Date:Friday May 19 2006
Never in my life have I felt such overwhelming pride in the face of such heart breaking despair.
The mighty Gunner conceded two goals in four minutes of the Champions League final to break Highbury hearts. After playing 70 minutes of the game with only 10 men, it's hard to feel anything but pride in what we have achieved.
Back in Janurary when defeats came thick and fast & 8th place was the order of the day, who could have thunk that Arsene's young army could aspire to climb to such heights? Our football was poor, our players seemed to be devoid of all passion & Wenger's empire appeared to be falling apart at the seams, but as the final whistle sounded to indicate the end of the season, Wenger's boys had become men. As the season got to the business end, our players stood up & were counted, we may have returned from Paris empty handed, but our season of transion has been a raging success.
It was predicted that we had no chance of finishing 4th & some camps (no guessing who that was) thought it possible the Arsenal could begin next season with no European football whatsoever, but we fought till the end and proved our critics wrong.
When we where paired with Real Madrid, our fate was considered terminal & yet after two displays of complete footballing concentration, they still doubted us.
Juventus were the next team out of the hat. 'They'll prove a sterner test & you'll be taught a footballing lesson' came the cry from every corner of the country (especially Tottenham), yet we dispatched the 'old lady' with more confidence and pizzaz than the Galactico's had been slapped with.
The semi final proved to be our toughest test enroute to the final, which saw Jens Lehmann become and Arsenal Legend (we still love you Jens).
In a season that saw the departure of one of the finest midfield players the world has ever seen & the longest injury list in living memory, the mighty Gunners marched into the final of Europe's premier club competition.
Facing the most formidable team in world football, Arsenal were hotly tipped to crash & burn and be defeated by one of the largest margins in the history of European cup final history.
However, despite only having ten men for most of the game, not only did we NOT get slaughtered, but we gave Barcelona one hell of a scare, we had the opportunity to clinch the game, but alas, they could not be taken.
How many teams in the world can take on the 'might' of Ronaldinho, Eto'o and company, and come out of the ordeal knowing the Spanish title holders had the crap scared out of them by a team with only ten men? I bet you count them on one finger.
The fact that every single player fought for the shirt is proof that today should not be a day for sadness and grief, but a day for all Gooners to don their finest red & white, stand up and shout to the world.....
I'M A GOONER & I'M F**KING PROUD OF IT!!
Date:Friday May 19 2006
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