I have had a recurring nightmare for the last two nights.
I'm sitting in the stands with people singing and chanting all around me. Everybody's having a great time. Everybody's happy. We are standing and waving flags and banners. Suddenly, I realise that it's raining. Dark clouds have rolled in and everybody looks at each other with blank stares. The sun undergoes an eclipse. Someone in a Manchester United shirt throws a tennis ball at me. Hard. I look away from the black sky. He grins and points to the scoreboard. I can't make out the numbers. It can't be. It's not possible. It reads Manchester United 8, Arsenal 2. Every hair on my body is standing up. A sound leaves my mouth that is pure animal. AAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH.
I wake bathed in sweat and wrapped in the sheets. It takes me a minute to adjust to where I am. Oh thank God, I think, I'm at home in Al Ain. It was only a nightmare.
A work colleague suggests that I develop sudden collective amnesia. What rugby? What football? Who are Arsenal F C?
I can't do that though. It's not me.
Instead I went out and bought this season's Arsenal away top and wore it around Al Ain. Sod it! They are my team. We press on. Hold on tight to your dreams says Jeff Lynne. Okey dokey.
But the loss still needs to be acknowledged.
He says this about losing:
Let it be fast. Since losing is death, I'd rather it be fast than slow.
Okay! That's why this 8-2 disaster feels so bad - it was a slow death. The loss was expected as I wrote in my last post. We all knew it was going to be bad but this was slow torture, from the first goal and our penalty miss to their eight goal.
The next worst loss in Arsenal history was in 1896. Yes that's right - over a hundred years ago!
I don't mind if it takes another 100 plus to repeat it.
Swansea this week. Come on Arsenal!
Love and peace - Wozza