By Atishay Agarwal
After all the pain and heartbreak of Tuesday night, the mind’s gone a bit numb and I hardly even felt anything when the Mancs beat Roma to go through last night. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way, and at other times, they just do. We fall into the former category, and Chelsea and ManU in the latter. Roma played really well last night, and at the end of the first half one could feel the uneasiness building inside Old Trafford. In addition, the Italians squandered a glorious opportunity in the first half when they were awarded a penalty, but God intervened and De Rossi blazed his spot kick into the stands. On the other hand, I’m a hundred percent sure that if they were playing against us, it would have been nestling somewhere near the corner of the net. And for us to win a penalty, one of our players would probably have to be gunned down or stabbed in the opposition’s penalty area, and still the referee may come up with the “I wasn’t in the right position to see it” excuse.
Enough ranting. The point is, that sometimes it’s just a particular team’s season. And this season isn’t ours. Not in the EPL, and not in the Champions league. One could start seeing the signs when so many of our players started getting injured, and then the big decisions started going against us in every game. Every year, the title winning team or a cup winning team needs the so called “Champion’s luck” to succeed, and sadly that hasn’t really happened with us. So I guess its best that all of us forget about what happened on Tuesday and about how our season fell apart, and simply move on. It isn’t easy, but it’s the only option we’ve got. Ranting and retrospection can wait for the summers, when there isn’t much going on!
At the moment, the team needs us, the fans, to lift them. I doubt that even Arsene would be able to lift their morale by much in the dressing room right now. We need to take that responsibility, and provide our team with the support and belief that they require. All of this starts at Old Trafford, by no means the easiest place to do so, but I’m sure all of you remember how we out-sung the ManUre fans even when we were 4-0 down! And after all, who knows what a win at their stadium could do? It might even revive our league campaign and give our boys something to chase in the last few games of the season. So forget all that happened at Anfield, and help the guys believe in themselves again, and hopefully secure a famous victory.
As for the match, we might see Cesc being benched, which frankly, he should be. He’s looked jaded, much like the rest of the side, but at the age of 20, he has already played more games this season than he should be. Diaby is still suspended, and Denilson injured, so if Cesc is indeed rested, it could mean Hleb moving into the center of midfield with Gilberto in the holding role. One thing I feel is certain, or at least should be certain, is a start for Theo. He’s deserved it for a while now, and I might just switch off my TV if I see Eboue starting instead of him. And if Eboue MUST start, then he should at right back.
The young lad has even recently spoken about how he went up and voiced his disappointment to Arsene about not starting more games, and really, if Le Boss doesn’t show more belief in his abilities now, then he never might. Assuming he plays on the right, it could mean Bendtner or RVP partnering Ade up front. I personally would go for Nicklas. I don’t buy the ‘they’re both similar players’ argument, simply because they’re not. The similarity ends in their height and heading ability. Adebayor is more about speed and power, while Bendtner possesses a bit more finesse and has a great touch on the ball. The rest of the side is settled, though I hope Kolo mends his recent ways and performs like he can.
The team needs a goal at the moment, something to aim for, and nothing can get bigger and better than winning at Old Trafford. And like I always tell my Manc or Chav friends:
Never write off the gunners.