Memories

We have seen proof tonight that football is not about predictable outcomes. It is about the unexpected. The excitement comes from a flash of brilliance, a goal made out of nothing, a result that nobody expected. It is about amazing feats. Football is about memories.

There is no doubting the heart of Cesc Fabregas. By extension, that big throbbing muscle that pumps life throughout his body does the same for millions of Arsenal fans. We will all remember this match, but nobody will remember it better than our captain.

“Until the penalty, I was feeling quite good. It has been an amazing experience and I will remember it for the rest of my life.” -Cesc Fabregas

Whether he plays for us again or not this season (or in his career, for that matter), Cesc has become an Arsenal legend tonight. I don’t use that word loosely. The man is a legend. End of!

Let’s be clear, Barcelona can be beaten. And I say that knowing full well that our last line of defence (I refuse to call that man by his given name) is dodgier than dodgy. The belief in this team will take them far. I’m convinced of that.

Football has a way of defying the odds. Its unpredictable nature is second to none. I’ve seen some very dramatic and emotional matches over the years – France vs. West Germany (1982), and England vs. Cameroon (1990) for example. This Arsenal vs. Barcelona game now ranks amongst those matches.

No matter what happens going forward, I thank Arsene and the boys for providing the entertainment and the diversion from my daily routine that they’ve done this season. Beaten soundly by Chelsea and United. Embarrassed in the F.A. Cup by Stoke. Injury after injury, let down after let down, yet they’ve kept the faith and battled on.

Some prefer less drama with their football, but I wouldn’t deny myself the joy I’ve felt watching us come back from down 2-0 against a Barcelona side that sometimes looked like they had 12 players. Our dogged persistence may ultimately not be enough to win us a trophy, but that is the last thing on my mind tonight I’m so proud. If you are an Arsenal fan, you must be proud.

From the heights of relief and joy after seeing Cesc bury that penalty, I’ve read that he might be out for the season. Am I upset? Have I thrown glasses against the wall? Have I cursed at my neighbor’s dog? No! No! No!

I have even more belief.

From William Gallas finally reuniting with Thomas Vermaelen just to see him stretchered off – season over. From exploding with joy at seeing us claw back into the tie to reading that Andrey Arshavin has done his calf and could miss up to three weeks. Am I upset? Have I thrown glasses against the wall? Have I cursed at my neighbor’s dog? No! No! No!

I am overflowing with belief.

We weren’t supposed to be left with a chance to further embarrass the La Liga, European, and World Champions, but by this time next week, we could be just 180 minutes away from a trip to Madrid. What a funny game football is! But first let’s remember to batter Wolves and Coward McCarthy Saturday and then off to Camp Nou.

Keep the Faith.

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