Before watching the Chelsea vs Arsenal FA Cup semi-final I wanted Chelsea to win. I wasn’t overjoyed at the prospect of facing Arsenal in the Champions League semi as it was, on top of already having to play them in the league again in what could prove to be a crucial game. The idea of having to play them a fourth time in as many weeks if we are to may the FA Cup final wasn’t too appealing.
Arsenal started pretty well but as the game went on, I started to see something very familiar to me. The inability to keep possession. Both Chelsea and Arsenal made unforced error after unforced error, passing it to the opposition time and again. Hey, this is what United do!
The mistakes were taking place all over the pitch and it was great to see! It made for a pretty low quality game of football but it was enjoyable enough for a United fan.
The Arsenal keeper was fucking up left right and centre, Ashley Cole was giving Theo Walcott all the time in the World (after deflecting the ball with his hand in to the net!), Denilson was shoving the referee in the chest, Michael Ballack was getting wound up and lashing out, Mikael Silvestre was handballing in the area, and it all just felt very reassuring. Both sides were doing each other a favour and it felt good to see the imperfections in our rivals, Chelsea for the title and Arsenal for the Champions League.
United have been far from perfect all season but before yesterday, for whatever reason, I couldn’t seem to imagine these same flaws in the teams we were going to have to beat to get our hands on silverware.
Whatever happens against Everton in the FA Cup, or Arsenal in the Champions League, or the remaining teams we have to face in the league, yesterday’s match reminded me that there are weaknesses in every side. It’s easy to become obsessed or consumed with your own faults but when you look at things rationally, we’re in a better position than any other team in this country, and it doesn’t do us any harm to remember that every now and again!