The Big Red One

I’ve never been more excited for an Arsenal match than tomorrow. Quite simply, this is a tie I’ve waited for the last ten years. Arsenal Football Club versus Manchester United Football Club. It represents England at it’s very best, and the world will watch to see which football side emerges victorious.

To be correct, hopefully, the tie will not be decided tomorrow. Any manager will tell their team that you cannot necessarily win the tie in the first leg, but you definitely can lose it.

But this tie has everything.

It has the grand rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson. The truth is, we hate Ferguson with a passion because he is a successful manager. Were he our manager, I’d venture that most Gooners would defend him with great zeal, the same way they defend Arsene. If it were the other way around, it’s hard to say. That’s a comment that says more about United fans than it does about Arsenal fans. Both are class managers in an objective sense, although Wenger remains much more of a purist. He is a man who tries to achieve champagne football built on fantasies, something that simply doesn’t exist anymore in this era of football.

It has the wonderful talents between both squads. I do not want to highlight the fine players that United have in this segment, because it makes me sick. More to the point, I’d like to say that the players have the opportunity to take another step towards supremacy. Last year, we suffered a horrible exit against Liverpool at Anfield. The players learn from episodes like this, and I’m confident that if we were to lose this tie, our players will not crumble up and die. That doesn’t mean the players aren’t up or prepared for tomorrow. They’ll want it badly. It’s often said that players nowadays fancy the Champions League more than the League, that may be due to the cosmopolitan nature of the big clubs now, but it is a fact. The only trophy players covet more is the World Cup. I think the league is very important, but the Champions League is a huge omission in Arsene Wenger’s glorious CV. If this group of players achieve what most people feel is impossible, it may rank as his greatest achievement.

It has the history that was too easily swept under the rug. They may be “friends” now, but as fierce competitors, the two managers still do not like to lose to one another. Let’s not forget that Cesc was there for pizzagate. The hatred wasn’t what it once was, but after this tie, everything will come back. I guarantee it. I can’t begin to describe to you how much I hate United.

Tomorrow, I want to see only one thing by the end. Obviously, I would love to head to the Emirates with a 3-0 lead in hand. However, this is probably unlikely.

What I would like to see is us in a position to win the tie at the Emirates by winning at the Emirates. I want the tie to remain alive. I want the team to experience the sensation of playing United at the Emirates knowing that if they win, they’ll progress to the Champions League Final. I want the fans at the Emirates to realize that they’re watching something special, something that will forever be remembered in history.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have never played each other in this format before. This is a tie that will be decided over 180 minutes, not 90.

The thing I’d like to tell our fans is to enjoy the occasion and support the squad. They never gave up on each other, so we have no reason to give up on them. It’s rare that you get to see genius on this level collide like two freight trains.

This tie will have majesty and ferocity. It will be one for the ages.

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