Warning: Apart from me,this may be of interest only to football enthusiasts or Gooner faithfuls!
There is a certain romance inherent in the triumph of an underdog over an established giant. Watching an upset brings with it an unexplainable sense of satisfaction or in some cases, even sadistic joy. Im quite sure almost everyone can relate to this cause it is true for any sport and even life in general. We've all identified with and supported an underdog in the past. Many of us were egging on Ireland when they played England at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. We were thrilled as we watched or when we learned about Ireland achieving the improbable. Quite similary, I always rooted for Michael Chang every time he played a Pete Sampras or a Boris Becker!
But when this kind of support is for a club that plays a brilliant attacking game in a sport that you (read 'I') love more than any other, it is hard to support any other club as ardently.
It is true that F.C. Barcelona plays a better game in terms of the same attacking football that i mentioned earlier. But equally true is the fact that the club used its financial might considerably to assemble the star-studded squad that it has today. Make no mistake, F.C.B. plays the best attacking brand of football on the planet today, closely followed by Madrid.
Arsenal have been less fortunate on the financial front which left Arsene Wenger (the shrewd manager at the helm of affairs at Arsenal) forced to adopt a youth policy. Moreover, every time Wenger develops a player into superstar material,the player is bought off by a club with superior financial clout, which has only made Wenger's challenge even more daunting. The fact that Wenger has been able to compete at the top despite hardly signing any big name players is testament to his greatness as a manager.
As much as fans and critics alike have marvelled at the beautiful football that Arsenal displays time and again, the club does not have many trophies to show for it. A key reason for Arsenal's lack of trophies has been its defensive frailties. As much as it has been extremely frustrating for the fans, (this might sound ridiculous) it has also been endearing. Its vulnerabilites make it a very mercurial team-one with immense talent and potential but you are never quite sure what to expect. One moment they get hammered 8-2 by the Red devils at Old Trafford, and in the next they destroy Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge! The heady highs quite often being peppered by gutting lows! But hey! Isnt that the beauty of sport?
There are not too many managers in modern football who have been criticised as much as Arsene Wenger. Many of them clamouring for a more defensive approach. An approach that has worked for quite a few other managers including the great Jose Mourinho. However, in Wenger's eyes, not for nothing is football called 'the beautiful game'. He continues to stand firm in his belief that football should be played the 'beautiful' way! And with his limited means in achieving his goals, his record thus far has been splendid to say the least!
When he puts out his team each season to pit his wares against teams who have bigger names and pay heavier pay cheques, not many list Arsenal as one of the favourites to win the domestic league or the Champions league. Quite justified too if i may add, considering we have been trophyless for 6 years now. Call this what you may, but if indeed Wenger does manage the improbable, id say it it would be as much a victory for Arsenal and its fans as it would be to FOOTBALL!
David versus Goliath? Bring it on!!
An Arsenal fan!