Thursday 11th February 2010
There are probably more cliches in sport than any other part of everyday life and football must be pretty much top of the table on that front. The situation can and indeed does change from one game to the next. After a difficult and almost soul-destroying week or so, by hook or by crook we are just about back in the title race.
We all knew last night was a big game, not just because we wanted to hang on to the coat-tails of those above us but another defeat would see at least four teams behind us edging ever closer in that race for a top-four finish.
And around the freezing cold streets of London N5 you could very much feel the tension in the air pre-match.
We as football fans hate losing. Mostly because every time we do it makes it all the more harder to add another trophy to our long list of historical achievements. Not far behind however, is that horrible situation where day-in day-out we have to work/live/drink with fans of other clubs! Given we have a huge list of achievements on the trophy and record-breaking front and we have never spent billions of pounds to try and achieve any of them, these other fans don't often get the chance to have a pop. So when they do it seems to come with extra vigour! You know that and so do I!
I expected the match itself to be cagey and certainly for the first half that's exactly how it panned out. Liverpool haven't been keeping regular clean sheets for no reason and after getting caught on the break on more than one occasion in recent weeks a gung-ho approach was never on the cards.
Midway through the second half however, we really started to bang on the door. Just as a period of constant pressure seemed to be ebbing away Abou topped his 'man of the match' performance witha towering thumping header from Tommy's cross. A feet-warming jostle ensued for what we all knew was a crucial goal.
Looking at the clock however, there was a long long way to go to ensure we took all three points. From a personal point of view I thought we were comfortable and it was never in doubt... sorry... I can't lie... my nerves were shot to pieces!
Three massive points for a number of reasons and a real morale-booster. Five of the top seven teams have dropped points this midweek, to be one of the two to take maximum is pleasing and demonstrates that there really is a long long way to go before every league position is decided.
I'm off to the Premier League Darts tonight and the liquid refreshment that goes with it will taste all the sweeter having enjoyed our third victory over Liverpool in one season.
Anyone short of something to do at the weekend?! My tip, avoid shopping at all costs, anything else will suffice.
I might pop to the bank to pick up my euros... Porto here we come!
FrankCopyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Feb 2010