Tuesday 30th August 2011
I must have seen Arsenal 30 or more times at Old Trafford and I have never seen us score more than once in a league game. If that doesn't demonstrate how tough it is to go there then nothing will. On Sunday afternoon that record was broken of course. We were all hoping for that but, of course, what happened at the other end never came into the equation.
In a week that saw us go into the game with probably a little bit more confidence than expected, discussions on what proved to be quite an entertaining day off of the pitch surrounded the European challenges produced by Thursday's draw, our pairing with Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup and of course potential signings before Wednesday night's deadline.
Lorry loads of the usual banter and plenty of refreshment in our normal haunt saw us head into Manchester in fine spirits. The optimism however, proved to be fruitless.
Like all Gooners I am sure you are sick of reading/hearing about what happened on the day, so I am not going to add too much to it.
For the record I actually felt we looked relatively dangerous going forward and agree that if the penalty went in it would have given us the momentum in the period after. When you concede eight however, no matter how good the four long-range efforts might have been, it is simply impossible to offer any justification for such a heavy defeat.
We are Arsenal Football Club and that alone means no matter who was wearing the badge on Sunday, they should have been good enough on the day to avoid such a scoreline. That is fact so despite the humiliation we all felt I would like to think and hope that there was also an element of 'freakishness' about the result.
As we are Arsenal Football Club we are also extremely proud and that leads me on to the one positive about the day. The travelling Gooners were simply magnificent. There is no other way to describe it.
Despite the footballing pain we were all going through, we stood and sang our hearts out making everyone aware both within the stadium and watching the TV all around the world that Arsenal is in our blood and a difficult period does not mean our pride and passion for our great club will wane.
There is something not quite right at the moment, you know that and I do too.
We also know we are Arsenal and Sunday, through considerable adversity, made me realise that more than ever before.
I leave you with a few pictures of last week's successful trip to Italy.
Enjoy the international break and above all else boys and girls... keep the faith.
Venice's Rialto Bridge is part of the matchday journey!
Flag sits wonky but proud in the stadium
Ondrej and friend, two of our travelling Slovakian Gooners
A pic with Dad pre-match
The nerves are shattered as kick-off approaches
The Croatian Gooners in party mood with a victory secured