2 Hours and Counting

Today is the day.  Barcelona v. Arsenal.  Champions League.  Winner goes on to the round of 8.  The looser goes home.  This is a pivotal match in their season.  They have flown from England to Spain to take on the Spanish giants at the Camp Nou.  Fabregas packed a bit more than usual, calmly parting ways with 50 Pounds, paying the extra baggage fee for the 1 goal lead in the tie.  Van Persie packed a ton of Cortisone and Advil in order to take the pitch today.  Sadly Song was not fit to travel, and will have to cheer from home.

Many pundits have already written off the Gunners.  To be fair, most of us could care less about the pundits, and know that they are either United, Chelsea, or Liverpool supporters anyway to their comments go right out the window.  This isn’t a review of the match, rather a reminder.  In 2006, Arsenal were struggling in the league, and were only competitive in the Champions League.  We had to face several fantastic teams, most notably Real Madrid.  This was no ordinary Real.  This was the Galacticos.   Ronaldo, Zidane, Beckham, and Figo to name a few.  This team was slated to win it all.  They were winning matches right and left.  Arsenal were playing well, but were not considered favorites to make it to the final by any stretch of the imagination.  Arsenal had to beat a very good Juventus side to make it to the semi finals.

A determined Arsenal side held the Galacticos to a nil nil draw at Highbury.  No one thought it possible for Arsenal to beat the mighty Real Madrid.  With courage, tenacity, and skill Arsenal beat the giants at their own game.  A 1 nil win saw Arsenal into the final.

The challenge is immense.  The odds are not in our favor today.  We have stuttered in form this season, and many have questioned the rationale of Wenger.  Today is our day.  Today is a day for Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin and Van Persie to put their stamp on this team, and on this game.  There will be no more excuses.

The match kicks off at 2:45PM EDT.  This could be our turning point to greatness, and I for one am excited.  Simply put, they cannot score more goals than us.  We must win or draw this match to go through.  If we score, they must score 3 goals to move on to the next round.

Keep the faith, and UP THE ARSENAL!