What I Learnt From Arsenal v Bayern Munich
Exactly nine months from the day we played Bayern Munich in their own backyard and became Champions of Europe, Bayern travelled down to London to visit the Chelsea museum and gaze upon the cup they believed to be so rightfully theirs back in May.
OK, not strictly true. In reality, they journeyed to a different end of London, the north, to play Arsenal in the Champions League Round of 16 at the Emirates.
The great thing about Arsenal is that even though we are not in the Champions League anymore, they always provide for us prime subject matter for mockery, and we can always laugh at their not altogether unexpected capitulation each season. And at least we’re still in the running for a trophy.
The Arsenal v Bayern match today demonstrated a number of things:
1)The Chelsea defenders must have been having a laugh, unless seven is the new 83. Even with Bosingwa at right back (allegedly), we didn’t concede this many goals in 120 minutes, let alone in twenty. Ashley Cole is probably laughing loudest and hardest of all.
2)Ashley Cole’s won the European Cup. That makes even the Germans happy. And they sing about it.
3)Heynckes has learnt not to take off Muller even after he’s scored.
4)Still, Bayern are rubbish at corners (even when they aren’t really meant to be corners).
5)Roberto Di Matteo is greater than Arsene Wenger. After all, he achieved in less than four months what Wenger has not been able to in eight years (and counting).
6)This match does not prove that the Bundesliga is better than the Premier League. It just proves that the top team in the Bundesliga is better than the fifth place team in the Premier League.
7)We have a star on our shirts. You don’t. Want to know why?
8)Saying you have ‘unfinished business with the Champions League’ isn’t going to guarantee that you will win it. That’s our line, anyway, Arsene.
9)If it hasn’t already been established in the numerous times Drogba has scored against Arsenal over the years, or merely caused Vermaelen to score own goals out of sheer fright, it has certainly been confirmed when comparing performances against Bayern Munich: Didier Drogba is greater than the entire Arsenal team.
10)Watching Munich completely outclass Arsenal proves to everyone just what an achievement our win over them in May truly was. It was not merely luck, and anyone who put down our performance or style of play can now eat humble pie. Whatever you say about them, our tactics worked-we didn’t outplay them, but we held them off for 83 minutes, and then another half hour, we scored, we beat them on penalties. We won-the match, the European cup, the bragging rights. We have the star on our shirts now. Arsenal could not do what we were able to last season. They require the leaders, the highly experienced players, and the big men for the big occasion who we had/have in the likes of Drogba, Lampard, Cech, Cole, and Terry. Today Arsenal lacked not only the class, but also more importantly, for most of the game, the character and determination necessary to hold themselves together against Bayern’s continuous onslaught. It is also worth noting that Chelsea can beat Bayern in their own stadium, while Arsenal couldn’t beat them in theirs. We are truly London’s first, London’s finest.
However, after all we have learnt, I am still left with one question: Why are there always fire drills on match day at the Emirates? No noise from those latte boys again.
So, in short, Gooners (or Goners): Ihre Stadt, Ihre Stadion, bist du Mist.