Starting to feel more homely
Firstly I'll apologise if this is a bit brief. I'm having to type it on my iPad as my computer will not load up the appropriate pages at blogger.com for me. As a result there is no picture and no option to alter the size of the text today (NOW EDITED, as you can see).
I thought the boys were magnificent last night against Milan. Had Van Persie not missed the easiest chance he's had all season then we would probably have gone through, but to criticise anyone after last night's Herculean efforts would be churlish in the extreme. I said before the game that we were better than AC Milan and we proved it last night. Apart from Robinho they had nothing in their team. Our pace was too much, as predicted. Sadly we paid the price for the disgracefully insipid display in Milan. While feeling great pride that the players did so much to atone last night, it is impossible to not feel frustrated that we had too much to do in the second leg.
The stadium was rocking last night again and the players have been keen to thank the fans for the support we showed last night, in their interviews on the official site and on Twitter. I've always considered the determined "Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal" chant to be synonymous with backs against the wall, all or nothing fixtures. So it was last night with the noise growing with every moment. At half time I was standing there and thinking to myself that, for the first time, I actually felt at home in the new place. The combination of the players showing their pride in the shirt, and the supporters creating such an intimidating atmosphere made for quite the spectacle.
Ultimately, when the heavy legs crept in we didn't have enough on the bench to make the difference. I felt very sorry for Park coming on to play wide left. Chamakh came on and won every header but the system we play negated that tactic a RVP was now dropping deep, rather than running in behind his strike partner. It just wasn't to be, but it was a truly magnificent performance. Taken in isolation a 3-0 win over AC Milan should be considered one of the greatest in our history. In the circumstances that will not be the case. However, if it gives this group of players the belief in themselves to get better until the end of the season then it will be very important indeed. I also hope it showed Arsene Wenger that we need to play with pace at all times, so that means not picking Arteta and Ramsey unless forced in to doing so. When we play with pace, nobody can live with us.
That will do for now, hopefully a better piece tomorrow.