By Jonathan Blaustein, 80′s Mullet Chief
I was watching “Stripes” on TV a few weeks ago. I clicked in near the beginning, and couldn’t help dropping into the 80′s time warp for a half an hour or so.
It was so good, I could practically feel my mullet re-growing, and my braces re-appearing, so powerful were the memories of the past.
Bill Murray. Harold Ramis. John Candy. Warren Oates. Sean Young. John Laroquette. The dude from Miami Vice who plays the moron. The all-time-great-movie-psycho-Francis.
That is a lot of talent working together right there. A comedy dream team, if you will. And when you’ve got the right talent, working together properly, all bets are off.
That was remarkably evident to me this past Saturday. I know it was partly a revenge fantasy, after the gory nightmare at Anfield last year, but really, it was more than that. Up and down the pitch, Arsenal were fielding “World Class” players, and Liverpool weren’t.
Say what you will about Raheem Sterling’s potential, but he’s not there yet. And while Coutinho may have ripped off a few crackers from distance this year, he’s no football-genius either. Who from Liverpool’s starting 11 would have made the pitch for Arsenal on Saturday? Mignolet? (Maybe. And he was awful anyway.) Nobody? (More likely.)
I know the haters have begun to hide under their rocks again, save d-bag Peter Wood, but there were many, many doubters over the course of this season. I wasn’t one of them. Why? Because I’m the good-old-voice-of-reason. Remember?
To the few of you out there who still revel in negativity, who refuse to admit how far this club has come in the 4 years I’ve been following, I’ve got a little “thought experiment” for you.
Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Debuchy, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Welbeck, Walcott.
If Arsenal fielded that team all season, where might they place? Top 4? Top 6? Definitely top 7.
So the second team, (give or take,) is now better than most of the clubs in England. When I started watching the games, in 2011-12, Andre Santos was an important player. And he looked like he could have eaten Theo Walcott for dinner, and still had room for some Lee Dixon pie.
What’s my point? Do I have one?
If I did, it would be that Arsenal are now poised to repeat as FA Cup Champions. Maybe they choke, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I suspect we’re about 6 weeks away from raising the trophy for the second time in two years.
And then, what will the haters say? That we should have won the Premier League too? The Treble? Let them whine. Because after all those years of people torturing poor Arsene because he couldn’t bring home the silverware, 2 FA Cups in 2 years will be big, big news.
Why do I have the trophy on my mind? Why get ahead of myself? (Am I trying to break the record for the most rhetorical questions in a 7am kickoff column?)
I’m all fired up because on Saturday night, Matchday eve, I happened to catch some Graham Norton on BBC America. Frankly, I have no idea what people think of that guy in England. Is he a goofball? A mainstay? A dorkily-dressed trendsetter? No matter.
My wife and I watch the show sometimes because he gets charming Hollywood guests, there are few things that will hold both of our attention these days, and it gives a shade of European Glamour to our otherwise-boring-lazy-sofa-sitting endeavor.
They play the show here months after it’s aired in England, for whatever reason. He had Jessica Chastain on in this episode, and she really is a ginger fox. But he also had Gary Lineker on the couch, and he brought a friend along.
The FA Cup.
It was poor form, IMHO, that they failed to name-drop the holders. It never came up. In America, that would never happen. You wouldn’t show off the Larry O’Brien trophy without giving props to the Spurs.
Spurs. Maybe that was it? Lineker, the former Tottenham man, couldn’t help short-sheeting his former rivals?
Whatever the reason, I felt compelled to freeze-frame the TV, and snap off this photo of the FA Cup in all its gleaming glory. So. Very. Shiny.
I’ve got no choice but to anoint this picture the Match Day Photo of the Month. (By default.)
Last month, I gave you guys mad love for raising your game, and sending me some good shit. Premium digital content. But this month, I didn’t get anything fresh at all.
Our buddy Steve, who made the runners-up-list last month, sent in this picture of his son eating a pie outside Piebury Corner. But it was from a game in February.
And Imran, from Peterborough, emailed in a few pics from the Brazil v Chile friendly held at the Emirates. Now, Alexis Sanchez may well be my Man-Crush-of-the-Moment, but he does not single-handedly turn the Chilean national team into Arsenal.
We’ll include one of them here anyway, as I’m down with supporting my supporters.
But I’d ask that you guys re-open the channels to your creativity next month. We’ve got a few games yet in April, and then May will be here, after which there will be no more games to play. We’ll cry. And begin the embarassingly-addictive habit of checking the transfer rumor pages 914 times a day. (I feel dirty just thinking about it.)
Email us some good photos this month, unless you’ve tired of my discursive nonsense. Lord knows, Tim, with this run-on-sentence columns, and thoughtful poetry, doesn’t need my help to classy-up the joint. He’s doing a bang-up job on his own. And the rest of the blog-team gives you a natural break from his voice anyway.
So let’s see what you’ve got, readers. Snap some pics, make it good, and I won’t ever have to award myself my own trophy again.