Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Was the Arsenal v Barca game 'Art' ??
To tell you the truth the last thing i wanted to do or think about after United's lackluster defeat to Bayern was watch another game of football, or even consider Champions League results for a few days. But in England, when Barca and Arsenal..the two purveyors of 'perfect football' meet, you're gonna get it rammed down your throat, unless you go hide under the bedsheets and take a large dose of nightnurse.
The build up to the match was painful. Would this be the greatest game of football that the universe had ever seen? I felt sick to my stomach. I have respect for both teams. Barca ruined us in last years final, but we have put Arsenal to the sword several times in recent memory. I don't get the press adulation that Arsenal get for playing pretty football. It looks lovely against the Prem minnows, but will it win you the big stuff?
In and around kick off time i heard the word 'Art' being banded around rather loosely. Would this game represent an embodiment of art? I swore to myself multiple times. So like most of the nation i sat down on my sofa, jacked up the plasma screen and watched the match.
That first 45 minutes was the most incredible display of football by a team I have seen...well...maybe EVER. Arsenal were taught a lesson in what passing football really is. How the game was still goalless at half time will remain a mystery to modern man for all time. The play was simply scintillating. I watched most of that half with my jaw on the floor and my tongue resting gently on the carpet. It was football from another planet...another galaxy even! Arsenal were on the pitch somewhere, but when the opposition appear to have 15 players what can you do?
The second half was different. Despite Barca scoring twice in fairly quick succession, the half belonged to the Gooners. Walcott's impact was almost immediate, and it thoroughly surprised me to see Arsenal play with heart I haven't seen from them previously. A year ago they would have lied down and died 4-0. But they didn't. And that is where the question in the title of this article starts to get answered.
The answer is: yes
The 'Art' of football was present at The Emirates last night. By that I do not mean just from what we saw from the Spaniards..but also from the reaction and contribution of Arsenal. The art embodied in that match was the end result..and how that result was created. People may say that to consider a game a work of art is pompous and in general they are correct. But art can be revisited and analysed and enjoyed repeatedly. And that game last night falls into that category. Arsenal played their part, although one which many thought was beyond them. They brought the heart to the game. If Barca were the technical magnificent of this piece of art then Arsenal breathed life into it. If you could frame all of this, it would sit proudly in the National Gallery..or maybe even the Tate Modern. It was football from 2010 at its very best and it was a privilege watching this art be created.
I'm a football lover. I'm lucky as a United fan to witness us create our own works of art. But even a supporter as partisan as me can tip my hat too two teams who on the night entertained every football fan on the planet, and earned all of our respect.
Art should be enjoyed by all. Art is for everyone.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is now a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'