Ole Big Ears

Today’s the big day: the first ever “all English” Champions League final, the Debtor’s Bowl, the Toilet Bowl. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying that the Champions League final is a big day. Because, for one lucky team it’s an £85m payday and the right to have their names permanently marked in the book of greatness. For the other team, it’s a paltry £20m payout and the ignominy of the label “runner’s up.” So, for me, it’s not “who do you think will win?” but “who cares who wins? I’ll just be happy that one of these two teams will lose!”

If Man U lose, they’ll have to be seen as one of the greatest failures ever. To walk away with a runner’s up medal with all that debt, with the weight of having had the double in their grasp, and a summer of Real Madrid speculation about their beloved Boy would have to be heart breaking for the world’s most arrogant fans. And what if their Boy Ronaldo fails to deliver on the biggest stage? The bag on him is that he always falls short against the best competition — Arsenal (not even the best competition) routinely shut him down. If he doesn’t deliver he’ll always be remembered as the player that “should have done better.” If he outright stumbles? Oh lord.

If Chelsea lose, it could finally tear the club apart. All season they’ve papered over the cracks and it’s finally looking like the mâché is starting to wilt. After the very public breakup with Jose Mourinho you have to say that Avram Grant’s done about as well as anyone could with the collection of super egos and filthy cheaters that he was handed. Now, inexplicably, Grant’s job security in uncertain, Drogba and Lampard are rumored to be leaving, and some people are saying that Abramovich is looking for a new challenge. As happens so often when the new kid on the block is trying to make a name for themselves, a loss on the highest stage could split this team apart.

I don’t think we have to pick a winner because no matter which team loses, English Football wins. Besides, Wenger already picked the winner: the refs.

In Arsenal news:

Flamini left Arsenal for the UEFA Cup football. Well, not exactly. He says Milan playing in the UEFA cup is a one-off and that their history as the greatest club in all of Europe lured him to them but not the huge contract they gave him. Not that.

The “Aquilani to Arsenal” story is turning out to be a 100% plant by the agent to increase his client’s re-sign value. Moribito, you cad.

Arsenal are set to sign Nasri. They’ve been set to sign him for, what, a month now. Maybe it’s like that moment in a sprint where you get set and the anticipation of the starters gun has your mind racing and it feels like you’ve been in the set position for half an hour and finally the gun goes off, and you run really hard and finish 4th… In other words, I’m waiting for the pictures of Arsene with Nasri before I believe it. Maybe I’m not optimistic about his signing because the last thing Arsenal need is another continental wide player who’s first inclination is the dribble in to the center of the pitch (HLEB).

Robin van Persie is vowing to be ready! For Euro 2008, which means that he’ll be injured for Arsenal. Yay. Another 30 goal season for Adebayor, please, thanks, ok, bye.

And that’s it for today. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go down to the pub and root for one of these two teams to lose.

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