Or will it even matter? Tonight, we head into Camp Nou – a place that paralyses the will - for our Champions League duet with Barca, and I only know two things for sure:
1. We have a 2-1 advantage
2. That’s not nearly enough
The pessimist, rather, the realist in me, who has watched Arsenal piss away chance after chance in league and cup play, is pretty sure this match is over before it even begins.
After all, this an Arsenal whose idea of seizing opportunity is squandering it with 90 minutes of beautiful passing and movement that constantly meets its end just outside the box. This is an Arsenal who comes out flat against lowly opponents only to fall in embarrassing fashion because of junior varsity mental errors by persons paid to know better. However, this is also an Arsenal who, on a night when the world expected it to be shamed out of its own stadium, delivered a second half performance of vengeful counterattacking that was nothing short of sublime.
Not often in the last couple years have our lads shown a superior opponent that it is made of equally strong stuff. Perhaps, tonight – one where we aren’t given a snowball’s chance in hell of scoring, let alone holding off a suffocating assault by Messi and the Catalans – is our night. Perhaps, this is the type of match our side has been waiting for. I know it’s crazy to hope. I know it’s foolish. I know it goes against all reason. That is precisely why I like our chances. For once, Arsenal have nothing to lose, and for once, I think we will see men in the red and white who play that way.
Sadly, I will be seeing it from my television. I had tickets for tonight’s event, but Mr. Flash put the kibosh on attending. Initially, I thought he was concerned that emotions caused by the outcome would be too much for me, and, thusly, our baking bun. It certainly was at Wembley when I got so upset that I lost my all of my in-game snacks outside the grounds after our disastrous loss against Birmingham. It was again when my anger worked itself into a debilitating migraine after our tepid failure against Sunderland. But alas, his intentions weren’t nearly so sweet. As it turns out, he was more concerned that I’d run off at the mouth and get myself attacked by a Catalan mob.
“You’ll start something with a Spanish nutter and he’ll hurt the baby.” “You think I will start a row in a crowd of rat arsed Barca fans.” “Yes.” “Do you think I’m crazy?” “Yes.”
At least he’s honest.
Arsenal 2, Barca 2