlier statement- he will come good.
Something I have found with the Arsenal squad recently is that they do not like to be seen as inferior and a big loss or a bad start is often greeted with a backlash which shows off all of our qualities and simply sends out a message – we’re just as good. Recall for example the agonising game against Milan were we came so close to overturning a 4 goal deficit but fell short at the final hurdle. We left the champions league with our heads held high however and showed AC Milan that Arsenal weren’t the bully boys they were perceived to be at the San Siro. This point will hopefully be reiterated after Saturday where I anticipate that Arsenal will prove me right and show all those affiliated with Manchester United that the infamous 8 – 2 was nothing more than a bad day at the office (very bad day in fact).
Two days on and not only am I £200 richer but my Manchester United supporting friends who were quick to condemn Arsenal are now the ones who find themselves out of contention for one trophy this year. Of course they were quick to let me know that they had no qualms about being omitted from the ‘Mickey Mouse’ cup. I accepted their deception and will remain tight-lipped until Saturday evening when the fate of a fixture which was so unkind to us Gunners last year has been played out once again.
Let’s hope that this year we can show United and Van Persie what this Arsenal squad is made off and let’s hope that the midweek performance of our youngsters and ‘fringe player’ can lift our first team players to showing that they are capable of emulating our second half showing on a greater stage. I for one will be placing a few more Arsenal bets, call me crazy but it is the theatre of dreams.
Thank you for reading.