(Ed. note: I lost internet today and don’t have time to write about the win over Basel. However, Jonathan Blaustein, offered a piece yesterday about the win over Chelsea and since I don’t think we can ever write enough about that win, and we are riding high on the wave of yesterday’s win, I thought we could all do with a little bit of Jonathan’s trademark humor. Enjoy! – Tim)
By Jonathan Blaustein
Well hello there. Remember me? I was the guy who wrote the photography column during the 2014–15 season.
The guy who once pretended to be Jose Mourinho mocking a toddler for pooping in his pants. (Yeah, he’d totally do that. You know he would.)
These days, Donald J. Trump has bumped old Jose from the top of the Globally Recognized Sociopaths list. And then he flamed out at Chelsea, so his reputation is not exactly what it was the last time I wrote here.
It’s true he won the league at Chelsea. It was awful to watch; Eden Hazard winning penalties, and Chelsea sitting in 2 banks of four to grind out yet another 1–0 win.
God, I hate Jose Mourinho.
More than anyone in sports. More than Jerry Jones. More even than Fat Diego Costa. (To be fair, no fat joke will ever match Arseblog’s serial digs at Grant Holt during his last season at Norwich. Big ups, Andrew.)
Outside the Community Shield, which apparently doesn’t count, Arsenal had not beaten Chelsea in nearly five years. October 2011, to be precise. Coincidentally, that was the last time my wife was in NYC, and we’re headed there next week.
Perhaps I should have seen that as an omen?
I was actually in Chicago this past weekend, working at a photo festival called Filter. I knew I’d never see the match, so I set my DVR, double-checked it, and then did a full media blackout until I got home.
On Sunday, as I was walking down Navy Pier to Expo Chicago, I saw a guy in a Chelsea shirt. I actually thought, “Does that mean they won? Would he have the stones to wear that if they’d been spanked yesterday? This has to be a bad sign.”
Then I flew home. I got in the door after 1am, slept ’til 6, got the kids off to school, partook in some relaxatory aids, and then pressed play.
I called myself the voice of reason the year I wrote for 7am kickoff. Lacking the long-standing as a fan, without the bitterness of watching the team come up short during the lean stadium-move years, I liked what I saw.
Wenger seemed charming, smart and introspective. The club was beginning to make good on its promises. (Ozil, anyone?) And I’d already seen Arsenal break the trophy drought with the first FA Cup victory.
I’ve now seen nearly all of Arsenal’s games over the last 5 years, and ever since Robin Van Persie scored his hat trick, I’d not yet had this feeling. That was my first few months of watching.
What did I know then?
Not very much.
Only that Van Persie was smooth, Alex Song’s hair was better than Gervinho’s, and the fat guy back then was Andre Santos.
This team is so much better than that one. It’s not fair to compare. We can nitpick over results here or there, but the 2016–17 Arsenal squad just mopped the floor with those Chelsea assholes.
Eviscerated them. Embarrassed them. Left them looking like a bunch of overstuffed crybabies, bereft of any football ideas at all.
Now, despite the fact that Antonio Conte looks like a Bond villain, I kind of like the guy. He was a mega-success at Juve, and anyone who watched the Euro’s saw what he can do.
I really don’t pin this one on him.
All the fun I had on Monday? The thrill of victory? The sweet taste of redemption?
I attribute that to Jose Mourinho.
Because he broke the spirit of Roman’s highly priced collection of talents.
First, he broke Mata. Then Ramires. Hazard. Terry. Ivanovich. Matic. Fabregas. Costa.
They might have stunk a little less under Guus Hiddink, but they still stunk. That they beat us last year were two flukes, down to Mike Dean’s asshattery, and a certain lack of mental toughness.
(I’m looking at you, Gabriel. Good luck getting into the first team now…)
So, thank you, Jose. If the world is just, Arsene Wenger will get his reward later this season.
Arsenal will stomp ManU again like they did last year. And writing for Tim now and again will seem like fun.
Reading along every day, I felt like he was doing a lot of heavy lifting lately. You guys do excellent work in the comment section, of course, but as a former team member, I offered to help out, as a way of repaying him for all the pleasure I get out of reading this blog.
So Arsene Wenger, if there’s even one chance in a billion that my words ever get back to you, Mazel Fucking Tov for Saturday’s win! It was worth the wait.