Fuck.  What a night.  It has been so long since we’ve seen an Arsenal side win a must-win match that I think I was starting to believe I would never see the day.  2011 has hurt so very deeply that I didn’t think I could remember a time when football was fun or when Arsenal used to win when it really mattered.

We have grown to prepare for pain, to say ‘ah well’ when inside we were screaming ‘fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckkkk not again.’  We have watched as players dropped when we needed them the most, packed off to the back street doctor we clearly employ.  We have pondered and screamed at the worst luck imaginable as Arsenal seemed destined to destroy themselves in the most hilarious and gut-wrenchingly original ways possible.  From a distance it must have been a riot.

But from inside, it has been a knife twisting and turning with every cock up and controversial call.

Too dramatic?

Not to Arsenal fans.

So, last night, we watched in terror as a bunch of inexperienced teenagers mixed with whatever seniors we still had standing took to the pitch in the biggest match of recent turbulent times.  They entered the Champions League knowing what was at stake and they did what we have been praying so long for – they showed heart.

They showed that they wanted to win.  That even in the stifling heat of Udine that they would not be beaten.

I don’t think I’ve been prouder of an Arsenal team as I am right now in this very moment.  Sure, it wasn’t Barcelona or Real Madrid or either of the Milan teams, it was ‘only’ Udinese.  To say that is to belie the enormous pressure which rested on the young shoulders of this team.  Has any other team under Arsene Wenger  been under so much pressure and so much scrutiny as the 11 who took to the field last night?

We had no Cesc and had just sold Na$ri.  We had sold our left back to replace him with a perma-crock who, while immensely talented was, shock-horror, injured.  We lost our first choice centre back and had to play the League 1 novice that is Carl Jenkinson. We stuck a right back at left back, Song in the middle with two kids.  Threw the newly acquired Gervinho on one flank the inconsistent Theo on the other and stuck a captain through the middle and away we went.

No-one really give us much of a chance did they?

That's how it's done

Sure, it wasn’t pretty at times and, for the entirety of the first half the Gooner nation existed in a state of collective heart failure but we, like the players, regrouped at halftime, and we all came out fighting.

It was fantastic to see.

Chesney’s save? The turning point no doubt.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking ‘not again’ as the referee  pointed to the penalty spot for a handball only he or his assistant saw and couldn’t really be avoided.  Chesney pulled out what can only be described as a world class save under immense pressure.  It was the moment the rest of the world realized that Arsenal don’t need a keeper.  We have one.

Captain says it will all be ok

I am not delusional.  I know we need more players and can’t rely on this many young and inexperienced players, but last night I dared to believe that maybe, just maybe, the biggest change we have needed to see at Arsenal was finally taking place – the players have found their heart.

Dare to dream huh Gooners?

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A blog about the Arsenal
  • http://twitter.com/DK1247 Dan King

    The Chesney save was similar to Fabianksi’s penalty save last year in the group stage.  Only this time it gave the whole team some confidence instead of just Fabianski.

    • Jesusiscomingsoon

      Well i doubt Arshavin can handle the main central role himself basedo n his work rate. He would need the midfield 3 behind him in a diamond midfielf 4 4 2/ 4 3 1 2 . OR play second striker in a 4 4 1 1. Well i think this is more likely and i hope lansbury signs a long term contract with Arsenal soon.

      ……………….van Persie…………………….

      Bench: Fabianski, Bendtner, Chamakh, Traore, Alex OC, Miquel, Miyaichi

      If Centre back goes MIquel comes on.
      If wingback goes off traore can come on.
      If midfeilder goes Bendtner would come on and turn it into 442.
      If striker goes off Bendtner would be direct replacement.

      Alex OC and Miyaichi are not ready for now. They need some subsitute appearacnes when we are leading by alot and in Carlin Cup matches.

      • Anonymous

        lansbury ??..your having a laugh right…??and i must say one of the most stupid teams i have ever seen on a piece of paper utter rubbish.im pretty sure you are a spud mate..
        spend some feckin money…

        • Omglol

          Lansbury is only one who can play that spot right now from the info we have about injured/suspended players, or he will have to bring Coquelin. We dont have anyone else, maybe Rosicky/Ramsey without enforcer but thats so risky vs MU. Maybe you should follow the club that you “support” better. And stop trashing the club and accusing people.

          • Anonymous

            instead of having a go at me..maybe you should wake up and smell the coffee Sir,the fact that as you say Lansbury is our only alternative is just shocking..why are we left so thin…why havent we invested…?..
            but im happy for you(Gooner?)being satisfied with Our Beloved Arsenal being robbed!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/olof.falk Olof Falk FalkasFiske

    Nice reading Lady!
    If we all dream together, it might come true…

  • Anonymous

    Dearest LadyArse…
         im just shocked by how little it takes for some Gooners to suddenly think that evrything is just dandy …lets be honest Udinese was a team we should beat…the spuds beat Inter and Milan last year…easy..
         more important we need to get rid of the lying deceptor gazidis,that (man)is pure s**t,and the looker Kroenke silent stan oh my what to say…totally useless..
          when that is done..
       wenger wake the f*ck up..our squad is not very good…and like you said we will improve the squad this year..oh my oh my sold the ingrate..sold tha fat c*nt nasri..sold clichy..and how many injuries do we have…spend some feckin money or even better get out of The Arsenal..

       and finally why cant we just give hilly woody to Madame Tussaud…he would fit in perfect..place him next to the ripper…

  • Peter King Oloo

    Sorry to burst ur bubble dear LadyArse, bt incase u didn’t notice, that ws jst one game. Last season, we showed ”heart” and felled the great Man United, while never really caring about lesser weights like err…ahem, whichever team it was that beat us in the Carling cup final. It’s too small i don’t recall the name-seriously!!
    So, while u can be all proud & join the ”Arsene knows” band, remember tht, heart can always come up every once in a while. Bt being consistent in that performance is what matters, & trust me, this team-forever young & inexperienced-will give u heart attack before ten games are out. Be kind enough to hala WHEN that happens.

  • Nilo

    i like to dream but when you wake reality hits you in the face.

  • Mylefttonsil

    Good read, defo captured the mood last night!

    Remember Evertons response in the season after shrek was sold? Close on their best prem campaign ever. I’m not saying we are going to win the prem but when the collective comes together they can punch above their individual weight, especially among mercenary collections.

    Ask any Rep of Ireland supporter, prime example of punching above their status as the spirit/passion makes up for the lack of ability in a lot of positions!

    • OMGArsenal

      The Irish tendency to drink a few gallons of guiness before a big match also helps!

  • omri

    What a beautiful blog, brought tears to my eyes :)

    consider yourself added to favorites *and* startup

  • Anonymous

    Most important part of this game was that we saw how effective Rosicky can be when he’s finally healthy and has had a proper pre-season. We’ve found our Cesc replacement. Remember this guy was once the world’s most expensive player. He didn’t just forget how to play the game. Also I was super impressed with Carl Jenkinson. The kid is already on the cusp of world class with the ball. His touch looked to be as good as RVP’s at times. Considering his age and the fact that he’s definitely only going to get better, very promising stuff. I also think having Song and Frimpong play next to eachother is going to be a devastating combination for the future. Riquelme seemed to be a huge Frimpong fan after the Emirates Cup, and I think he knows a little about midfield battles.

    I still want to see a centerback signing to take some pressure off Vermaelen(who is definitely NOT fully fit yet and is just waiting to get re injured. All the pace he used to have isn’t back yet) and a replacement for Nasri/inevitable Rosicky injury(Douglas Costa or Zarate anyone?)

    All in all we finally saw something good from this team. I really doubt they’re going to be able to beat Man U only because of the suspensions of Song, Frimpong, and Gervinho,(another genius signing) but IF they do win I guarantee this team will prove over the season to be a better squad than last year. 

    I know we should be grateful about having Cesc for as long as we did, but I dont know if I can forgive him for essentially holding the team to ransom by getting a captaincy he didn’t deserve as a Bribe. I dont even thing its Cesc’s fault, most likely its one of Wenger’s biggest mistakes. However I dont think Cesc should have accepted the captaincy, recognizing it for what it was, that being a simple bribe to stay on the team, which basically threw away 2 years. You can be sure that if Van Persie had the armband, we wouldn’t have just given up at the end of the last two years. The problem lies in that Wenger isn’t Alex Ferguson. He doesn’t do the “Hair Drier treatment” as sited from Arshavin. Wenger requires a captain who can do it for him, and its the smart way to do it. How the hell was Fabregas going to shout down players 7 years his senior? Anyway, enough of my ranting, I’m ultra thrilled that things are looking up, and here’s to a great season where Arsenal shocks the fucking world.

  • Spectrum

    You A.K.B.’s are missing the point. We should NOT NEED to be playing in
    this two leg qualifier. If the manager had done his job, as he is paid 6
    million a year to do – we would have avoided 4th spot. Then we wouldn’t
    need to be “celebrating” something we shouldn’t have got ourselves into
    to begin with !

    Get it yet ? ( God, these A.K.B.’s are thick )

    “In Arsene we rust.”

    • Chiang Mai Steve

      Spectrum your “Get it” is getting old. I have no problem if you want the manager gone – as long as you are prepared to make a viable affordable suggestion as to who replaces him. Obviously your life is in such splendid order you never have to deal with the consequences of your mistakes…but here in the real world we all have to deal with the stuff than happens – maybe we shouldn’t have been in the situation but we were….and we dealt with it. How about you forget about moaning about the manager and the players unless you have got something more intelligent and more constructive to say.

      However if you are looking for some guilt edge promise of pain free frustration free support of sport…I suggest chess.

  • Omglol

    Good job, written always with passion. Hope the kids give us lot of good memories this year.

  • Girl Gunner

    Good stuff ladyarse!!! :)

  • OMGArsenal

    Usual whiny doomers-gloomy lot AAA and pessimistic moaners trying to hijack this blog. LA, when are you going to limit access to this lot?