Tomorrow Arsenal host Manchester United at The Emirates.
Two weeks ago this looked a mouth-watering, potentially title-deciding contest. Yet while the latter holds true for the away team, the bad guys, the Red Devils — for our own boys it is a game that cannot really end well.
A loss and we virtually hand the title to a team that have proved better than us, confirming a failure to match them both across a an entire league season and in head-to-head contests.
A draw and we simply delay the inevitable, inviting a sense of niggling annoyance that we could have, should have done a little better this season.
And a win? Wouldn’t it just be the ultimate frustration? A signification that — yes — we are just as talented as Manchester United but only when it doesn’t really count.
It is hard to go into a fixture like this, the one that I relish above all others in a season, with much optimism when even if the team manages the best possible outcome, it is likely to provoke negative emotions.
Some further complications.
Tomorrow is the First of May (May Day or International Workers’ Day), a “day of political demonstrations and celebrations organised by unions, communists, anarchists, socialists, and activist groups” (thanks, Wikipedia!).
In Berlin, my home for the past nine months, May Day is celebrated strongly. There are festivals all day and protests of a kind that one simply never gets to see in Australia.
Some people here say it is dangerous, some that it is ridiculous, some that it is fun. But they all share the opinion that it is something that should not be missed.
So I have a dilemma? Do I put myself through emotional torment watching Arsenal win, lose or draw against Manchester United or do I put the boys to one side and experience an event that I will likely never see again?
I think you know the answer. It’s Arsenal all the way.
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