A legend will always be a legend, no doubts about it.
However I had to answer some of Big Pat’s recent comments.
He’s done a lot for the Club, he’s been the outstanding leader of the best team ever seen in the Premier League era and he’s give his all for the Arsenal, however Patrick Vieira lost a big chance to preserve his iconic status within the supporters.
Like any other Danny Murphy in this world, the current Head of Youth Development at Manchester City (congratulations, by the way; I lost the count of the prodigious youngsters you sent to the first team) said Arsenal are unlikely to be title challenger because of their inability to win ugly.
Dear Patrick, that could have been true in recent years – not today.
Like any other pundit out there, you are pointing out some well-known problems but you seem to forget that – despite the fact that they were far too familiar among Arsenal faithful – those are not existing any longer, at least they are not happening with the same worrying frequency.
After all, we wouldn’t be six points above your Manchester City team were we the same old Arsenal.
You know, the old Arsenal unable to win ugly; the old Arsenal with its woeful defense; the old Arsenal and its lack of personality; the same old Arsenal with its school-boy errors and its inability to cope with pressure.
You know what, the old Arsenal changed a little bit since.
If you just had a look at our recent matches, you would have noticed that several times we grabbed the three points despite some unconvincing performances: did you remember the way we won at Crystal Palace or Sunderland in the league? Do you remember how we won in Dortmund and Marseille in the Champions League?
In those occasions, our character and solidarity won us the game rather than our brilliant football, the character and personality this team is lacking, according to your words.
The wins that allow us to sit on the top of the table with a comfortable cushion arrived thanks to a rock-solid defensive line, an industrious and combative midfield and a team spirit that your players in Manchester can only dream about.
These wins came because Arsène Wenger’s men refused to sit on their ridiculous skills but built on the humbleness and desire to shut some experts’ mouths – like yours – who thought that playing mind games would still bring the team down and break the dressing room.
The times are changing Patrick, we don’t accept to be bullied anymore and today we fight back, both on and off the pitch.
This team won on grounds where your world class players got slapped very hard – Cardiff and Sunderland, anyone? – while experts like you were writing us off.
Please, have a sit alongside Alan Hansen and Danny Murphy, like them you are on track to get old waiting for the Arsenal to collapse.
We might slip, we might slow down, we might drop points but we won’t collapse – that’s for sure.
We should have been upset by Napoli and we taught them a proper football lesson;
We should have been beaten by Liverpool and we won 2-0;
Jurgen Klöpp’s Borussia Dortmund should have annihilated us and they ended up winning at the very end, with an Italyesque counter;
Later on, the Germans should have kicked us out of the Champions League and we won at their ground, something none managed to do in over two years;
Manchester United should have tore us apart and they ended up winning by one narrow goal, in a very unconvincing way.
How many additional tests are we supposed to have while Club like yours can be beaten by Sunderland, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich, Cardiff and Chelsea and keep their credentials intact?
How would you define a team that got battered by a lower opponent because of its arrogant approach?
Immature, I would say.
I’ll let you find your definition; I believe you’d go for something like unfortunate to justify a titanic flop.
What if – for any reason – we win at the Etihad? What will the excuse be this time?