Arsenal were on a downward spiral, not like the one Spurs have but, for sure they wer n’t going to win anything. Just one hope remained, to beat Bayern Munich by a goal difference of three. Champions League, the only hope! Arsenal fans around the world, the players, and Arsene himself had felt that tremor in the heart that was saying, “Not this year.” It wasn’t a simple “Do or Die situation.” It was much more. Millions of hopes had already died, no trophy and even a top four finish looked bleak with Tottenham and Chelsea pretty far away on the table.
The day came, Mar 13, 2013, Arsenal played with a different mentality. It was just after they lost a derby to spurs. Yeah, doesn’t happen too often, but this sparked a desire in the team. I don’t know if it was the same mentality with which a team in relegation plays against a comfortably – placed team in the league table. But that is what the players did that day. Arsene had already shifted about some players, going for not-so-good-theoretically-advantaged players, but that was what Arsenal needed, something unpredictable. Everybody played with a fierceness, I am sad to say, that was missing for most parts of the season. In the 3rd minute, a goal from Olivier charged the small group of fans at the Allianz Arena. A glimmer of the trophy could be seen. The team started to believe that this could end well.
The game was hard fought. No more goals came until the 84th minute. Koscielny had scored on his first start in months, that too in the Champions League. The last 11 minutes (incl. extra time) had no goals. It did not end as good as it could have, but Arsenal just had a clean sheet (2-0) against a far superior team. (yes, it is the truth. Long way to go) But, as Arsene would say, lots of positives to be taken. Arsenal had just missed out on the CL because of away goals. The team had showed resilience and beaten Munich at their home. First English team to do so! They had scored two against a team that had not conceded goals two at their home in a year. This game changed everything about Arsenal. It was like the 3-0 defeat of milan last year.
Arsenal have now beaten Swansea and Reading, very convincingly. I see the Arsenal of the 2007s, when I first saw them play, but that is a different story. I see the players bonding well, playing sleek, classy through balls. With Rosicky coming back into the squad, another creative dimension was just added into the team. It is more like signing a new player. You don’t have a player for a year, and then he comes back and revitalizes the game. I hope Wilshere and Diaby don’t get injured now. With the season ending in 7 weeks, you might say that not a lot if left, but au contraire, if Chelsea and Arsenal win their games in hand over spurs, the 3 sides would be competing for the 3rd, 4th and the 5th spot sitting within a point of each other. Get ready to watch the games every week, as there are only thrillers left in the story. With Chelsea vs Spurs left, Arsenal could certainly be handed that third spot. And, boy, I would be glad to have the Champions League spot secured for the 17th year running. Keep calm and have faith.