11 Years ago
I wrote this post the day after the 2nd leg of the champions league semi final at the Emirates, but haven't been able to get it online until now. The date today is the 6th of May 2009. Would anyone like to guess where I was 11 years ago?
It was a wonderful sunny afternoon, and Arsenal were playing Everton at Highbury. It was arguably the most memorable moment of the Wenger era, even if the Invincibles would go onto greater things 6 years later. I was just 13 at the time, and had never seen the club win a trophy (ironically having started supporting them the season Nayim scored the infamous 'halfway line' goal that cost us the Cup Winners Cup final). Everyone was very much in the mood for a party and the team did not disappoint being 3-0 up midway through the second half. Then right at the death, my favourite ever Arsenal memory unfolded in front of us as Bouldy put Tony Adams clean through and he smashed THAT volley into the net, and the rest is history.
Fast forward back to the present day, and I am comparing the highs of 1998 to the horrible low of last nights' Champions League semi final. The atmosphere inside the Emirates was nothing like there was has been in the short history of the stadium, well for about 8 minutes until disaster struck. I don't begrudge Keiran Gibbs for his slip, and hopefully not too many other people do either, as he's been fantastic for us this season covering for Gael Clichy and hopefully will be even better for us next season. The real sucker punch was 3 minutes later, as that portugese tw*t curled a 41 yard free kick into the corner, and Almunia REALLY should have saved it. Once that went in, it was game over despite the players best efforts, they looked shell shocked just like the crowd.
Unfortunately for all connected with Arsenal, there was no Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira to grab the team by the neck and say "come on let's give it a real go regardless". Cesc Fabregas tried his best, but he is not that style of captain and that leader figure was really missing. Let's just all hope that it isn't too long before we get another look at a picture like the one below