Welcome, my fellow Gunners, to another year in which we faithful worshippers have been privileged to celebrate our favourite Saint’s Day.
And why is St Totteringham’s Day our favourite holy occasion?
Well, I believe it’s because it combines all the qualities of the other, lesser, Saints’ Days that we mark throughout the year.
It has the wonderful drunkenness associated with St Patrick’s Day; the love (for our team, our club and each other) that St Valentine is famous for and the unapologetic pride of St George’s Day. Best of all, there’s a big dose of St Schadenfreude’s Day, the occasion on which it is acceptable (indeed, obligatory) to laugh at the afflicted.
St Totteringham’s Day bundles all those marvelous feelings into one – and you have to say, this has surely been the best St T’s Day ever.
Lasagna-gate in 2006 was fun, but that season the Spuds were behind us most of the way and only really closed the gap right at the end.
This year, of course, was different. This year they opened up a 12 point lead over us and that tribe of pox-eaten donkey pizzles who call themselves their supporters kept telling us to “Mind the Gap.”
Oh we minded it alright, you fool-born codpiece-sniffers. We minded it right up the Seven Sisters Road and shoved it up your collective jaxey. How d’you like that gap?
In years to come, happy Gooners will sit around reminiscing about the 2011-2012 season.
Someone will say: “Do you remember when the Tiny Totts thought they were going to win the league?” and everyone else will just fall about laughing…. “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, aaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…”
Play the clip below whilst you read on…….
“Do you remember when they told us to ‘mind the gap’ and that the balance of power had shifted in North London?” “Aaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, aaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…”
“Do you recall a certain Mr Henry Winter saying that Robin van Persie was the only Arsenal player with a chance of getting in the Spuds’ first team?” “Aaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, aaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…”
This season has put us fans through the wringer, but it has not lacked for drama. And at the end of it all, the table does not lie. The team that finishes third deserves to be third.
Just pause for a second and consider that.
We finished third. After our worst start to a season for half a century.
We lost our talismanic captain late in the transfer window, followed quickly out the door by a fat greedy Frenchman. Our most creative player suffered a season-long injury. We started terribly and lost 8-2 at Old Toilet. Our new signings were all scooped up in a special edition of Supermarket Sweep (Yossi Benayoun came free with a packet of Daz).
We were as far up Smelly Creek (it flows into Tottenham Beck) as we had ever been in living memory and we didn’t have a paddle or even a boat. We were swimming up Smelly Creek. Without armbands.
And at that time do you know what smelled worse that the River of Runny Stuff? It was the attitude of the haters, those so-called Arsenal supporters who relished every mishap and calamity; who rejoiced in disaster because it meant they could say “told you so” about their campaign to oust the most successful manager in our club’s history.
How many times did they tell us that we would be lucky to finish in the top half of the table? Or that we would face a relegation fight?
Their attitude, just like the quality of their “support”, stank the place out and contributed to a mood of infighting and fractiousness that only made the problems worse.
But through it all Arsène Wenger kept working.
Recovering from that disastrous start and securing third place is undoubtedly one of his most impressive achievements. It proves as a lie the haters’ contention that he could never get his team playing well again, but I suppose the haters will move their goalposts to continue slaughtering him.
By the way, I have no problem with people criticising the manager or his decisions – I just have a problem with the ones who have become so obsessed with their opposition to him that they want Arsenal to fail. That’s like noticing that your brickwork needs repointing – and deciding it would be for the best if the house burnt down.
Anyway, enough, enough.
I am so proud of our team and our Club. I’m proud of every player and I’m proud of Arsene and I’m proud of Pat Rice and I’m proud of the fans (most of them, anyway).
Of course there’s work to be done to make us better next season. Quite a lot, in fact, but we have put ourselves in the best possible position to do it. What exactly should be done is something we can discuss in the days and weeks ahead.
Officially this should be a match report – and there is plenty to talk about from yesterday’s game. But right now I have no inclination to pick holes, talk about defensive frailties, questions Arsene’s team selections and substitutions.
We had a simple job to do – go to West Brom and win. We did it. We didn’t do it as comfortably as most of us would have liked but we did it all the same.
I will however, give some player ratings:
Van Persie: 10
Benayoun: 11 (joint MoTM)
Fulop: 11 (joint MoTM)
Gibbs: 11 (joint MoTM)
Finally, a question: What do T*ttenham H*tspurs have in common with Hank Marvin?
Answer: Always in the Shadows.
And what grows in the shadows? You got it: fungus – stinky, weirdo fungus… the stuff God came up with as an experiment before he perfected plants and animals.
That’s you, Tiny Totts: the fetid, spongy mass that grows on decaying matter (in this case the decaying matter is your hopes and dreams. Enjoy).
Happy St Totteringham’s Day everyone.