04 April 2010

American Beauty

By Dr3

I am not prophetic. I can’t predict games, and I can’t predict tomorrow’s headlines, gaffs, etc. I can though, marvel at the way football sometimes places ‘things’ in the mouth of the ‘experts’ and self appointed Nostradamus protégés. Just how big of a gulf exists between Barcelona and Arsenal is no longer a mystery hidden in supposed prose and adjectives and other ‘abstract’ comparisons. Make no mistake, even if they are to be considered the mirror of each other in philosophy, that’s where it ends.

Pre-game analysis compared Ibrahimovic and Bendtner (a comparison which on any level should cause vomiting), and suggested that of course, Arsenal could fight fire with fire against Barcelona. To spare anyone the task of reading again how much better Barcelona were and other such new-born clichés, let’s just say all the pre-game talk was a bunch of “malarkey” (Dave Chappelle reference ppl). Again though, it’s the post match that intrigues me.

I’m not one for all the faith and hope clichés, but whichever is the one talking about "springs eternal", must be a campaign or motto of English pundits, journalists and sympathizers. The more I write is the more it seems as if I have some personal vendetta against the English media, born perhaps out of the fact that I am English-speaking. “Earning” a 2-2 draw at home in the UCL is hardly anything to be happy about. Besides the fact that it was “earned” via a cloudy incident, apparently many other facts were lost after the game due to the 'result':

• The Messi-ah had one of those occasional quiet nights.
• The “big-nosed flop” as slow and lazy as he is, sent Vermaleen to the shop for some cookies for all of 60 minutes
• The game was played at the EMIRATES
• Arsenal will be without Gallas, Arsharvin, and Fabregas (enter ‘So old’ Campbell)
• Barca will be without the said flop, Pique and Puyol, while welcoming Abidal
• The game will be at the Nou Camp
• I almost forgot; Barcelona do not have to win the game, Arsenal do.

So like Chelsea in the previous round, and like Manchester in the current round, apparently no mountain is too high for an English club. Regardless of being behind on aggregate, missing key players, and facing strong opponents, the odds of advancing are always good, right? Even if the mountain turns out to be insurmountable it would be because of faulty gear and not the sheer size of the mountain, right?

Never underestimate the power of denial - American Beauty.
(finally the title reference)

Don’t get me wrong on two things. Firstly it’s foolhardy to not give yourself a fighting chance going into any battle no matter how difficult it outwardly seems. So the whole “hope springs eternal” motif is a good battling quality to have. There is though a difference between hope and grandiosity. Secondly, there should definitely be a sense of satisfaction going into the second leg 2-2 as opposed to 0-2. Again though, hope or optimism is not the same as being deluded.

Me being “prophetic”:

Arsenal fans:
Be hopeful, “even a dog’s ass gets sunshine sometimes”, you CAN win. But don’t be duped into thinking you are in with anything more than a “fighting” chance.

Manchester fans:
Please see Chelsea result in the previous round. Don’t forget that Bayern do not need to win. They also should be welcoming the returning Robben, while you have to play without ‘god-sent’ Wayne.

Good luck with all that hope stuff though.

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