My Rover Your Rolls

I looked up Rolls Royce on the respected edmunds.com site. As expected, the praise was gushing; “stately, opulent and luxurious”, “set a standard that other luxury car makers have aspired to reach”, “the best car in the world”, “at the front of the ultra-luxury pack”. If I were to make comparisons to automobiles, it is clear that Manchester United would be the Rolls Royce of football clubs. They are standard bearers sitting at the top of the football mountain.

I then looked up Range Rover – the Range Rover Sport model to be exact; “a premium SUV that represents a shift in focus for this SUV-oriented luxury brand.”

I stress shift in focus for that is exactly what Arsenal have done with regard to the Wenger model for player acquisition and squad building. While we’ve spent a record fee on AA23 as the lone (established) star to join Wenger’s young squad, United have spent more than double the Arshavin fee on each of their main strikers. This, much to the ire of many a Gooner, has symbolized the image of a club in alleged regression mode. The common accusation is that we are a club that has not been able to keep up with its rivals. It is said that we haven’t adequately replaced The Invincibles.

Like the Rover Sport to the Rolls Royce (any model), Arsenal are very high quality but on a different if not less opulent scale. I heard someone describe the ride and performance of the Range Rover Sport model recently and couldn’t help but think of Arsenal. He described the vehicle with four words; high performance, luxurious, sporty. Perhaps car enthusiasts with greater breadth of knowledge than I have might be able to think of better comparisons.

When Arsenal are in full flow, we are undoubtedly the most entertaining side in all of football – Barcelona and Utd are right up there but you will forgive my obvious bias. In time, we will develop into the most dynamic side as well.

The semi final has come upon us like a Range Rover Sport overtaking a Rolls Royce. I have no fear of Manchester United. We’ve already beaten them. We can beat them again. We have an extremely frustrating recent past when it comes to defining moments in the quest for European club football’s greatest prize. I feel strongly that the drive and focus required to reach the final will be immense. Sure Utd are driven and will not lack focus with Taggart in charge but as a great man once said, “Wenger’s no mug.”

Our season depends on this tie. We must do what a large faction of Arsenal fans and neutrals alike would have laughed at me even three months ago for suggesting was possible. In many circles, victories over United and Chelsea this season were seen as ‘one offs’. Many feel that “we’re not good enough”.

That matters little at this point. We haven’t cruised by any means this season but nobody can say that our high performing young team is far from ascending the mountaintop.

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