Sunday, 21 April 2013


Cosa Nostra Italian pronunciation: [Koza Nostra], Italian for "our thing"

This season, more than most, has seen discussion about other clubs at an all time high. It’s almost as if Arsenal supporters are distracting themselves from the real issues at home by looking elsewhere. The on going disputes with our noisy neighbours carry on with fractious insult from both parties, there is a sense of glee at the failings of the Russian’s project club and sympathy for once mighty Liverpool. It seems to me that the club with whom we once tussled for Premier League supremacy are almost an after thought. Their inevitable march to a twentieth title was something to be observed from afar: perhaps with wistful nostalgia for the good old days of Keane v Vieira. Not now though. Aston Villa may not be the pushover that clinches the title before United come calling so there may be an ugly intruder looking to set up camp on the Emirates pitch come this time next week. An intruder who was given a firm leg up by the powers that be at our club. An intruder who was given a set of keys to the kingdom when we gave (yes I know the Arsenal received a fee, but you get the general idea) him the means to capture the throne in the shape of Robin Van Persie: the missing piece of Manchester United’s 2011/12 jigsaw that saw them lose out on the title on goal difference.

The Arsenal are the masters of heaping embarrassment on home fans as witnessed at Anfield, White Hart Lane twice and at Old Trafford, and the very real possibility of having to grin and bear it ourselves is now a reality. If Manchester United win the title before next week or in the following weeks they will have deserved it; I believe that the team that wins the title does so on merit, what I see next Sunday as is an opportunity, an opportunity for our players to show us fans something. If United come as Champions then we should do things the right way, give them their 'props' before kick off and then look to put them to the sword. But if they come  one result away from clinching the title, what better motivation in a lacklustre season than saying “Sod that for a laugh! Are we going to let this lot prance around on our turf at the final whistle while a travelling fan hands them an inflatable Premier League trophy? Well are we?!"

The thought of it should hurt every one of our players, they should be aghast at the thought of cringing in embarrassment on seeing the Mancunians lord it up on their day out in the Big Smoke. Let there be no confusion: above all else we need the points, and if in getting those points we put their celebrations on hold, or mute them all the better.

Should the worse happen, for me there will be a feeling of a final capitulation. When we emphatically prised the trophy from Old Trafford there was an inevitability that those we had conquered would be back to fight another day. Can we say that there would be a similar feeling on Sunday? 

Before I get accused of rampant negativity the facts remain that the Arsenal have accumulated 16 points in just over a month: which is great form in anyone’s book. The Arsenal playing at home to Manchester United still retains a certain jen es sais quoi and certainly we the supporters will be more than up for this encounter. Sunday is about denying the enemy and securing a morale boosting victory. The days and weeks ahead are the time for looking at the bigger picture at Arsenal (and boy, does it need looking at) on Sunday let’s see some defiance, lets see some bloody mindedness, let’s see the Arsenal deny another club, who may be needing those points, the chance to write a chapter in the history book at our expense by any means necessary. Even if they arrive as the newly crowned champions lets not see that as an anti climax, let's beat the Champions.

We win titles at the grounds of our enemies. That’s OUR thing! That's the Arsenal way.

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