Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where Was This?

It's another short post, and I assure you this blog is not devolving into short one subject paragraphs, but the readers of TLOCA must watch the Derby - Arsenal highlights.

Not for the goals, not for the assists, but for the dancing.

This link will self-destruct in around 20 hours


For those of you at work, unfortunately, sound is a must. So pull out your headphones (it's brief), fast forward to the 4:00 mark and listen to Tim Caple poke fun at Eboue and Adebayor as they dance.

The first "rehersal" is understandable, enjoyable, nice to see if you're an Arsenal fan. The second one though, at the 5:00 mark, is absolutely terrifying. There is no script and something very pressing in the back of my mind tells me that this is how Adebayor dances when he's out on the town. It must be something about the slow motion because if you really try hard enough, you can picture him in the middle of a crowd confounding the honored guest.

If your reaction was similar to mine, then it's sort of like getting a glimpse of what Norah Jones might be like when no one else is watching. Except you end up watching. Wouldn't that be jaw-dropping?

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After the dust settled and I thought some more about what I saw in the smiles of that Arsenal team, I kept coming back to one question. Where the hell was this?

It's so clear to me now than it was before that the pressure of being on top got to these kids. They faced adversity and suddenly the dancing stopped and the smiles faded. Adebayor went from dancing like a fool and not caring, to talking noise at the fans (Liverpool). Gallas' shit-eating grin from a botched pass gone right, went to collapsing at midfield after dropping one point. Van Persie came back as the answer we needed instead of that pretty boy that can play.

They took the game too seriously and the title started meaning too much. The same might be happening to Manchester United right now and they'll learn too - that can't happen. We're in the era of the underdog and the team that has nothing to lose sometimes ends up winning it all. In the censored words of Nelly, "change the game, don't let the game change you."

6 comments:

Jim said...

Yep. United better start playing fast and loose again or else it'll be Chelsea's historic double season we'll be talking about for years to come. Fergie's "best team ever," the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo as the undisputed best player in the game... none of this matters without silverware. United under Ferguson have often reminded me of the Cardinals under LaRussa. Dominant throughout the season, but suddenly clenching up during crunch time. Playing without joy. Playing with the fear of losing looming larger than the hope of victory. And really, there's only so far you can get when you only think about what your opponent can do to you and not vice versa.

It's been said so often that it's a total cliche, but Ronaldo often disappears in big games. Last year's CL semi, the recent second half against Chelsea (when he went to ground every time the ball came near him instead of trying to use his God-given ability to twerk defenders), last season's games against Arsenal, the missed penalty against Barca, etc. Now it's time for him to decide whether or not United will win trophies. Because it really is his decision.

Also, it was wonderfully refreshing to see Arsenal cut loose like that again. Sure, they conceded two against the worst team in the Premiership, but they were playing a three man back line and after 15 minutes had elapsed, it was clear they would score as many goals as they wanted. Ade frustrates the hell out of me, but he's got the pace and power (and occasionally, the touch) to be special and that's the only reason we moan when he blows a chance. The bigass grin he sports when he scores is reason enough to love him.

Ben said...

While Arsenal won, and could've thrashed derby more, remember, it was Derby. They could go all out because what was derby going to do. And after all, derby did score 2. They can't play that way against the big boys, or they will get burned. Nonetheless, it was nice to see the dance moves. I expect that from you Juan tonight, if you score.

Will Man U fade? Maybe, We'll get a good glimpse of what type of soccer they are going to play for the next couple of weeks today.

Juan Walcott said...

the norah J reference was about a sex tape

dont you people see nightvision and automatically think of paris hilton

nobody is getting that joke, that's prime stuff. I was going to use an actual paris hilton photo but i didnt want ot be vulgar

re-read it and you'll see

goddamnt

Juan Walcott said...

jim and ben are no's

i wonder if jake gets it

Jim said...

And Chelsea is off to Moscow. Unbelievable game.

http://i25.tinypic.com/2e586th.gif

Jake said...

chelsea should be aware of freak gasoline fight accidents along the way,
i think there's something wrong with the context of the joke, but if you have a sex tape of norah jones hand it over,
the premier league XI was in the end pretty predictable if not necessarily correct, perhaps ronaldo can't win young player of the year more than once?