This season whenever Arsenal is playing at the Emirates one thing has become a norm. At least once or twice during the match, the camera shifts its focus from the on-field action to the stands and showcases the magnificently built stadium; then zooms in to 2005, inscribed in golden colour.
For those who have been following Arsenal over the years; they know what that golden 2005 symbolize. For those who have no idea, here is the story. It was the last time Arsenal won silverware. Since then the Arsenal trophy board has been barren. Players came and left but things have not changed. Once “Invincibles”, now we have become “Unpredictables”; you can never tell how Arsenal will play, regardless of their form and the players. Well, it may be surprising sometimes; we often bounce back superbly against stronger sides but we are still lacking consistency in our game which has cost us few trophies. Surely, the last season was probably our best chance; we almost had one hand over the league but messed up at the last moment.
Coming back to that 2005, this is my question to all the Arsenal fans out there. To those Gooners who follow Arsenal crazily; for those fans who almost cried when we secured that 2-1 against Barcelona in last year’s Champions League; for those ardent fans who know Robin van Persie will score every time he received the ball to his feet; to those who have always believed that Wenger is a magician (mind you readers, none of them is wrong); the question is- have you ever got goose bumps when your TV screen only shows that archaic 2005.
Actually, since following Arsenal this much closely; I have started getting goose bumps on a consistent basis (I hope Arsenal becomes equally consistent in their game). Arsenal has made me discover the hidden emotions inside me. I thought I would never cry as I grow up but as I stated above, the win against Barca almost made me cry. My eyes were wet; they just that they did not come out. Whenever I look at that 2005, I feel that, in some way, it is our fault we have not won anything. The goose bumps keep coming back. I can’t just force my memory to forget that 2005. But the scene is as much live in my brain as it is shown on screen. When is the next trophy coming; no one really knows but that number makes me believe that things need to happen. Real soon. The 2005 has received more importance than the players. It has received more than it deserves – 7 years. Its part in Arsenal history is over. The new number has to take its attention. It has to happen. The magic will begin.
I have a feeling that next season is pretty much Arsenal’s season. The current crop of young players have started to perform and more importantly, perform consistently. Ox-Chamberlain, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ryo, Gibbs have started showing glimpses of what they are capable of and why they are hailed as world’s few best young prospects. Add to that the experience of established players like RVP, Vermaelen, Kosclieny, Sagna, Song, Rosicky and Arteta. Arsenal board has allowed Wenger to spend and I am sure he will be doing some shopping this summer. Both to keep players like RVP from moving on and to boost his squad, which just requires that extra edge in those high pressure matches which a team of stature can’t afford to, lose in every season. And we will be aiming for something substantial to fill that cabinet.
Will 2013 be the next year that will be inscribed at the Emirates? I think that will happen. And surely, I won’t mind any goose bumps as long as they keep coming from our performances and not from that dreaded number- 2005.
Always a Gunner.